Business School Briefing: Workplace pressure; your feedback sought


Good afternoon from London. As the year comes to an end, workplace problems can lead to priority overload. Do you have any tips on how to deal with the pressure?

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We will be taking time off and our newsletter will return on 10 January 2022. We wish you a happy and healthy festive season.

Thank you for reading our Business School Briefing — Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

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Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Tiny management flaws can open into gaping chasms under pressure, as the debacle over the evacuation of Afghans from Kabul last summer demonstrates. A UK Foreign Office whistleblower highlighted last week how a nightmarish overload of email requests for rescue from the Taliban led to arbitrary decisions about who should be airlifted.

Few managers will have to handle situations with the life-and-death consequences I’ve described in my latest column, but the end of the year often leads to priority overload. For my management challenge this week, I’d like to hear your tips about dealing with overwhelming pressure, whether that be a surge in demand or a coincidence of pressing deadlines. Send your tips for triage to [email protected] and we will print the best in January, by way of New Year resolutions.

Business school professor advisers sought

Lecture theatre in National University of Singapore
Lecture theatre in National University of Singapore

We are interested in hearing from business schools and their professors willing to help as advisers, identifying relevant FT content that is useful in their teaching and research and helping find ways to share it. Get in touch at [email protected].

Two weeks ago I asked for ways to remind directors and executives of the lessons of the Enron scandal 20 years ago. Alessandro Zattoni, who teaches the Enron case, says “People think that [corporate governance] is about rules and sanctions, but the key is education, ethics and values. If and how companies create a good and ethical culture makes the difference.”

In further reading, the New York Times has asked a variety of experts, from chef Vicky Lau to publisher Tina Brown: “Is the world of work forever changed?” Economics Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have an original take for the economic upheaval, which they call not “the Great Resignation” but “the Great Reallocation. It might be disruptive for a little while, but the result just might be a more humane labour market”.

Data line: Seniority of European business schools alumni

Free event: Join us for the FT’s ‘Future of Business Education: Spotlight on MBA’

We will be holding a virtual event on Feb 23 Wednesday 2022 with FT Editorial and top business schools sharing insights about the FT MBA ranking, responsible business education, innovation and the future of the MBA in a post Covid-19 world. Register for free on:

Graduates from Europe’s leading business schools in the FT ranking, in 2021, tend to go into managerial or executive positions three years after completing their degrees.

More Masters in Management graduates enter junior and senior management, while a higher proportion of MBA alumni are in senior manager/executive positions, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi. More EMBA graduates are in president/MD/CEO and other director/vice-president roles. Read more analysis of the FT’s European Business Schools ranking.

Chart showing alumni roles, from graduation to now, three years after completing masters (%)

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Work and careers roundup

Business books regularly advise that blame-free cultures help boost productivity and innovation © Kenneth Andersson

Top reads from business schools in the past week

Boris Johnson moves to Plan B to control Omicron spread amid MPs’ anger Return to working from home and mask mandates as PM apologises after aides were caught joking about lockdown parties.

Boris Johnson announces new Covid restrictions from Number 10 © Getty Images

Pfizer says three vaccine doses offer protection against Omicron Preliminary research suggests two shots show significantly reduced effectiveness against new coronavirus variant.

UK spy chief raises fears over China’s digital renminbi GCHQ head warns technology could allow Beijing to monitor users and exert control over global currency transactions.

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