Posts Tagged ‘Henley’

The boathouse

The boathouse

photo 4

photo 6

photo 2

Here are a few photos taken today at Greenlands. With the water still to peak here, those downstream toward London are yet to see the worst of their floods.


Read Full Post »

At Henley, especially during Spring and Autumn, some mornings are more glorious than others, and the light and air combine to leave you feeling thoughtful and uplifted. Below are a few pictures taken on the campus this morning.

Thames 1

Thames 2

Thames 3


And then I wandered a bit further along the bank of the river and found Jack – a fugitive on the run – sitting placidly under a tree, enjoying the morning sun.

I have since found out that Jack, a capybara, escaped first in 2010 from a wildlife park. He has been captured several times and always gets out again. In fact, he is a bit of a celebrity and the subject of local publicity (this report was evidently premature in its news of Jack’s final capture) a familiar visitor to Greenlands.

Jack the escaped capybara, October 30th

Jack the escaped capybara, October 30th

Read Full Post »

Henley, on a cold and frosty morning

Henley, on a cold and frosty morning

I warn you now, I’m not sure this posting will be of any use to you.

I can’t help but notice that many who come to spend time at Henley arrive with a particular outlook on action, and a particular attitude toward thinking. I’m going to label that outlook “pragmatist”, though in truth this is just a piece of second-guessing on my part. That I venture an opinion on this at all is merely and partly from crude, subjective observation, and only with some hesitation.  I shall try to defend this by defining how I think a pragmatist thinks, and then counter that view by suggesting a shortcoming or two, as well as (not surprisingly) a hint at a different outlook.

The term ‘pragmatist’ has a reassuring allure to most managers (arguably, less lustre for those identifying themselves as leaders) because it holds the promise of getting things done, and done in a way that is neat, doable and matter-of-fact. It is almost shorthand for no-nonsense, if not quite common-sense. A pragmatist is a realist, conscious that the world is complex, yes, but equally aware that too much contemplation can get in the way of getting to the next thing. And there is always a next thing to be got to. The pragmatist will tolerate intellectual dilly-dallying only for so long, and will press sooner or later (sooner, actually) for reason to prevail and action to follow.

But the word has a long and fine history in thought, and a deserved place in the story of the philosophy of science. It has in its time been the informed view of many management thinkers and educators, especially in the US, where the term was coined in the late 1800s.

I take the four basic premises of pragmatism to be:

1. A focus on human action in any given situation

2. A view that knowledge is learned, remembered or acquired only according to its utility (or usefulness to action).

3. Humans respond to their environment indirectly, and through a process of interpretation (a big one, this, because it follows that descriptions are abstractions of experience, not experience itself).

4. in any given situation, the usefulness of objects influences what humans select to notice.

Pragmatism is important because it  wants to show that knowledge (which is the focus for action) is open to a scientific method of enquiry. The route for this is inference from empirical sense-data. This is clearly an attractive idea in the world of management – which wants to exert control over a world understood to be concrete and measurable. Enquiry, thought leading to action, becomes the process of better getting to grips with (and better getting control over) one’s environment. Whether or not what one believes to be true is in fact, or in someone else’s opinion, ‘the truth’ matters only so far as it affects that goal. Pragmatism is realist, but only as far as is minimally necessary in that particular ecology of inquiry to inform an action. In the last 100 years, and just as forcefully today as in the periods of social upheaval before and after the Second World War, pragmatists have influenced the formation of policy in science, education, democracy and public policy (including the formation of laws and norms that dominate the context of nearly all global trade, commerce and business). At an individual level, our identification with material gain, consumption, our views of what constitutes ethical practice in business, our tolerance of work practices and acceptance of the functional superiority of a ‘belief’ over a ‘truth’ all owe something to the legacy of the pragmatist tradition. We all go along with the prevailing view because we believe that, all things considered, it works. Whether it is in some sort of abstract or meta-level way true is less important.

In terms of drawbacks, I would like to suggest three.

First, a pragmatist has nowhere to go in terms of explanation other than to the linking sense-data and experience. In other words, they are limited to the forms of inference that rely only on the links between empirical data and events.  By this (and as mentioned in several previous musings on the blog) I mean induction and deduction. What is absent here is abduction. It is worth stating that the early proponents of pragmatism coined and were very interested in abduction, but something seems to have been lost along the way.

Second, this brings me back to whether or not a Business School has any business to disavow someone of the view that it doesn’t really matter how the world really is as long as how YOU believe the world is seems to produce results. I suspect not, but doubt that others do.

Third, and the original point of departure for this whole rant, the usual mantra of “the purpose of contemplation is action” ought to be turned round.  Reframed “the purpose of action is contemplation”, it changes everything.

Read Full Post »

I was contacted by a journalist who is writing a piece for a national newspaper on the use of social media by business and management students in their job search. It’s an interesting and very current topic, I guess, but is it true that managers have moved online in their career development?

My answer(s):

moved online? Yes.

Online to sell themsleves overtly? Only partly, and then mostly only because that appears to be what everyone else is doing, or what everyone else says everyone else is doing; following the crowd (not necessarily a bad thing). In summary here is how I see it:

1.       To an extent, there is still a digital divide according to age in the use of social media by Business and management students.

2.       Younger users of Social Media can navigate the myriad emergent means of communication with ease, and may use these as their primary way of keeping in touch with others, finding information or just “getting things done”. Any boundaries between these different platforms are what these users are looking to break down, and the fluid nature of the virtual self and identity is embraced.

3.       Older users (which covers most of those who are undertaking an MBA, particularly in Europe) are still predominantly and primarily using email to communicate the important stuff. They like LinkedIn because they are reasonably comfortable with the idea of transferring their (probably over-long) paper chronological resumes onto the site. Although many managers are fascinated by what technology can do for their productivity, with regard to protecting their self-identities, boundaries between different platforms are what they are seeking to put up, not dissolve.

4.       LinkedIn itself is seen by most mid-career MBAs as a way of building potentially useful networks of people they already know or already have common ground with (this is reinforced by the sense of community that Business Schools try to create). These contacts are often seen as being part of establishing credibility in their identity in their current job environment. They may appreciate that LinkedIn is also a shop-window, and that the hype says that many companies now recruit there, but this is not usually the main reason they are there. A benefit of social media has they appreciate rather more is the way in which interesting content can be shared and made accessible (e.g. links to magazine articles, papers etc.).

5.       The types of jobs Henley MBAs are moving into are often not those recruited by answering job ads, online or not. However, the ability to connect with head-hunters in a more direct route is interesting and it’s possible that they will use Social Media for this more in the future. LinkedIn has emerged as the place to do this, I would say (much more so than Facebook).

6.       A lot of older people feel that Twitter is a great answer to a question no-one has asked. This may be changing slowly, but see points 2 and 3 above.

7.       My advice for anyone looking to use social media to boost their career prospects?

a.       Golden rule: always give something before you expect to get something back.

b.      Be consistent and ethical in your online presence – there is no doubt that others that don’t know you will be able to join the dots fairly easily, and the resulting picture is what your “brand”looks like to them. You can be one thing on Facebook, another on your blog and a third on LinkedIn, but you will not be using the interconnectivity of the web these days to your advantage.

c.       Be open to new ideas. Try Twitter, start a blog. Don’t be discouraged. Follow others that you admire and learn from them.

Someone finding a job (other than as a blogger) on the strength of their blog is, I’d say, possible but very rare. It’s more likely, in situations where there is some competitive for a position, that a person can demonstrate enough “savvy” via their various online activities to avoid being eliminated in an early round.

Read Full Post »

Worth coming to work for on mornings such as these

Mist on the river Thames

Henley early on a forsty December morning

Read Full Post »

It’s always a pleasure to come and run workshops here in South Africa, in Johannesburg. This must be my seventh or eighth time here in about six years and I always marvel at the sense of space and the promise (despite the problems) that the region has. This particular visit is slightly different in that the time of year means coming from dark, autumnal Britain to hot and summer-like climate, where the trees are all in bloom and the skies are big and (for the most part, since Jo’burg has spectacular thunderstorms) blue.

Another difference is that the workshop I’ve been running is not at the start of the MBA (fresh faces, eager and nervous minds) but a group coming to the end of their Stage 1 work. Still a big group, it’s a pleasure to work with people who have stretched themselves and, in many cases, had unexpected results in the first year.

Also different is the fact that, really for the first time, Henley in South Africa is not located in someone else’s building, with shared resources and problems. Newly located next to one of the recently up-graded motorway routes between Jo’Burg and Pretoria, the setting is good for business and the fact that all the classroom space is only for Henley’s use, and is well constructed and full of natural light, makes the whole feeling so much more… well, more Henley, really. Sure, there’s no river, but what a difference it makes to have a place of your own to call home.

Yet another novelty for me this trip was the chance to go and make a short presentation (which I turned into a workshop) for the managers of a company called AVUSA (publishing and media). The “chance” was mediated slightly by the fact that the timing meant getting off an 11 hour overnight flight and driving straight to the company, but luckily everyone was quite understanding. The people there were, in fact, great, and very open to the idea of Reflection (what else would be my topic?). At the end, they presented me with a lovely biography of Mandela. On the way to their company, my driver took me through the district in Jo’Burg where Madiba has his residence – and it is a really lovely area (their version of Hampstead, perhaps?).

I always like to compare progress between visits. A shallow and restricted comparison, I understand, since I do not see much of the country when I’m here, but since I am always able to compare the same thing, I can report that there is continued development here – the infrastructure is more in place, the systems more reliable and the sense of unease (at least in some areas) and fear of crime has improved somewhat. Where people were openly planning to leave SA a few years ago, the debate has become much more of a dilemma and the tide sometimes turns the other way. One thing’s for sure, at some point I will want to explore more of the openness and potential of this country as a visitor.  Some things don’t change, of course. The South Africans are sports crazy, and the performance of the cricket team against Australia was woven into the PD workshop yesterday.

There’s a big topic of debate in education at the moment around the status of the MBA. The education ministry is considering a proposal to rate the MBA down from “level 9” (which would designate the MBA as a master’s degree requiring an honours degree for entry – and an honours degree here in SA means having completed a fourth year of university, which of course many managers won’t have done) to “level 8”. There would be pros and cons for Business Schools of this, mostly to do with programme financing in public universities, but the business schools are lobbying for the current situation to continue. At least, I think that’s what they’re doing – it’s complicated…!

Now I must get back to the PhD…

Read Full Post »

It was such a beautiful morning at Henley this morning. When I arrived the last of some early morning mists, early autumnal in the way the light shone in shafts through the leafy branches and onto the lawns. I took one or two pictures on my phone, which I have attached at the end of this post.

Otherwise, I’m in a period of interesting challenges. Plenty of Personal Development workshops to keep me busy (and a few coming up which involve travel), as well as a few newer and therefore somewhat ‘off piste’. I’m preparing a one and half day session on Personal Development (so far so good) for a group of senior HR directors (Ok) from AVIC of China (more intriguing) to be delivered with consecutive translation to and from Chinese (yikes!). That’s at the start of November, and will be delivered over on the Whiteknights campus (a first for me), where everyone looks very young. Well, not the faculty.

Next up will be short presentations to the management teams of two companies in South Africa, which I will do either side of delivering a one-day workshop for one of the MBA intakes. My topic, no surprises, will be “Reflection – seeing the world with fresh eyes”. One of the companies deals with entertainment, TV and all sorts of media, and the other operates a fleet of private ambulances (including air ambulances). Don’t know what they’ll learn, but I’m sure I’ll come out of it wiser.

The Economist rankings for 2011 for the full-time MBA came out yesterday and Henley slipped from 17 to 57, which was a real disappointment. I have no doubt that next year will show a rise, possibly a big one since the Economist allows for more movement year on year than, for example, the FT. The rankings have a weight to them which is actually very unhealthy. Their origins lie in the attempt to gain credibility for the business press so that they could maintain circulation rates. They don’t celebrate diversity and they probably are responsible for some schools taking attention away from innovation on their MBA programmes. That’s not a criticism, either of the newspapers/magazines or of the business schools that want to do well in the rankings, but we should acknowledge things as they are. Most schools will want to play it safe and seek a strong position in a ranking, especially where recruitment of international students is important. But rankings are, ultimately, counter-productive to the occupation of a niche (how can one occupy a niche AND be compared with everyone else?).

In a couple of weeks, our new full-time MBA students start arriving. I’m really looking forward to it, partly as I’ll be trying my hand as Personal Tutor. So far, I have only tutored the Exec MBA group. Not that that’s not great fun…..!




Read Full Post »

Dear all,

Programme Director positions at Henley are always for a fixed duration. If they weren’t, either you or the Director would end up going nuts. So the lead, and final, story in this newsletter is the information that I step down as MBA Programme Director, effective from the beginning of July. I remain at Henley in a new position and my successor is already in situ. More about both a little later in the newsletter, which will therefore be the last from me.

And this being so, I thought it worth reflecting a little on the past five years. I got to know Henley in about 1994, first as a sub-contractor working with faculty and staff on MBA study visits to eastern Europe, then as an MBA distance learner, then alumnus and eventually (in my own ‘Victor Kiam’ moment) Henley faculty member and Director of Studies.  The other day I was trying to recall what criteria I had used to select Henley for my degree.  I was based away from the UK and a flexibility to study somewhat (but not entirely) at my own pace  while still at work was attractive, and certainly I liked the practical idea of applying everything immediately at work. In addition, there was Henley’s good reputation and pedigree, and the fact that the degree awarded was the same regardless of mode of study, which made me feel my investment would be in a known brand.  I thought that the general focus of the Henley MBA on strategy sounded more ‘grown-up’ than the functional silos offered by most rival offerings – which indeed turned out to be the case.  Ranking didn’t play a part – I was already working in a Business School and knew that rankings promote  business magazines, and what most people need to is find a programme, not a chart position, that suits them.

I suspect many of the above will find resonance with you, and the fact they are all still current and valid is very reassuring.  Curiously, given the immense effort that went into my study, after graduation I found that not a lot of the detail of MBA content had stuck. True, before finishing the MBA I found myself completely immersed in each new module, layers of my working world in revealed in a new tint, but although it may often be true in life that the “devil is in the detail”, when it comes to the MBA, it does not. What emerged (and endured) in my case were changes in attitude and outlook; above all, Henley was a boost to confidence. 

Back in those days, however, ‘distance’ at Henley often meant ‘alone’ and one of the two things I am most fervent about is the importance placed on learning from fellow members of your intake.  The other is Personal Development, which may prove fortunate given my next role.

Who’s New

I’m pleased to introduce Mike Keighley, who takes over as Programme Director of the Henley MBA by Flexible learning.  Mike has actually been working at Henley for a year in an operational role, and he and Kathy Jarvis form the UK management team for the next academic year. Mike has experience in banking and served for some years as an officer in the military.

Another new programme director is Keith Heron, who takes over from Giampiero Favato, who many of you will know from the Corporate Governance and Finance module, and who is leaving Henley at the end of the summer.  In another change, Baskin Yenicioglu will take over from Ana Canhoto as Subject Area Leader for Strategic Marketing at the end of the academic year.

From the end of September, with the retirement of Tim Osborn-Jones, the new Subject Area Leader for Personal Development will be… me! I am very excited about this chance to continue to develop what is undoubtedly the most important module on the MBA (but then everyone’s own baby is the most special, no?).

Henley on LinkedIn

There’s been a fair amount of activity on the HBS Linkedin Group over the last month or so, and increasing anecdotal evidence that Henley programme members and alumni are using the site as a vehicle for mutual networking, not just window-shopping or displaying and exchanges views on various topics. LinkedIn is slowly introducing improvements to its site, most recently changes in the functionality of the groups area. As for subgroups, we are now looking at setting up one for those of you who work in government or public sector.  Another final plea to anyone requesting membership to have their online profile accurate and up-to-date with your Henley programme and years. There are still about 80 in the queue, mostly for that reason. For now, it will be me that continues to manage the Henley groups.

Research Corner

Programme Member Lindsay Allan (HB39) is undertaking preliminary research for her Management Challenge and is interested in gathering your views on leadership writes: “Take part in worldwide research into organization culture and work.

Lindsay Allen is helping Visiting Fellow, Peter Thomson – who ran the Future Work Forum at Henley for 16 years – carry out some groundbreaking research in collaboration with Cass Business School, London. The research examines organization culture, management attitudes and innovative working practices and will feature in a book to be published next year.  A key part of the project is collection of data through a short questionnaire that takes 10 minutes to complete.   We would like to invite current Henley MBA students to participate in this research by going to [linke removed] and completing the survey by Friday July 23rd. ”

 The ARC unveiled

After several months of building work, phase one of the redevelopment at Greenlands is complete. What was the PowerGen library is now where the builders are hard at work creating a new MBA classroom and syndicate rooms, and the Academic Resource Centre, ARC, now occupies another side of the inner quad area. Under the leadership of the experienced Henley library team, the ARC will develop over the coming months, and you’ll be able to follow them via Twitter and, shortly, their blog.


After missing this in last month’s newsletter, here now are 2 suggestions for interesting videos from the TED web site. First up is the second presentation by Hans Rosling, in 2007, about poverty and statistics. Watch it to the end… http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/hans_rosling_reveals_new_insights_on_poverty.html

The other is archive footage of concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl, holding court in 1972 about finding meaning in life:  http://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html.

Members’ Family Day

Only a few days left to this event on Sunday July 4th, so if you are coming, we hope you enjoy the varied activities and relaxed regatta atmosphere. The weather here lately has been fantastic, so with luck it will continue that way.

2010 Annual Survey

Watch out for another email some time during July, inviting you to take part in the annual survey. Last year, we got responses from around 15% of you, which isn’t bad, but since the output report is widely read and circulated, and informs decision-making, it’s worth taking the time to express what you like and don’t like.

End of the academic year – username reminder

As a College, life at Henley rolled by without beginning and end, and on the MBA this is still often the case.  It is also true, however, that the University works on academic year, which closes on July 31st, so this is a gentle reminder to anyone who has not yet logged on to RISIS (e:Vision) and activated their University of Reading user name and password.  At time of merger, the system was set up to continue to allow people to log in using just the e:Vision username only. This will be much more difficult from August. Most of you have already done this.

So, that’s it. It’s been an amazing and complex honour to have been running this MBA, and over the years these monthly newsletters have meandered somewhat, like all good streams of thought should – I hope you have enjoyed them. I look forward to seeing you all at Graduation!

 Chris Dalton

Read Full Post »

Dear all,

I usually don’t start writing these things on the day they’re due to be sent out, so you will have to forgive me if this one lacks the usual sparkle and polish. In fact, I don’t know how it’s been for you, but I’ve been having a disjointed start to the year. At the start of the month we had the kind of wintry weather that, depending on where in the world you live, might either be considered as unprecedented, or just business as usual. For the startled residents of the English Home Counties, however, the severe cold and fairly heavy snow caused misery and country-lane gridlock on more than one occasion. We were even forced to postpone several workshops on site here, which I don’t recall happening before. The expression “working at home”, so often a euphemism for something else, actually came true for many staffers and faculty.

False starts over, the past week or so has felt like our own version of “business as usual”, with the classes full and the restaurant and bar buzzing. I’m sad to say that Kathy Jarvis, MBA Programme Manager, will be off for a few more weeks in recovery after breaking her wrist before Christmas. When she’s back we’ll be pushing on, in particular, with activities to promote Progression and Completion (Graduation’s younger siblings), but until then please bear with us if you have an outstanding issue pending.

Henley on Linkedin

The Henley Business School group on Linkedin now has 4,869 members. If you haven’t done so, or haven’t done so for a while, it might be worth checking the group area out. There have been some interesting discussions (which you can choose to follow) and it’s often fun to run a search to see who in the Henley network shares the same industry, region, or even family name! In response to several well-thought through requests, we now have some new sub-groups formed. One is for Henley in Ireland, and another for Henley alumni in Norway. A third, Henley Alumni in Asia-Pacific, is just getting going and will cover New Zealand to Hong Kong and Singapore. These geography-based sub-groups complement the thematic groups already there. We’ll monitor activity on these and see whether the proliferation works, or whether we need to keep things simple with fewer, but larger groupings. As always, please make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date, and accurate, before requesting to join.

Research Corner

Only one candidate for this section this month. Ephraim Spehrer-Patrick writes “I am currently writing my Henley MBA dissertation about Human Capital Measurement and would appreciate your participation in my survey. It will take approximately 20 minutes.

Below you will find the link to the online survey: [removed from blog]

Despite frequently stated by business leaders that ‘people are the company’s greatest asset’, there is no unified and commonly accepted approach that enables organisations to consistently quantify the benefits of their investments in people and comparing the outcome with other organisations. Human capital in this study is defined as “measuring the impact of people management practices and investments as well as the contribution of people to bottom-line performance of an organisation”.

The study addresses whether human capital measurement should be standardised and to what degree human capital information should be disclosed to external stakeholders.”

Building works at the Greenlands site

Work on the new teaching facility and creation of the Learning Resource Center will begin in earnest next Monday and this week the contractors have been getting the site ready (and hanging up more signs than I’ve ever seen on any building site). The work will last until mid summer and will cause some disruption to the locations of workshops, but the end result should be quite stunning. Those of you who like to come in and work quietly in the library may still do so, but the location for this has been moved to the building in front River House where the snooker table used to be.

I’m tempted to tell you that the construction work’s being done by the same company that installed those fantastic hand-driers in the refurbished toilets, but that might seem as though I’m trivialising the new Greenlands Trust Suite, which I’m not – I’m really looking forward to having whole new spaces for learning and I think it will be some solid evidence of the Reading effect.

New Intakes

Next month we’ll be welcoming a new Henley-Based intake (on the renamed Flexible MBA), HB43, and then in March, new groups from Denmark and Finland. For those who don’t know, the Nordic and Scandinavian incoming students hold a joint workshop at Greenlands and have a tradition of organising their own “Eurovision Song Contest” on the second evening. The trophy is currently back in the hands of the Danes, who put on a performance to rival anything you might see on the X Factor to get it back from the Finns.

At the end of March, it will be South Africa’s turn for their Starter workshop, which we will be running from the new Henley location in Johannesburg. New premises, too, for the Henley office in Hong Kong.

Who’s Who

 This month we welcome an energetic new Director of Marketing for the Business School, Rosemary Hayes, who joins us from spells with IESE in Spain and University of Kent Business School.

Many of you outside the UK will know Pat Hougham, who did much more with our Partner Network than her title of International Programmes Manager suggests. After more years here than she would care to admit, Pat will be retiring in February and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her dedication and resilience in dealing with a great number of things on the Flexible MBA.

NUS Cards

This may be of interest to those of you based in the UK. National Union of Student (NUS) ‘Extra’ cards are available for part-time as well as full-time students from the University of Reading. NUS cards, apart from having some nostalgia appeal from your slimmer undergraduate days, entitle you to numerous discounts in certain retail and service businesses. Details of how to purchase one can be found at http://cards.nus.org.uk/buy/ (pick up is from the Whiteknights campus Student Union in Reading, I believe) and info on the card can be found here http://www.nus.org.uk/en/NUS-Extra/.

Read Full Post »

Dear all,  

Whether your measure is calendar, fiscal or academic, you probably won’t be surprised to know that this has been the busiest month of the year here at Henley. The cycle of the MBA is now largely annual, so there have been plenty of Stage 1, 2 and 3 starts, arranged with much the same unrelenting elegance as the line of jets manoeuvred in the skies over Henley to feed in for landing at Heathrow. The pace has meant that, sadly, this newsletter is a few days late coming out to you, so apologies.

In the last month or so, we’ve had new starts for groups from Malta, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK, as well as in Trinidad. As mentioned, many other groups have reached either Stage 2 or 3 workshops for the first time, and what with welcomes to a new full-time MBA intake as well as the Executive MBA we’re feeling very full. As I look out of my office window, I see the space normally occupied by rabbits on the lawn is being taken by preparations for work to be done on Paddock accommodation. Before those of you who know and love those bedrooms break out the champagne, I should point out that this phase of work is largely structural – work on the same level of refurbishment of bedrooms we have seen in Thames Court will follow later.

 A new name for the programme

I don’t know how personally you each felt about the tag “distance” to describe mode of study on your MBA. I’m guessing that probably you either ignored it (because it had no connotation, or no  positive connotation, in your part of the world) or disliked it (because it created a somewhat old-fashioned or snail’s-paced impression way to learn), although you recognised it as a term often used to differentiate the three-year MBA from other lengths or modes of study. Well, I’m pleased now to announce that with immediate effect we are rebranding the programme from “Distance Learning” to “The Henley MBA by Flexible Learning”.

You will begin to see us use this where necessary to differentiate from other ways of achieving the same degree.  You are all on the Henley MBA, and you share this in common with the Full-Time and the Executive programme members. However, we see that you may also need more flexibility in how and where you do that studying and, more importantly, you benefit from tailoring your assignments to your own organisations.  We will take time to allow an elaboration of what this term means for Henley over the coming months. Of course, just as the change from Management College to Business School took time to get used to, so will it take a little while to get our tongues round the new title. Since Henley is already regarded as the market leader in this format of management learning, I’ve no doubt that we will make it our own.


I’m really enjoying the correspondence and energy on the Henley Linkedin group at the moment. We’re still growing (nearly 4,700 now) and the two sub-groups are finding their voice. There are several discussions running at the moment, including one on the new EIU and FT MBA rankings, which brings me on to…

Henley in the rankings

We have had news lately of Henley Business School’s position in the rankings issued by the Financial Times (FT) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).  To quote from our own website :

“Our overall positions remain very similar with our Executive MBA still ranked 44th in the world but we are now 6th in the UK and 15th in Europe (we were 5th and 13th last year).  The Henley Full-time MBA remains at number 4 in the UK, number 9 in Europe and is now ranked 21 in the world (20 last year).”

I was at an MBA fair in Frankfurt this weekend and I think what I find reassuring about the Henley brand is not that it attracts swarms (and swarms at MBA fairs usually mean either you are the big local player or you are an MBA sausage factory) but that we retain a focus on experience in management that is the envy of many of those jostling for position on the listings.

Home Straight Community

Here at Greenlands, Richard and Mike ran yet another successful Home Straight event, timed not-so-subtly the day after the graduation to encourage those attending to focus on the goal of finishing. Mike reports that this month, for the first time, the majority of those in the group now have accepted Dissertation proposals in. Clearly, for any of you out there who are in the same or similar place in programme 4 (Part Three), the key message is “focus on the proposal”, as then you have a lifeline of contact and support from the Henley team. Also, keep an eye on your registration/re-registration clock, and make sure you apply for more time (if you are eligible).

Research Corner

Programme Member John Barnes has the following request to assist him in his research on Six Sigma implementation in UK manufacturing organisations. John has info on this in the Henley Linkedin discussion area and can be contacted at (email withheld from blog)

Christina Unworth, Finance Director at Grohe Ltd and an alumnus, writes: “I currently work for Grohe Ltd, which is a UK subsidiary of Grohe AG, the leading brand for sanitary, water technology products and systems. (Taps, showers and sanitary systems).  We also sell Kitchen taps but this is a part of the market that has not yet been explored in any detail. 

I was wondering if this could be used for a disse rtation student to explore the whole Kitchen faucet market. Including routes to market, distribution channels, market make up and value, competitor analysis etc.”

If anyone is interested (it could also perhaps be an IMP topic), then her email is (witheld from blog)

Finally, Linda Thorne (linda.thorne@henley.com for more details), here at HBS, writes of another potential MBA research project:

“Project Title: Develop airline industry revenue forecast model and its impact on distributors and consumers

 (details witheld from blog) 

Part Three Exam

This message will only affect a very few of you now, but a reminder to anyone still yet to complete their Part Three examination (under the old curriculum) will need to do so in the final sitting, which is in December. In order to be granted access, you will need to provide an appeal, which you can address to Suzanne Goddard at suzanne.goddard@henley.com

Any Other Business

Last year I plugged a HR conference being held in Vienna. Marc Coleman (marc@hrneurope.com) has informed me that another event is happening in February 2010 (apocalyptically titled: “Performance and the Next Wave in the War for Talent”) and details can be found at www.hrneurope.com.

We’re in the middle now of “Green Week” at Henley, whereby awareness is being raised of the School’s efforts to promote sustainable management policies and practices, such as ISO 14001. Of course, this is a very welcome and important topic, especially for someone constructing a PhD around the work of Gregory Bateson!

If you’ve read this far into the newsletter, you’re either looking for distraction activities to avoid writing assignments, or you enjoy online learning and education. If this is you, then as part of our developments to up-grade our VLE, HenleyConnect, we are actively seeking someone who would agree to participate in a development panel alongside developers and faculty. You will need to be within easy travelling distance of Henley and be willing to commit to join us in meetings in November to January. If you would like to know more, then please let me know.

Finally, and off topic from management education, I’d like to say a quick thank you to the two or three individuals who have bought my book on Amazon – the result is a sales ranking of about 1,300,000.

Chris Dalton

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: