ISSUE 14 – FEBRUARY 2017
FOCUS BE EXCEPTIONAL. THE HENLEY WAY.
BRINGING YOU THE INSIGHTS YOU NEED TO DRIVE YOUR AGENDA
Psychology: how it could help us achieve sustainabiliity P3
Business forum examines the ‘footloose’ phenomenon P5
How business is finally embracing HR P10
Centre reports emerging trends in customer management P6
Talent Management Trends for 2017 P11
Is bribery reaching Innovating? Upskilling? epidemic proportions in Apprenticeships international business? P8 update P9
Online coaching discussion attracts a global audience P12
From hardware to Henley – profiling Steve Ludlow P13
WELCOME TO FOCUS@HENLEY – BRINGING YOU THE LATEST NEWS AND VIEWS ON LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND LEARNING DEVELOPMENT Hello, and welcome to Issue 14 of Henley Business School’s online Focus magazine, in which we highlight some of the latest news, views and insights into strategy, management, leadership, coaching and much more. Among the topics featured in this issue are: • how organisations can contribute to sustainability • the latest trends in customer management • some alarming statistics on the prevalence of bribery • how you can put the apprenticeship levy to good use • the challenges of coaching in the professional arena As always, we really value your thoughts and comments, so please do continue to send us your feedback and help us to ensure that Focus@Henley remains relevant and compelling. We look forward to hearing from you. Claire Hewitt, Head of Learning Design +44 (0)1491 418 767 email@example.com www.henley.ac.uk
EXTENDING THE BETTER BALANCE MODEL TO HELP SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF SUSTAINABILITY To find out more about The John Madejski Centre for Reputation, click here
he massive environmental, social and economic challenges facing the
world are well documented and some believe that climate change, population growth and increased consumption will challenge the sustainability of human life on this planet.
In this recently published discussion paper, based on work at the John Madejski Centre for Reputation, Professor Kevin Money, director of the Centre, along with Stephen Pain, VP Sustainable Business and Communications, and Professor Carola Hillenbrand, suggest that there needs to be an in-depth exploration of the root cause of the sustainability problem: human behaviour.
A psychological approach to sustainability Much of the current debate focuses on reducing negative symptoms of human behaviour rather than understanding and changing the root causes of it, but we suggest that the world is out of balance because the motivations and, therefore, the behaviours of people are out of balance. By understanding why and how we are motivated to behave as we do, we can find solutions that can restore balance within ourselves, in our relationships with each other and with the wider world. Put simply, we must achieve a better balance in business and in society more generally. By drawing on psychological theory, we propose that sustainable behaviours
could be encouraged by redressing the following imbalances that can lead to dysfunctional and unsustainable behaviour: • imbalances between human drives/ motivations • imbalances between learning from positive and negative outcomes • imbalances between people’s public and private identities We conclude the paper by presenting a model of sustainability that can redress imbalances and, thus, encourage sustainable behaviours.
Balancing human drives/ motivations We argue that, as human beings, we are driven to: • Acquire – gain material goods and status • Bond – be a part of a group that cares for us and gives us identity • Comprehend – understand the world around us and have a purpose • Defend – protect things important to us
In line with recent advances in motivation theory, we argue that each of these drives competes with the others for dominance, rather than, in the case of Maslow’s hierarchy, one building upon the achievement of the other. Our thesis is that these drives/ motivations function not only at the level of the individual, but also at the level of societies, cultures and organisations. For example, we argue that the current lack of environmental and social sustainability of our businesses and societies are a direct result of an imbalance that favours the drive to acquire.
Balancing positive and negative outcomes Renowned psychologist Professor Martin Seligman noted that the prevention of a negative was not the same as the creation of a positive, while the bulk of work in psychology had focused on preventing the negative rather than creating the positive. In a similar way, we contend that much of the work in the space of sustainability has focused on preventing negative behaviour rather than on encouraging positive behaviour. This work challenges individuals and organisations to focus on what people could do and the benefits that they can receive rather than what they should not do and what they need to sacrifice.
A key mechanism for change within this model is achieving consistency between an individual’s personal sense of self, as well as the expectations of family and friends (private life) and society and working life (public life).
Towards a psychologybased model of business sustainability
We believe that applying this model can help to move business into what might be called an Age of Good, where we learn to grow sustainably in a world where resources are increasingly scarce and societal needs are ever more demanding. Read the full discussion paper here © Money, Pain and Hillenbrand, March 2016
From these reflections, we argue that the purpose of business should be to grow while balancing the expression of drives within our societies. Ultimately, sustainability can only be achieved by restoring and maintaining a healthy balance among the various drives in our societies. We have devised a model that redefines the purpose of business using psychological principles and that embraces a wider sense of humanity. It invites organisations to consider their role in society in terms of five key dimensions.
Organisations could also link this thinking to the balancing of internal and external worlds through the use of a process of reflecting on gaps between their values, behaviours and stakeholder expectations (see Better Balance Process diagram, below). They could then share their stories.
Balancing the internal and external The alignment – or lack of it – between our internal (private) and external (public) identities has often been associated with functional behaviours. So over-consumption may be a function of an imbalance, where the purchase of material goods and status compensates for misalignments at deeper personal levels. We suggest that organisations can help to create a culture of open sharing between individuals regarding sustainable behaviour. Rather than framing sustainability as a ‘should’ or ‘ideal’ state, organisations could allow stakeholders to share their experiences of sustainability, thereby connecting it to a deep sense of self.
ASSESSING THE CONFLICT BETWEEN FOOTLOOSE FIRMS AND NATION STATES
PROFESSOR RAJNEESH NARULA
For more about Engaging Business events, click here
he state-of-the-art London offices of accountancy and business
advisory firm BDO LLP was the location for a fascinating business forum event, including a lively panel discussion.
The event examined the ‘footloose’ phenomenon – an increasing trend in which firms adjust their physical and legal presence to take advantage of the incentives and infrastructure of different countries. This flexibility, a boon for multinationals, can pose problems for policy makers and cause friction around tax. Ginny Gibson, Deputy Dean of Henley Business School, chairing the event, expressed concern that the topic frequently suffers from misinformed coverage; a Radio 4 discussion that morning had reduced the subject to a simplistic ‘good guys/bad guys’ narrative regarding who pays tax and where.
The first speaker, Professor Rajneesh Narula, said that traditional ways of attracting firms are to incentivise with tax breaks, but emphasised that what gets firms to stay is a strong knowledge infrastructure, and what gets people to stay is people – with the emphasis on quality over quantity. He considered London’s incentives: the city has ‘a lot of goodies to offer’ but lacks a long-term strategy, and suggested that Britain may be freeriding on its reputation too much. Malcolm Joy, a Partner at BDO specialising in international tax, then offered a further perspective on possible incentives, and suggested that in the future, firms will increasingly target places with both lower tax rates and genuine economic substance to back the relocation of profits. Adding to the perspective of the footloose firm was Mark Smith, Chief
Operating Office at PIE Mapping Ltd, a media- and tech-driven organisation who recommended using local employees rather than international contractors to minimise the impact of ‘idiosyncratic tax legislation’, and getting good local advice. Picking up on the property angle, Ginny introduced Paul Brundage, Executive Vice President of a global real estate investment development company for an international pension fund. A number of questions were put to the panel, and then opened up to the audience on a range of topics, including: • mitigating the problematic outcomes of regulation • the perceived quality of UK government-funded advice • the importance of R&D tax credits • the growing relevance of business angels and crowdfunding, replacing the venture capitalist • attitudes to Brexit Ginny closed with some final thoughts. Are we making it simpler to do business? Organisations always have to manage a trade-off with tax and other factors; how can one balance that, while managing the risk? To read the responses to the questions, and a full report of the event, including post-event feedback, click here Professor Rajneesh Narula is John H Dunning Chair of International Business and Professor of International Business Regulation at Henley Business School.
PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT: EMERGING TRENDS IN BUSINESS For more information about the Henley Centre for Customer Management click here
he Henley Centre for Customer Management (HCCM) recently
reported the findings of a ten-year study into topics in which members wished to gain greater insight to help them improve their customer management capabilities.
The findings focus on: • the customer journey and emotional aspects • customer-centricity • creating brand credibility • developing an engaged organisational culture • actioning insight and internationalisation This article summarises some of the findings; the full report can be read here.
Management of customer journeys Traditionally, the journey has involved consumers considering and evaluating before deciding to buy, but these stages are being shortened by innovative brands. Apple is a good example, with consumers who are engaged, becoming hooked and continuously enjoying, advocating, bonding with and benefiting from the brand. According to Professor Moira Clark, Director of the HCCM, organisations developing the most effective journeys also need to master four interconnected capabilities, each of which makes the journey ‘stickier’ for the consumer: 1. Automation – streamlining the journey 2. Proactive personalisation – customising the purchaser’s experience
3. Contextual interaction – identifying where the customer is in a journey, and directing them to the next interaction 4. Journey innovation – using creativity and technology to extend the relationship with the customer ‘This can affect the internal structure of organisations,’ says Moira, ‘and dedicated, cross-functional teams now exist to support these journeys. In some cases, we’ve seen that the introduction of journey product management has had a positive impact.’
Emotional aspects Managing the customer journey must also include the emotional aspects of customers’ experience, and current research highlights five areas which can lead to greater engagement: 1. Knowing what and where emotional triggers currently exist, both positive and negative.
STREAMLINING THE DECISION JOURNEY (EDELMAN & SINGER, 2015)
The role of leadership For organisations to make the customer a top investment priority requires change, and this starts from within, with the CEO playing a key role in making customer-centricity happen, including making necessary changes at the top of the organisation.
PROFESSOR MOIRA CLARK
2. Defining what emotions the experience should generate, so that customers continue along that journey. 3. Listening to customers – gaining insights into what drives decisionmaking. 4. Identifying customers’ subconscious responses, by taking the journey ‘in the customer’s shoes’. 5. Continuously improving the experience.
Customer-centricity In recent times, organisations have been focusing on being more customer-centric; not just by understanding customers, and tailoring products and services, but also by creating a culture around satisfying customers’ needs. Through HCCM’s research, a holistic approach to customer-centricity has been formulated, creating maximum value for the customer and achieving long-term, mutually satisfying relationships with customers and sustaining competitive advantage.
Leadership not only provides a vision and a clear sense of purpose, it also instils an established set of core values to help engage and guide the workforce in their day-to-day activities and in their interactions with customers.
Creating brand credibility Earning trust in the brand begins when you are able to deliver excellent customer service, and to do so consistently. And when things don’t go to plan, it’s about being transparent. Customers then know what to expect, how and when. This approach should be strongly linked to an effective customer journey and an organisation’s customercentric approach, starting by focusing on aspects from the customer’s perspective. Current research highlights four best practices:
The future research agenda for the HCCM will focus on two further topics: Actioning insight – ‘big data’ and data analytics have become important buzzwords, allowing organisations to discover previously ‘hidden’ insights to promote competitive advantage. But it is also about using them effectively, as seen with banks that build loyalty by sending text alerts to overdrawn customers, thereby helping them to minimise charges. Internationalisation – the Centre also plans to explore the management of global customers, including answering questions such as: Does customer experience vary between different countries/cultures, and does the same customer engagement method work in a global context?
• generating products and services that build on the needs and desires of the customer • maximising the buying experience for the customer
Authors: Moira Clark, Tony Harrington and Andrew Myers
• developing strategies that centre on attracting and keeping the most profitable, loyal customers HCCM members are increasingly developing their customer-oriented culture through positive employee
Customer-centricity is about…
Focusing on a single sale or the ‘average’ customer
Focusing on customer retention – using data to gain insights and to segment customers
Focusing on product features and benefits
Future research topics
By identifying emerging business trends, the HCCM is helping organisations to continuously innovate and adapt in a fast changing world and to sustain a competitive edge.
• belief that the customer comes first
Customer-centricity is not about…
Focusing on poor quality customers
engagement, consistently across the organisation. And the ‘climate’ of an organisation – an expression of employee perceptions of the atmosphere created through policies, practices and rewards – can help to explain the variations in service levels to customers.
Identifying/targeting your best customers
Focusing on developing products and services for your best quality customers
Little emphasis on customer service
Focusing on customer benefits
Limited customer commitment
Focusing on the long term
Little or too much customer contact
High customer service emphasis High customer commitment Appropriate customer contact for each segment
BRIBERY HITS 85% OF UK MANAGERS OPERATING INTERNATIONALLY
PROFESSOR ANDREW KAKABADSE
To find out more about Professor Kakabadse’s research click here
ew research conducted by Professor Andrew Kakabadse
indicates that over 85% of UK managers may be using bribery on a regular basis when conducting business in culturally different environments.
The ongoing investigation by Professor Kakabadse, now in its twelfth year, is based on detailed conversations with over 900 business leaders, and also reveals that 4 in 5 board level executives admit to being aware of some corruption. As Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School, Andrew explains that: ‘This project began back in 2004 as an exercise to help coach and support high-level managers and directors who were struggling with some of the more challenging aspects of their jobs. ‘However, it soon became evident that everyday fraud, bribery and corruption were major obstacles and, if they didn’t pay-up to achieve their company’s aims, they risked being at a competitive disadvantage.’
‘And,’ he added, ‘these practices are typically costing businesses up to 5% of their annual revenue. So scrupulous managers operating in these countries feel that they have no choice but to pull out of the market in question. ‘No-one – including most of the population in any particular nation or state – approves of bribery; many concentrate on the so-called “corrupt manager”, while bribery is most likely a consequence of inequality and dishonest government. ‘So many countries in the world are now deeply corrupt and it is almost impossible to do business without accepting local practices. The alternative, in most cases, is to conduct no business at all. ‘Through our research, we’ve shown that leadership decisions and morality are proving more powerful in practice than any governance or regulatory
frameworks. In spite of the risks, the only way to address bribery is to recognise and expose it. ‘So what is the answer? A more focused partnership between government and business can start changing these deeply undesirable practices which destroy public trust in society. But of course, this relies on there being the moral will on both sides first. Unfortunately, this situation has become so serious that I fear it is way beyond the capability of any individual manager or even organisation to resolve.’ To find out more about the Henley Business School’s Board Directors’ Programme click here. Professor Andrew Kakabadse is Programme Director on Henley’s Board Directors’ Programme and Programme Co-Director of the GDPR Transition Programme.
The research team’s work covered managers from Russia, Ireland, China, Georgia, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Australia, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. ‘It became clear that operating in countries such as Russia, the Middle East (except Oman) and most states in Eastern Europe, Africa and South Africa, bribery and corruption are the norm and are so endemic that it may be impossible to trade without making some illicit payments.
APPRENTICESHIP LEV Y
SUCCESSION PLANNING? LOOKING TO INNOVATE OR UPSKILL? WE MAY HAVE THE ANSWER... To find out more about Henley programmes click here
n the last issue, Dr Tim Sellick outlined the imminent Apprenticeship Levy,
and discussed what impact it might have. Now, Tim gives us some insights into the opportunities it could create for companies wishing to upskill senior managers.
‘The Apprenticeship Levy is the government’s way of ring-fencing company funds for them to use to train their workforce, and therefore make themselves more effective and competitive. ‘So any organisation whose annual payroll exceeds £3 million will effectively be putting 0.5% of that aside for learning development for employees throughout the organisation, with no age restrictions. ‘The levy will affect around 22,000 organisations in England and at a time of such uncertainty, driven by political and economic changes, the need to have the best people in your team has never been greater. But change is constant, so ensuring that those people have the most effective, up-to-date tools and techniques is essential. ‘The government has set a target to have three million apprenticeships in place by 2020, so they are very serious about delivering programmes for everyone. Even if you’re already in a management or professional role, we now have elite solutions in the form of degree programmes that have been created to qualify within the funding criteria. And if you’re already a graduate, you can gain a qualification
DR TIM SELLICK
in another field, and you may be able to get ‘prior learning recognition’, which means that you would, for example, be exempt from the first year of the three-year Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme.’ Henley’s CMDA programme is a parttime, blended course, with an average of 12 days of residential learning at the magnificent riverside campus at Greenlands, combined with workplace and self-guided learning. Tim believes this approach – allowing participants to learn while they continue to work – will prove attractive to many companies. ‘For example, we know that up to 40% of managers in some of the qualifying companies will reach retirement age in the coming three years, so there’s a real need for those organisations to recruit and upskill a new generation of leaders. There are also lots of organisations facing change through innovation and digitalisation, and the need to keep
their people updated with the latest skills and knowledge is imperative. ‘We expect there to be a significant uptake of the CMDA, with teams of elite managers from the same organisation benefitting from a tailored focus on real challenges within their business, and we’re already receiving lots of enquiries from HR directors and organisational development professionals who want to enhance their teams’ performance capabilities. ‘Having said that, we’re also planning to offer mixed cohort programmes for companies that wish to develop a small number of high-potential managers and want to take advantage of the networking opportunities the mixed groups provide. So the mechanisms are now in place, and we’re looking forward to being able to help many more of tomorrow’s business leaders.’ For further information on the Apprenticeship Levy, please contact Tim Sellick.
HOW BUSINESS IS FINALLY EMBRACING HR
To find out more about The Henley Partnership click here
he evolution of HR has become more of a revolution in recent years.
It’s been like a roller coaster, and not everyone’s enjoying the ride.
But it seems like HR is finally edging its way closer to the top table, and being integrated into business thinking at the highest levels. So says Mark Swain, Director of The Henley Partnership, which brings business leaders together to learn and share ideas. ‘The best HR people have a stronger desire than ever to become more commercially aware and strategically adept,’ says Mark, ‘so they’ve started to look outside the confines of the HR world for their knowledge and skills development. The events we provide at The Henley Partnership – defined by the members themselves – are just as relevant to HR professionals as they are to any other directors and leaders. If the HR team has evolved to become a part of corporate leadership, not just a servant to it, then HR needs leadership development as much as anyone else.’ At the same time, ‘HR and people’ has become an important leadership issue. For many ‘experienced’ business people, the personnel department quietly dealt with things like recruitment, benefits and grievance. But over the years, organisations began to put more focus on their ‘human resources’, and it became increasingly evident that acquiring, nurturing and retaining talented people was critical to gaining a competitive advantage, and key to the organisation’s future success.
Today, enlightened companies make HR an integral part of strategic planning, defining the capabilities needed to deliver the future vision; increasingly, people are not just recruited to fill roles, but are micro-profiled to fulfil the organisation’s commercial objectives. ‘It gives businesses the chance to look at the pivotal role of their people, within the context of the whole organisation and what it is aiming to achieve. The ongoing development of those people is now at the core of the strategy,’ says Mark. ‘No longer can leaders outsource, delegate (or even abrogate) their people responsibility to HR. They have to take it, embrace it and know what to do with it!’ Fortunately, that’s where The Henley Partnership comes in, having announced a series of events to fill that ‘HR and people’ space.
‘Leadership has become an HR imperative, and HR has become a leadership issue. Business is finally embracing HR. That’s why we’ve brought the Henley Centre for HR Excellence into The Henley Partnership, creating a number of exciting new opportunities. ‘We now offer two levels of corporate membership, with a non-competitive client list that includes Allianz, BBC, Costain, Heathrow Airport, Hovis, Pernod Ricard and Scottish Power as part of a growing community. Organisations see real benefits in having a safe forum that gives their leaders free rein to explore themes like leadership, innovation, strategy, organisation, engagement and change.’ To see the calendar of forthcoming masterclass events at The Henley Partnership, click here.
FIVE TALENT MANAGEMENT TRENDS FOR 2017 E
very year brings new goals, challenges and trends in the still
evolving field of talent management. Here are five trends based on insights from HR leaders, research, experience and discussions at the Talent Management Institute.
1. The ratings obsession ends; the performance management obsession continues If HR leaders and consultants put as much energy into fixing performance management (PM) as they did writing and complaining about it, we’d be far further along this path. The debate will end as the evidence mounts from objective sources that companies get better outcomes with ratings.
2. Potential is the new performance The performance obsession will be overshadowed by a focus on predicting potential as senior teams increasingly differentiate their talent investments and demand more accurate insights to guide them.
3. The talent-focused CHRO The capability to improve talent depth and quality is among the top three characteristics CEOs are requesting in new CHROs (and one of the reasons some CHROs are being replaced). The trend to reorganise HR to have leaner Centres of Excellence, high level HRBPs and service centre-based transactional work means that – except for executive compensation and the occasional lawsuit – CHROs will spend disproportionate amounts of time involved in talent management.
4. Transparency gets traction Companies will be dragged kicking and screaming into greater transparency in 2017, partially by younger generations demanding it and, increasingly, because transparent companies show no ill effects from their openness. With companies recording every meeting and making them available to employees, while others publish budgets and salaries, employees are
increasingly sceptical of companies that say they’re not ready to be transparent.
5. Talent teams turnover The first wave of talent management hiring (2005–15) saw companies staffing this new slice of HR with various HR generalists, OD/OE types, learning specialists and leadership development leaders. Talent management evolved into a more strategic, data-driven and process-oriented field. Since then, talent-oriented generalists and business-loving OE types are getting the VP Talent roles, with learning, OD and leadership development people sub-specialised underneath them. With the profession now more than ten years old, there are deeply experienced talent professionals available and companies are replacing ‘humanistic’ talent leaders with more ‘capitalistic’ ones. Adapted from an article by Marc Effron, President, The Talent Strategy Group. Click here for the full article.
Two encouraging sub-trends should help. Data analytics are rapidly evolving and within five years we should have better firm-level predictors of potential. Similarly, we’re seeing more work on understanding how the other half of the potential equation – the company situation – factors into accurately predicting an individual’s potential.
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF COACHING
DR CHRISTIAN VAN NIEUWERBURGH
To find out more about the Henley Centre for Coaching & Behavioural Change, click here
n 30 November 2016, people
• Growing interest in developing coaching cultures.
from all over the world joined Dr
• The value placed on Industry experience.
Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Executive Director at the Centre for Coaching & School for a webinar entitled: The
Conversely, the suggested differences across sectors included:
Benefits, Opportunities and Challenges
• Degree of voluntary involvement.
Behavioural Change at Henley Business
of Coaching in Professional Contexts. The purpose of the discussion was to explore how coaching can be used positively in business environments.
In this context ‘coaches’ can include executive coaches, senior HR, L&D and OD professionals, as well as business leaders. But what are the benefits of coaching? Does the type of professional context make a difference? And what are the challenges facing organisations in implementing coaching cultures? Based on his own professional practice and research, Christian used the webinar to explore some of these – and other – questions, with input from the online participants. He began by asking them whether they believed coaching to be the same wherever it is delivered; 60% voted no, but 40% still felt coaching to be fundamentally the same regardless of context. Conversely, in response to whether an executive coach can be effective in any industry or sector, the majority (87%) thought they could be, while only 13% felt that specific sector knowledge was essential. In a recently published book, Coaching in Professional Contexts, Christian edited the contributions
of 42 practitioners and academics with experience of working in various sectors. The book is supported by 25 online case studies about coaching across the sectors, from finance and government to education and healthcare. Christian’s analysis of these contributions enabled him to identify a number of common characteristics in coaching methods and challenges, as well as some marked differences. He concludes by raising some questions and ideas about the successful implementation of coaching within professional contexts.
Similarities and differences In the webinar, Christian asked the online participants to contribute their own thoughts on what they would expect these common characteristics to be; many of these coincided with the evidence Christian had collected, although there were others too. Suggestions included: • The belief that external coaches are better for senior leaders, and internal coaches for middle managers.
• Level of formality. • Expectations about the level of professionalism of the coach. • Metrics and the importance of ROI. • Priority given to the well-being of staff. • Level of supervision for internal coaches. From all this Christian has devised his own ‘philosophy of coaching’, comprising: • Mutually respectful relationships • Encouragement of personal responsibility • Assumption that people can change their own future • Democratic voluntary involvement’ – equal opportunities for anyone to participate, when and how they want to The participants were then invited to post their own comments and questions, which covered a range of topics including the challenges they’ve faced, evidence of a positive ROI, mentoring, supervision, the use of technology and gaining senior level support. Click here to see these comments in full, along with Christian’s responses, and to watch the webinar.
STEVE LUDLOW HEAD OF EXECUTIVE EDUCATION To find out more about Henley’s executive education programmes, click here
s Henley’s Head of Executive Education, Steve Ludlow has come
a long way from a childhood spent living above the family hardware shop in rural Hertfordshire.
‘Like many boys, my passions were cars, trains and planes, so it was natural for me to study mechanical engineering at university. ‘But having qualified, it turned out that I wasn’t enough of a detail person to make a good engineer, and I soon discovered that sales and marketing environments suited me better. ‘Sadly though, the company I went to work for went bust, but the experience taught me important lessons about business and management.’ After working as a regional sales engineer for an engineering testing equipment company, Steve moved into management roles and ended up doing an MBA at Hatfield Polytechnic, where he was offered the chance to do some part-time teaching. ‘My MBA shifted me from a need to find out how things work to the even more fascinating topic of how people and organisations work. I also found that I really enjoyed teaching.’ Steve decided to change careers and after several years lecturing in higher education institutions, he was offered a role in executive education at London Business School. Seven years later, he left to lead the Custom Programmes department at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
‘I enjoyed my time there, but after six successful years, I found myself looking for new challenges, and in 2013, I was asked to lead Executive Education at Henley. ‘I saw that Henley was keen to reposition and grow its executive education work after the restructuring that followed the merger of Henley Management College and the University of Reading. Clearly there were challenges, but I could see lots of good things happening and the potential to build something special.’ Things are clearly on the right track; in 2016 Henley rose to 20th in the FT Executive Education global rankings of combined open and custom programmes – its highest ever ranking.
So what of the future? ‘We face the uncertainties of Brexit and a new US administration, along with increasing competition from other business schools and providers of leadership development, such as private training companies and business consultancies. But there are also shifts in clients’ learning requirements. ‘In the past, business education covered the core “tools” of business, but clients and participants are now more interested in the impact of broader environmental trends like digitalisation and globalisation. As part of the University of Reading, Henley is well placed to respond to this by integrating learning from subjects outside of the business school into executive programmes.
‘Henley’s role is not to provide answers, but to help our participants to make sense of their world, and find their own answers. We are facilitators, here to provoke and frame, not simply to teach. We have a great team, exciting plans and the support of the wider school and university, so we face these challenges with confidence, and continue to develop the Henley brand.’
Executive Education at Henley Business School For more information, please contact: Henley Business School Greenlands Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire RG9 3AU
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +44 (0)1491 418 767 henley.ac.uk/exec
Executive Education at Henley Business School @HenleyBSchool
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