Archive for January, 2009

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Dear all,


It’s been a two month gap in communication with you all and I’m feeling one-sided withdrawal symptoms. After any time away from Henley, I find a good way to re-connect is to take the walk along the river bank in front of the main building and, despite the chill in the air at the moment, the Greenlands campus seems to have mastered the trick of being “always different, always the same”.  The peace and tranquility is still there, but further and closer inspection reveals all sorts of changes behind the placid facade. Some of these are new faces, often colleagues from Reading, others are improvements to facilities, such as the installation of new equipment in the TK syndicate rooms and replacement of the very wobbly tables in Hambleden conference room. Of course, what really gives Henley its vitality is you, the programme members, and we are particularly pleased in January to welcome over forty new full-time MBAs, and we anticipate reaching our target recruitment for next month’s distance learning group, HB40 (we have reached our mid-life crisis number) of 60. More on them next month.


Home Straight Community News


Richard and Mike report continued steady progress for those who are engaged with the Home Straight.  There will be two HSC events held at Greenlands this year, each on the Sunday after the graduation. The first is on May 17th, the other on October 18th. The eagle-eyed among you will have deduced that graduations this year will be on Saturday May 16th and Saturday October 17th.


Research Corner


If you are looking for a vehicle to promote your research at Dissertation or Management Challenge stage, then let me know and I can include your survey in the February newsletter.


For those of you in Part Three and UK access, Dissertation Clinics at Greenlands in 2009 will be held on the following dates: 9th March, 18th May, September (date to be fixed) and 9th December. 


A Quantitative Methods workshop for those at Part Three is offered twice during the year:

Workshop 1: 20th February

Workshop 2: 17th April


Workshop 1: 30th October

Workshop 2: 12th December


A booking form for Henley Based programme members on Henley-Based intakes up to HB32 is available for the above via the workshop booking area.


International Business Elective – ‘Room for one more on top’


The International Business Environment (IBE) elective, specially put together for DL MBA members, is going ahead and we’ll be going to Hungary in mid March. There’s still room for one or two more people to sign up, so if you’d like to know more either take a look at the electives list on HenleyConnect.


Events at Henley


Linda Thorne writes: “Personal Branding is a half day workshop on 18th March with guest speaker Lesley Everett, Professional Speaker and Executive Branding Coach from Walking Tall.  Websites: www.lesleyeverett.com and www.walkingtall.org. Costs are £30 for programme members and alumni and £40 for guests.


Interim Management with Simon Berry – free members and alumni, guests £10, on 2nd April at 6.00pm. The two-hour workshop will cover:  an open and honest review of the Interim Market and how it works, a discussion of the ups and downs of being an Interim Manager, key competencies of an Interim Manager, and tips on building a successful career as an Interim Manager.”


Anyone interested can email Linda Thorne. 


Free Coaching sessions at Henley


This might be one for those of you living within striking distance of Henley, but there are frequent opportunities coming up for free coaching sessions by participants on the renowned Henley Coaching Certificate. Dr Patricia Bossons, who runs the programme, writes “all of the coaching sessions are conducted on weekdays here at Greenlands, starting at 5.00pm and finishing around 6.00/6.30pm.  Should you wish to have a follow-up session with the same coach, it is advisable that you let us (or the coach) know as soon as possible.  Whilst it is preferable for these sessions to be run face-to-face (especially for the initial session), we recognise the fact that this is not always possible.  With that in mind, we can usually arrange for the session to be conducted over the telephone.


Should you wish to be coached on one (or more) of the following sessions please email Sharon Hickman and in 2009 dates are: 26 February 2009, 10 March 2009, 23 April 2009, 30 April 2009, 11 June 2009, 25 June 2009, 2 July 2009, 27 July 2009, 3 September 2009, 8 September 2009, 10 September 2009, 14 September 2009, 15 October 2009, 19 October 2009, 5 November 2009, 12 November 2009, 26 November 2009, 10 December 2009 and 15 December 2009.


We would like to emphasise that the Henley coaches uphold a strict code of conduct around maintaining confidentiality within the coaching relationship.  Nothing that is revealed or discussed in a coaching session will be repeated to any third party in any attributable way.  No details of the coaching clients or sessions will be distributed amongst the participants of the programme, and no details of the coaching clients or sessions will be kept on file.”


Henley on LinkedIn


Membership of the Henley group now stands at over 3,760, which apparently puts us in with the 1% of LinkedIn groups with more than 1,000 members. There are a number of interesting discussions up and running and, of course, access to a very wide range of fellow learners and alumni across the world. I’m now also joined in the group management task by Laverne Price. If you’d like to sign up, please make sure your profile is up-to-date and accurate.


The Latest Financial Times MBA ranking


I’ve had a few emails from people wondering where Henley was on the latest FT MBA ranking. Nowhere, it would appear. Well, the explanation is that this January ranking is for Full-Time MBA programmes, and in the past, Henley’s full-time cohort was kept at a level below the minimum threshold for inclusion in the survey. I’m glad to say that the group that started here a couple of weeks ago numbered over 40, which will now (I wrote ‘not’ in the email, so did you spot the deliberate mistake?) enable Henley to be included (after a lag) to be part of the Full-time FT rankings also.


New Blog


This week I was interviewed by a Financial Times journalist who is writing a piece on Web 2.0 and use of social networking tools in distance learning education. Those of you who are now studying on the new MBA curriculum at Henley will, I hope, be both familiar with and devoted to the recording your thoughts in your online Learning Journals. Some intakes have really taken this on board and the benefit of ‘finding a voice’ as a reflective practitioner is beginning to be seen in the quality of the Personal Development assignments on the MBA.


I have changed my blogging address, (which you will know if you are reading this) switching from Blogger to WordPress. Previous monthly e-newsletters have been posted to the blogger site, and that will remain open as an archive area. As ever, I will be happy to link any of your blogs to mine, just let me know.




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This is the new home for my blog. The move have been prompted in part by the chance to explore a new blogging environment (change for change’s sake) and in part by the promise of a better set of blogging tools here (change for improvement’s sake). I cannot copy old posts over to this blog so will keep that one open for arhive purposes. Should you want to, you can always find those older posts here.

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It grows on you

With such a long winter break at Henley there has been, among some of the male members of faculty and staff, an inevitable giving in to the temptation to continue the process of ‘letting one’s hair down’ when on holiday into the new working year. The appearance of several new beards (though, in the case of Emilio Herbolzheimer, the disappearance one) has caused some amusement – as you can you see.

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The other day, while out walking the dog, I found myself composing a temporary foreword to my PhD in my head. I’m not sure why, except that it felt useful to try and set some boundaries for what might otherwise stray off into endless meandering.

It’s amazing how words can be put together so easily and sound so well composed in the confines of one’s own head, and yet how difficult it is to bring them out on paper (or screen), where they appear tangled, jumbled and inarticulate.

Although there are surely many others, once complete I see this work serving three purposes:

  • Mark of ritual and formal entry to membership in a community – the agreement of two or three other human beings, at least, that it ticks enough boxes for its author to be awarded a title
  • A small and real and soundly argued (even if, in docent old-age, what turns out to be a naive way), contribution to that body of work which seeks to a meta-theory and a unifying understanding of the world
  • Quite specifically, a novel way (remaining true to that holistic paradigm) of helping managers understand themselves and giving them freedom to make choices where before there appeared to be none

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