Good afternoon from London. Some elderly customers are not getting the best online customer service because of organisations’ failure of empathy. How can this be resolved? Also, the pandemic has sparked a competition between business schools and digital providers in the executive education market. What does the future hold for face-to-face teaching?

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

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Business schools vie with digital providers for a slice of corporate training The pandemic has spurred fresh competition for the executive education market. New tech-based entrants have added pressure on business schools, which were already facing an explosion of alternative providers, writes Andrew Jack.

FT MBA 2022 ranking: best for corporate strategy teaching

Insights from our latest 2022 FT Global MBA ranking:

  1. Lancaster University Management School, UK

  2. Warwick Business School, UK

  3. Ipade Business School, Mexico

  4. City, University of London: Bayes (formerly Cass), UK

  5. Dartmouth College: Tuck, US

  6. IMD Business School, Switzerland

  7. SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy

  8. Washington University: Olin, US

  9. Fudan University School of Management, US

  10. Harvard Business School, US

The top schools for corporate strategy teaching as voted by alumni who responded to a survey for the FT MBA 2022 ranking. © Financial Times

Andrew Hill’s Management Challenge

“I’m old, not an idiot” is the catchy slogan that retired Spaniard Carlos San Juan used on a petition to encourage Spanish banks to treat older customers better. As I’ve written this week, senior citizens face a failure of empathy, a failure of inclusiveness, and, above all, a failure of customer strategy when companies try to push them down a digital pathway for the sake of efficiency.

San Juan’s campaign paid off. Last week, the banks agreed a 10-point service improvement plan. For my management challenge, send me at least one innovative way that companies can keep older customers happy — and maybe even attract new old customers, if you see what I mean. It can be your idea, or a clever fix that you’ve come across, but it should not rely entirely on apps and online “solutions”. Send the ideas to [email protected].

In further reading, management thinker Roger Martin has posted on Medium about the psychology behind the “Great Resignation”. He points out that the power of habit lay behind our fixation with the commuting lifestyle. Coronavirus and lockdown broke that habit. So when employers urge staff to “go back” to the office, they are committing a logical fallacy. “For the workers’ subconscious, it isn’t going back,” says Martin. “It is doing a completely new thing. It is breaking a now well-established habit [i.e. working remotely] in order to do something new. And that new thing is not an obvious winner.”

Data line: Why study for an MBA?

Personal and management development are among the main reasons surveyed alumni gave for taking up an MBA, following the trend from the previous two years. Starting their own companies was less important, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi.

Chart showing MBA alumni’s reasons to study

Further analysis of FT’s MBA 2022 ranking can be found here.

Work and careers round-up

How to support employees who find motivation in faith, not work Including religion in business discourse will help those Muslim workers for whom purpose is spiritual, not professional.

Is fertility a topic for the workplace? All the policies supporting motherhood will fail if the corporate culture is hostile.

EMBL’s Edith Heard: making European science work post-Brexit The scientist has strengthened her organisation’s finances and formulated a more outward-looking strategy.

Small businesses need to embrace budgets Too many SMEs fail to see the value in financial planning in the belief it is restricting.

How up to date is your news knowledge?

Ten questions to test your news nous.

Top reads at business schools in the past week

Russia mobilises for assault on Kyiv as its troops storm Ukraine Explosions heard in capital as Zelensky claims ‘saboteurs’ have entered city to assassinate him.

Video: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: what next? | FT Live

Zelensky urges Ukrainians to resist as Russian forces battle for Kyiv Explosions and air raid sirens in capital as Putin’s troops move towards Ukraine’s two biggest cities.

Vladimir Putin orders troops into eastern Ukraine after recognising breakaway republics Russia’s move to redraw borders sparks international condemnation as it places army on war footing.

War in Ukraine: free to read A note from Roula Khalaf, Editor: The Financial Times is making key Ukraine coverage free to read to keep everyone informed as events unfold.

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