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Archive for December, 2006

December e-newsletter

Dear all,

Last month I led with news of my collision with that deer on the way in to work. Several of you wrote back to report similar accidents, and one person shared some pictures from Greenland of having shot one. This feedback is added to various replies to the e-newsletter that I received during the year (all encouraging, I’m glad to say), so thank you.

Aside from it being very interesting to get reaction from you to the things I choose to write about, it is really fascinating to get a sense of the breadth and depth of the lives you all lead. If you are a typical Henley DL MBA programme member, this is your busiest decade so far – the one where you are really juggling many different adult roles, so it may be something of a miracle (what else, at this time of year?) that you are also taking yourselves on this learning and development journey.

This month’s e-newsletter will contain only a few up-dates. There’s a call to arms for recruiting the first Intake in 2007 and a special message from the Director of Studies, Professor Jane McKenzie. I’ll preface that with Season’s Greetings from the programme delivery team of myself, Susan Parr, Charlotte Ordish and Natalie Swadling as well, of course, as the team of Personal Tutors.

Intake 34

We would once again encourage you to think of contacts from your working lives who would benefit from the Henley MBA. You may simply wish to alert them to the programme, or you may want to ask us to get in touch with them directly. The College referral system means that if you give us a name and that person subsequently applies and is admitted, then you will receive a financial reward.

Professor McKenzie: Season’s Greetings to everyone!

“For many of us, this is the time of year when we take some time to enjoy the delights of friends and family, good food and some relaxation from the pressures of work. For Henley MBA students, unfortunately, I know it is often an opportunity to catch up with some studying too! Even though it was 23 years since I was working on my own MBA, I remember only too well, enjoying Christmas Day and Boxing Day and then going into seclusion until the New Year to write solidly for 10 hours a day just to finish my dissertation. It was hard to know everyone else was out enjoying themselves, while I had my nose to the grindstone. Yet, looking back I can honestly say, the returns now make the ‘pain’ then worthwhile. For me, the MBA opened the door to new opportunities in the job I was in and was the key to a career change and a flexible new lifestyle in a different country. Whatever stage you are in the MBA, I truly hope that all your hard work this year will bring the returns you are looking for in 2007.

As the year closes, my personal practice is to set aside a few hours to reflect on what I have achieved in the previous 12 months, and to think about what I might do better in the future. Try it! You’ll probably surprise yourself as to how much you have actually achieved in 2006, and how much you have learned. I find this exercise puts me in a positive frame of mind to think about the challenges for the coming year. For this I generally invest half a day to look forward, mind mapping the major commitments I have to fulfil, with some high level allocation of the time and resources I need to achieve them. I find that this process of capturing my intentions and capacities on one page, and linking them to what I have learned clears up any muddles in my mind and makes the demands seem more achievable. It also means I can keep both social, family and work priorities in mind, when deciding whether to take on any further commitments. Somehow I find this process reduces the dread that can be induced by a big workload and generates some excitement at the new horizons to explore. Year on year this simple activity builds into quite a documentary of your personal development journey. Even if you don’t fancy such a structured exercise, I would urge you to at least put all the workshop dates and key assignment deadlines in your diary and to make a New Year’s resolution to meet them all. If you have slipped against your schedule or are starting a new part with a different intake in 2007, do let us know if you need any further information to make your plans.

Two particularly important dates I am looking forward to in 2007 are the graduation ceremonies on 26th May and 27th October. I love celebrating with you the outcome of all your hard work. For anyone nearing completion, if you can your dissertations in urgently and we can get them marked quickly enough to go to the January Board of Studies, you might just make the May graduation. For those of you who don’t fancy my ‘strategy of seclusion’ in the Christmas period, then if you can get your dissertation in my April you could still graduate in October.

Whatever, your plans for 2007, I wish you every success with your studies. I’ll look forward to hearing the stories of your successes and challenges, either through your personal tutors, or from Chris and Sue, or by email.”

Book Early for Workshops

Finally, I have been asked by the course administrators to appeal to you, when planning on attending workshops, to book early. This enables them to prepare the logistics and timings of your workshop more efficiently, and you all know that time spent here at the College is very precious.

Good news for non-smokers

From January, the College will be in compliance with new laws in England and Wales that will prohibit smoking in public spaces. There will be dsignated (outdoor) sheltered smoking areas in the College, but nowhere indoors. You will also be pleased to hear that new, lower tariffs will apply to accommodation in Paddock House from next year, when a single room will cost 65 pounds.

Ok, however you observe the end of the year, I look forward to seeing Intakes 28, 30, 32 and 33 at the College in January.

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Tutors, tutors, everywhere

At the beginning of the week there was a two-day conference for tutors who will be involved in delivering the first stage of the new MBA curriculum from next year. It was an intensive and very useful event. Aside from the progress we made on many questions to do with programme delivery, management and design, I did notice two things:

1. Standing up in front of 102 tutors is a lot scarier prospect than talking to MBAs or managers. The way around this for me was to visualise the audience as MBAs.

2. For some reason, faculty enjoy asking questions on subjects that have nothing to do with them, thus often diverting the value of the session into an intellectual or procedural siding. 🙂

Am now looking forward to the Stage Two conference…

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Licensed to coach

Passed my coaching assignment, and the course, and am now eligible to join the posh-sounding Henley Register of Coaches.

Feels good to have completed something, and also something that I got a lot out of in terms of learning new things.

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