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Embracing the future

of raising capital

Team dynamics Materialism A vision for the future

Developing game-changing teams and Breaking the stereotype that materialism Blending the roles of people,
investigating why collaborations fail is all about possessions and status purpose, planet and profit
31 May 2018 at 6:30pm
InterContinental, Paris le Grand
2 rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France
AMBA Connect is a member-focused evening event for MBAs from AMBA-accredited programmes who
wish to meet and exchange insights with like-minded peers, build their professional networks and hear
from business leaders, academics and thought-leaders.

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During this AMBA Connect event, Didier Rouillard, Quadient Corporate Vice-President at BPO Business,
will address this question and propose pragmatic advice and suggestions on how to make the most of
the directions in which your career could take you after graduation.

Find out more and book your place at www.mbaworld.com/connect-paris

June 2018

Upfront Interview
10 08 40 0
Book Club Providing greater
value to MBAs
Features Chair of AMBA Bodo
12 0 Schlegelmilch intends
Embracing to explore how AMBA
the future of can excel as a force Initial coin offerings
raising capital for good How will they fuel crowdfunding and impact
How will ‘initial on traditional financial institutions?

coin offerings’ fuel Community

crowdfunding and 38 0
impact on traditional Events and
financial institutions? Is it time to scrap the stereotype that
18 0 Groundbreaking
materialism is a negative thing?
content from around
Achieving mindful
the world and from
business leadership
your desk
To become a more
44 0
rounded leader, build Careers and
change within yourself 3
expert opinion
with mindfulness Your guide to career
22 0 development and
Can being thought leadership
benefit society? Opinion
There is a stereotype 04 0
that materialistic
people live in a world,
Editor’s Letter Mindfulness
People, puropse, Build incremental and effective
where their priority is planet, profit change in your leadership style
cash, possessions and 07 0
status. But is this true? AMBA column
24 0 Do organisations
Game changers need game-
Groundbreaking changing leaders?
research exploring 46
the contributions And Finally
MBAs make to Building a Fintech
game-changing teams company
32 0
A vision for the
future of business
There is a need for
organisations to Team dynamics Book Club
inject purpose into How do MBAs contribute to the success of Our views on the business
everything they do high-performing teams in business? books hot off the press


Editor and Head
of Communications
David Woods-Hale

Art Editor
Sam Price

Deputy Art Editor

Ross McLaughlin

Tim Shrimpton

Purpose, people, Sub-Editor

Sarah Wild

planet, profit Editorial Assistant

Kevin Lee-Simion

A major focus of the work we do at AMBA And those are just a few of the stunning Digital Content and
Community Manager
is changing perceptions of the MBA from MBA stories we hear about in the AMBA
Jack Villanueva
a business qualification, to being key to office every week. In businesses across the j.villanueva@mbaworld.com
global societal and positive change. world, MBAs are putting purpose before
Part of my job is finding out the impact that profit and taking a long-term sustainable view; Research and
Insight Manager
the MBA is making to the world in terms of revolutionising how companies are run and
Will Dawes
business, economics, poverty alleviation and taking our economies forward in innovative and w.dawes@mbaworld.com
social mobility. inspirational ways.
4 In the past year alone my team and I have All these people have told me they Public Affairs Executive
interviewed to a wealth of MBA graduates, who wouldn’t have been able to have the Clémentine Boyer-Duroselle
are making a difference across the world: one knowledge, the network or the courage to do
who has set up an off-shore centre to promote these things had it not been for their MBA.
business growth across west Africa; one As a group of MBA graduates, you’re a global Corporate
strengthening diplomatic relations between force for good. Head of Commercial Relations
Russia and the UK; one who is working This month in Ambition we look at the Jack Ingram
across government in Bhutan; another who model for the future of business: purpose, j.ingram@mbaworld.com

is promoting education for street children in people, planet, profit. Author, Erik Korsvik Senior Commercial Executive
Caracas; one who is striving to preserve and Østergaard explains that a purpose-driven Emily Wall
protect the art and antiquities from war-torn leader focuses on purpose and profit at the
Syria; a group of AMBA members saving same time, but has purpose as his or her HR and Employer
women in Bogota from domestic violence cause, value-creation as his or her goal, and Relations Manager
Aarti Bhasin
through entrepreneurial projects; one who is profit as the result. In short, it’s ok to make
consulting with charities across Africa, to ensure money, as long as you work for purpose too. Head of Events
that their good work is not misdirected; one The article explains that there are various Leah Carter

who is rejuvenating the engineering sector types of purpose-driven businesses, but they Membership Manager
in Brazil by creating more points of entry for all adopt a way of balancing purpose, people, Tariro Masukume
women; one who is captaining the Belgian planet, and profit. The financial side of
Digital Projects Manager
football team in next month’s FIFA World Cup business is very much part of this balance. Mike Kelly
and lobbying to loosen the corporate clutches But ultimately, in terms of business strategy,
Finance and
on 'the beautiful game', allowing more people purpose means asking yourself whether you're Commercial Director
to afford to spectate affordably; and one who is 'bashing stones', or 'building a cathedral'. Catherine Walker
working to combat modern slavery in the UK. David Woods-Hale, Editor, AMBITION
Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Main Wilson

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Amy Youngs
Copyright 2018 by The Association of MBAs (AMBA). All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher.
While we take care to ensure that editorial is independent, accurate, objective and relevant for our readers, AMBA accepts no responsibility for reader a.youngs@mbaworld.com
dissatisfaction rising from the content of this publication. The opinions expressed and advice given are the views of individual commentators and do not
necessarily represent the views of AMBA. Whenever an article in this publication is placed with the financial support of an advertiser, partner or sponsor, Membership enquiries
it will be marked as such. AMBA makes every opportunity to credit photographers but we cannot guarantee every published use of an image will have membership@mbaworld.com
the contributor’s name. If you believe we have omitted a credit for your image, please email the editor.



Is it time to lose the ‘talent’
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Creating a talent alliance with
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Getting to grips with the future

could revolutionise talent
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Business leaders will help to shape the future of talent and Creating a welcoming
careers – as well as the entire employment landscape – workplace, which encourages
through the decisions they make about recruitment and supportive relationships
between co-workers, will
management practices, writes Tom Hadley, Director of have a tangible impact on
Policy, Recruitment & Employment Confederation in this productivity, job satisfaction
exclusive special edition of AMBITION and employee turnover

usinesses are constantly striving to improve. There
is an unrelenting pressure for them to be ahead of
the competition, to be more efficient, to improve a
product and to communicate to their markets. Or
even better, to shift the dynamics of a business so that it leads
its sector. This coveted type of business is often defined as
game-changing. There are many examples of this happening
across sectors. The dynamic developments in internet
technology over the past 20 years means that companies
have developed innovative products using broadband
technology. Industry experts now say that 5G broadband
will be game changing. And what about driverless car
technology? Again, they say, game changing.
However, does this ambition to create game-changing
companies mean that leaders themselves need to hold
similar parameter-shifting qualities to be influential and
successful? Our research into MBAs’ own perceived qualities
suggests that this does not necessarily need to be the case.
The study of 865 AMBA members, featured on page
24, suggests that successful future leaders have varying
perspectives on their primary management attribute.
More than a quarter (27%) mainly consider themselves to
be ‘implementers’; those who build the future by making
great ideas happen'' over a fifth (21%) predominantly
consider themselves to be ‘strategists’; those who plan,
co-ordinate, map out the future and set a direction for
others to follow. 7
These attributes, along with others covered in the
survey, are all crucial in affecting change within a business.
Incidentally, the ‘game-changer’ characteristic, (whereby
someone seeks to transform the future by bringing
original ideas) is identified by 22% of MBAs as their
main management characteristic. But what this research

Do game-changing
demonstrates is that leaders operate in different ways in order
to manage and positively influence organisations.
History shows that many of the most successful and

organisations need
game-changing inventors have tended not to develop their
ideas into market-dominant businesses in the long run. An
obvious example is the creator of the internet, Tim Berners-

game changers
Lee. Instead, successful global businesses are often run by
those who have refined and marketed an existing piece
of technology, product or idea. And rarely does a single
individual with a certain style solely dictate the success or

as leaders?
failure of an organisation. Instead, it is often about harnessing
the talent of multiple leaders with complementary skills
and approaches, which in turn leads a business towards a
successful game-changing pathway. I hope that our Game-
Changers article (page 24) gives you further insight into why
AMBA’s Research and Insight Manager Will Dawes this might be the case.
discusses findings from our recent research, which My role at AMBA is to develop research to provide

suggests that influential leaders hold a range of

meaningful understanding and perspective for the global
MBA community. If you would like to share your ideas or
dominant managerial characteristics. thoughts, please do get in touch with me. It would be great
to hear from you.
Drop me a line at w.dawes@mbaworld.com


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12 Embracing THE future OF raising capital



There are more funding options than ever before, so how

will ‘initial coin offerings’ fuel crowdfunding and impact on
traditional financial institutions, asks Kevin Lee-Simion


t’s challenging to get funding if you’re Bob de Wit, Professor of Strategic

‘Blockchain technology will
create a horizontal society
a start-up. Collaboration between Leadership at Nyenrode Business Universiteit
big banks and start-up businesses is and Co-Director of the Centre for Strategy
difficult; entering a partnership with goes so far as to assert that ‘this technology of people, rather than a
a venture capital firm often means
losing control of your company, and
will change the world as we know it’.
In the business world, blockchain has the
society of institutions and
undertaking an initial public offering potential to cause disruption by getting rid governments'
(IPO) can be a gamble even once a of intermediaries and allowing organisations
start-up is more established. to transact directly with their customers in a
This has meant that entrepreneurs secure way. ICOS: THE INGENIOUS SOLUTION?
have had to look to alternative funding to grow De Wit explains: ‘Traditional companies An ICO is a means of crowdfunding
their businesses and, as a result, there are have a lot of overheads which blockchain whereby a start-up focused on a
more – and more accessible – funding options can reduce by as much as 90%, also cryptocurrency venture will look to raise
than ever before. bypassing many support activities. Through funds by creating a new cryptocurrency, in
An increasingly popular alternative funding this technology, everyone has the same the hope that investors will buy this with
method is crowdfunding, and websites such information and it travels quickly. Time, cryptocurrencies already in existence, such
as Kickstarter and GoFundMe have been mistakes and cost will decrease.’ as Bitcoin.
instrumental in helping people raise capital ‘In the future, blockchain technology will On the surface, ICOs seem an ingenious
in this way. Crowdfunding has also become create a horizontal society of people, rather solution for start-ups seeking to raise funds.
popular in the Fintech industry, with the than a society of institutions and governments,’ They have a shorter timescales and less
emergence of initial coin offerings (ICOs). he adds. regulations than IPOs, and the start-up
De Wit’s predictions, along with the has more control over the process. Stories
BLOCKCHAIN potential for businesses to gain more control such as how The Bancor Foundation raised
Before exploring the hype surrounding ICOs, over what they do, are some of the reasons
it is important to give some thought to the why start-ups focused on cryptocurrency
technology that makes ICOs possible and ventures are turning to ICOs to raise capital
the role this technology has to play. This
technology is called blockchain.
Blockchain is a decentralised, public, digital
14 ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions.
It is made out of ‘blocks’, which record
transactions; once each transaction is
completed, it is added to the chain of
blocks. This system has a major role in
cryptocurrencies and, according to experts,
the potential to disrupt industries and change
the way we do things.


$153m in three hours from its ICO only adds to emerging funding source? Do their are not issued by
the excitement. perceptions of ICOs mirror the excitement any central authority
Several commentators within the fintech in the fintech industry, and what we see in and are therefore
industry, or those that have links to it, have the media? almost immune to
praised ICOs, while others have recognised Yingyu Wang, Director, Advocate and BLOCKCHAIN any government
their potential, but still have concerns. Partner at international Law firm, Taylor Vinters, Blockchain technology manipulation or
Andy Pritchard, who has worked in the views ICOs as ‘the next big thing’ but also as ‘a was originally created interference. The first,
financial services industry for more than 30 great tool for hatching a scam’. as a ledger for Bitcoin. and most popular,
years and is an expert cryptocurrency investor, And when Shahara Wright, CEO, Business It is prominent in cryptocurrency is
started putting money into cryptocurrencies Lawyer and Business Strategist, first heard the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which was
because he saw, ‘the unbelievable potential’ about ICOs, she considered it ‘as some type of world; however, there launched in 2009.
in them. “get-rich-quick scheme”’. has been talk about
‘ICOs are simply more accessible to the She explains that she wasn’t impressed how this technology
everyday person and therefore allow anyone to because ‘people were paying money to can be used outside
be at the front edge of new tech,’ he explains. fund an unproven business venture out of, cryptocurrencies.
But how do other experts view this fake money’. Some ideas have
Jerry Brand, Founder of the Brand included using CROWDFUNDING
Foundation – a charity helping entrepreneurs blockchain for A type of funding
succeed with their businesses – supports voting systems, whereby an
Wright’s view and questions whether it’s better medical records, and organisation looks to
for a company to have ‘real’ money, confirming ownership. raise capital by asking
or cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a a large amount of
He says: ‘I can’t help thinking that start-ups decentralised, public, people to invest small
need solid “cash in the bank” to help them get digital ledger of amounts. It is typically
through their setup phases and produce solid all cryptocurrency done online and has
products and services that people can buy.’ transactions. It been used for a variety
He explains that investing in a start-up that is made out of of ventures.
does not have ‘cash’ would make him nervous blocks, which record
and might add to a company’s problems. transactions, and 15
These reactions from Brand and Wright may once the transaction
sound similar to feelings people express when is completed, it is
dealing with stocks, shares and IPOs. The added to the chain
similarities are not lost on Pritchard: ‘I realised of blocks. The blocks INITIAL COIN
that [ICOs] have a lot in common with IPOs. are recorded in OFFERING (ICO)
ICOs can result in explosive growth for initial chronological order, An ICO is a means of
investors, but can also result in a significant in a verifiable and crowdfunding whereby
downside,’ he says. permanent way, which a start-up, focused
De Wit’s thoughts are more optimistic. He’s means that anyone on a cryptocurrency
emphatic that ICOs are an efficient way to raise can keep track of venture, will look to
capital while creating a more horizontal society. and verify any raise funds by creating
‘ICOs take out a lot of powerful institutions transaction so there a new cryptocurrency.
that get high margins from traditional ways of is no need for a central People will invest in the
raising capital like IPOs,’ record keeper. start-up by buying their
he argues. new cryptocurrency
Accordingly, ICOs could mean with existing
entrepreneurs make millions from their start- cryptocurrencies
ups or risk losing their businesses entirely. such as Bitcoin or
Ethereum. The start-up
CONCERN AND OPTIMISM will fund the venture
‘Using an ICO ICOs represent an emerging way of raising CRYPTOCURRENCY with the existing

doesn’t mean that capital that is causing concern and optimism in

almost equal measure. As investors learn more
are digital currencies
cryptocurrencies while
investors can either
you will not be about ICOs, the whole process of undertaking which use encryption trade the start-up’s
obligated to pay one looks set to be enhanced and improved. techniques to provide cryptocurrency on the

taxes on the money

Regulations might even come into play. But will security, regulate the market, or exchange
it get to a stage at which this option becomes generation of units, it in the future for the
you make’ the norm for raising capital in the future? and verify exchanges. start-up’s product
Cryptocurrencies or service.


De Wit certainly thinks so: ‘Throughout that an organisation needs to question

history, if there is a more efficient way of doing ‘whether there is a viable token use’.
something, that becomes the norm and other She adds: ‘Not every company needs
methods become redundant,’ he says. ‘In the its own tokens, but if there is a strong token
future, we will be able to surpass banks with case and having tokens would help improve
technology. It is therefore possible for ICOs to business operations, I would recommend
become widely used in the future.’ an ICO.’
Pritchard shares De Wits thoughts, adding: Natale Ferrara, Founder of Eidoo, a
‘I think ICOs will certainly be here to stay. They multicurrency wallet and hybrid exchange for
are not a trend. ICOs will become the norm cryptocurrency, based in Switzerland, advises:
and this will happen in the same way that IPOs ‘Anybody considering launching an ICO
have become the mainstay of raising capital in should think carefully about all the aspects that
the stock market.’ make an ICO successful.’
However, Brand cannot not see ICOs Like Wang, Ferrara explains that research
becoming the main way of raising capital due is vital. He adds: ‘It’s very important to take
to clamp downs by governments (such as time to do your research to weed out any
China’s) and regulatory authorities. potential options that will not be beneficial to
The Financial Times reported in December your business. If all of this is taken into proper
2017 that the Financial Conduct Authority consideration, your ICO has a strong chance of
would ‘undertake an examination of the being a successful project.’
ICO market as a prelude to potentially more Research is also important because different
regulatory action’. countries have varying views on ICOs.
But the future according to Brand, involves Arianne King, Managing Partner, Al Bawardi
the financial industry being disrupted by the and Critchlow, a London-based commercial
development of the IPO. law firm, is advising a growing number of
‘The good old fashioned IPO has still to be businesses that are eager to invest in and
innovated to become fully online,’ he says. process cryptocurrencies. She warns that start-
‘When this happens, there is going to be a big ups have to be especially careful about the
shake up of all things financial.’ jurisdiction in which they wish to operate.
16 In light of this, would the commentators ‘Pick the right jurisdiction,’ she urges.
suggest an ICO to a start-up as a means of
raising capital? ‘Throughout history, if there
Wright is quick to put forward her view that
ICOs are for businesses that have a foundation
is a more efficient way
in blockchain and that ICOs are ‘definitely not of doing something, that
for every business’. becomes the norm and other
DO YOUR HOMEWORK methods become redundant’
Even for start-ups with a blockchain
background, Wright explains that the
organisation has to understand the ins and
outs of this technology, and if it doesn't, it,
‘shouldn’t go through the process of an ICO’.
And, as ICOs are fundamentally a type of
crowdfunding, albeit more hi-tech, Wright
thinks they should be treated as such,
and therefore all the same processes and
rules apply.
‘ICOs should be treated like any other
crowdfunding platform,’ she says. ‘This means
you have to give a reason for people to
support your venture.’
Finding the reason means doing extensive
research beforehand and Wang advocates
that, before undergoing an ICO, the company
must analyse how it could benefit from
creating a new cryptocurrency to sell. Wang
mentions ‘tokens’, which describe a digital
asset, in this case, cryptocurrency. She explains


THE COMPLEXITIES OF ICOS multi-jurisdictional.’

Incidents such as this exacerbate several To avoid companies experiencing problems
concerns that start-ups continue to face regarding varying laws, Wang warns: ‘Take
as they navigate the complexities of this heed of the securities laws, contract law,
emerging technology. intellectual property law, personal data
The first is the role of tax and regulation protection, misrepresentations, counter-
Wright explains: ‘Just because you are terrorist funding regulations and so on. I do
using an ICO, it doesn’t mean that you will believe there should at least be best practice
not be obligated to pay taxes on the money guidelines for ICOs that are compatible with
you make. Most tax systems do not care the above existing laws.’
where or how you earn your money, as long
as you pay taxes on the money you make.’ THE POPULARITY OF ICOS
De Wit points out that start-ups However you feel about ICOs, there is little
undergoing ICOs will have to compete with doubt that they are becoming a popular way
institutions that make money from IPOs. ‘They for entrepreneurs to raise capital.
will try and defend their status by trying to Nazari Fusetti, founder and CEO of Aidcoin
criminalise the alternative world,’ he adds. – a company aiming to become the preferred
One way De Wit thinks institutions will method of donating cryptocurrencies
do this is by promoting, ‘cryptocurrencies transparently – decided an ICO was the
as “dirty money”, because they know if best way for his company to raise capital
cryptocurrencies are successful, they because he ‘wanted to benefit from a network
will suffer’. of supporters’.
Another way these institutions might He explains: ‘Traditional venture financing
defend their status is by putting strict tends to be geographically limited to financial
regulations for ICOs in place. Wright agrees hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York or
with De Wit’s thoughts on this, saying that London. An ICO removes this limitation
further regulation will happen if institutions and opens opportunities for anyone in
‘start to fear that they are losing funds’ due any geography.’
to ICOs. He goes on to say that this means anyone
However, Wright adds that the challenge has the opportunity to contribute. 17
will not be for start-ups to try and ‘fight’ Pritchard argues that ICOs are popular
these regulations, or even attempt to get because they give investors an ‘opportunity
around them, but to work together with to be “first in” in a new company’ and
institutions to create fair regulations, there is ‘potential for significant uplift
agreeable to both parties. of investment'.
She explains: ‘Regulation is coming and Ferrara thinks that ICOs have become
those doing an ICO should consider being popular because ‘other than being a very
part of this process, to ensure these decisions efficient method to raise funds, they are also
are not all made by people who want to a great way to tokenise the access to a new
‘Don’t attempt to undertake an ICO in prevent you from accessing funds.’ class of smart services.’
Bangladesh, for instance, where you might King adds that one way start-ups can ‘This enables the interoperability
find yourself behind bars for alleged money put their best foot forward is by being ‘as between blockchain services, providing a
laundering offences.’ transparent as possible with regulators.’ richer experience to crypto enthusiasts,' he
However, Brand argues that if a start-up But Wang advises that companies should explains. 'It enables new business models
came to him to ask for his advice, he would not ‘err on the side of caution’ because there and creates new interesting dynamics where
recommend an ICO because of its vulnerability is very little regulation at the moment. She token holders feel closer to the companies
to hacking. He says: ‘I do think thehackers of adds: ‘Focus on the tokens and the platform they have decided to support.’
the world seem to have the upper hand.’ the token will be used in. Do not get drawn According to De Wit, the popularity of
Brand’s concerns about hacking are into the hype surrounding ICOs. blockchain and ICOs lies in the sense of trust
prevalent and there have been several reports Also note that ICOs, by their nature, are they have created, a trust that people don’t
of money being stolen from ICOs. have in other institutions.
In January 2018, Fortune reported that
hackers stole $400m from ICOs between 2015
‘Traditional venture financing ‘Trust is something that banks and
governments don’t have at the moment,’
and 2017, while Coindesk, a news website tends to be geographically he says. But he adds: ‘The trust in the
specialising in Bitcoin and digital currencies, limited to financial hubs such future will be a different kind of trust, a
reported in December 2017 that one of the
biggest hacks of 2017 caused CoinDash,
as Silicon Valley, New York "faceless trust" and how we deal with this
trust could make or break the future of
a payment and shipment start-up, to lose a or London’ blockchain and the ICO.
total of $10m.



To become a more rounded and grounded leader,
build incremental change within yourself with the
help of mindfulness, advises Robbie Steinhouse


things happen and to ‘have a go’. to get thing done too quickly. If they have
• Alarm bell – an intuitive ability to spot a powerful ‘coach’ archetype, they can slip
when something is really wrong. into a shadow that I call the ‘psychoanalyst’,
where the individual oversteps professional
SALES AND MARKETING boundaries and can behave manipulatively or
• Radar – a great sense of the market worse. And so on.
in which one operates and of the The more brightly an archetype shines,
wider contexts around it, as well as the longer the shadow it casts, and learning
an understanding of patterns in to accept these naturally occurring shadows
human behaviour. without shame is in my view, a key to enduring
• Fox – a ‘streetwise’ quality with a nose for leadership success. Our nervous system will
a deal. throw all of us into negative states from time to
indfulness has become a popular subject in • Friend – a talent for building and time – when we are tired, run down or have an
business, but is it a fad? maintaining a wide network of contacts. overblown reaction. We need to be aware of
I want to share my model, The Leadership our own specific traits and triggers.
Matrix, that underpins my book, Mindful The tenth archetype, the conductor, represents
Business Leadership, and use it to show how a mindfully detached position, a way of WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
mindfulness can significantly improve business standing back from the often-strong emotion Mindfulness is the practice of continuously
performance. of each of these energies, so that a clear- refocusing your mind, so you become
In essence, mindfulness builds resilience headed decision can be made. fully absorbed by the present moment.
and improves decision making, especially Meditation is a useful way to practise this,
during periods of significant stress. It builds SHADOWS using a repetitive method of maintaining
self-awareness, enabling leaders to understand One feature of the models used in profiling concentration such as counting your breaths
their own biases and weaknesses and not be and business psychology that I noticed is or repeating a ‘mantra’ (sound) to yourself.
defined by their past or emotional ‘hot spots’. the lack of information about how people Mindfulness is also an attitude, perhaps best
The model is based on the idea of behave under stress. I wanted to incorporate summed up by learning to enjoy and be 19
archetypes: sub-personalities that are into my model the fact that stress is difficult fully absorbed by what you are doing now.
necessary in a business context. For example, for everyone, and to examine and improve Spending too much time worrying or focusing
the vision and energy of a chief finance officer the way they react to stress. The concept of on ‘the next thing’ will actually undermine your
(CFO) and a chief marketing officer (CMO) may ‘shadows’ provided a useful way of doing energy and productivity.
be quite different. However, it is the creative this. Originating from the psychologist Carl MBA courses are excellent at teaching
tension arising from this difference that Jung, shadows are the naturally occurring business strategy, which involves thinking
provides the chemistry for business success. problematic energies that accompany our about various scenarios. However, what is not
My experience is that great business leaders positive archetypes. covered is the process behind this strategic
have this creative tension within themselves. Each of the archetypes mentioned is thinking, which is thinking itself. Mindfulness
Here is a brief description of each archetype: positive, but it also has a related shadow. enables the thinker to become aware of the
If someone has a powerful ‘express train’ contents of their thoughts and thereby help
LEADERSHIP archetype, they are also likely, under stress, them notice when they have drifted off into
• Compass - a great sense of vision and to slip into its shadow, which I call the unhelpful or irrelevant areas. (Right now,
the ability to build an effective and ‘steamroller’ – pushing too hard and trying mindfulness has helped me realise that I have
lasting culture. just somehow switched from thinking about
• Boss – a grounded sense of power this piece to thinking about what options are
and authority, with the ability to assert available for dinner this evening). Mindfulness
boundaries and clearly define what he doesn’t just help you notice what you are
or she wants. ‘Mindfulness enables thinking about, it also gives you a choice about

the leader to step

• Coach – an innate sense of talent what you are thinking about. (I’m back with the
development, using honed intuitive article again).
powers to guide people to perform back and assess a
at their best.

spirit in which they

Mindfulness practice is not a way of becoming
OPERATIONS AND FINANCE emotionally inert. People who succeed in
• Architect – a passion for developing and need to handle it’ business are passionate about it. However,
improving the systems in a business to this passion also has its shadow – churning
create excellence. over difficult meetings and situations and
• Express train – a ‘can-do’energy to make letting anger or fear take its toll on you. In a


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – professions, people often have a belief that

MINDFULNESS AND BIAS these skills are ‘beyond them’ or ‘boring’.

'Your education Another thing that flows out of the model

is the need for leaders to have a good mix
Mindfulness helps you realise when you
are out of your professional comfort zone. It
cannot prepare of abilities. Often, people who have worked enables you to become aware when, out of
you for a in large corporates have gained expertise this zone, your reactions are born out of fear or

completely new
and mindsets in their niche area but lack confusion. Armed with it, you can give yourself
a true understanding of other fields. The sufficient time and marshal the needed extra
environment. best accountants have an intuitive sense of effort to make the correct decision.
Education can numbers and patterns, allied to an energy that
only teach you
takes pleasure in discovering problems and
inconsistencies. The best marketing directors I believe that leadership is firstly an internal
knowledge are optimists, with the ability to form clear journey – if you can’t lead yourself, it is hard

from the past' pictures of business outcomes and to motivate

people to achieve them but can overlook
to imagine how you can lead anyone else.
I personally enjoy this inner journey and
what can go wrong. Leaders have to ‘be’ compare it to famous quote attributed to the
these different people at different times. ancient Greek philosopher Socrates that ‘the
Mindfulness enables the leader to step back unexamined life isn’t worth living’.
and assess a situation and the spirit in which Mindfulness is not always a comfortable
challenging environment, the normal, digital they need to handle it. experience. In meditation, repeated negative
problem-solution basis of strategic thinking Part of this skill comes from recognising thoughts or feelings can come to the fore.
is, frankly, simplistic. I remember an example one’s own initial biases. Most leaders rise by Learning to understand these and to use
from the credit crunch, when all the well- mastery of one function and lack a true sense them as useful information to help you
conceived plans devised by me and my CFO, of how different functions work in a business. grow as a leader is hugely valuable.
to agree new finance terms for our property Leaders need to gain this wider expertise. These thoughts and feelings often
portfolio were being met by seemingly bizarre They must be honest with themselves come from the Jungian shadows
and constantly fluctuating responses from the about the areas where they lack natural I discussed earlier. It is
distressed banking sector. competence or genuine experience. important to come to terms
One bank attempted to deny me access Armed with this knowledge, they need with your shadows. In my
20 to facilities that had not yet expired, while to understand that this ‘gap’ will create model, the boss archetype
another kept moving the goal posts during a bias in their decision making. has the shadow of the
a 20-month mammoth negotiation session; Bias also comes via negative beliefs bully: powerful leaders can
when we finally signed, they effectively – for example, the classic prejudice alienate people by becoming
reneged on the agreement as soon as they that sales is a dishonest profession. aggressive and angry.
had the opportunity to do so, a few months But a leader who is not a great deal If you do this, rather than be
later. This was an exhausting and dispiriting maker will never make a great leader. ashamed of it, acknowledge and
time; maintaining my energy and remaining Changing this belief is therefore welcome your gift of being
detached was essential. Mindfulness practice essential for success. With a powerful person.
helped me maintain a detached (conductor- technical and
archetype) perspective, and to recall the mathematical
banking crisis of the early 1990s. This
reminded me that the current situation would
end eventually and sense would prevail.
It helped me to withstand the uncertainly
around when this would happen.
Your education will not prepare you for a
completely new environment: education can
only teach you knowledge from the past.
When you are confronted with an entirely new
situation, mindfulness helps you maintain your
cool. It enables you to avoid staying in a ‘fight
or flight’ mindset, freeing your intelligence so
you can learn ‘in situ’ new bespoke solutions
to the problem at hand.
The reality of my ongoing negotiations
with these banks was that it kept them from
foreclosing– the various proposals discussed
were essentially useless, until a more
predictable basis of doing business returned.


Then learn to recognise and manage (not all by itself without interfering with this inhale and exhale, as well as the short pauses
repress) your shadow. Notice what happens to natural process. Focus your attention on the between each cycle of breath. For people
you when you begin to drift into the shadow. movements of the breath, in your chest, neck who like imagery, you can also imagine
What do you feel? What thoughts come into and belly. Move this awareness so you can inhaling a white healing mist and exhaling
your head? The bully can also manifest itself if even sense the ‘pulse’ of the breath in other toxins. Try focusing simultaneously on the
you are a quieter leader, with a natural dislike parts of your body. Can you sense this even in feeling, sound and ‘images’ of the breath.
of confrontation. Frustration can build up at your fingers and your toes?
not having expressed yourself sooner, and STEP 5
suddenly explode into bullying. A mindful STEP 4 Stop concentrating on anything specific
approach will allow you to watch yourself as you For the next two minutes, focus on the and simply enjoy sitting in silence for a few
slip into this mindset, to note the signs and to temperature differential as cooler breath more minutes. Notice if this process has
keep a look-out for when this happens again. reaches your nose and the back of your throat calmed your mind’s need to seek outcomes
while you inhale, then corresponding warmer constantly and simply permit yourself to
HOW TO DO IT breath touches these places as you exhale. be. Allow yourself to slowly return your
Meditation is the best way of developing Listen to its sound – of you breathing – and attention to the room. Consider how your
mindfulness. Don’t be put off by stereotypes of again notice the difference between the mood has shifted and set an intention for
hippies and sandal-wearing gurus. Try it: as in how you wish to conduct yourself before you
business, experience is the best teacher. continue your day.
I recommend you start by practising every
day for about 15 minutes in the morning. Just CONCLUSION
wake up slightly earlier and try doing this for
seven days and notice what happens. If you
'If you can't lead I want to conclude this piece with a comment
on the process of learning mindfulness. Of
miss a day, don’t give up – just keep going and yourself, it is hard to the archetypes, the architect is my own
notice what benefits you get. imagine that you can personal favourite – the vision to evolve

lead anyone else'

Find a quiet place where you can sit and systems and processes to build a culture
will not be disturbed. Sit on a chair with your of continual improvement.
hands in your lap, your feet flat on the floor Learning mindfulness similarly requires
with your back relatively straight. You may wish determination and the patience to build
to use a cushion to support your lower back. incremental change within yourself. The
Take a few moments to settle yourself. As your payoff is becoming a grounded leader who 21
breathing slows, notice your heart beat and can elegantly dip in and out of a range of
move your attention inward. Become fully talents and inspire trust and respect in others.
aware of different parts of your body. You don’t
need to do or change anything: just be aware
of your body, of any areas of tension, or parts Robbie Steinhouse has experience of
where you are relaxed. Notice the movements business leadership, coaching and NLP
caused by your breathing. Allow yourself to training. He is Chairman of Gray’s Inn
breathe naturally and take a few moments to Group, the property and insurance
settle yourself. Then practice the following businesses he founded in 1987. He is an
five-step process: ICF certified coach and Managing Director
of the Coaching Consultancy. He has
STEP 1 worked with clients including Accenture,
Count your breaths. Breathe in and breathe BNP Paribas, Bank of England, BBC,
out; count ‘one’ silently to yourself. In and out, Coca Cola, Disney Corp, HSBC, KPMG,
then ‘two’ – and so forth until you reach 10 NHS, Rolls Royce, Tesco, Vodafone, the
then start again at one. Do this for about two UN and the Red Cross. His latest book
minutes. If you lose the count, just start again Mindful Business Leadership (Routeledge,
at one. 2018) is available to AMBA members at
20% discount via www.mbaworld.com/
STEP 2 bookclub
This is simply the reverse of part one: count
‘one’ silently to yourself then breathe in and An audio version of this is available on the
breathe out. Count ‘two’, then breathe in free app MindCoach:
and out – and so forth until you reach 10 • Android - https://play.google.com/
then start again at one. Also do this for about store/apps/details?id=nlpschool.com.
two minutes. mindfree
• iPhone - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/
STEP 3 app/mindcoach/id1347085582?mt=8
For the next two minutes, stop counting • Online - www.nlpschool.com/meditate
and simply notice how the body breathes


'There's no
shame in being
materialistic – it
could benefit

e ts a b ad p re ss . There is an assu
Materialism g ti se ‘things’ are inhere
w h o p ri o ri c
22 that people
ty p e is th at o f h ighly materialisti
selfish. The stere e re n t w o rl d, where their pri
a d iff
people, living in d st at u s. But is the stere
io n s an .
is cash, posse ss
s th e re ar e tw o sides to this story
ons from Bodo B
true? Research re n tr ib u ti
response to cope with situations that make
By Sandra Awan
w it h
d Charles Cul
them feel anxious and insecure, such as a

Schlegelmilch an difficult family relationships or even our

natural fear of death.

ighly materialistic people Materialism is not only found in particularly
believe that owning and buying materialistic people. Even referring to
things are necessary means people as ‘consumers’ as opposed to using
by which to achieve important other generic terms such as citizens, can
life goals such as happiness, temporarily activate a materialistic mindset.
success and desirability. However, in their As materialism researchers James
quest to own more, they often sideline other Burroughs and Aric Rindfleisch said: ‘Telling
important goals. people to be less materialistic is like telling
Research shows that highly materialistic people that they shouldn’t enjoy sex or
people tend to care less about the eat fatty foods. People can learn to control
environment and other people than ‘non- their impulses, but this does not remove the
materialists’ do. These findings lead to underlying desires.’
the assumption that highly materialistic As such, efforts directed towards
people are largely selfish and prefer to eliminating materialism (taxing or banning
build meaningful relationships with ‘stuff’, advertising activities) are unlikely to be
as opposed to people. But other research effective. These anti-materialism views
shows that materialism is a natural part of also limit business activities and place
being human and that people develop considerable tension between business
materialistic tendencies as an adaptive and policy.


sourced products or making more charity

donations) and be less conspicuous and
wasteful in its consumption? The answer
is to look to our culture and what sort of
collectivistic values it tries to teach us.
We found that a simple reminder of the
community value that resonates with who we
undoubte lism
are as a society, can help reduce materialistic
tendencies. That said, the Asian and Western
an ugly fa dly has cultures tend to teach slightly different ideals
is here to but it
of community value. Asian communities

tend to pass on values that centre around
interpersonal relationships (such as family
duties). Western societies tend to pass on
values that are abstract and spiritual (such
as kindness, equality and social justice).
Unsurprisingly, many businesses have been
quick to jump onto this bandwagon. Tear-
jerking commercials from Thailand reminding
people to buy insurance to protect loved
ones and Christmas adverts reminding
viewers to be kind to one another are just
two examples. But nice commercials alone
won’t be enough to do the job.
Social marketers and public policymakers
should tap into society’s materialistic
tendencies to promote well-meaning social
programmes, such as refugee settlement,
financial literacy programmes and food bank
donations. The key is to promote these 23
programmes in ways that materialists can
engage with – through a public
display of consumption that communicates
THE CARING MATERIALISTS also believe in community values use these social identity.
Our research examined how materialism is cues to shed positive light onto themselves A perfect example is the Choose Love
perceived across cultures and it revealed and others they care about, to meet social charity pop-up store in central London,
that there is more to materialism than just expectations, demonstrate belonging where people get to purchase real products
self-gratification. In Asia, materialism is an and even to fulfil their perceived social (blankets, children’s clothing, sleeping bags,
important part of the ‘collectivistic’ culture responsibilities. For example, people often sanitary pads) in a beautifully designed retail
(where the emphasis is on relationships with flaunt their green and eco-friendly purchases space akin to the Apple store, which are
others, in particular, the groups to which a of Tom’s shoes and Tesla cars in public to then distributed to refugees in Greece, Iraq
person belongs). signal desirable qualities of altruism and and Syria.
Buying aspirational brands of goods social concern. Materialism undoubtedly has an ugly
and services is a common approach in the face but it is here to stay. Rather than
gift-giving traditions in East Asia. Across RECONCILING MATERIAL AND focusing efforts on diminishing it, individual
collectivistic communities, purchasing things COLLECTIVE INTERESTS consumers, businesses and policymakers
that mirror the identity and style of people So how do we get an increasingly should concentrate on using it for promoting
you regard as important can also help you to materialistic society to care more about collective interests that benefit wider society.
conform to social expectations that, in turn, the greater good (such as buying ethically
blanket you with a sense of belonging. These Sandra Awanis is Lecturer in Marketing,
behaviours are not unique to Asian societies. Lancaster University; Bodo B Schlegelmilch
It’s just that the idea of materialism in the ‘We found that a simple is Professor of International Management
and Marketing, Vienna University of
reminder of the community
West is more often seen in sharp contrast to
community values, rather than a part of them. Economics and Business and Chairman
We also found that materialists in value that resonates with of AMBA’s International Management
general are ‘meaning-seekers’ rather
who we are as a society, Board; and Charles Cul is Senior Lecturer,
University of ManchesterThis article was
can help reduce materialistic
than status seekers. They believe in the
symbolic and signalling powers of products, originally published on The Conversation.
brands and price tags. Materialists who tendencies’ Read the original article here


of MBA students
and graduates

n a volatile, uncertain
world, reacting to
constant disruption, it
is vitally important that
organisations have a
methodology for creating
‘game-changing’ teams,
which can launch innovative
projects from scratch
and see them through to
successful conclusion.
In practice, a definition
of ‘the perfect team’
is too simplistic for the
complexity of business
that we face and creating
a game-changing business
future is a team effort.
It follows that if business leaders want to
change the game, they must recognise and
recruit collaborators who might not fit the
moulds that have traditionally been cast
over the years. 25
Putting this into the context of the MBA,
AMBA joined forces with The GC Index to
explore the team dynamics of MBA students
and graduates, to ascertain the game-
changing contributions they’re currently
making and the challenges they’re facing

In 2017 and 2018 AMBA joined in terms of collaboration on business ideas.

AMBA’s exclusive study looked at influence
forces with The GC Index within collaborative teams as
well as leadership, conflict and defining
to conduct groundbreaking he individual strengths that lead to
shared success.
research into how MBAs are
impacting game-changing The GC Index® is a scientific framework that

teams. David Woods-Hale enables individuals, teams and organisations

to identify how they make their impact and
and Dr John Mervyn-Smith how they can change the game. It doesn’t
measure personality type, skills or leadership
take a look at the results qualities, instead focusing on how individuals
prefer to contribute to a project, role or
organisation – their natural inclination. It
is revolutionising the way that individuals,
teams and organisations operate, shifting
mindsets to focus on impact.
Based on detailed analyses of businesses
and their leaders, the GC Index® has
ascertained five clearly identifiable roles that
are needed for a team that delivers:


The Game Changer – transforms the future into action to get things done); 22%
by bringing original ideas perceived themselves to be Game Changers

The Strategist – maps the future by making (bringing original ideas); 21% said they were
sense of great ideas and setting a direction for Key findings Strategists (setting a direction
others to follow for others to follow); 18% identified as
The Implementer – Builds the future by Polishers (improving other people’s ideas
making great ideas happen, moving into More than a quarter of MBAs and raising quality standards); and 12% said
action and getting things done (27%) believed themselves to be they were Playmakers (getting everyone to
The Polisher – creates a future to be proud Implementers; just over a fifth work together).
of by making great ideas brilliant, improving (22%) perceived themselves to be The results were virtually the same
other people’s ideas and raising quality Game Changers; 21% said they among students and graduates and across
standards were Strategists; 18% identified as management levels, although almost one in
The Play Maker – orchestrates the future by Polishers; and 12% said they were five (18%) of CEOs and managing directors
bringing great ideas together and getting Playmakers. believed themselves to be Playmakers,
everyone to work better compared to 12% overall.

From this fresh thinking emerges a framework HOW DO YOU BEST CONTRIBUTE
for leadership and team building. This is TO A TEAM?
multidimensional, strengths-based, and works original ideas
Getting everyone
with an individual's preferred contribution in (22%)
to work better
role, or proclivity. AMBA and The GC Index® More than eight out of 10 (12%)
used an online questionnaire to survey 865 (82%) felt that their role in
MBAs between September 2017 and January a team is always or often
2018. Just under one third of these (31%) were
MBA students at AMBA-accredited Business
understood by others.
Schools at the time of filling in the survey, while Moving to action
the remaining 69% had graduated from AMBA- Just over one in five and getting
things done
accredited programmes. respondents (22%) said that less (27%)
Of the respondents, 44% were CEOs, than half of the teams in which Setting a
26 direction for
managing directors, board members or senior they had worked had had the right
others to follow
managers; 64% had budgetary responsibility dynamics of skills and personalities (21%)
within their organisation; 50% worked in to succeed. Improving other people’s ideas
and raising quality standards
organisations with an annual turnover in excess
of £10m; 6% were self-employed. Respondents
represented all industries. Only 20% of

In terms of company size, 5% were sole respondents said it Dr John Mervyn-Smith, Chief Psychologist
traders; 54% worked in organisations with less has ‘always’ been at The GC Index, explains: ‘The data
than 1,000 members of staff; and 41% worked in made clear to them suggests that, in terms of GC Index®
organisations with more than 1,000 people. Just how team members’ proclivities, the MBA population, comprising
over two-thirds of respondents were male (68%), contributions complement one both students and graduates, is a diverse
31% were female and 1% preferred not to say. another. ‘Poor leadership’ and group. It varies very little from what would be
Data from the GC Index® shows that for ‘communication issues between expected in a large random population; in
the most part people settle in their roles team members’ were seen as other words, 20% for each proclivity.
typically have two dominant proclivities. So, for the most damaging issues to the ‘Given this, the findings also suggest
example, a common GC Index® profile among success of teams. that individuals with an MBA can be
engineers is Game Changer - Implementer. successful in different ways, reinforcing the
These individuals are creative (Game Changer) view that people should play to their GC
practical problem solvers (Implementer). Two thirds of respondents Index® strengths.
Accompanying the quantitative survey, 25
respondents took part in in-depth interviews
(66%) said that poor
leadership had been a
66% 'There is a suggestion that the Playmaker
role is more evident in CEOs. Therefore
with psychologists at The GC Index and the factor of breakdown in ambitious MBA students, depending upon
qualitative results will be published in a future collaboration in the past their aspirations, may see the benefits of
edition of AMBITION. year. Of these, 26% said this developing their Playmaker skills.’
manifested itself in the form of
CONTRIBUTING TO A TEAM micro-management; 25% said Influence and the contribution of others
MBA respondents were divided according to the leader was disengaged; 14% Although MBAs were clear about their
how they best contribute to teams. believed the leader was actively contributions to team dynamics, only 20% of
In terms of self-identification, 27% believed obstructive; and 10% said that the respondents in total (and 21% of graduates)
themselves to be Implementers (moving leader had prevented autonomy. said it has ‘always’ been made clear to them


‘Ego-driven, ‘tough’ Never (0.12%)

When working as part of a team,
negotiators usually how often has it been clear to Rarely (4%)
you how other team members'

come across as contributions complemented

each other?

bullying or inflexible’
(20%) Sometimes
how members’ contributions complemented
one another within a team.
Survey participants were asked to rank
how influential they felt they were as part of
a team on a scale of one to 10, in which 10
was most influential and the average score
was 8 among respondents.
More than eight out of 10 respondents
(82%) felt that their role in a team was always
or often understood by others. However, the
survey showed that 6% of MBAs rarely feel Often (55%)
that their contribution and role has been
understood by other colleagues on a team.
Mervyn-Smith explains: ‘The key to
achieving long-term success is to transform
individual action into collective power. To
do this effectively, you need not only to When working as part of a team, how often
understand how you can best contribute and have you felt others have understood your 27
make an impact but also how other team role and how to get the best from you in
members make their impact. Only then will terms of delivery? Rarely
you be able to place them in the right roles
and environments.
‘The teams and organisations that get this Sometimes (33%)
right and communicate openly about how
everyone in the team makes an impact are
the ones that are winning when is comes
to transformation.’ Always
Measuring the success of teamwork
Respondents to the online survey were asked
to consider how well the teams they’ve been
part of over the past year have performed.
Just under eight in 10 MBAs (79%) agreed
or strongly agreed that the teams in which
they have worked have collaborated well to
complete tasks. Just under three quarters
(74%) were of the opinion that there was a
spirit of team work in their teams; and just
12% agreed or strongly agreed that the
teams they have been part of during the past
year have not worked well together.
In saying that, more than one in five (21%)
agreed or strongly agreed that the teams
in which they have worked have lacked the
necessary skills to complete tasks effectively Often
and a similar proportion (22%) said their (49%)


teams have lacked people with the right

capabilities for the task, while less than 'Collaboration is best WHY DO TEAMS FAIL?
Respondents were asked to outline the
two-thirds (55%) believed that their team top three issues which they believe lead to
colleagues all had the right capabilities to
succeed at a task; 23% were not sure.
achieved when team breakdowns in team collaboration: ‘poor
leadership’ and ‘communication issues

members are aligned

‘The findings are encouraging, reinforcing between team members’ were seen as the
the notion that collaboration is a key most damaging.
element to team success,’ says Mervyn- Just over 58% of respondents cited
Smith. ‘Collaboration, in turn, is best
achieved when team members are aligned
to purpose poor leadership as a top-three issue, and
of these, 66% said it was their top cause.

and practice'
to purpose and practice, they understand Communication between team members
their role and know how to play it, and was cited as a cause of team break down by
they understand how they complement 60% of respondents and more than a third
their colleagues and their colleagues of these participants (34%) said it was the
complement them.’ top cause. Almost four in 10 respondents


POOR LEADERSHIP 66.67% 18.25% 15.08%


29.51% 35.52% 34.97%

28 LACK OF DEVELOPMENT 22.22% 39.68% 38.10%

34.04% 41.92% 24.04%


27.08% 38.89% 34.03%

WORKING IN SILOS 20.24% 34.41% 45.34%

POOR TEAM CONSTRUCT 24.51% 28.43% 47.06%

OF THE TASK 19.90% 37.31% 42.79%


20.92% 34.77% 44.31%


14.20% 31.48% 54.32%

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0 100%




EGOS Factors CULTURE Expectations CLEAR Business TRUST


TEAM Skills PROJECT Purpose TASKS Roles



(38%) said ‘differing goals among team • fear of conflict – resulting in
members’ was a factor in team breakdown. leader had failed to listen artificial harmony
• lack of commitment – resulting
We asked respondents to share stress and pressure in ambiguity
their experiences of other reasons • avoidance of accountability –
why teams had failed to work and lethargy and lack of commitment resulting in low standards
suggestions included: • inattention to results – resulting in
short-termism status and ego
lack of clarity, purpose or goals
groupthink ‘These support our findings,’ says Mervyn-
cultural differences Smith. ‘Teams largely fail if individuals are
conflict between ‘innovation’ and not working to their strengths but also
differences in skill levels ‘tried and tested’ if they fail to come together as a team –
there needs to be a common goal and
promotion of personal interests over remote working and time zone differences understanding about how each person is
shared objectives going to help achieve this.
budget and financial pressures. ‘The GC Index® is a useful framework
lack of respect, emotional intelligence, - for helping teams to align themselves to
compromise or trust purpose, vision, values, shared goals
and practice.’
competition between team members or a According to Mervyn-Smith, the symptoms
blame culture of dysfunction highlighted in the survey The role of the leader
findings all reflect issues of alignment – A significant two thirds of respondents (68%)
egos and personality clashes or the lack of it. In The Five Dysfunctions said that poor leadership had been a factor
of a Team, business expert Patrick in the breakdown in collaboration. And, of
disengagement; lack of interest or Lencioni outlines reasons why leaders fail those who regarded leadership as a negative
motivation from team members in teamwork: impactor, 26% said this manifested itself in
• absence of trust – this leads the form of micro-management, 25% said
lack of accountability to vulnerability the leader was disengaged, 14% believed


'A defensive leader

the leader was actively obstructive, and 10%
said the leader had prevented autonomy. Indicate the percentage of teams you
When asked to suggest other reasons why have worked in that have the right
leaders had contributed to a breakdown of a
team, respondents suggested that will undermine the combination of individuals / skills to
meet objectives
the leader:

failed to delegate
lacked vision
team's capacity for 100%
1-10% (1%)
11-25% (4%)

quality debate'
• lacked direction
76-99% (29%)
• lacked the skills for and/or
knowledge about the project
• lacked commitment Mervyn-Smith says: ‘One of the most
• lacked empathy reliable predictors of team dysfunction is the 26-50%
• didn’t respond well to defensiveness, or otherwise, of the team’s
alternative views leader. A defensive leader will undermine
• Lacked leadership capabilities the team’s capacity for quality debate and
• was too self-interested decision making.
• avoided taking decisions/ ‘Helping a team leader to understand
shirked responsibility their role, in terms of their proclivities, and
• was too detail-orientated. how to play it well, will help the leader to 51-75% (48%)
feel more confident and less defensive.’

Perfecting team dynamics

Has poor leadership been the cause of a AMBA and The GC Index were keen to find 100% of the time. In fact, less than a third
breakdown in collaboration in any teams out how often the perfect team dynamic had (29%) believed that their teams had had the
you have worked in over the past year? been reached, so asked respondents what right make up for success more than three-
percentage of the teams they had been part quarters of
Yes of had comprised the perfect combination the time.
of individuals and skills to achieve goals and Almost half of the respondents (48%) said
30 meet objectives. their teams had the skills and individuals to
Less than 1% of participants were succeed 51%-75% of the time.
confident that the teams in which they’d But more than one in five respondents
worked had the right combination of (22%) said that less than half of the
individuals and skills to meet objectives teams they’d been a part of had the right
No personality and skills dynamics to succeed.
Mervyn-Smith adds: ‘We can learn from
indicate the MAIN reason for poor the world of sport when it comes to putting
leadership being the cause of a breakdown together effective leadership teams: in order
in collabooration to make an impact in a team, people need
to understand the role that they can or
Micro need to play and they require the skills to
management play it well.
(26%) ‘In GC Index® terms, Implementers,
Risk adverse Strategists, Play Makers, Game Changers
(5%) and Polishers all have a role to play at some
point in successful teams. They just need to
know when and how to make a contribution.’
New perspectives on, and approaches to
Lack of teamwork, collaboration and leadership as
autonomy we know it are needed.
(10%) Imagine an approach to teamwork that
is not so much about the personality of the
leader and a way of being in the world, as
providing the freedom at work to explore
your natural inclinations and leverage them
Personal for business benefits.
conflict (8%) Just think how this could change the
futures we create.
leader (25%)

leader (14%)

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o well by doing good’ and ‘Be

the best, not in the world, but
for the world’ are just two of the
slogans that celebrate purpose
as a central focal point for the
new movement of businesses.
B Corp, Conscious
Capitalism and WorldBlu are
prominent examples of such
methodologies that win ground, gain traction
and attract attention.
But where are the pitfalls? Purpose does not
scale well in large organisations, so why all the
buzz? Is purpose-driven business a genuine
opportunity for surviving in the future, or
merely lipstick on a proven business model?
Let’s look at the threats and opportunities
facing business, from a futurologist's
standpoint, and how to tackle them to design
the businesses of the future.

Are you hammering stones or building
a cathedral?
We’ve all heard this story. A purpose-driven
business is an organisation where you go
to work for a cause, a belief, perhaps even 33
a calling. One thing that many leaders and
employees stumble over when investigating
purpose-driven organisations is the
glorification of purpose as the ‘holy grail’.
Some seem to understand purpose only as
a pure, altruistic cause that revolves around
saving the world. This is a narrow-minded
and often inaccessible approach to purpose
and one that I’ve seen lead to organisational
disappointment: ‘Our business is not part of
saving the world. This ‘purpose business’ is out
of my league. We cannot be part of it. Are we
a failure?’
To some, purpose involves taking an
altruistic approach, where making money is
not a part of the mindset. To others, and to

Erik Korsvik Østergaard

me, the financial side of business is part of
balancing the focus. There are various types of
purpose-driven business, all of which adopt a
considers the threats and way of balancing the four p’s of purpose-driven

opportunities facing business business: purpose, people, planet, and profit.

and the need for organisations to Purpose = why your business exists.
People = how you treat employees,
inject purpose and meaning into customers, and society.
Planet = how you act and behave within
everything that they do your specific context.
Profit = how you generate revenue and
what you use it for.


A quick internet search shows that there are

many ways of ordering these p’s, depending
on your focus and how you combine the
elements. However, three things are clear
when it comes to organisations embracing
this successfully:

The call for sustainability towards the

1 planet and towards people is
unprecedented. We need to take care of the
Earth as its population is rapidly growing and
resources are still unevenly distributed. We
need to take care of people at work, in
schools, and at home, due to technological
developments and the societal need for
freedom, fairness, and lifelong education.
This is the primary and deeply rooted reason
for augmenting business with a purposeful, pharmaceutical businesses such as Novo
sustainable approach. Nordisk, striving to ‘change diabetes’. All
of these businesses are purpose-driven
‘To stay relevant,
2 The four p’s are inseparable and
interlinked. You need to look at all
we need to
and adhere to the three characteristics
highlighted previously.
four simultaneously and understand that Several organisations have begun
developing or changing one of them has an understand our embracing this purpose-driven approach, with
effect on the other three. And it’s ok to make
money, as long as you work for purpose too. purpose; the strong inspiration from United Nations’ 17
Sustainable Development Goals. This helps

Modern organisations – those that

why; the problem organisations focus their energy, formulate
their narrative, and create an identity and
3 will survive the dramatic, radical we’re solving’ sense of belonging – both internally among
34 changes of the fourth industrial revolution employees, and externally, with customers
– have clearly ranked and prioritised the four and community, other stakeholders and
p’s and refer to this actively in their daily building blocks and elaborate on its practical shareholders, partners and politicians, and
business dealings and strategic plans. They application. To me, there are three guiding competitors. Even on the small scale, as with
also take a dynamic approach to reordering principles for understanding and working with the cantina, this can make sense and help you
or rebalancing the four p’s as and when purpose, which differentiate purpose-driven to align mindset and behaviour; for example,
needed. businesses from classic businesses: influencing where you buy your produce, how
you prepare and cook it, and how you handle
The challenge is to create this balance and The problem principle: purpose is left-overs and recycling.
mix, and work with it wholeheartedly; to make 1 about solving problems, not only Remember, it’s OK to make money. As
purpose both present and relevant. delivering products. Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of the
X Prize Foundation says: ‘The world's biggest
PURPOSE AS A CALIBRATION OF The value principle: purpose is about problems are the world's biggest business
BUSINESS ENERGY 2 creating value, not only profit. opportunities.’
I spent some months working with a financial Singularity University, of which Diamandis
institution during a substantial and radical
pivoting, in which they wanted to focus on
3 The sustainability principle: purpose
is about contributing to your context,
is part, has described 12 Global Grand
Challenges, all of which attract a tremendous
and communicate a purpose-driven approach not only benefiting from it. quantity of investment and venture capital.
to their employees, customers and owners. Profit is absolutely acceptable; there is
They were struggling, individually and as Together, these principles create a spectrum nothing wrong with making money, if you
an organisation, with this new philosophy, of interpretations of purpose, from every day, simultaneously apply the two other principles
which was fairly alien to them and viewed practical approaches such as your sustainable of value creation and sustainability. In the
as something that was not for them or their cantina, to the movement ‘Cycling Without world of purpose, money is not the goal, nor
industry: ‘We’re a financial institution. This Age’ (helping to get older people back on the purpose. ‘It’s a result’, as Simon Sinek
purpose thing is odd, and not applicable. It’s
too pretentious and seems irrelevant to us.
their bicycles), and Bill and Melinda Gates’
world-spanning effort to eliminate malaria.
British-American author makes clear in his
famous TEDx video, in which he introduces
Our owners will think we’ve lost our minds.’ Other examples include charities such as the Golden Circle of ‘why, how, and what’.
We need to broaden the general Save the Children, wind power/clean tech Companies such as Ørsted and Novo
understanding of purpose, break it into businesses such as Ørsted, which are trying Nordisk exist to make a profit, to make money
to deliver sustainable, green energy, and for their owners and investors and to develop


described their leadership as exhibiting

an ability to ‘enlist all employees in a
commitment to a shared purpose,’ compared
with 38% of employees in medium-sized
organizations and 42% of employees in
smaller ones.’ In other words, it’s tough to
scale purpose.
This is where the term ‘meaning’ comes
into play. By connecting meaning with
the focus on value creation, we can make
the ends meet, ensuring engagement,
motivation, and an understanding of
connectedness to the company.


Meaningfulness and sense-making are
the businesses and their employees. The problem you’re solving for the customers, and complementary to purpose and allow
latter is made possible by the revenue. how you can create value for them. employees to connect with their daily work
A purpose-driven organisation focuses on LEO Pharma, a Danish pharmaceutical and with their organisation. Based on our
purpose and profit at the same time, but company, has created an innovation lab work with companies and organisations
has purpose as its cause, value-creation as its based on two key rules: all good ideas must over the past decade, meaningfulness and
goal, and profit as the result – which can be be tested for feasibility and relevance within sense-making come in two flavours: rational
channelled back in to research, development, 100 days, and you must focus on improving meaning and emotional meaning – and on
better products, and greater value creation. the lives of the customers, not on making several levels.
This is part of being a sustainable business: profit. The company has a high tolerance It is much easier to debate meaningfulness
reinvesting money in developing the business of mistakes. This is a fantastic example of than purpose, and the exercise is even more
further, and hence solving more problems. embracing culture in a highly competitive fruitful when you tie it into a discussion
industry, providing psychological safety in a around value creation, which is principle
STAYING RELEVANT IN THE FUTURE world of unprecedented changes. number two. Does this make sense to me? 35
It is said by Babson School of Business that Is the task meaningful? Does it make sense
40% of the Fortune 500 companies will be DOES PURPOSE SCALE? within the team; for the company; the
gone or significantly transformed within 10 One of the most criticised elements of customer; society?
years. This is due to the massive changes in purpose-driven organisations and leadership This breaking down of purpose goes
technology, sociology, and user behaviour. is that it can be very hard for employees to hand-in-hand with the tactical and agile
Your customers – and the talent in your see how their individual actions and daily execution of your business strategy.
organisation – want convenience, speed, and work ties in to the overall purpose or mission/
personal attention. The tech scene changes vison of the company. BUILDING AND EXECUTING A
so fast that the half-life of a learned skill is as Referencing a study by Learning Resource SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS STRATEGY
short as five years, according to Deloitte. Network, PwC highlighted that, in 2016 that The recipe for sustainable businesses has
This means that the only way a company ‘only 29% of employees in large organisations ingredients derived from business education
can survive is by focusing on how to stay
relevant to customers; that is, by focusing on
solving problems for them, not by frantically
sticking to their traditional products. This
is principle number one in a purpose-
driven organisation.
To stay relevant, we need to understand
the purpose; the why; the problem we’re
solving. This thinking must be part of
innovation and culture, and it leads us back to
Simon Sinek and the Golden Circle: you need
to understand what you are doing, how you
are doing it, and why, and – as Sinek says –
you must ‘start with why’.
As it turns out, innovation and business
development become easier and have more
direction, when you have conversations and
experiments focusing on the purpose, the


and Business Schools, and some even hark the growth and redefinition of globalisation;
back to elementary schools. It’s a quest for disruptive technologies; the uneven
ethics; for philosophy and human education, distribution of wealth; the lack of diversity
as well as practical understanding of business, in business, and the personal isolation that
innovation, and entrepreneurship. Most of all, ‘It’s OK to make comes from intense use of technology,
it’s a quest for responsibility – for ourselves,
for each other, and for the context we’re money, as long as especially social media. However, luckily,
this was also a breeding ground for action,
in. On a small scale, it’s our family, friends,
and network. On a medium scale, it’s our
you work for energy, and optimism.
There was a strong message to business
customers, business partners, and community. purpose too’ owners to get involved in politics and to take
On a large scale, it’s the planet. a stand on sustainability issues. Inequality
Business leaders are struggling to practise is everywhere, and the polarity is a clear
what they preach in terms of sustainability, reaction to current uncertainty. We have some
because it’s hard to translate theory into tough actions to take, but the problems and
tactics and daily activities. The role of the four fulfil a purpose. solutions are not that difficult to understand.
p’s in building sustainable business strategies Taking inspiration from the Agile Manifesto, It is our responsibility – and an opportunity
for tomorrow is strong and prominent but modern, sustainable businesses will come for us – to change this. It’s no longer about
cannot be made operational without the fifth to value individuals and interactions over industry and sector, but arenas and customer
p: progress. processes and tools; working solutions over needs. We must expand our definition of
Yes, it’s still OK to make money and to comprehensive documentation; customer business to include the whole ecosystem.
create fabulous products, but it’s even collaboration over contract negotiation, and As business and management guru Charles
better to provide value and to contribute responding to change over blindly following a Handy so touching stated in his closing
to the ongoing wellbeing of whatever and plan. The underlying framework contains the remarks at the summit: ‘If not now, then
whomever is in your context; but at what cost? three principles of purpose-driven business: when? If not us, then who?’
This struggle is embedded in every business • problem-solving, as well as developing The purpose-driven, sustainable
decision and in every prioritisation: balancing superior products business is our opportunity to create long-
long-term outcomes with short term cash-flow; • delivering value as well as making profit lasting organisations, which have a
balancing risky innovation with the demands • contributing as well as benefiting. long-lasting effect on the context – or arena
of running the business and paying the bills; – in which we’re operating. Ultimately, this
36 balancing the need to save the planet with an THIS is sustainability. purpose-driven approach operates on a
organisation’s financial health. small scale, creating world citizens with a
Applying sustainability in a tactical business IS THERE AN AIR OF OPTIMISM ABOUT mindset of global prosperity, and on a
execution is very much a game of inclusion, THE FUTURE OF WORK? large scale, helping solve the global
contextual understanding, transparency, Absolutely yes, but with a catch: We need to grand challenges.
frequent touchpoints, freedom to experiment act now. It’s not just about building cathedrals. It’s
and learning – and a culture of trust, ambition, I attended the 9th Global Peter Drucker also about building sustainable businesses
and safety. In a nutshell, it’s about being agile Forum in Vienna in November 2017, themed that make money. Financial health is clearly a
and meaningful, without being obsessive, and around ‘Growth and Inclusive Prosperity’, part of the ecosystem and of the new triple-
making sure that your tactical activities make with leaders and thinkers from academia and bottom-line: social business, value creation
sense and create value. Remember, we’re business. Clearly, frustration with the current and economic health. The catch is that we
here to solve problems for our customers; to world state was immense, particularly around need to act now, and we have an opportunity
to act. We can choose where to spend our
money; with whom or form whom to work. We
can choose what we fight for. It’s up to us to
shape the future actively, not simply to
adapt to it passively.

Erik Korsvik Østergaard is Partner and

Founder of Bloch&Østergaard, a Danish
management consultancy that provides
inspiration and support to top and middle-
management, based on the future of work
and purpose-driven leadership. Østergaard
is also a guest lecturer at The Copenhagen
Business School. He is the author of The
Responsive Leader: How to be a fantastic
leader in a constantly changing world (LID
Publishing 2018)

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Middle out decisions, decisions in strategy. Professor at the London School of

organisational momentum Dr Simon Haslam is a Chartered Economics and Director of the Business
and human bias in Director, strategy consultant and strategy Insights Lab at the University of Surrey.
strategic decision making programme lead at the Institute of
Webinar 13:00 Directors. He is a Visiting Fellow at Developing a point of
Durham University Business School and view to generate ideas
18 June 2018
co-owns the research and consulting firm Webinar 13:00
In these turbulent times, it can be FMR Research. He consults internationally
13 September 2018
difficult for organisations to make good to public, private and third sector
strategic decisions and develop effective organisations. Generating ideas, brainstorming and
strategies. This webinar explores three Dr Ben Shenoy explores, decodes igniting creativity in yourself and others
important considerations around strategic and narrates how behavioural science are only some important qualities an
decision making. can untangle organisational dilemmas individual needs in order to be successful
Over the course of 60 minutes, Dr in perplexing times. He is a Visiting in the business world. However, these
Simon Haslam and Dr Ben Shenoy, co- traits don’t come naturally to everyone,
authors of Strategic Decision Making:
a discovery-led approach for turbulent
The webinar explores and some people are even filled with fear
when thinking about these ideas.
times will discuss three themes from the three important In this interactive webinar, Kevin
book. These themes are the role and considerations a Duncan, international best-selling author

around strategic
impact organisational momentum has of The Diagrams Book and The Ideas
on human bias in strategy decisions and Book will tell you there is no need to
the growing importance of middle out decision making worry. He will then show you how to

For more
information on
any of AMBA's
events, visit develop a point of view that will allow
you to effectively communicate your
best ideas.During the webinar, Duncan
will talk about subjects including
how to develop a distinctive point of
view and generate ideas effectively;
how to properly prepare for running
brainstorms; how to set about
generating ideas; and how creativity
works and how to nurture it. Duncan
will then discuss a very practical and
effective range of techniques that can
be used to generate ideas.
Duncan is experienced in business
advising, marketing and motivational
speaking. He spent 20 years in
advertising then spent the last 18
years advising organisations on how

‘Duncan will
discuss a range of
techniques that
can be used to job searching today means having
generate ideas’ messages and a clarity about why you
are worth interviewing.
to change their business for the better Back in January, John Lees hosted a
though areas such as management highly-engaging webinar titled ‘Making 39
programmes, training and non- an Impact in the 2018 Job Market’. Now
executive work. During this time, he due to popular demand, he is back
was worked with more than 400 clients, again. In this webinar on 25 October
deployed £600m of funds over 200 2018, John Lees will discuss a number
brands, oversaw 1,000 projects, won of topics including: being aware of the
35 awards and trained more than 6,000 ‘default mode’ and how to avoid it;
people at Kings College London. bottling energy in written material and
As an author, Duncan has written at interviews; understanding what makes
16 books on the subject of simplifying a stand-out candidate; re-packaging
business and how to make them more transferable skills; and proactive
successful. These book have sold networking. Lees’ insight and advice on
around 150,000 copies, been translated these topics will help you catch the eye of
into numerous languages and been employers at your next interview.
nominated for awards such as the CMI John Lees is an experienced career
Management Book of the Year. His transition coach and author. He has
blog, Greatest Hits, read by thousands written 13 books about work and careers
of people every month, summarises which include How to Get a Job You Love
the thinking in more than 250 business and Knockout CV. These books have been
books. translated into numerous languages such
as Japanese and Arabic.
How not to sleep walk your He has been featured many times in
way into your next role the UK press, worked with a range
Webinar 13:00 of organisations in career management
issues and regularly speaks at Business
25 October 2018
Schools and conferences around
Being unique and offering something the world.
to an organisation that no one else John is a NICEC Fellow, a Fellow of the
has is essential when looking for a CIPD and was a founding board member
new job in today’s market. So effective of the Career Development Institute.




Providing greater
value to MBAs and
Business Schools
Recently appointed as Chairman of AMBA’s International
Management Board, Bodo Schlegelmilch intends to use his
rich experience in executive education to explore how AMBA
can excel as a force for good and fulfil its societal obligations.
Interview by David Woods-Hale

arlier this year, Professor Bodo the management education industry quite
Schlegelmilch was elected well and hope to bring an international
Chairman of the International perspective to the job.
Management Board of AMBA,
following the retirement of Len WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES
Jones, who had been Chairman of the FACING BUSINESS SCHOOLS TODAY?
organisation since 2012. The three biggest challenges are digitisation
Professor Schlegelmilch was the Founding and new teaching formats; new types of 41
Dean of WU Executive Academy at Vienna competitor; and students who are not only
University of Economics and Business 2004- concerned about the quality and relevance
2015 and remains Professor of International of their education, but are increasingly
Management and Marketing at the interested in the social responsibility of
School. He has taught executive education corporates and Business Schools.
programmes for Business Schools (including
Kellogg, Keio, ESADE, St Gallen, Indian WHAT ARE THE KEY PRIORITIES
School of Business and Sun Yat-sen) across FOR YOUR FIRST YEAR AS CHAIRMAN
six continents and conducted board-level OF AMBA’S INTERNATIONAL
workshops for numerous corporations MANAGEMENT BOARD?
including Baxter, Cable & Wireless I’m really looking forward to working with my
Communication, Unicredit, Degussa, colleagues on the board, our CEO, Andrew
Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Main Wilson, and his team. There is an
Merck Sharp & Dohme, Schlumberger, incredibly rich and varied expertise at AMBA,
Stinnes and Sunkyong. which makes it fun to be part of.
He has also held roles at Deutsche Bank My priorities mirror the challenges I’ve
and Procter & Gamble and is a former already highlighted. AMBA needs to embrace
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International digitisation in its own processes and to
Marketing. AMBITION was keen to meet consider the implications of assuring quality
Professor Schlegelmilch and find out what his through accreditation. In this context, we first
plans are for his tenure at the helm of AMBA. and foremost need to provide value to our
select number of Business Schools offering
TO YOUR ROLE AS AMBA CHAIRMAN? In addition, we need to reach out
I held tenured professorships in the UK, to our individual members and the
US and Austria and have been teaching in management education community at large
more than 30 countries around the world. to explore how AMBA can best be a force
Adding to this my various leadership roles for good and contribute to fulfilling its
in academic associations means I know societal obligations.

is certain: these days, MBA graduates leave
their AMBA-accredited Schools with a solid
understanding of the innovation potential the
digital vortex offers and are keen to try out
their ideas in practice.


A focus on sustainability is absolutely
key for all of us and Business Schools
should encourage business models that
are compatible with sustainability goals.
Unfortunately, there is still too little debate
on this issue in many Schools.
Sustainability and corporate social
responsibility (CSR) topics need to go
beyond the confines of the one specialised
course most Business Schools are offering.
PREPARE MBAS FOR THE CHALLENGES TAUGHT THE HARD AND SOFT SKILLS to be integrated in the fabric of the entire
SHOULD THEY DEMONSTRATE IS REQUIRED AND HOW CAN BUSINESS to develop leaders who are cognisant of the
UPON GRADUATION? SCHOOLS MEET THESE NEEDS? need for sustainability and have the passion
Knowledge, in the sense of factual Top Business Schools are making an effort to and courage to implement appropriate
knowledge, will decrease in value, as incorporate entrepreneurship into courses, principles in practice.
machines offer instant access to facts. Instead, focus on soft skills, enable students to work
42 future leaders need to be entrepreneurial and in cross-cultural teams and get them involved HOW CAN A BUSINESS SCHOOL ADD
possess problem-solving skills. They require with companies where they work on real VALUE TO A CORPORATE WITH WHICH
excellent soft skills and need to be able to problems. Thus, a lot has been done already. IT’S WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP –
work in diverse cross-cultural teams. Finally, Could Business Schools do more? ESPECIALLY IN AN INTERNATIONAL
they must be able to see the big picture Of course – there is always a need to CAPACITY?
and keep abreast of pressing societal issues. incorporate new developments and topics There are many ways to create value in
People who know a lot about a little are into the curriculum. The challenges of big corporate / Business School relationships.
unlikely to be good leaders. data analytics, artificial intelligence or the Let me give you one example: many Business
scope for using virtual reality in teaching are Schools work with teams of MBAs on so-
DRAWING ON YOUR EXPERTISE just a few of the many future trends Schools called ‘live cases’. Typically, managers work
IN MARKETING, HOW CAN need to embrace. side by side with a team of MBA students
TODAY’S LEADERS HONE VITAL on a real decision-making challenge; for
MARKETING SKILLS FOR AN WHAT INNOVATIONS HAVE YOU SEEN example, to suggest an entry strategy for a
Marketing is more than deciding on the HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CHANGE Using the skills and fresh, unbiased
colour of a package or dreaming up new THE WAY BUSINESSES OPERATE? perspectives of a team of MBA students,
advertising slogans. I like to view marketing It‘s encouraging how innovative some ideally with different experiential and
as a strategic task that focuses on providing Schools really are, and it is remarkable that cultural backgrounds, clearly adds value
value to customers. Once this is understood innovations are distributed across very to corporations. However, it is a win-win
and accepted, it becomes clear that every different parts of the world. No single country situation, as students gain the opportunity to
single person in the organisation has a or Business School has a monopoly on apply their knowledge to real-life situations
marketing task. It doesn’t matter whether he innovative ideas. and learn to deal with many practical issues
or she works in manufacturing, is responsible Interesting developments often evolve involved in such a project.
for IT, finance or operates the switchboard; in around the use of new technologies.
the digital economy, functional divisions lose Examples include mixed-mode course DO YOU FEEL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT
relevance. The customer demands a highly delivery across multiple countries or THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS, MBAS,
responsive, market-orientated organisation imaginative use of technologies, such as BUSINESS SCHOOLS AND THE
and doesn’t care who is responsible for what. Microsoft’s holographic computer HoloLens, GLOBAL ECONOMY?
In this sense, everybody in an organisation is in the classroom. It remains to be seen what Yes, is there any other way? We have to
in marketing. spills over into business. However, one thing believe in the promise of the future.


To access the
AND COMMUNITYI Career Development Centre,
Visit: www.mbaworld.com/cdc
Log in using your AMBA credentials.

A fresh look priorities, decisions and spare

at productivity
time or lack thereof, there are
hundreds of brilliant ways to
boost your productivity.
However, the path also looks at
the underlying knowledge we need
in order to master productivity, such
as knowing ‘The difference between
efficiency and effectiveness’, why
we procrastinate, understanding your
Ultradian rhythms, learning how ‘To say
no without ruining your reputation’, and
even how to create ‘A positive cultural
shift’ where you work.
The interesting thing is that the
more we uncover about productivity,
44 the more we understand how closely it
relates to mind set, which is frequently
a result of the particular individual’s
So in addition to really useful tools
such as the ‘Urgent and Important’ matrix
that you can make part of your arsenal of
productivity-boosting strategies, it’s just as

important to start looking at your work-life
balance and resilience.
To achieve all three – if you haven’t
roductivity – despite the word’s already – you can start by making certain
often uncomfortable associations fundamental, but incredibly simple
with mindless automatons, there changes. In his six intriguing videos, human
is an undeniable sense of joy performance and leadership development
that comes after a day of specialist, Damien Stork, looks at how
being genuinely productive – ‘a job positive changes to your nutrition, sleep,
well done’ day. exercise and environment can improve both
Yet, even with the dangling carrot of a productivity and well-being: don’t drink
job well done, many of us often fall into the coffee after 10am, take walking meetings,
procrastination trap, which leaves us feeling don’t look at your gadgets after 8pm, etc.
unsatisfied and frustrated with a distinct The two are so interconnected, that even
depletion in self-esteem. if you just want a better work life balance,
There is so much wrapped up in the implementing these changes will make you
concept of ‘being more productive’ and if more productive too.
it’s quick tips you’re after there are plenty of Productivity shouldn’t be about a
those in AMBA's ‘Being More Productive’ relentless daily grind to achieve targets for
learning path, which sits in the e-learning ‘the man’ or 'Big Brother', it should be your
hub’s ‘Career Skills’ category. From own measure of your happiness, sense of
managing interruptions, time-stealers, lists, achievement and success.


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Building a fintech company


How to get your business back

Don’t be a sheep — create your own path on the right track
There are far too many businesses void and went in the opposite http://ow.ly/AQiZ30jvzad 45
doing the same thing as their direction of the entire furniture
competitors. You could take these industry. As a result, Ikea grew to Hospitals of the future: Investment
business’ marketing materials and be the behemoth we know today. in new technology around the globe
put a different logo on them, and The company continues to http://ow.ly/4scT30jtEPu
they would still be relevant. There keep that entrepreneurial and
is no clear differentiation. They are innovative spirit. One of its listed
all chasing the same customers values is ‘daring to be different’. It
and basically delivering the same accomplishes this by questioning
product or service. old solutions, identifying better
Why go after the same ideas, and being willing to change.
customers as your competition? Ikea also promotes the need to
Instead, try to capture customers review what was done today and
who have little or no interest in consider how it could be done
your competitor’s offerings. better tomorrow.
For example, furniture can Business leaders today should
be an expensive purchase and take a serious look at their current
most companies charge extra for product or service offerings. Then
delivery. However, the founder of if they can identify an unmet
Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, identified need in the market, they’ll enjoy
this market problem and decided sustainable and profitable success.
to make it his mission to offer
a wide range of well-designed, Susan Solovic is an award-
functional, affordable home winning entrepreneur, New York
furnishing products. He then Times bestselling author, media
developed a flat-packing system personality, keynote speaker,
so customers could take furniture and attorney.
home and assemble it themselves,
and not pay for delivery. Read more at community.
Kamprad identified a market mbaworld.com



Building a fintech company

s a former Managing think the unbanked need a new trading sector: compliance practices can dictate

Director of Charles platform? Think again. Believe that women the life or death of your company.
Schwab, and an want to invest in portfolios wrapped in How does this play out? Once you
entrepreneur, you’d pink? Are you kidding me? come up with your amazing list of ideas,
think I’d start this piece One of my greatest 'a-ha moments' has find an equally amazing lawyer. I believe
with some insightful industry wisdom, come from acknowledging how much I the optimal fintech cocktail is one part
talking about understanding yield curves didn’t know about what consumers actually creativity, one part compliance, and three
46 and timing market corrections, and then want. My co-founder and I interviewed parts persistence. But if you forget
throw in some AI and machine learning to more than 200 of our target audience the compliance part, I guarantee a
keep you reading. Fooey. before we launched our organisation bitter swallow.
The truth is, finance is one of the most and there were countless ways our initial Third, simplify, simplify and simplify.
boring, complex, and intimidating topics assumptions were wrong. Once you’ve created that magic product
for most Americans. So if you’re going Ask your potential customers, then or service then take a good hard look and
to start a fintech company, you have to ask again. It’s essential to talk to people. see how you can simplify it further. I find
be passionate about the problem you’re These interviews will help you understand many of us who go into finance or fintech
solving. There are numerous problems to whether you are solving a real problem, tend to inherently value complexity.
solve because many aspects of financial and they’ll help you find the audience To avoid that, keep your end customer
services are severely broken. that most appreciates the solution you’re in mind.
For example, try opening a new building. In other words, you’ll zero in on a Most of us have had bad experiences
checking or savings account and you’ll potential product-market fit before you’ve with outdated financial products,
experience a painful 20 minute, 17-step built a product. Investors love that. confusing fee and penalty structures,
process. And that’s one of the simpler Second, get creative. Once you know or user interfaces that make getting
products to explain. When we get into the problem and how your customers information or accomplishing important
investments, strap in and prepare for a view it, get creative. Instead of expanding tasks difficult. There’s a lot of value to be
30-minute in ride to confusion, complexity on what currently exists, try starting from shared with clients if you can simplify these
and ‘this is taking forever’. scratch. If this problem had never been painful experiences.
If you are daring enough to rethink the solved before, what would you create? Fintech is ripe for innovation and could
financial services industry and create new Draw inspiration from disciplines truly use diverse voices to create the future
products you’re both brave and much- outside of traditional finance. Much is to of finance. If you have a burning desire to
needed. So my advice for any fintech be learned from non-finance industries. build, the world could definitely use you
entrepreneurs in the making is three-fold. Few would argue that we have a surplus of right now.
First, understand the current reality. creative thinkers in finance.
I’ve met many entrepreneurs who have If the first ‘C’ in great fintech start-ups Catherine Berman is the CEO and
fascinating ideas about finance – that is creativity, the second ‘C’ is compliance. Co-founder of CNote a fintech startup
are nowhere grounded in reality. Do you It's the reality of operating in the financial based in Oakland, California




AMBITION Pursuing purpose at work leads

to greater fulfilment, increased
recognition and better career
JULY 2018 prospects, writes Holly Branson.

Effective management requires
a thoughtful approach, practical

Vincent Kompany experience and an understanding

that people differ and
An MBA from the Alliance Manchester Business School has circumstances change.
provided Vincent Kompany, Captain of Manchester City
Football Club and the Belgian national team, with a fresh TO CORPORATE EXCELLENCE
set of skills. As the FIFA World Cup begins, Kompany talks Social interaction is not
characterised by obscure
exclusively about how business nous complements the randomnessi, which means
resilience and leadership required on the pitch. that organisations can
design organisational
patterns according to proven
neuroscientific principles.


Today’s organisations must be
adept at dealing with change,
so why do so many lack the
leadership, capability and
willingness to evolve? We reveal
the findings of exclusive research
with senior leaders and dissect
the art of adaptability.


Business Schools must help
define and implement technology
during the fourth industrial
revolution, and provide a voice
in the debates surrounding its
displacement of human workers.

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