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A.L.I.E.N. THINKING IMD Business School / Autumn 2016 / Autumn 2016


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LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS / Autumn 2016 / Autumn 2016


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Ed Tech





s we try to attempt the very humbling task of thinking about what the future might hold for technology (and innovation) in education, it is important to remember that the future can rarely be extrapolated from the past. Tim Urban has a great post on artificial intelligence where he introduces a timeline of human progress. What he points out is that when we are just left of any disruption the world seems pretty flat and you can’t see, let alone predict, the radical change in the horizon that is just a step away. This reminds us that the present and the past are not very good predictors of the future. A little ‘food for thought’ and a hint that what follows should be taken with a grain of salt… Figure 1 - Tim Urban on the future (source: - The AI Revolution) TIME

8 / Autumn 2016



o, before we (intelligently) attempt to discuss the future of education, and technology’s potential role in education, we need a bit of context. And here are three key dimensions we need to take into consideration in order to set the stage for some of the ideas that follow. 1. Disruption: in any sector, evolution seems quite peaceful until it’s not. As the hockey stick diagram above illustrates quite effectively, education continues to look today much like it has for, more or less, the last hundred years. Make that fifty years for business education. But when disruption strikes, and we all know that the winds of disruption are gathering, things change very quickly. Facebook didn’t exist fifteen years ago and it is now one of the main sources of information on the planet that influences what we read, what we see and, ultimately, what we think. It doesn’t feel like ‘education’ but it definitely influences what people think and even how people think - which, for many, is a working definition of education. What will the ‘uberisation’ of education look like is a tough question to answer today. If we think in uberistic terms – underused assets (professors and classrooms versus drivers and cars) that can be harnessed to educate (versus transport) - it is clear that, paraphrasing Kurzweil, the singularity is potentially near… 2. Employment: education has always been driven by ‘employability’. As we have moved, as a society, from agrarian / Autumn 2016

to industrial to service-based to knowledge-based to network-based economies, our educational system has adapted to fill the needs of employers and to ensure the employability (to the extent that is possible) of graduates. But what happens in the not-so-distant future when robots or computers start replacing a significant swathe of modern jobs? With jobs at all levels of the economy now threatened, from trading rooms to factory lines, what will the role of education be in what some are calling a post-work future? Should the link between employment and education be broken, or should education radically change, as some suggest, to teach things that seem to be out of the reach of computers and robots - creativity, socialisation, rebelliousness, character, ethics, free will and values? Or should everyone just learn to code? No easy answers to these questions.

“Imagine learning with virtual and augmented reality, using software that seamlessly integrates artificial intelligence and adaptivelearning.”

3. Artificial intelligence: AI is a total game changer. For the time being AI is ‘cute’ – from Watson to Siri to chatbots - most of us don’t really see the disruptive potential of AI yet. Those that do, from Stephen Hawkings to Elon Musk, seem quite scared of it. If today a robot seems to have the intelligence of a well-behaved child, the road from a simpleton robot to what AI specialists would call a “superintelligent” robot (i.e. smarter than all of humanity put together) is probably only years away. What role education plays when information and intelligence are no longer relevant skills for humans is not clear. 9

Ed Tech



ow that we have a bit of a backdrop to some of the aspects that could radically change education as we know it, in the medium or long(er) terms, here are my best guesses to how education will evolve in the near future. Integration of technology into the learning experience Even if we do not know all of the technologies that will affect the learning experience we can already see the rise of technology in the learning process. From online learning to real-time fact-checking to in-class smartphone polls to smart boards, the beat goes on as they say. Recently I met with a Paris-based start-up, Sensorit, which has developed Yellow – an interactive whiteboard that allows you to do everything you could do with whiteboards, paperboards, post-its and more on a tactile screen. What’s more, multiple people can interact with the screen physically on-site, while a potentially unlimited number of people can interact with the screen from around the world via tablets, computers or smartphones. Available today, already appearing in both boardrooms and classrooms, this is not something we need to wait years for. Artificial intelligence and adaptive learning We mentioned bots, or chatbots, earlier. These are basic programmes (algorithms) that interact with humans in a humanlike way. ELIZA, a virtual psychologist, was the first ‘chatterbot’ (created by Joseph Wiezenbaum), has been joined by a long list of chatbots that can inform you about the weather, sports, news, recipes, shopping, fashion and a growing list of subjects. None other than Bill Gates himself, in an interview with The Verge in April 2016, declared that thanks to “dialogue richness,” a chatbot can become a virtual “tutor that can walk [students] through even the toughest, most subjective topics.” Already programmes like myBlee, developed by friends of mine, are teaching kids around the world mathematics at their own speed. Using AI and applying the pedagogical approach called ‘adaptive learning’, the software speeds up or slows down, offers different content to different kids, based on their own style and speed of learning. The learning process literally adapts to the learner. Several schools and school systems around the US are adding myBlee to their curricula or considering doing so. It is easy to imagine how today myBlee teaches mathematics, tomorrow calculus and tomorrow big data... and it is easy to imagine hundreds of other start-ups around the world trying to do the same with other subjects. Augmented reality Think Pokemon Go in the Louvre. Enough said. Virtual reality Earlier this year I spent a weekend in Madrid and happened 10

upon the IKEA innovation lab there. Without leaving a small room three metres by three metres wide, I went scuba diving, touched a whale, and then redesigned a kitchen. The first part was fun, the second part was a glimpse into the future. Virtually design your kitchen, change materials, change colors, walk around your (future) kitchen, open drawers, cook on your oven, see the kitchen from different perspectives and then, if you are happy with it, click on ok and order. The future of commerce, but possibly also the future of education. Don’t tell me about supply chains or factories or warehouses or data centres or startups, let me experience them directly. Gamification Make acquiring skills fun, create mini experiences, offer incentives and provide immediate gratification – so the thinking goes - and ‘learning’ becomes a desired activity, or even a byproduct of play. Immersive experiences Imagine learning with virtual and augmented reality, using software that seamlessly integrates artificial intelligence and adaptive-learning, and you can easily see where education is heading. Forget about learning the facts of the French Revolution by heart, upload it to your VR goggles and storm the Bastille yourself. This is where Benjamin Franklin’s words take on their full and modern meaning: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Ubiquity and anytime anywhere learning Nearly all of us are connected 24/7 and those that aren’t yet will be able to soon enough if Google and Facebook have their way. And thus learning will be a 24/7 option anywhere on the planet. We’re already pretty darn close. Robots and robotics There is a lot to be said about this subject and just this could be an article on its own. Let me just relate two projects I have been involved in as a mentor at the École des Ponts, one of France’s most famous Grandes Ecoles. As part of the year-long projects that engineers undertake as part of their curriculum, some have a choice to work with a very simple robot called Nao that can be programmed to do things such as a short breakdance choreography, ask and answer questions, etc. Among the projects that were developed in the last couple of years, one group of students showed how Nao could be used to educate autistic children. Another group showed how Nao could do product demonstrations and teach consumers about how to use products. The leap from here to a future in which robots fill the role of (specialised) professors or tutors is not that big. / Autumn 2016



o after this rather long preamble, one might wonder where are we heading. What will schools look like and what role will faculty play in this highly technological future? The honest truth is that I don’t know. But I can guess.

What will schools look like? I see two new models emerging:

The ‘incubator’ school In this ‘model’, I imagine that schools - from nursery schools to business schools - start to look more like start-up incubators, complete with FabLabs, maker spaces, creativity spaces, project rooms, etc. The learning will be primarily projectbased and the emphasis will be on collaboration, project management, learning to learn, and asneeded skill acquisition and autonomy. The virtual school Using modern technology, like VR goggles, the benefits of physical presence can be replicated to


n in-Class n CuteTech n Teach

a certain extent virtually without reducing the participatory and collegial aspects of learning that still predicate for the advantages of herding students into a classroom. The result is a future online and distance learning experience that has many of the advantages of the presence-based learning experience of today. In this model, immersive experiences can be the dominant met hod of lea r n i ng . I m ag i ne cor porate/ institutional visits, ‘international’ study trips, meeting with decision- and policy-makers, and the like being offered regularly throughout any curriculum, rather than being a rare occurrence.

What role for faculty?

As the Dean of a business school and as a professor, the future role of faculty is naturally one that has received some thought. I hate to quote Bill Gates twice in the same article but here goes, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten years.”


n On-line n RealTech n Facilitate


n Virtual n UbiquiTech n Curate

Figure 2 - The Evolution of Education over the next ten years (Source: Alon Rozen) So, using this timeline as a guide, I would suggest that within the next couple of years we will not see too much change. More technology will sneak into the classroom but more as a novelty, ‘cute-tech’, rather than anything disruptive. Professors will still be called as such and will continue to ‘teach’. Within five years, technology will start to impact education, call it ‘real-tech’, and professors will increasingly move to a facilitation role. As an aside, / Autumn 2016

some forward-thinking professors are already taking/advocating for this approach. In ten years I imagine that education will be technology-based, call it ‘ubiqui-tech’, with virtual reality being a key element. Professors, if they are still referred to as such, will probably be relegated to the role of content curators and mentors. So that is my vision of the future of technology in education. What is yours?

BIOGRAPHY Alon Rozen, Dean and Associate Professor of Innovation and Management at École des Ponts, Paris. 11



Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an MBA to broaden your current skill set, climb the ladder or launch a start-up, it’s probably safe to say that you’ve done a lot of thinking, weighing and measuring: time, money, effort, outcomes etc.


o, having decided to take the plunge, all you have to do now is choose the right school which, in theory, shouldn’t be that difficult. If you have an idea of the delivery you’re looking for (full-time, part-time etc.), the budget you have to work with, and the geography you’d consider (see our MBA search tool at www. you’ve gone some way to narrowing the field, which is a great start. However, not all MBAs are created equal, which makes putting together a shortlist a lot more challenging, but this

is the point at which we can help. We look beyond the marketing brochures and ad campaigns and examine the nuts and bolts of an MBA: the learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, faculty, delivery methods, international diversity, gender make-up and more. Our objective is simple: to identify schools which marry exceptional quality with great ROI. The results, or ‘rankings’ as we call them, can be viewed below, and should help to provide that quality benchmark.

NORTH AMERICA TIER ONE American University: Kogod Auburn University Boston University: Questrom Bryant University  California State University-Chico  California State University-Long Beach  California State University-San Bernardino California State University-East Bay  Case Western Reserve University: Weatherhead Chapman University: Argyros College of William and Mary: Mason** Colorado Technical University Drexel University: LeBow** Florida International University Fordham University Georgetown University: McDonough Georgia State University: Robinson 12

Gonzaga University HEC Montreal Hult International Business School Jacksonville University Kennesaw State University: Coles Kent State University Loyola Marymount University Loyola University Chicago: Quinlan Lynchburg College Marquette University Mercer University-Atlanta: Stetson Millsaps College: Else Niagara University Northern Illinois University Pepperdine University: Graziadio Purdue University-West Lafayette: Krannert* ** Queens University of Charlotte / Autumn 2016

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Lally Rochester Institute of Technology: Saunders Seattle University: Albers Saint Joseph’s University: Haub Saint Mary’s College: School of Economics & Business Administration Temple University: Fox Texas A&M University-College Station: Mays Texas Christian University: Neeley The University of the Sciences University of Alberta University of California at Berkeley: Haas University of California at Davis University of California-San Diego: Rady University of Cincinnati: Lindner University of Colorado-​Colorado Springs  University of Connecticut  University of Delaware: Lerner** University of Hawaii-​Manoa: Shidler University of Louisiana-​Lafayette: Moody 

University of Massachusetts-Boston University of Massachusetts-Lowell  University of Michigan-Flint  University of North Carolina-Charlotte: Belk** University of Notre Dame: Mendoza University of Oklahoma: Price University of Oregon: Lundquist University of Pittsburgh: Katz University of Richmond: Robins University of South Florida: Muma University of Tampa: Sykes* ** University of Texas - Arlington University of Texas-Dallas: Jindal University of Utah: Eccles University of Vermont: Grossman University of West Georgia University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Lubar Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Tech: Pamplin  Willamette University: Atkinson

TIER TWO Appalachian State University Boston College: Carroll* ** Bowling Green State University Cleveland State University: Monte Ahuja Fairfield University* Iowa State University  Northwest Missouri State University Oakland University University of Akron  University of Baltimore*

University of Florida: Hough University of Kentucky: Gatton University of Nebraska -Lincoln University of Nevada-Las Vegas: Lee University of North Carolina-Wilmington: Cameron University of Notre Dame: Mendoza* ** University of Washington: Foster Wake Forest University Washington State University: Carson

EUROPE TIER ONE Aston Business School Audencia Nantes Birmingham Business School Brunel Business School Business School Netherlands Carlos III University of Madrid Copenhagen Business School Durham University Business School École des Ponts Business School ESADE Business School EU Business School

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management IE Business School IESE Business School ISEG Lisboa School of Economics & Management LISBON MBA MIP Politecnico di Milano Porto Business School SBS Swiss Business School Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

Toulouse Business School Trinity College Dublin School of Business UBIS University of Amsterdam University of Exeter University of Liverpool Management School University of Sheffield Management School Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Sydney Business School 4 University of Southern Queensland =5 Central Queensland University

=5 Griffith University 6 RMIT University 7 Deakin University

AUSTRALIA TIER ONE 1 Australian Institute of Business 2 Victoria Graduate School of Business 3 University of Wollongong / Autumn 2016




GLOBAL EMBA AIX Marseille Graduate School of Management Europe Auburn University North America Audencia Nantes Europe Australian Catholic University Australia Boston University: Questrom North America California State University-Long Beach North America California State University-East Bay  North America Case Western Reserve University: Weatherhead North America CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School South America Chapman University: Argyros North America College of William and Mary: Mason** North America Copenhagen Business School Europe École des Ponts Business School Europe ESADE Business School Europe EU Business School Europe Florida International University North America Fordham University North America Georgetown University: McDonough North America Georgia State University: Robinson North America HEC Montreal North America HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Europe Hult International Business School North America IE Business School Europe IESE Business School Europe IfM Institut für Management Europe Jacksonville University North America Kedge Business School Europe Kennesaw State University: Coles North America Kent State University North America Lorange Institute of Management Europe Loyola Marymount University North America Maastricht University Europe Marquette University North America Mercer University-Atlanta: Stetson North America Millsaps College: Else North America MIP Politecnico di Milano Europe Northern Illinois University North America Pepperdine University: Graziadio North America Porto Business School Europe Queens University of Charlotte North America RMIT University Australia Rochester Institute of Technology: Saunders North America Rutgers Business School North America Saint Joseph’s University: Haub North America


Saint Mary’s College: School of Economics & Business Administration North America SBS Swiss Business School Europe Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management Europe Stockholm School of Economics Europe Technische Universität München (TUM) Europe Temple University: Fox North America Texas A&M University-College Station: Mays North America Texas Christian University: Neeley North America Trinity College Dublin School of Business Europe UBIS Europe University of Alberta* North America University of California at Berkeley: Haas North America University of California-San Diego: Rady North America University of Exeter Europe University of Hawaii-Manoa: Shidler North America University of Kentucky: Gatton North America University of Nevada-Las Vegas: Lee North America University of Notre Dame: Mendoza North America University of Oklahoma: Price North America University of Oregon: Lundquist North America University of Ottawa: Telfer North America University of Pittsburgh: Katz North America University of South Florida: Muma North America University of Texas-Arlington North America University of Texas-Dallas: Jindal North America University of Utah: Eccles North America University of Washington North America University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Lubar North America University of Wollongong Sydney Business School Australia Virginia Commonwealth University North America Washington State University North America Bowling Green State University North America Cleveland State University: Monte Ahuja North America Drexel University: LeBow** North America Loyola University Chicago: Quinlan North America Oakland University North America Seattle University: Albers North America University of Connecticut  North America University of Florida: Hough North America University of Louisiana-Lafayette: Moody  North America University of Tampa: Sykes* ** North America Virginia Tech: Pamplin  North America / Autumn 2016

GLOBAL ONLINE EMBA Rank School 1 EU Business School 2 SBS Swiss Business School 3 UBIS 4 Durham University Business School =5 Queens University of Charlotte =5 EuroMBA =5 Australian Institute of Business =6 IE Business School =6 The Open University 7 University of Utah: Eccles 8 Temple University: Fox 9 CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School 10 Aston Business School =11 Pepperdine University: Graziadio =12 Georgia WebMBA =12 Jack Welch Management Institute =12 Rochester Institute of Technology: Saunders =13 University of Massachusetts-Lowell =13 Griffith University 14 Colorado Technical University 15 California State University, San Bernardino

Region Europe Europe Europe Europe North America Europe Australia Europe Europe North America North America South America Europe North America North America North America North America North America Australia North America

Rank School Region =16 Mercer University-Atlanta: Stetson North America =16 Saint Mary’s College: School of Economics & Business Administration North America =17 Deakin University Australia =17 The University of the Sciences North America 18 St. Joseph’s University: Haub North America 19 RMIT University Australia =20 University of Cincinnati: Lindner North America =20 MIP Politecnico di Milano Europe =20 Central Queensland University Australia =21 University of Colorado-Colorado Springs North America =21 Washington State University North America 22 University of Delaware: Lerner** North America 23 University of Texas-Dallas: Jindal North America 24 Florida International University North America 25 Drexel University: LeBow** North America 26 University of Baltimore* North America 27 University of Nebraska-Lincoln North America 28 Auburn University North America 29 University of Florida: Hough North America 30 Cleveland State University: Monte Ahuja North America 31 Northwest Missouri State University North America

North America

The Cambridge Executive MBA

“ Cambridge is an open gateway to an extraordinary wealth of people, knowledge and ideas: there was no better place to put my entrepreneurial skills to the test.” Benoit Gauthier, Head of Finance & Administration, Airbus Helicopters Chile Co-founder of The Cambridge Nano-Manufacturing Alliance Cambridge EMBA 2011

The Cambridge Executive MBA is a 20-month degree programme for senior executives.

See where it takes you / Summer 2016



“People have basic needs in their experience of work that must be met in order for them to thrive and be optimally productive.”



s it possible that communications tools like Skype, and Google Hangouts will have the effect of making communal office spaces obsolete? Is the day coming when organizations will redeploy workers to home offices - where they’ll have no commute, and the freedom to work all day in play clothes? A few years ago, researchers at iconic furniture maker, Herman Miller, began a deep-dive into the future of the global workplace driven by the desire to answer questions like these. Clearly, technology already makes it possible for many people to work away from conventional offices.


The question is whether that’s ultimately the best thing for workers, not to mention the companies that employ them. As part of the study, a team reviewed academic literature on psychology, anthropology, sociology and behavioral sciences - looking as far back as the B.C. era when human beings first began documenting ideas about work. T h e r e s e a r c h c o n c l u s i o n s we r e t h e n presented at the Dive! Innovation Conference held this summer in Rennes, France, which I attended. The following is a summary of the firm’s most compelling discoveries as shared by Mark Catchlove, Herman Miller’s Director of / Autumn 2016

Knowledge and Insight. His overriding conclusion is that many of us will indeed end up working remotely, just not all the time. PEOPLE HAVE SIX FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS THEY SEEK TO MEET THROUGH WORK A consistent finding from over a half-century of the company’s research is that human beings are inherently diverse. But what emerges from the new study is an understanding that across all cultures, genders, generations and organizations, people have basic needs in their experience of work that must be met in order for them to thrive and be optimally productive. While an organization’s leadership practices and culture play essential roles in determining whether these needs are supported, where and how people work is also a key contributor: 1- Sense of Achievement: We strive for excellence and to feel a sense of mastery in our accomplishments. 2- Autonomy: We seek freedom in our actions and decisions - and desire to no longer work in one place eight hours a day. 3- Belonging: We are tribal, social beings who require meaningful connection with other people. Given the importance of work in our lives, we seek strong bonds with colleagues. 4- Sense Of Purpose: We want to make a meaningful difference and to know our work matters. 5- Sense Of Security: We desire health and physical safety, but also ‘social security,’ the need to feel connected to a team. 6- Status: We seek to be respected and appreciated for our work, and to have a working environment that inherently esteems us. Because these needs are so deep and universal in people - and so essential to human productivity - Herman Miller now believes supporting them must become the cornerstone of all future workplace design. PEOPLE ONLY THRIVE WHEN THEY HAVE CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY Gallup research shows that the ability to work remotely at least some of the time has become one of the greatest drivers of employee engagement. But Catchlove says too much alone time backfires. New research by Gretchen Spreitzer at the University of Michigan shows that continual isolation inevitably makes people feel lonely and ‘socially adrift.’ “The human need for belonging is so profound that we must always provide employees with a secure base,” Catchlove says. “Most companies will continue to have offices just so people can routinely reconnect and collaborate with co-workers.” But Herman Miller also advises that traditional workplaces be given an extreme makeover. Says Catchlove, “people must be given greater choice / Autumn 2016

on where they work including more than one option within their own office. Less and less, you won’t see people sitting in the same place for eight hours as firms provide workers with a collection of settings in which to move around.” Ironically, researchers found that a significant number of people don’t have adequate space to work from home. So while co-working spaces will become more prevalent in the future, it will always be expected that employees return to the nest for consistent rejuvenation. TECHNOLOGY FIRMS ARE DOUBLING DOWN ON TRADITIONAL WORKSPACES If there’s any doubt that large office campuses will continue to be where most of us work, we only need to look to Silicon Valley. Apple is spending $5 billion to build its new flying saucer-shaped headquarters. Amazon is putting up tree-filled spheres so employees can hold meetings in forests - and Google will soon build a massive futuristic complex featuring translucent canopies allowing air, light and nature to influence the workspace. To Holly Honig, who led Herman Miller’s research team, these massive investments are simply a reflection of highly-informed leadership. “Busi nesses today face u nprecedented challenges recognizing the speed of change, d isr uptive tech nolog ies a nd t he need for sustainable growth. At the same time, a few enlightened organizations know what we do - that people create ideas and drive their execution. So when workers are highly engaged - when those six human needs are answered - their firms are propelled into prosperity.” Create Spaces That Show You Love Your People Under traditional leadership theory, companies that ‘squeeze’ employees can expect to have the greatest financial performance. But with a preponderance of data now proving just the opposite, organizations have begun investing much more heavily in workspaces to intentionally convey to workers that they are valued and worth every penny, (Herman Miller has sold seven million of its uber-pricey Aeron chairs, for example). “When we look at company P&L’s,” says Catchlove, “seventy per cent of their investment is already in people. Recruitment is expensive. Training is expensive. So leaders are slowly being persuaded that looking out for their workers is really smart business. Our argument to company leaders is that the wisest thing they can do is to love and care for their biggest investment by far.” Herman Miller’s study also confirmed what most of us already know intuitively: that workplace design and furnishings have an enormous impact on the human spirit and contribute greatly to how people feel in their jobs. “We know that people are looking at different lenses at their total experience of work,” says Catchlove, “and their physical environment is a big piece of that.”

BIOGRAPHY Mark C. Crowley is a speaker, leadership consultant and the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at his website. 17




he School of Business at Oakland University offers undergraduate, graduate and executive programs that integrate theory, research and hands-on experience. This unique combination of solid academic preparation and practical skills gives our students, then graduates, the experience they need to launch and maintain successful, rewarding careers. Oakland’s Business School offers nine undergraduate business majors and 11 minors, four master degree programs, including the Executive MBA (EMBA), and a variety of graduate certificates. We h o l d e l i t e a c c r e d i t a t i o n f r o m A AC S B International for both our business and accounting program. The Princeton Review recognizes Oakland’s business school as one of the best in the nation. We educate more than 2,500 undergraduate students and nearly 500 graduate students on our campus in


Rochester, Michigan, in the heart of Oakland County. Our graduates - and our students - are highly sought after by employers. Our Oakland County location, in the economic hub of Michigan, offers Oakland business students unparalleled career experiences and opportunities. Employers tell us they value our students because of the education and experience they receive as part of their Oakland business education, regardless of their major or program. Our proximity to the home of so many small, medium and large corporations extends tremendous benefits to our students, our curriculum and our business neighbors/partners. The Oakland business school offers professionals of varying levels of experience the chance to advance their career, knowledge and network while working full-time. / Autumn 2016

THE OAKLAND PROFESSIONAL AND EXECUTIVE MBAs Oa k la nd’s P rofession a l M BA prepa res graduates for leadership by providing knowledge across all functional areas of business in a caseand action-based learning environment. Evening and online courses combined with a wide selection of concentrations offers our students the chance to easily customize a program to meet their career goals. EMBA STUDENT PROFILE Average age 41 Average years of experience 16 prior advanced degrees 62% Male 38% Female 64% The Professional MBA is ideal for the working professional who is seeking a promotion, a new position or a career change. Typically, our MBA students have some professional work experience, while a smaller percentage come to our program directly from their undergraduate program. While the majority of our MBA students are professionally employed full-time while they are completing the program, the program is flexible enough so those who want to attend full-time can do that here as well. For our Professional MBA, our 2016 graduates reported a 35 per cent average salary increase after graduation; and 63 per cent of our graduates reported a new employer or a new position at their existing employer. Oa k la nd’s E xec ut ive M BA i s desig ned exclusively for experienced professionals. Students in this program are often mid-career executives preparing for senior management, or senior executives looking to enhance their skills. Offered in a cohort structure, the fully inclusive 21-month program has an alternating weekend schedule to support the lifestyle of busy professionals. In our most recent follow-up survey for the EMBA, 20 per cent of graduates gained new responsibilities after completing the program, while 13 per cent accepted a promotion. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES Oakland’s Professional MBA program engages faculty experts and leading practitioners to deliver a strong foundation in theory and knowledge across all the functional areas of business. We pride ourselves on giving students ample opportunities to apply leadership and management skills in actual business settings. Two key points of emphasis: through the integration of business analytics in our curriculum, students learn how to gather, analyze and use data along with modeling, statistics, information technology and more, so they are well prepared to help their organization identify and solve complex problems and make better decisions. And, of course, there is a strong / Autumn 2016

a focus on understanding the dynamics of global business is woven throughout our courses, including an optional global trip each year which is also open to Oakland’s EMBA students. Oakland’s Executive MBA program focuses on creating industry leaders who understand the complexities of successfully leading a global organization, regardless of his or her area of expertise. Our EMBA courses combine with an integrative capstone project to give the EMBA graduate the power to leverage cross-functional thinking to confidently manage every aspect of a global business. Specifically, our EMBA program features hands-on learning methods, with a focus on integrative thinking, analysis of real business cases, leadership, working in learning teams and participating in business simulations. Special courses created around business issues, execution of strategies, and delivery methods meet unique needs of our students. Foundation courses, special courses and optional concentration electives work together to provide the EMBA student with a strong understanding in all functional business areas.

“Our students secure prime internships and work on realworld projects, gaining valuable professional experience before they even graduate.”

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS Support and feedback Our location in Oakland County is one-of-akind. Within just a few miles, you will find: n Offices for half the Global Fortune 500 companies, n Headquarters for 40 of the Global 100 automotive original equipment manufacturers, n 4,300 life science businesses, n 85 defense and homeland security companies, and n More than 1,000 international firms from 39 countries. In addition, Michigan recently ranked second in the United States for aerospace employment, was recognized as 6th best state to make a living, and Detroit was named one of the fastest growing regions for tech jobs in the country. Having all this in our backyard offers opportunities for partnerships, and collaboration with world-class corporations that are second-to-none, allowing us to regularly bring the real-world and classroom together. Our business neighbors support Oakland’s business school in a variety of ways. Of course, there are plentiful partnerships and sponsorships of events, scholarships and the like. Executives and managers from these organizations also play critical roles on our advisory boards - on the school level, the academic department level and, of course, at the university level. Those partners - whether they sit on our boards or not - help us identify opportunities and create unique ways to continue to enhance our curriculum. These relationships are very synergistic. Together, with our partners/neighbors, we all accomplish more than we could alone.

BIOGRAPHY Michael A. Mazzeo, PhD is Dean and Professor of Finance, School of Business Administration at Oakland University. 19



HISTORIC CONNECTIONS Oakland University has a rich heritage that belies its age. The Dodge Brothers, members of Oakland’s founding family, played a pivotal role in the automotive and manufacturing industries. It is their ingenuity that built the dynasty which allowed John Dodge’s widow, Matilda Dodge Wilson, to establish Oakland University when she contributed $2 million and the family’s 1,443-acre estate. It is here in Oakland County – the economic hub of Michigan – where Oakland University now offers distinctive educational experiences to more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, connecting them to the unique and diverse opportunities in our region. While we collaborate across industries with corporations and businesses within our region and beyond, we take particular pride in the history of our continued association with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In addition to our historic

connection, FCA’s North American headquarters is one of our closest neighbors. We have worked with FCA to provide professional education sessions to its employees. Delivering programs that help FCA employees gain specific and critical knowledge in key business areas, increasing their expertise for their organization. FCA is also one of the largest employers of our business alumni. It is quite common to see FCA recruiters in the Oakland business school, meeting, networking and interviewing students. A number of FCA executives also take part in various boards at the business school and the university level. You can still feel the innovative, pioneering spirit of the Dodge Brothers on our campus today. Our students reap the rewards of that heritage and reflect the Dodge Brothers dedication and work ethic, leading them to success in the classroom and in their careers.

STUDENT ADVANTAGE Oakland business students benefit from our corporate neighbors’ involvement in our school through professional development activities (resume review, inter viewing workshops), networking, and recruiting to name but a few. Our active Board of Visitors’ members and other business professionals come to campus almost daily to speak with students as part of class or professional student organization meetings, at networking and recruiting events. Our students secure prime internships and work on real-world projects, gaining valuable professional experience before they even graduate. I’m proud to note that at the undergraduate level, a large percentage

of our undergraduate business students are professiona lly employed before they even graduate. Though our MBA population is typically profession a l ly employed f u l l-t i me wh i le completing their program, a significant number of these students take advantage of our relationships with our corporate neighbors to incorporate realworld project work into their program, or complete internships to gain additional experience that will further enhance their degree. In fact last year 30 per cent of our graduating MBA students reported taking part in a professional internship as part of their program. Within both our MBA and our Executive MBA / Autumn 2016

program, we invite business experts from various industries to lecture as guests of our Ph.D. faculty experts. This brings a blend of theory and practice together in a very valuable way for everyone. SHAPING BUSINESS LEADERS Industry leaders face many demands on many different levels, so the skills they need are as diverse as the challenges they face each day. Woven throughout each market in each industry is the need for global understanding and leadership; the ability to understand and harness technology and data; and the true understanding of the business decisions across disciplines and units that comes from practical, real experience. Our curriculum for our Professional and EMBA take all three of those factors into consideration throughout the program. Leadership and global perspective is part of nearly every course and we have courses that focus solely on that area. Our curriculum recognizes that society is technologydriven. Leaders cannot function at a high level without the ability to gather, analyze and act on data. We have a strong technology management graduate program that allows us to integrate technology management and data analytics into the MBA programs, while also offering the opportunity for students to dive deeper in specialized courses if they are interested. MBA MARKET TRENDS Business schools are increasingly offering students the ability to customize their education by unbundling programs and courses, and creating more certif ications and stackable credentials that ultimately lead to a degree. Students, especially the adult professionals, crave flexibility in their lives. They often need or want to fill an education or skill gap ‘just-intime’, without committing to complete a full program in a set period of time. Certifications and/or stackable credentials offer those students / Autumn 2016

the opportunity to fill that gap while still working toward an advanced degree. For those professionals who are seeking a more traditional program approach, I believe we’ll see more specialized programs. For example, instead of a Master of Finance, we might see something more specif ic like Wealth Management. As specialized as the education might be, there will be continued focus on understanding and gaining experience in the global and multicultural communities of our world. For the Oakland University School of Business MBA and EMBA programs, since we’re a relatively small organization, we are able to be nimble to address market demands. We work with our corporate neighbors to gather their input to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our students and the organizations who employ them. Because we’re in their neighborhood, we’re able to connect with those businesses and begin to identify the trends early, so we can evaluate what, if any, impact it will or should have on the education we deliver our students. At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring the Oakland business students get a world-class education that will put them on a successful and meaningful career path. INTO THE FUTURE… We are in the midst of evaluating ways to expand our programs to meet some of those specific needs for our students and our corporate neighbors. We’re still in the early stages, but I can say we’re looking at expanding education and research around the areas of data analytics, consumer behavior and innovation. With the type of programmatic expansions we’re looking at comes the need for additional space in which to deliver the programs. We work hard at maximizing the space in Elliott Hall on Oakland’s campus, and will continue to do so we can stay focused on delivering quality programs that give our students the practical experience employers value. 21



To avoid falling victim to narcissistic tendencies, leaders need to look outside in more ways than one. ANNET ARIS

22 / Autumn 2016


Three questions to staying grounded So, what role does my office window play in preventing excessive narcissism? As a manager, it is important to keep your feet firmly on the ground. To do this, leaders need to look at three aspects of their lives and regularly ask themselves: n Am I surrounded by enough critical voices? n Is there enough adversity? And, n have I kept in contact with the world outside the office? Critical voices can come from many sides. On a personal level, from censorious teenagers and one’s (first) spouse who knows you inside out. At a professional level you can regularly ask for feedback from employees. Evaluations from young employees in particular can be ruthless but very enlightening. And of course you can surround yourself with colleagues, and supervisory board members, who won’t accept things at face value. When it comes to adversity, setbacks cannot Narcissistic leaders be planned, but I can’t help but be sceptical if a Research conducted by my INSEAD colleague, manager has always prospered. Adversity teaches Professor Manfred Kets de Vries, us that we cannot have control over among others, suggests narcissism everything. It makes us less likely is a frequent occurrence among to judge others. How an individual management’s upper echelons. In deals with adversity and what he/ fact the number of narcissists in she learns from it is one of the most “How an individual top management is clearly above meaningful indicators of sustained average, although it is impossible success. deals with to say exactly how many because adversity and what Finding another perspective narcissism is not black and white: it is a sliding scale. A degree of Finally, how do we stay in contact he/she learns from narcissism is required to be an with the real world? It’s not easy for inspirational and visionary leader, today’s managers to remain open it is one of the someone with the courage to take to customers, staff and the people most meaningful unconventional steps in disruptive on the street, when they spend the environments. Too much narcissism, majority of their time in transit or indicators of however, leads to megalomania, shuttered in meeting rooms, usually sustained success.” in the company of other directors. m a n ipu lat ive beh av iou r a nd a focus on one’s ow n power a nd However, taking time to spend a day status instead of the interests of the in your organisation’s call-centre company, employees and clients. speaking to dissatisfied customers, Narcissism doesn’t just happen; or visiting customers’ homes with the foundation is laid by a combination of innate the technical team, can be well worthwhile. Tony personality traits and childhood experiences. It Ball, a non-executive board director at British only truly reveals itself as an individual attains Telecom, tells the story of the day he went ‘on increasing power and success, and is most obvious the job’ and discovered how inventive engineers in organisations with large hierarchical distances managed to avoid unnecessary bureaucratic rules where great importance is attached to status. to genuinely assist customers. The CEO of one According to academic literature, external of the companies where I am a board member indicators for narcissism include the frequency holds regular ‘fireplace meetings’ with young staff with which a manager uses ‘I’ instead of ‘we’, how members in all the countries where they are active. prominently they feature in the news, and the By taking a more humble, grounded approach, distance between their remuneration and that and seeking advice from a different perspective, of the rest of the organisation. To this list I have managers can contain inherent egocentricity and personally and subjectively added, an attractive, avoid the trappings of narcissism. young, second (or third) wife, a luxury company Of course it helps to be able to view the real car and prestigious additional functions. world through your window, and be reminded that power and happiness are two separate things. y office window looks out on the only grassed square in my neighbourhood. T he v iew is wonderf ul: toddlers stumbling along playing tag, lovestruck teenagers flirting shyly, fathers patiently playing ball with their offspring, hopeful they have an Olympic contender in the making. As a supervisory board member of several companies, I often have to make difficult telephone calls over the course of the day; it may be to address conflicts in the boardroom or discuss tricky takeovers or remuneration issues. In each case, a quick glance out of the window during these conversations provides perspective and significantly improves my mood, which clearly benefits the outcome of the discussions. It is a shame then that so many directors’ offices are without such a view and are often far away from the ordinary world. / Autumn 2016

“By taking a more humble, grounded approach, and seeking advice from a different perspective, managers can contain inherent egocentricity and avoid the trappings of narcissism.”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge. BIOGRAPHY Annet Aris is an Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD. She is also a board member of Thomas Cook PLC in London, ASML N.V. in Veldhoven, ProSiebenSat1 AG in Munich, A.S.R. Netherlands Utrecht and Jungheinrich AG in Hamburg. Annet was recently ranked 9th most influential woman in the corporate world in The Netherlands by Management Scope (Netherlands) and named one of the 50 most inspirational women in the European technology sector for 2016 by Inspiring Fifty.



“I think study groups are a really important part of the whole study journey. They’re about making connections, comparing ideas, and sharing the experience, so at the end we can all turn around and say, ‘We did this together.’” Leanne Russell AIB MBA Graduate 2015



f you’re currently studying or interested in personal development, studying with a team of motivated individuals can make a big difference to your grades and enjoyment of your course. Today, online learning enrolments are quickly catching up to traditional on-campus study, and students are choosing to rely on self-organised study groups to retain a sense of comradery and shared knowledge within their studies. Almost 3 million students were studying exclusively online in America in 2015, and research shows that for many, engaging in a study group as part of their studies can pay off significantly in terms of their final grade and new skills gained (Online Learning Consortium 2015).



tudying in a group, either as part of a graded assignment, or in addition to coursework, delivers many benefits to students that they otherwise would not gain by studying alone. Not only do groups outperform individuals in higherorder thinking activities such as problem-solving and critical thinking, but group learning also results in the development of self-reflection skills, and the improved construction of knowledge and meaning (Chiong & Jovanovic 2012).


Students who study in a group gain a much deeper understanding and learning of the material than self-studiers, partly due to the fact that the interactive environment spawns new questions, explanations, discussions and debate. The skills gained from studying in a group are also highly transferrable to the workplace, including most valuably the ability to work with others, communicate effectively, lead and work in a team, and organise, delegate and negotiate tasks (Roberts & McInnerney 2007). / Autumn 2016

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR STUDY GROUP “Researchers have demonstrated that learning tends to be the most effective when students are in the position to work collaboratively, express their thoughts, discuss and challenge the ideas of others, and work towards a group solution to the given problem” (Chiong & Jovanovic 2012). 1. Don’t shy away from vulnerability – Challenge your group members, rather than accepting their answer on their word. Ask how they arrived at a particular conclusion, and get them to defend their point. 2. Accept feedback – Expect that your group’s opinions will differ to yours, and accept useful feedback where it’s given. 3. Consider going online – If it’s too difficult to meet in person, or your group is growing too large for a physical space, consider taking the group online. 4. Network – Make the most of your new connections with people from industries you might not otherwise have come across. 5. Be responsible – Don’t let the group down by putting off your selected tasks, as the group is only as strong as its weakest link. Hold each other accountable.

6. Set study group goals – Know what tangible goals you want to accomplish with each session, and keep each other on track. 7. Teach each other – This will help to identify gaps in your learning, and someone else in the group might better explain the theory to you. 8. Personalise the material – Make the material significant to you and your group’s experience to help you remember it in your exams. 9. Practice – Complete practice questions and essays. Share your answers, critique each other, and offer tips. 10. Review your progress – At the end of each session, take 10 minutes to summarise your new learning and any questions to answer next time.

STUDY GROUP POTENTIAL PITFALLS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS “Group members not participating in group discussions and not contributing equally towards the completion of group tasks were the most prominent concerns experienced by students” (Finegold & Cooke, cited in Chiong & Jovanovic 2012). 1. Group members who don’t participate Solution: Set expectations about team participation upfront and when it’s not met, use peer pressure openly and unashamedly. You may choose to ‘evict’ students who don’t pull their weight. 2. Different levels of ability between group members Solution: Recognition may be enough reward for those students who are able to give more back to the group. 3. Time commitment too big Solution: Set short meetings that run for one or two hours, or, if studying online, make short, regular check-ins during short breaks to catch any new comments and discussion. / Autumn 2016

4. Distracted conversations Solution: Assign one or two people in the group to draw the conversation back on track, and give everyone an opportunity to discuss personal matters either before or after the meeting. 5. Group members request to share assignment answers Solution: Refer to the Academic Integrity Policy to avoid plagiarism and collaboration on assessments which are intended to be completed independently. Speak to an AIB Academic or Course Co-ordinator if you require any clarification.

“The study group became a platform for us to bounce ideas off each other, find a study partner, and prepare for assignments and exams. It was comforting that we weren’t doing it alone.” Jonathan Kwan AIB MBA Graduate 2015

“At times, someone would try to sway the discussion off track, and the best way to overcome this was to remind everyone why we were there, and if they wanted to discuss the rabbit trail, they could stay behind afterwards.” Charl Johnson AIB MBA Student



“I’m still in contact with the core group of six from my face-toface study group. We still catch-up semi-annually, for a barbeque or a birthday. The group has become more than just study buddies; we’ve actually become friends.” Leanne Russell AIB MBA Graduate 2015

BIOGRAPHY Australian Institute of Business is a 30-yearold business school based in Australia, offering degrees, undertaking research, and providing consultancy services globally. AIB was the first, and remains the only, private institution in Australia to be government approved to confer the full suite of business degrees, including the prestigious PhD. 26

CASE STUDY Q&A: LEANNE RUSSELL, MBA GRADUATE, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS Why did you decide to join a study group? It’s been a long time since I’d last studied. When you’re studying on your own, you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing, or have interpreted the question correctly, so joining a study group can help to show that you’re on the right track, give you confidence in your abilities, and offer an alternative view. What size was your group? There were six of us in the group most weeks. We were all studying the same subject for the first few months, and then split into two groups depending on our timetable differences. When the elective subjects came up, we gravitated to groups of two or three. Where did you meet? We recognised the benefits of studying in a group when we met at an AIB event, and decided to meet at the art gallery coffee shop to get started. Unfortunately we found it was too difficult to have the discussion between the six of us, so one of the members graciously offered their back shed, and we brought food and drinks to each session. When did you meet? We met regularly on a Friday afternoon, as those of us who were working could usually get out of work slightly early. Usually we didn’t meet for longer than 2 hours. What did you discuss? As each AIB subject is four weeks long, our routine was to cover key concepts from the subject on the first Friday, including identifying the chapters that would be related to the assignment

question, breaking down the assignment question and working out what each key word meant. The following Friday, we would talk about what we’d do to complete the assignment. The third Friday would be the week before the exam, so we would commit to exam revision, discussing the key points we’d need to cover in each example question, and what chapters we’d need to revise to get the exam question right. How did you communicate between meetings? We used a cloud storage service to share our ideas, occasionally emailing or calling each other in between. For example, there were a lot of nonmathematical people doing the finance subject, so I wrote out some worked solutions for some of the calculations, scanned it and added it to the cloud storage service for them to follow. What did the study group teach you? It taught me to crystallise my ideas, and communicate them in an effective, efficient manner. We only met for about two hours, so you need to be fairly efficient to get your ideas out in time, and in a way that everyone will understand. Do you have any tips for others who want to join a study group? Don’t let the group get too big, as it becomes far more difficult to manage and let everyone have their say. Our core face-to-face meeting group was six regulars and ten people overall, and that worked really well. Also, be aware that there will be both givers and takers in the group, and the takers often won’t give anything back.

From left to right: Study group members Kim Kristoffersen, Vinod Ponen, and Leanne Russell graduate with an MBA at the 2015 AIB Graduation Ceremony. / Autumn 2016

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AMBA is the world’s only MBA-specific Accreditation Organisation, accrediting just 2% of the world’s Business Schools. 27

Business Travel


28 / Autumn 2016


n the midst of a year of increasing global unrest, uprisings and terror attacks, employers everywhere are asking the same question: Is it worth the risk sending employees abroad for work? We live in an age of heightened awareness of just what it means to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The roll call of victims of the incidents in Nice, Paris, Brussels, Turkey and Germany attests to that. Sadly, the frequency of incidents such as these doesn’t look to be reducing in the short-term, meaning employers have a responsibility for safety like never before. When faced with the prospect of an employee having to travel abroad in order to carry out their job, employers must first ask some questions: n Why are they travelling? n Where are they going? n What are they going to be doing when they get there? n Can this business account for their movements at all times while they are away? There is a phrase in business travel that has been used so much that it’s become a cliché – ‘duty of care’. However, this isn’t a box-ticking exercise, it has real meaning. In this uncertain world, it has to be strictly defined or the consequences could be tragic. Providing a duty of care isn’t about protecting your business in the event of something going wrong, it’s about protecting the people you are sending off to work on your behalf. At the most basic level, does the business have up-to-date contact details for every employee and their next of kin? If not, can you let these people travel on company business? If an initial assessment determines that a trip is necessary and cannot be satisfactorily carried out in any other way, the next stage of duty of care is risk assessment. n What is the current advice from the Foreign Office regarding the destination your employee is travelling to? n What tasks will they be undertaking while at this destination, such as a field visit, location recce or meeting? At every step, you must be asking: as a company, what risks are we willing to take with this person? Sending an employee on a business trip / Autumn 2016

becomes slightly less nerve-wracking if you are able to track them while they are gone. For some workers, this may raise privacy issues - after all, it depends on whether they are travelling to Baghdad or Bath - however, for most organisations the answer is simple. If you travel, you WILL be tracked. Software - such as our go2track - can pinpoint a traveller’s exact location, the number of employees in a location, their past, current and future travel plans, itineraries and more. The reasons for this are clear. In the event of an incident taking place, speed of contact is vital. Locating and making safe every traveller is a key role of a travel management company. After the Brussels attacks in April, we made contact with all of our clients in the surrounding area and made arrangements for their immediate safety within half an hour of the news breaking. We offered them travel options as an alternative to flying if they were due to return to the UK or simply wanted to come home. And we kept in frequent contact over the following days as the situation developed.  This expertise of ‘business unusual’ means travel management companies provide peace of mind at all times for busy companies. Taking responsibility for business travel booking and management also removes the risk presented by ‘maverick’ travellers within an organisation. Price comparison booking sites offer the individual the ability to arrange flights and hotels in an instant. The rise of sites such as Airbnb, Inc., has also presented a further easy alternative for independent travel. However, we have heard too many stories of employees extending their business trip to add-on a few days of holiday, without their employer having any notification of where they are going, why or for how long. If these workers are then caught up in a situation not of their own making, who can they turn to for help?  For this reason, and bearing in mind the current climate, we recommend companies work alongside a travel management company to minimise these risks and put employers in a secure position should any of their staff be unfortunate enough to land in the wrong place at the wrong time. Business travel is still how deals get done and how businesses grow - however, we must ensure it does not come at the expense of anyone’s safety.

BIOGRAPHY Paul Casement is Sales Director at Clarity Travel Management. Clarity Travel Management delivers smart travel strategies that make budgets go further to transform corporate travel. 29

CSR Insights


30 / Autumn 2016


he image of the global corporation has long been marred by the impression that they act out of pure self-interest. That they exploit cheap labour, put people to work in hazardous conditions, carry out unsustainable manufacturing practices and hide funds in taxfree offshore accounts. Corporations such as ExxonMobil, whose annual revenue reached $269 billion USD in 2015 - more than the GDP of three-quarters of the world’s countries, are the new global superpowers influencing every aspect of our lives. But can they ever become the paradigm of positive influence and leadership? There is certainly a political incentive for them to do so, and the general public is becoming increasingly uneasy with the huge amount of power that large multinationals are able to wield. As such, initiatives to adopt positive corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies are growing in number and in force. Education on sustainability issues in business is therefore essential to ensure long-term change. EU Business School is at the forefront of the drive to equip the business leaders of tomorrow with the tools they will need to make a positive impact on societal and environmental issues. ACCOUNTABILITY Awareness of responsible consumerism as a concept is growing among consumers, making transparency a crucial aspect of the interaction between large corporations and the public. CSR policy is no longer seen simply as positive by consumers - it is seen as a necessity. According to The Guardian, companies now “need to position themselves as a positive force for change in relation to a specific social cause” in order to satisfy the demands of an increasingly conscious public. This attitude is not unique to a company’s clients or consumers. Employees themselves want to feel that they are part of something more than a mere money-making machine - this is a trend that is set to become more prominent in the workforce of the future. According to Forbes, 80 per cent of a sample of 1,800 13 to 25-year-olds said that they “wanted to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.” This means that global corporations are going to have to implement well considered CSR strategies if they hope to attract the brightest business minds and a growing market of socially and environmentally aware consumers. The commercial benefits of a well-planned and, more importantly, well-marketed CSR model have been acknowledged for some time. McDonald’s, for example, founded the Ronald McDonald House Charities in 1974 to “create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.” And in 1910, the much-maligned United Fruit Company paid for the preservation and restoration of the / Autumn 2016

Mayan Quiriguá archaeological ruins that lay on one of their plantations in Guatemala. The commercial benefits of promoting positive social and environmental change - and of course being seen doing so - have long been known. Today the involvement of governments and NGOs in such policies has created a new wave of initiatives across a wide range of industries the world over. REGULATION Readily available information on the business practices of global corporations has led to huge improvements in accountability. No longer able to turn a blind eye to irresponsible practices, governments and international organisations are pushing for new legislation and increased regulation around CSR. In response, businesses across t he world h ave been proac t ive i n incorporating CSR plans into their long-term business strategies and many now even release regular progress reports to the public. EU Business School, for example, publishes a social responsibility report each year. It does so in order to take stock of its progress, and to strengthen its efforts in developing the capabilities of its students to be the future flagbearers of ethics and sustainability, not only to benefit business, but society as a whole. EU strives to act as a positive role model to its students, offering continual support to charities such as Freude Herrscht, the Kofi Annan Foundation and the German Red Cross. In recent years, a number of leading businesses have sought to attach themselves to certain pertinent issues, often related to their markets. Following the 2015 US ruling in favour of gay marriage, a wave of public consciousness helped pave the way for companies in the fashion industry to express their support for the cause. Landmark advertising campaigns were launched: H&M featured Caitlyn Jenner in their campaign on diversity inclusion; James Charles became the first male CoverGirl; and Tiffany & Co. launched a same-sex engagement ring advertisement. Other global corporations have thrown their weight behind environmental causes. At COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change in 2015, 195 countries signed an unprecedented agreement, pledging to take enormous steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperature increases. According to Kevin Moss, global director at the World Resources Institute, in this deal “businesses showed they supported an ambitious agreement and were ready to step up and make bold commitments to tackle climate change. These commitments range from rallying behind carbon pricing and setting science-based emission reduction targets, to responsible corporate engagement in policy and major investments in renewable energy.”

“Education on sustainability issues in business is essential to ensure long-term change.”


CSR Insights

While global businesses have shown that they are capable of influencing international policy and rallying behind popular causes, governments and NGOs are keen to ensure they don’t simply pick and choose how and when to lend a hand. India became the first country to introduce national legislation regarding CSR two years ago. Large companies that meet certain criteria are required to give at least 2 per cent of their net profits to charitable causes to aid in the country’s social development. This was seen by most as a sizeable win for CSR, but will government intervention really be effective? Bimal Arora, chair of the Centre for Responsible Business, thinks so: “The socalled 2 per cent law has brought CSR from the fringes to the boardroom. Companies must now think seriously about the resources, timelines and strategies needed to meet their legal obligations.” But The Guardian outlines genuine concerns perhaps emblematic of the distrust that continues to surround global corporations - that ‘forced philanthropy’ might lead to mere box ticking exercises, tokenism or even corruption and the masking of data to avoid having to comply.

BIOGRAPHY EU Business School is a triple-accredited, multi-campus, international business school. EU offers various programmes at the bachelor’s (BBA/ BA/BS), master’s (MBA/ MSc) and doctoral (DBA) levels, all taught in English.


EDUCATION So, i f what is needed is a f u nda menta l culture change and a shift in mentality, the real responsibility will lie with the younger generation - our future business leaders. As Forbes has pointed out, young people want to see sustainability in business practice, and it is these young people that will be leading the world’s corporations through some of the most difficult environmental and social challenges that our planet has ever faced. EU Business School’s Bachelor of Arts in Business and Sustainability Management, along with specialised MBA modules focusing on CSR and stakeholder management, will help the senior executives of the future to navigate these challenges by giving them a sound knowledge of business ethics and sustainable development. Graduates from this programme will know how to maintain the economic viability of a company while meeting the needs of society and preserving natural resources. Only with these vital skills will tomorrow’s global corporate leaders be able to promote profitable yet responsible practices in a way that will benefit both current and future generations. From a short-term perspective, the quickest way to change attitudes towards CSR is to look toward those who have the most influence. Michael

Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City, donates generously through his charitable organisation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, within five key areas. He sees advancements in public health, the environment, education, government innovation, and arts and culture as essential for creating lasting change. This well organised, systematic approach to corporate charity work is vital to ensure a shift in mentality among business leaders in the short-term. The hope is that this willingness to act responsibly in business will filter through to future generations and have a long lasting impact. EU Business School also encourages sustainable business practices beyond the classroom. Since 2010, EU has teamed up with the Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation to present six special awards to outstanding organisations and individuals at its annual commencement ceremonies. Among these awards are special distinctions for sustainability, corporate responsibility and social responsibility, which recognise those who consistently make positive contributions to their communities through their CSR strategies. Past w i n ners i nclude U N ICEF, T he FC Barcelona Foundation and Philias, who won the Corporate Responsibility Award for their work in integrating CSR policies into the business practices of their clients through volunteer work, environmental impact assessments and pro-bono services respectively. Due to growing awareness and a willingness of many global corporations to take action, we may well see CSR at the forefront of business strategy in the years to come. From a marketing and branding perspective this is becoming a vital step that all organisations will have to take in order to meet the demands of concerned consumers and mindful employees. From a legal perspective it is likely to become obligatory in the face of intensified regulation. Through EU Business School’s innovative master’s and bachelor’s level programmes in sustainability, the global business world can be assured that the next generation of leaders will have all the vital skills, knowledge and ethical grounding necessary to help companies expand in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. With their commitment to charity work a nd their awa rds for corporate a nd socia l responsibility, EU Business School also plays an influential role in shaping attitudes towards CSR in a global corporate context. / Autumn 2016 / Autumn 2016


Global Business

2017: THE END OF ATLANTIC GLOBALISATION Alexandra Skinner speaks to SBS Swiss Business School’s Dr. Bert Wolfs 34 / Autumn 2016

You are usually optimistic about the future when we speak, but this year you seem to look sad. ell, sad isn’t the right word, but I do see that Atlantic globalization has reached its limits. When I look at the increasing number of natural disasters, I feel that nature is reacting. Globalisation leads to specialisation and, in turn, more and more transportation. This leads to natural limits and I strongly believe that we have met these. The fact that 193 of the 195 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have signed the Paris Agreement to address these issues shows me that governments worldwide also recognise the need for change, which makes me feel more optimistic. However, the losers of globalisation are also starting to make their voices heard. Brexit not accepting the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA - the free trade agreement between EU and Canada), and the over indebted countries, are signs that their citizens don’t consider global trade and free trade as an advantage anymore. This does makes me sad, because it is free trade that will make countries and regions more prosperous.


So where are we moving too? I strongly believe that Brexit is the sign of the end of Atlantic globalization. The EU grew to 28 members and is the biggest peace project in the world. Within the union, the UK has traditionally been the member state that has played the role of pushing the rest of the EU towards the USA. As a result of the Brexit decision, which so far has made little impact except to increase uncertainty, the UK lost its leading role within the EU, which has now been adopted by Germany. We have seen this in the recent peace talks about Ukraine, and the increasing German interest in Africa. Germany has always been oriented towards an ‘Ostpolitik’ - a new eastern policy aimed at expanding commercial relations with the CIS countries and China. This is one of the fundamental elements of change. It is predicted that by 2018, the Chinese GDP will be higher than the American. We are currently / Autumn 2016

witnessing the Chinese buying businesses in Europe extensively. Traditional airline catering companies, automotive companies, and even electricity suppliers are now owned by Chinese investors. On-the-other-hand, China is building the silk route economic belt, and Asian countries are investing heavily in improving the New Eurasian Land Bridge train infrastructure in their respective countries. The transformation of China from an industrial country to a servicesdriven economy is taking place, and that will put China in a globally dominant position.

“Graduates need to be aware of the growing trend towards localisation.”

And India? According to the Economic Times, “India’s growth at 7.6% in 2015-16 is its fastest in five years”. This growth is primarily coming from the financial services and real estate sectors, as well as increased trade. The more liberalised Indian trade policy allows for numerous opportunities, but is having little impact on the world economy. This lack of growth is a major concern. Cities such as New Delhi need to create 12 million new jobs - yearly. Urbanisation continues and cities will have more inhabitants than many countries. A proper infrastructure, more efficient means of travel, and clean air will be major challenges for city mayors and policy makers. What about Africa? According to the World Bank, there will be 2.8 billion people in Africa by 2060, representing a staggering 28 per cent of the 10 billion world population. This creates both big challenges and opportunities for local leaders. They must continue to promote investments and also improve inter-African trade. In order to avoid a potential subsequent refugee crisis, we need to create work opportunities on the continent for all of these people. There are many very interesting and creative entrepreneurs in Africa, but we block their expansion possibilities by imposing high import duties in the developed world. This needs to change. 35


So, what are the consequences for MBA graduates? Graduates need to be aware of the growing trend towards localisation. Governments are being increasingly asked to buy local again and, in the past five years alone, approximately 2,000 measures have been taken to create obstacles for free world trade (World Trade Organisation). Digitalisation is transforming industries as well as robotics, and artificial intelligence and 3D printing are moving production to fully automated factories. Only companies that succeed in installing flexible automation systems, where they can combine robots and people, will survive. According to the study, ‘The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?’ (Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology), 47 per cent of current US jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation. Does this mean the end for the MBA? No, not at all. But the educational market is becoming more and more reg ulated and i ncrea si ng ly competitive. T here a re now different forms of MBA programmes and different delivery methods, with the focus being placed on shorter programmes and flexible delivery to allow candidates to continue to work while they study. I am also pleased to see that more and more women are undertaking MBA degrees. In fact, a report from Forté Foundation found that women now make up 40 per cent of students at top MBA programmes.

BIOGRAPHY Bert Wolfs is Academic Dean of SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich, Switzerland.


Should Executive MBA and MBA programmes be adjusting their curriculums? The world is changing, and so too is the world of business education. According to our own data, today the primary reason that students give for embarking on an EMBA or MBA is no longer to fast-track their career, but is instead driven by a desire to become an entrepreneur and launch their own business. Business schools therefore need to prepare them for an industry and working world ‘4.0’, where there are increased e-commerce opportunities, but also associated cyber security and privacy risks. If MBA students can research and analyse data, and understand these risks, then they will be able to create winning, data-centered organisations. I also strongly believe that today’s students need to learn Chinese and computer coding.

China’s rapidly growing economy means that students with Mandarin will have a distinct advantage in a global economy. Coding will be equally important and, in the future, being unable to code will be likened to not being able to read and write. How is SBS Swiss Business School preparing its students? We adapt the content of our lecturers and include recent events, such as the election of Mr. D. Trump in the US, into our educational pr o g r a m m e s . Fo r t h e E M B A , we i nv it e economically underprivileged people to share their life experiences with students. We take students to a facility for the homeless to listen to them and understand their life stories, and to try and find common patterns. This increasing inequality among the ‘have and have-nots’ creates both problems and opportunities for students. Each year Switzerland is listed among the most innovative countries in the world, but we need to strengthen our position and continue to focus. We will continue to include more creativity and innovation exercises in our courses. So, what are the biggest challenges for managers in the coming years? That is a difficult question. I strongly believe that finding good, qualified workers will be the main issue for corporations. The millennial generation has other ambitions in life. Their first priority is to find a good work-life balance, and having a full-time job comes second. Companies need to adjust to this and offer home office possibilities, more flexible working hours, and be able to accept that an employee will be absent at least one month a year for summer holidays. This requires a fundamental rethinking of our society and business models, and will be the main challenge facing corporations in 2017. The middle-classes in advanced nations haven’t seen an improvement in their wages, and are doubtful about what globalisation has brought them. We need to take their opinion into consideration and listen more seriously to them. Uncertainty will increase, and neither business nor stock markets like this, and so volatility will increase, resulting in bigger business risks. It is time for leaders to fundamentally rethink the current model of globalisation and become more inclusive in their approach. / Autumn 2016 / Autumn 2016



A.L.I.E.N. THINKING IMD Business School


ow many of the top Fortune 100 companies from the early 1900s do you think are still in existence today? A good answer would be between 10 and 15. Naturally, this depends on how you examine the data. If you are quite strict about the criteria, there is only one company from the early 20th century that is still in business today and doing exactly the same thing it did when it started out: Ford Motor Company. If you relax this assumption, then you could say that 16 others, including GE, are still in existence but have diversified and gone into other fields. But is GE really still the same organization it was


then? The reality is that most of these firms have transformed dramatically. Leaders have three main responsibilities: (1) taking care of the present, i.e. existing clients, employees and shareholders, (2) planning for the future – future opportunities, markets, clients and so forth, and (3) figuring out what to do with the way they have done things in the past. Managing these three time horizons is key to steering their companies through an ever-changing world. It also involves thinking in paradoxical, illogical and transformational ways. This is what we call A.L.I.E.N. thinking: / Autumn 2016


i s for ant h ropologist . A wel l-k now n anthropologist from the early 20th century is Margaret Mead. To understand the culture and way of life of so-called primitive societies, she spent time in the Samoan Islands and New Guinea, dressing and living like the natives and building empathy for their world. This is what anthropologists do. But studying customers in this way to understand their way of life and their needs in an effort to increase sales requires considerable time and energy. And in today’s volatile world, by the time any conclusions had been reached, they would probably be obsolete. Businesses need to not only understand consumer behavior but also spot and react to changes, fast. Today, digital technologies are used to gather and analyze massive amounts of information quickly to understand consumer behavior and spot new trends as they emerge in real time.


stands for lateral thinking, which refers to the capacity to make connections between previously unlinked ideas, for example by adapting ideas from one use to another. Bombardier Aerospace, a leading manufacturer of regional and business aircraft, realized that a lot of people liked the status and f lexibility of having their private jet but could not necessarily afford to own and maintain an aircraft that they only needed for a limited number of hours per year. So, in 1995 it launched Flexjet, “a turnkey program allowing individuals or companies to purchase a share in a Bombardier business jet at a fraction of the full ownership cost.” No other jet manufacturer offered this. Then, in March 2004 it introduced another new financing program: Jet Rich Quick, which made “fractional jet ownership accessible to more individuals and companies.”¹


is for imagination, or the capacity to dream up novel concepts. T he electric ca r was perceived to be an ecological concept and no one really challenged its limitations. Or at least not until Tesla’s Elon Musk decided to imagine a luxury electric car, revolutionizing the electric car industry. Musk is known for dreaming up ideas that others think impossible. He does this by ignoring past assumptions and looking for solutions to bring his ideas to life.


is for experimenting. An A.L.I.E.N. thinker is constantly experimenting with markets to try to understand what works and what does not. Successful innovations are usually the result of multiple iterations, testing, learning and improving each time until you uncover the truth. This is what the founders of internet fashion rental company Rent the Runway did to test their idea of renting out designer dresses. They tested their assumptions in a restricted environment, experimenting with various business models to see what did and did not work. / Autumn 2016


sta nds for nav igation . T h i s refers to navigating the established system to get new ideas adopted within the organization. Many novel ideas may go against organizations’ standard practices and can fundamentally transform an industry. Leaders can do many things to navigate political and established forces in their firms and create meaningful and lasting change within their industry. It is important not to get derailed from the mission and instead lead the people in the organization toward a new future. The digital anthropologist Digital anthropology refers to the study of the relationship between humans and their digital-era tools. It offers great opportunities. Companies need to understand their customers in order to come up with good ideas. This is what digital anthropologists try to do. Spending time with consumers to try to understand their world would be difficult and slow and it is not just a matter of asking customers what they want. People do not always know what they want or need until they see it. As Henry Ford famously said, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Today digital anthropologists have advanced digital technologies at their disposal to observe consumers and understand their problems without having to get up close and personal. One such technology is the “Estimote Beacon,” a digital transmitting device that can be attached to any object. In retail stores, they can allow managers to observe how people transit through the store, obtain insights into how customers relate to products, and track the movement of products. The beacons can reveal how many products a customer examines and which ones the customer does and does not buy. Each time a customer picks up a product, puts it back on the shelf or purchases it, the action is coded as an event. Each event is then analyzed by data scientists and managers and the information can then be used to optimize store and product performance.

“Organizations like Bombardier, Tesla, Rent the Runway and TopCoder developed novel ideas by ignoring the assumptions of the past and focusing instead on creating a new future.”

Learning from people who live in the future Industries – not firms – evolve in waves. Each wave correlates with a new generation of offerings. Engineers constantly strive to improve the functional performance and attributes of products. Over time these innovations progress in an S-shaped curve (see Figure 1). A good example is the calculator industry. Humans have forever tried to find better aids to counting. For almost 3,000 years, various versions of the abacus were used. One of the first calculators was the slide rule, developed in Europe in the early 17th century. It remained the most commonly used calculation tool for about 250 years. People were even sent to the moon on the basis of calculations using this technology. In the mid-19th century something fundamentally different appeared, the mechanical calculator. 39

Higher Ed Insights

“Each time a technology is displaced by a new one, the innovator is never the manufacturer of the existing leading product. Incumbents never seem to jump from one S-curve to another. Innovations generally come from outside the company or even from another industry.”

It was the size of a small desktop computer and could perform less calculations than the slide ruler, but within one century, every major company was using these electro-mechanical calculators. In the 1970s Texas Instruments introduced an electronic hand-held calculator that could be used to facilitate complex scientific calculations, and within a decade, companies like Sharpe and Casio were almost giving digital calculators away as they cost almost nothing to produce. These were soon replaced with computer applications like Visicalc, Lotus 123 and Excel and now calculator apps are integrated into smartphones. The first key learning here is that each time a technology is displaced by a new one, the innovator is never the manufacturer of the existing leading product. Incumbents never seem to jump from one S-curve to another. Innovations generally come from outside the company or even from another industry. The second key learning is that innovation cycles are shortening. The jump from the slide ruler to the mechanical calculator took about 200 years. The next technology leap took roughly 100 years. The following one happened just 10 years later and then another one followed within just six years. In other words, the speed of technological revolutions is accelerating and they are happening in every industry. People are not just innovating faster. There are also many more people innovating in many more areas than before. What is going on behind the S-curves? At the beginning of an S-curve, many kinds of firms are

selling a variety of things. Over time, some win and some lose. The winners realize that they have power in the market that they did not have before. They respond by building proprietary systems and trying to integrate everything in order to better serve their customers. However, in the process these firms become bigger, more complex and slower. At one point, the needs of customers change faster than the company can adapt. This is a key signal that something is amiss in a company and industry. Meanwhile, new competitors and entrants appear and put pressure on the market to transform and force large firms to fragment. Steal like (from) a champion Living in the future means envisioning and then creating a future based on servicing customers with novel solutions to their problems. While discoverers know what they are looking for and set out to find it, explorers take chances by creating new things, like artists. As Pablo Picasso reputedly said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Leaders thus need to think like explorers, become more adventurous and steal the essence of ideas from outside their industries, like Bombardier did with its Flexjet program. Another illustrative example of “stealing” ideas from other industries is Jack Hughes, founder of TopCoder, a software company that organizes computer programming competitions. An avid basketball fan, Hughes studied the tournament structure of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and envisioned software coding competitions along those lines.






TIME / Autumn 2016

These competitions are not only challenging and fun, they also provide companies with novel solutions and allow participants to validate their skills with their “TopCoder” scores. In the process, Hughes also revolutionized the traditional coding job market since programmers now share their TopCoder scores with potential employers as proof of their programming skills. Hughes reg ularly uses ideas from other disciplines to innovate because, as he points out, novel ideas that are going to give the company a leading edge are unlikely to come from within the industry or discipline.² Discovery Driven Planning Of course, once managers have had such “Aha” moments, they need to grow their ideas within their organization. This is easier said than done because companies often fail to embrace the great ideas of their people. One way to succeed is to apply discovery driven planning, which involves preparing the company for the next S-curve while the core business is still healthy. Indeed, organizations tend not to innovate while their core business is still successful, and this is generally what prevents them from leaping onto the next S-curve. One way to understand the dynamics behind discovery driven planning is to think about startups like “Rent the Runway,” which rents out high-end fashion dresses through the internet in the same way as Netflix rents out films. Rather than spending ages developing a business plan in a constantly evolving environment, the founders started experimenting with various concepts and adapting their model based on what worked and what did not. They started out offering fellow Harvard university and college students the chance to rent dresses for upcoming events at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them, knowing that women only wore such high-end dresses once in any case. In the first experiment they allowed customers to try on the dresses first. / Autumn 2016

Next, the founders approached women at Yale University, but this time they did not allow customers to try on the dresses beforehand as they wanted to discover whether people would rent clothes without being able to try them on first. Again, the response was positive. The third experiment was in New York City. The founders printed out pictures of high-end dresses and added short descriptions about the designers and walked around NYC, asking women if they would be interested in renting the dresses. They estimated that about 5% of them said yes. The three experiments cost relatively little but they allowed the founders to determine whether there was indeed a market for their idea. They were also able to verify that customers did not wreck the items they rented and that they did not necessarily need to try on the clothes first. These three factors represented the “must-have conditions” to start the business in earnest. In summar y, discover y driven planning involves five steps that can help you successfully launch new ideas in your organization: 1. Specify required profitability 2. Estimate major cost factors 3. Determine required sales level 4. Isolate key variables and assumptions 5. Experiment. Conclusion Organizations like Bombardier, Tesla, Rent the Runway and TopCoder developed novel ideas by ignoring the assumptions of the past and focusing instead on creating a new future. They remind us that we are still living in extraordinary times. As Bertrand Piccard of Solar Impulse said, “Often creativity and innovation don’t come from inside the system, because the system is too paralyzed by prejudices to invent something new.”³ Learning how to think like an A.L.I.E.N. is the key to drawing out the innovation that your teams and organizations are capable of and that they need to cultivate to embrace the future.

“While discoverers know what they are looking for and set out to find it, explorers take chances by creating new things.”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Courtesy of IMD. BIOGRAPHY Based in Switzerland and also operating out of key locations worldwide, including our Executive Learning Center in Singapore, IMD shares its host nation’s commitment to excellence while offering a unique global experience. Consistently at the top of rankings, we are intellectually and culturally diverse with no single dominant nationality and no one world view. ¹ Bombardier. “Bombardier FlexJet launches new financing program for fractional jet ownership.” Borbardier Aerospace Press Release, Mar. 16, 2004. ² A. Boynton and B. Fischer. The Idea Hunter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, p. 55-56. ³ C. Bouquet. “Solar Impulse: Or how to think like an Alien to innovate.” IMD Tomorrow’s Challenges, 2015. 41

Collective Learning

HOWLECTIVE CO L R N I N G LEA ROVES IMP VATION O N INp developers lissten er Ap m o t s ir cu e h t o t tors i t e p ed. m e o c c c u d an to s I S w o h rn DAV to lea E E A N D J A S O N JAEM


W “As reviewers’ comments often compare features with similar apps, developers can investigate their competitors – who they are and what they are good at, and then download competitors’ apps for reverse engineering.”


here “entrepreneurial ecosystems” exist, there are hotbeds of rapid entry and experimentation. These e cos y stem s con si st of most ly small organisations that share a technological architecture and set of norms. Take the Apple App Store, where app developers often rely on users who make concise suggestions on improvements, point out bugs and cite competing products in their feedback. This not only gives the app developer the consumer’s perspective, but also an industry landscape view of the competition and competing apps. Ty pic a l ly, le g ac y bu si nesses foc u s on individual-level learning with sporadic surveys and polls, which give mixed data on their products and services from respondents who might not be the most engaged or knowledgeable. App developers, on the other hand, get feedback from active users and strive to achieve the coveted 5-star ratings, which push their apps to the top of the store. But does this rapid feedback and learning lead to more innovation? / Autumn 2016

Charting group learning In addition, we find that as consumer feedback increases, their intelligence is able to merge. This becomes clearer from the following chart, in which we ‘combined’ important performance measures (the number of apps for a week relative to the mean number of apps) to highlight the changing patterns of learning within apps’ Games and Weather categories.

To quantify how beneficial this “population level-learning” is, we looked at a population of more than 390,000 apps listed on the U.S. iTunes App Store market over 15 months, combined with the detailed data on rankings and consumer comments, for our paper, Collective Intelligence of Market-Categories in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Evidence of Population-Level Learning in Mobile Applications.  We find a considerable difference in learning across and within each category.

1000 2000 3000 0


Learning from the community The Games category suggests more innovative learning, and gleaned more modifications from user feedback than other categories. The following chart shows each category with the number of apps, firms and top downloaded apps:














The Games category surpasses the others in terms of downloads. Although there are many apps in the Books category there isn’t much innovation and learning in this space. Consumers already understand how to use electronic books and most book apps are electronic modifications of the offline publications. Those who download games, however, are more willing to spend money on apps. This makes app developers hyper-competitive and keen to learn from their competitors to outcompete them. For example, when the first games for the App Store were developed in 1997, there was a lot of debate about the best way to earn money out of the thennew platform. Games were the frontrunner of inapp purchases, offering a free download followed by enhancements for sale. Reviews in the Games category are highly detailed. The learning loop is very well developed between active consumers and active feedback. Because only users who have downloaded an app can make comments, the feedback is valid. As reviewers’ comments often compare features with similar apps, developers can investigate their competitors – who they are and what they are good at, and then download competitors’ apps for reverse engineering. / Autumn 2016


1000 2000 3000












Looking at the different categories offered in the App Store and how users interact with them, we find considerable differences between categories in terms of how much they improve over time. In the above charts, which show learning factor adjusted for the number of apps in a category, we can see that while weather apps experienced very little learning over the set period, apps in the Games category improved significantly. This is thanks, in part, to active consumer feedback prompting Games developers to make changes and users to learn new ways to use their apps, increasing collective intelligence. Spreading too thin This active feedback also helps developers spread across categories. They apply what they learned from one category to other categories. App developers generally spread their creations across two or three different categories. But there is a limit to this; we found that the potential for developers to learn from feedback is diluted as the collective learning is spread out. I n su m ma r y, ou r st udy suggests t he importance of facilitating active feedback between consumers and producers as well as using that feedback for diversification. It is clear from our findings that an entrepreneurial ecosystem facilitates learning as well as innovation, including customers in the journey. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Courtesy of INSEAD Knowledge. BIOGRAPHIES Jaemin Lee is an assistant professor at Imperial College Business School. He was awarded his PhD in Entrepreneurship from INSEAD. Jason Davis is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at INSEAD.





44 / Autumn 2016


n business no less than in life, patience is in perhaps as long as a decade, my expectations the most underappreciated of virtues—and were modest and surely did not include an the ugly and unavoidable fact is that the immediate reply with a warm invitation to visit his vigor and prevalence of this virtue seems office. I accepted the invitation, the first of many inversely correlated to status. The reason is fairly meetings that were always cordial, engaging, and straightforward: the more successful a person remarkably unhurried. In subsequent years, while becomes, the more demands are made on his I was pursuing a joint degree at Yale Law School, time, and the more expensive patience appears. he always found time for me on my return trips to At the same time, because of his success, others Chicago. On one occasion, due to illness, he had not only expect him to be impatient, they tolerate to cancel one of my visits to his office. Though he the effluvia of that disposition. Ignored emails, was under the weather, he invited me to his home anemic feedback, skipped meetings, and other in Hyde Park and received me with the hospitality behavior that would make one’s mother blush are and intellectual curiosity that, years later, still simply regarded as the accessories of success, and moves me considerably. perhaps even its requirements. As I have said, such patient concern for A member of an older generation—one I those whose destiny one shapes seems to me associate with the ritual t he ha l l ma rk of a n older exchange of honorifics and generation. In college, I can ha nd-w ritten t ha n k you recall visiting the home of letters—the late Robert W. H a r va rd’s Joh n Ken net h Fogel, winner of the 1993 Galbraith, another esteemed “Ignored emails, anemic Nobel Memorial Prize in economist whose passion Econom ic Sciences, had for teaching didn’t seem to feedback, skipped meetings, t he disti nction of bei ng dim with age. Like Fogel, and other behavior that among the most successful Galbraith had been ill, but he individuals one might ever was determined to honor an would make one’s mother hope to meet, as well as obligation of pedagogy, in this blush are simply regarded as the portrait of professional case, to a group of students patience. with whom he had promised the accessories of success, I f i r st h ad re a son to to discuss a book he had contact him as a doctoral written. He summoned us to and perhaps even its s t ude nt i n t h e Joh n U. his house, and we gathered in requirements.” Nef Committee on Social the parlor amid the relics of a Thought, the f lagship for remarkable life: knickknacks interdisciplinary studies at from essential events, casual the University of Chicago. photos with famous people, T h roughout much of its and, of course, the aureate history, the Committee has included exceptional evidence of so many grand accomplishments. economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Frank They seemed at once inconsistent and strangely Knight, the latter of whom helped found the apropos to an occasion brought about by human program in 1941. Professor Fogel was the most frailty. recent addition to this distinguished line, and We waited, and I can remember the great man with his passion for history and appreciation of coming down the steps in the same way Fogel politics (before graduate school he spent nearly a later would: slowly and with tender precision. decade as an organizer in radical politics), he was We feared for his safety and would have had him precisely the kind of creative thinker, recusant remain upstairs, but he saw us as young people without being recherché, for whom the Committee who would determine the course of things in has always been a home. the future, and thus he cared deeply about our By the time I arrived, the typical student in the fate. The older I get, the more I appreciate the program was less inclined to political economy wisdom of that commitment, and the more I hope, than philosophy and comparative literature, as a teacher, that I have the courage to live a life leaving Fogel, in the minds of most students, a consistent with it. figure on the faculty roster who was little more This post was written to accompany “What a than a figurehead. As such, when I initially reached Nobel laureate taught me about business ethics” out to him, the first Committee student to do so (Spring 2016 issue – Chicago Booth Review). / Autumn 2016

ACKNOWLEDGMENT Courtesy of the University Chicago: Booth. BIOGRAPHY John Paul Rollert is adjunct assistant professor of behavioral science at Chicago Booth. Robert W. Fogel was Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions at Booth. 45


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CEO Magazine - Volume 24  

The definitive guide to MBAs

CEO Magazine - Volume 24  

The definitive guide to MBAs