Archive for June, 2009

Dear All,

This month has illustrated what are without doubt two of the best things about this job. The first is when I get to hear about the achievements or accomplishments of programme members and their reflections on the role that their MBA (directly or indirectly) has had on those. For example, this month came the news from Gabriel Mesquida of HB35, who was one of the leaders of the new Terminal 1 project at Barcelona’s airport that this has been successfully completed. As he writes, “our new terminal is a bit bigger than Heathrow’s T5; 24km of baggage handling system instead of 18km, and it’s working fine – no problems with the baggage systems at all, no queues – everything is working just fine”. You can read more on this on Gabriel’s blog, where he graciously avoids making any unfavourable comparisons to anyone else’s favourite airline.

The second good thing is finding affirming ways in which the Henley approach to learning both differentiates us from our competition and promotes self-direction. This came up in email correspondence with a member of a brand new intake, who was looking for ways to explain to colleagues and line managers (many with MBAs) why we don’t hand out contrived case studies for you to base your assignments around. Formulating a response me made me think about the numerous benefits of assignments that you tailor to your own organisation. For example, getting you to focus your thoughts onto your own organisation releases the potential to explore and embed the theories and research from Henley materials in a real-world environment that fits you and your career development. It is a luxury, actually, afforded to you by this being a part-time programme with time available to reflect. Conversely, dictating that students undertake an exercise around a constructed case or simulation suits the administration of a programme far more than it promotes an adult and self-directed learning agenda. And there’s no reason to limit yourself to your own company; I still promote the idea, even if you are sponsored by your employer, of occasionally branching out to look at a totally new organisation for an assignment.

Henley on LinkedIn

Membership of the Henley Group on Linkedin now stands at an amazing 4,366. There are lively discussion boards and quite a few networking and career leads, so well worth joining and becoming active. LinkedIn have just added the possibility of opening Sub-Groups, so if anyone has any suggestions for one, please let me know.

Research Corner

Two items this month, but always room for more if you are at that stage in your MBA where you need people to pilot or complete surveys. The first is from Mel Muraor in South Africa, who writes: “Dear fellow Henley student, I am conducting a survey into the Recruitment, Human Resources and Business Processes outsourcing trends (2009/2010) for my dissertation and would appreciate it if you could forward this mail to fellow Henley students who could assist me with my research. I believe this research will be of value to your company’s HR, Recruitment and Procurement managers, especially if they are interested in what their competitor and sister companies are outsourcing, which vendors they are using and why they are or are not outsourcing, and their “Recruitment Processes, Human Resources and Business Processes.”

In return for your participation, I will provide you with the final report, which will give an insight into these trends, PLUS learn some alternative outsourcing strategies that could establish your organisation as a cut above the rest! It is very important for me to get these statistics for analysis and learn opinions, so would appreciate it if you can request that your customers respond to this survey by Wednesday 15th of July 2009. There are 20 questions in total and it will take about 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Please forward this email to your colleagues and ask them to “Please start the survey now by clicking on the Start Survey link “Start Survey “.

The second research piece is my own. As part of my PhD research, I have put together a questionnaire on “Work, Family and Learning”. I am interested in exploring pattern in experience and learning as understood by mid career managers. This survey asks you to reflect on the last twenty years of your life and also explore significant learning events in your lives. It’s thought provoking, so don’t do it if you’d rather not think about what makes you who you are… 🙂

The link for the survey is http://www.henley.reading.ac.uk/quest/WRL.pdf. Thanks in advance.

New Intakes

This month we welcomed two new MBA intakes. The first, HB41, incorporates the International Stream, our annual group of long-haul-distance learners who attend all their Stage workshops in one go here in the UK. The other group, HK01, is our first new group to start based from Hong Kong for some years. To mark the occasion, we have arranged for them all to come to the UK and experience their first workshop at Greenlands; a tactic so successful that several of them did not want to go back!

HB41 numbers some 59 participants, of which just over half are in the International Stream. To put this in context, the same group last year numbered 39, and the boost to the International Stream means that this is our largest such group ever. I’m pleased to report also that Henley’s ability to attract talented and experienced managers continues, with the average age on HB41 and HK01 being 37 and 38, respectively.
July’s SameTime Webinar

I’ve scheduled another open house meeting on SameTime on Thursday July 9th at 15.00 (UK time). The url for the meeting is here or you can find it listed in the schedule in the SameTime Meeting Centre, if you have that link on HenleyConnect. The meeting is audio and webcam enabled, so if you have headphones and a mic, you will be able to contribute that way.

Events coming up

The big one is the Henley Members Day this Sunday, July 5th. With the recent good weather and concurrent Henley Regatta, expect big crowds, tons of strawberries and gallons of fresh cream.

Marc Colman has asked me to let you all know about the following HR event, to be held in my old stomping ground of Budapest in September. Marc writes, “I wanted to quickly inquire if you would not mind sharing details of our International HR Forum with your HR members on your Linkedin Community – Henley is one of our main academic partners with both Chris Bones and Nick Holley speaking on the program plus a number of speakers have been through Henley over the last 10 years. I also noted from your profile that you were at CEU whom also happen to be one of our academic partners. 10% discount will be made available to does whom enter Henley Business School into the PromoCode Box. Look forward to hearing from you. Please visit this website for more details.”

That’s all for this month, so a shorter than usual email. Although somewhat neglected in recent weeks, I’ll be attending some doctoral research sessions next week, and that always gets the literary juices flowing for blog entries.



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The first in an occasional series.

I’m going to start with Blackwells bookstore, in Broad Street. Blackwells was founded in Oxford in 1879 and is now a labyrinthine joy for anyone who likes to spend time browsing.  It’s got a cafe nerro on the first floor, a quirky second-hand section on the top floor, a snooty rare books section on the second floor and (bestest of all) a vast subterranean cavernous array of social science and philosophy books in the basement Norrington Room. Bliss. I overheard one of the assistants tell an eccentric customer the other day that the Norrington had three miles of shelves…

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