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Business School Briefing: well-behaved meetings, MBA start-up funds, creativity


Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


What do chief learning officers want from business schools? We are seeking the views of CLOs on executive education — do share our questionnaire with your networks.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Business psychologist Clive Lewis told colleague Pilita Clark this week that he was busier than ever dealing with cases of workplace bad behaviour, which seems to have shifted online even as many offices remain closed.

For my management challenge, as we approach the first anniversary of mass remote work, I’d like to hear your tips about how to ensure online work meetings are as well-behaved — and perhaps better-behaved — than their in-person equivalents. Send your tips to [email protected]

Last week, I asked what question you would pose to executives to stop them making the sort of unempathetic blunders that resulted in the resignation of KPMG’s UK chairman. Steve Mostyn says he often asks senior leaders: “How does your team describe you when you are not present?” and “Is this a surprise?” With the help of a skilled facilitator he will sometimes follow up with “Shall we ask them?”

In further reading, Steve Denning — a champion of business storytelling — writes for about the need for new management narratives to sweep away the “dominant mega-narrative” of shareholder value. “Success in the digital age requires a 21st century mindset based on an obsession with delivering value to customers,” Denning writes.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

I am returning today from a week’s annual leave, a limiting experience during the ongoing UK lockdown but a necessary one in this very strange time. 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrust us all into unfamiliar ways of working that have made many feel less than productive. However, could such constraints fuel creativity? David Bodanis makes the case in this piece in the FT today.

One thing my time off has enabled me to do is to catch up on some reading. I recommend this piece in Forbes on how working from home can affect the ethics of employee decision making. We can all make good and bad decisions, but the choices depend on our circumstances, argues Sunita Sah, a professor of management studies at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.

Data line

Two-thirds of investment in companies founded by MBA alumni of ranked schools is angel finance. The second most popular source of funding is venture capital, writes Sam Stephens. Further analysis on MBA alumni trends can be found here: Charting MBA graduates’ progress.

Chart showing where MBA alumni find funding for their start-up

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Top business school reads

Escaping lockdown: when will life return to normal? Boris Johnson reveals his road map for lifting restrictions on Monday, February 22. The world will be watching to see how far he goes

China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US defence industry Beijing asks industry executives if proposed restrictions will harm western contractors

Facebook bans Australian news as impact of media law is felt globally Social media group reacts after Google signs worldwide licensing deal with Murdoch empire

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