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Dear all,  

With the summer holidays (at least in the northern hemisphere) in full swing, this newsletter will cover both July and August. This is somehow appropriate, however, since we have just crossed – without ceremony or fanfare – our first anniversary as Henley Business School. Just over a year ago at this time we were on the brink of merging with the University of Reading, and when I look back to my newsletter for that month I see that it was all about mixed feelings, so it’s perhaps appropriate now to take a quick look back at the last 12 months and see what sense can be made of it.  

On my drive to work from Oxford in recent days my usual short-cut through the Chiltern lanes and villages and valleys (a drive I really enjoy) has been re-routed because of repair work being done to the road surfaces. My first reaction at seeing the “road ahead closed” sign was annoyance; a longer way round, a less familiar route with the chance of getting lost, and the removal of my vista on the hill with the windmill featured in the children’s film “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang”. But then I realised what the other side of that coin is – a new view, (a road less travelled?) and the subsequent discovery of a wonderful, single-track lane sunk into chalky woodland banks on the approach to Turville, a picturesque village made famous as Dibley in the BBC comedy “The Vicar of Dibley”.  

The merger has been something of the same feeling, really. Over the last 12 months we’ve all come to realise that the new story is what we make it to be – and what we choose to make it be as a Business School can be just as interesting, just as revealing and just as exciting (though undoubtedly different) as anything we might have constructed as a College. What’s more, in the current market, there may have been quite a different plot being played out had we remained HMC. After a year of finding our feet (sometimes treading on each other’s toes), we’re now beginning to see some of the effects and benefits of being part of the University. Over the remainder of the year, I will try to bring you news of these and other programme developments.  

The Annual Questionnaire 2009!  

Old hands on the Henley MBA will, I’m sure, eagerly be anticipating this year’s annual survey, which I will launch some time before the end of August. Each year, we ask you to rate us (and yourselves) on several key performance indicators, as well as giving us feedback that may be more reflective and considered than at the end of a workshop session.   You will receive an email with a link to the survey. Last year the response rate nearly doubled from 2007, so I hope we can keep that trend up.  

Henley on Linkedin  

We’re at about 4,500 members now, so still growing, and there are quite a few discussion threads running. The current featured one is titled “A Hippocratic Oath of Managers?” and debates the idea, popular in the US at the moment, that management begin to view itself as an ethical profession. We’re also in the process of launching the first Alumni Special Interest (sub-)Group on Henley LinkedIn – “Leadership of Organisational Change”, managed by Kate Greaves. This will be a venue for discussion and networking on this issue and will tie in to other Henley Alumni activities.   Don’t forget, make sure your profile is accurate and up-to-date before applying for membership of this online community.    

Henley on Twitter  

My position on Twitter is that it is a great answer to a question we haven’t worked out yet. However, I am very happy to tell you that Henley is now on Twitter and you can follow our tweets on http://twitter.com/henleymba. You can follow mine on https://twitter.com/dalty, though I’m afraid I’m an infrequent user. Much more informatively, our library team are also using the service and can be followed on http://twitter.com/UoRHenleyLib.  

Upcoming Events in the UK  

Looking ahead, the alumni team have circulated the following info and links:

10 September 2009 – eBusiness Alumni Group. is pleased to announce Nick Kirkland Chief Executive of CIO Connect will be presenting up to date findings on their current research in changing business demands of Chief Information Officers. The presentation will be followed by group discussions. Held at the Athenaeum club, London. amanda.proddow@henley.com

17 September 2009 – Leadership in Organisational Change Alumni Group  introduces its next event to be held at Fujitsu Services, 22 Baker Street, London W1U 3BW. Their speaker is David Smith, CIO Fujitsu UK & Eire and Director of Core Shared Services.

17 September 2009 – Third Sector Network Alumni Group – “The Impact of Technology on the Third Sector”. Location: Saatchi & Saatchi, 80 Charlotte Street, London W1A 1AQ. Presentations from Fiona Dawe, OBE, Chief Executive of YouthNet UK; Gemma Went a specialist in Social Media and PR, and Prof. David James, Henley Business School.

25 September 2009 – Henley Golf Challenge. Now in its 4th year this popular golf event will be held at The Springs Golf Club, Wallingford. £55.00 per person. Only 12 places remaining.

30 September 2009 – MBA Career Development Service. Effective Self Marketing Workshop at Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames, UK. Contact Linda Thorne.  Another set of dates for (some of) your long-range diaries are the graduation dates for 2010, which are Saturday 15 May 2010, Saturday 16 October 2010 and Saturday 14 May 2011.  

Refurbishment of the Thames Court bedrooms at Greenlands  

Much anticipated by those who have stayed in one of the “model” rooms in Thames Court in the past year or so, just started at the end of July was Phase 1 of the Thames Court Bedroom Refurbishment. This covers 24 bedrooms in Windrush House and completion date is Friday 4th September.   

A great way to present  

I’m grateful to Alexander Voss in GM01 for forwarding a link to a visual presentation by Swedish academic Hans Rosling that complemented the input on Global Business Environment. I found the style of the presenter very engaging and the use of their visual aid technology seamless with their message. Take a look: http://www.gapminder.org/videos/ted-talks/hans-rosling-ted-2006-debunking-myths-about-the-third-world/. It also has a link to the software he was using.  

On a similar theme, technical issues that made the use of SameTime for synchronous meetings have now been solved and the system should be functioning. I ran a webinar for prospective new members last week and the system functioned well, with video-audio input from the US, Ireland and the UK, so I hope that those of you who are using this system to work together will keep trying. My learning has been that it takes quite careful preparation to run an online meeting, and often it is better to have everyone’s microphone muted at the start until things settle down and the agenda (and work space) has been presented.    

Home Straight Community  

Richard and Mike report that, for the first time since it was set up, the proportion of members who have submitted Dissertation proposals now exceeds those who have yet to do so. There are some great personal stories emerging from the community and the support from the tutors is fantastic, but it still remains a mountain to climb. You can help yourselves, if this is where you are in your MBA, by keeping an eye on your registration clock and communicating sooner rather than later with your course manager/administrator or personal tutor (in the UK) if you need help.

While I’m here in Part Three of the MBA, let me remind anyone still facing their Part Three exam (Strategic Direction, Business Transformation and Strategic Financial Analysis) that the final first sitting for this exam will be in September 2009, with a re-sit opportunity in December 09.

(Research Corner)

Thanks to all those amongst you who volunteered to fill out my online questionnaire, which is helping inform my thinking for my PhD. Occasional blog entries on the topic will educate anyone who is curious as to what I am looking at in my research, but suffice it to say that the answer that I have found most helpful in the survey so far is the one that asks the person filling it out how they found the experience of doing so…

Help with Dissertation Research: Robert Preston writes: “I’m investigating the level of maturity of Supplier Relationship Management practices within the UK Financial Services industry, the extent to which formal models have been adopted and the degree to which the current economic downturn is influencing management approaches.  If you currently work or have recently worked in Financial Services in the UK and have experience of managing suppliers or knowledge of how suppliers are being managed, I would really appreciate your help in completing an on-line survey. The survey only takes 5 minutes to complete, the results of which I would be more than happy to share with you (just let me know). All individual responses to the survey are anonymous so please rest assured that your answers will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The survey has been extended to Friday 14th August and can be accessed by clicking the following link: (removed from the Blog).

Chris Dalton   

 

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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.

Chris

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Dear all,
 
Some months it’s really easy to come up with something to say at the beginning of these newsletters. For some reason, though, this month is proving tricky and I’ve been reflecting on why this might be so. That I’m able to do so on what is a glorious day of warm sunshine here, with those attending workshops taking every opportunity to work or relax outdoors on Henley’s immaculate lawns, only makes the writer’s block more mysterious. On days such as these, when the world seems so placid, it would be easy to forget that at one time or another it’s a pretty good bet that each of you will face significant barriers to attaining the goal of completion of the MBA and this week I’ve been dealing with several of these.
  
This newsletter goes out to over 3,000 of you and I suppose it’s a fairly safe bet that at any one time a good percentage of you will experience one or more of the ‘darker’ sides of undertaking the MBA. Within the programme the key pressure points tend to be right at the beginning, just after the first exam and then in the long, lonely walk to the finishing line at the dissertation or management challenge phase. In addition come externally generated difficulties, some of which are part and parcel of growing up in adulthood, others which are forced by economic cycle. These can and do throw you off balance. Though small in number overall, each one is of vital importance to the person concerned and each story presents an opportunity for us to learn about how you learn (of course, this is a topic very much on my own mind at the moment).
  
Business Schools have been on the receiving end of some bad press during this recession. Some of it may well be deserved. I don’t believe that Henley is the kind of school which can fairly be viewed as part of the problem, but I do believe that there may be a fantastic opportunity now to contribute something to the massive change in mindset in business that the economic disruption could allow. Systems aren’t just made of bricks, they’re mostly made of people and even in (especially in) the hard times it is really important that we know who we are – and that requires us to reflect deeply even when (especially when) things go awry.
  
SameTime
  
Many of you will already know that HenleyConnect has an embedded device, called SameTime, for contacting other members of your intake synchronously. SameTime can operate as an instant messenger, and it can also be used for audio/video calls, as well as for full-blown online meetings and ‘webinars’. We are keen to explore and promote this tool and as part of that process, I am planning series of monthly Programme Director “office hours” using SameTime meeting. These will be held on the first Friday of each month for four months (initially) from June 5th at 15.00 UK time. Anyone is free to join during that hour, whether it’s just to take a look at the e-meeting environment, raise a question with me or simply say hello. If you have a webcam and microphone, then you will also be able to interact using those. 
    
Home Straight news
  
With around 60 participants, Richard and Mike hosted an extremely well attended Home Straight meeting at Greenlands the day after graduation. They were able to whet everyone’s appetite for finishing by playing interviews with successful graduates from the day before. Carola Hillenbrand then ran a very well received session on quantitative methods in research.
  
Research Corner
  
No-one has contacted me this month with details of a research project needing advertising, but don’t hesitate to let me know if you would like other programme members to participate in your research. Also, watch out for news of a questionaire that I will be launching as part of my PhD very soon…
  
Dissertation Clinic
  
The next clinic, which is a chance for a one-to-one with a member of faculty if you are still working on your first proposal, or a reminder of the dissertation process if you have not got that far, is on June 18th. Sue Thomas is organising bookings for this.
  
 

Your Registration clock

 

 

Programme Examiners Meeting – Statistics

Here is one of an occasional one of my for ways into the attainment reports from April’s Programme Examiners Meeting, the body that meets quarterly and reviews all assignments and examinations and which puts forward names for graduation

Sorry – this item removed for blogging purposes…

Events Coming Up 

Ashley Arnold, who heads up the recruitment for graduate programmes here, has forwarded me this link, with information about a brand new event on the evening of July 2nd, to promote Henley among your contacts. The evening forms part of the Henley Regatta Week.

Amanda Proddow has sent me another link for an alumni Garden Party in London on June 16th, organised by the London and South East alumni group. She writes “this is a great opportunity to network with alumni at the highest levels and at a most prestigious venue! Speakers from previous events have been invited and will include Julian Tregoning, Bank of New York Mellon and Tom Flanagan, Pinsent Masons.   Being an external event, the charge for current students is £20.00.”

Finally, don’t forget Henley alumni Family Day is coming up on July 5th!

 

Who’s Who

First, I need to let you know that my title has been changed from ‘Director of Studies’ to ‘Programme Director’, in line with the terminology used elsewhere in the University. Then, I’m pleased to announce that from mid July Kathy Jarvis will joining my team in the role of MBA Programme Manager. After quite a while being the only one at the helm, so to speak, I am pretty relieved about this! Kathy moves over from her job as manager for admissions and will bring energy and experience to a very demanding job spec. There’ll be more about Kathy in the July newsletter.

Chris

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Dear all,

the past week or so has seen some wonderful spring weather here at Henley and although the daffodils that filled the lawns in front of the Greenlands building a couple of weeks ago have faded, the woodlands that surround are carpeted in wonderful expanses of bluebells.  This part of the Thames Valley, never shabby even in winter, seems to come into its own around this time of year. A noticeable indicator of summer not being far away are the great white ‘mushrooms’ formed by the marquees that spring up to house a whole range of well-heeled events. Next month, of course, one of those will be here with us at the May graduation ceremony, but there must be a small army of people carting around, erecting and silently dismantling these great tents.
 
So, business as usual, broadly speaking. That’s not to say that the impact of the global recession is not apparent, even here. Quite apart from it being a hot topic of conversation in conference rooms at Henley (thanks to academics such as Emilio Herbolzheimer), I know that quite a few of you experienced personal impact – either in terms of facing uncertainty, redundancy or, perversely, increased workloads, as companies “batten down the hatches”.
 
The role of the business school as an institution in all of this is an appropriate area for debate, and I hope that Henley will be at the forefront of a positive, reflective and thoughtful response in the coming months. One place where you will find that people are already discussing these matters is the Henley group on LinkedIn, so I’ll start there…
 
LinkedIn
 
We seem to grow membership of this group by roughly 100 new members per month, which is wonderful, and there are over a dozen lively discussion threads running right now, so I hope that you will feel able to contribute. Don’t forget, if you’re not registered on LinkedIn, you’ll have to do that first, and up-date your education details. Then you’ll be in touch with 4,116 other managers with ties to Henley.
 
Several of you have also placed “ads” for your MBA research projects there, and I hope that you’re getting good results. I’m also pleased to advertise for respondents here, so email me if you have a survey suitable for this audience. To kick things off…
 
Research Corner
Warren Butler, from HB22, writes:

As part of my MBA Dissertation I am reviewing the Risk Management techniques applied to the relocation of small to medium manufacturing operations. As more companies opt for an outsourcing strategy current research suggests that many companies are disappointed with the outcome of their strategy. My research seeks to ascertain whether risk management techniques are applied at all, and if so, what techniques are utilised and are they applied in a robust and thorough manner. I am hoping to interview 20-25 managers, face to face or telephone. Interview duration will be 45-60 minutes. I am based in mid-Sussex, UK. If you are willing to take part, please contact me directly.

Mike Palmer, a faculty member here, has a request going the other way and is looking for people looking for a topic:

We’re at the stage of setting up the Project Teams for the KM (Knowledge Management) Forum for 2009, each of which includes a researcher. There are 4/5 meetings from May to December here at Henley, and it requires some time outside the meetings doing literature research and involvement with the co-champions of each project in developing materials etc. Past experience has shown that MBA programme members who are at their dissertation stage and interested in the topic can find this of great value.

We are now looking for researchers for two of the three projects this year. Please find the following relevant information which was recently circulated to members. I should therefore be grateful if you could publicise this in the most appropriate way, remembering that ideally we need to try to identify people by early May if possible to coincide with the start of the projects. 

Using knowledge in decision-making

Please contact Judy Payne or Mike Palmer if you’d like to know more about being a researcher for either of the project working groups. There will be a short selection process to ensure compatibility and commitment.”

Economist rankings

Margareta Koter tells me that well over 400 of you have filled out the EIU Questionnaire for the MBA rankings online, which is fantastic and should centainly assist in producing a robust result. However, an email is sent from the system to get you to validate your results, and it appears that only about 240 of you have done that. It might be that your email systems have caught that EIU email in a spam filter, so could you check again? Thanks.

Who’s News

As of April 1st, Professor Roger Palmer became the Head of School of Management (one of the five schools within Henley Business School). Dr Susan Rose has been named Associate Head of School, replacing Roger, and now is oversees all the MBA modes of study. Nigel Spinks was recently announced as Subject Area Leader for Managing Processess, Systems and Projects.

An event (for those in the UK): Henley Alumni Special Interest Group Leadership of Organisational Change 

The role of organisational leadership in a reforming NHS with Paul Corrigan  

Date: Tuesday 19th May 2009 – Spring Meeting 

Time: 18.30 reception 

Venue: American Express Services Europe Limited, Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London  SW1W 9AX 

Cost: £20.00 alumni and current DL MBA sprogramme members, to include a drink on arrival, sandwiches and wine. 

****************************

 
Next month I’ll be providing one of my occasional run downs of the averages for assignments and exams on the programme.  Don’t forget that the Henley Family Day event is on July 5th, and the next UK Home Straight event is on Sunday May 18th.
 
And finally…
 
At a recent recruitment event, Woz Ahmed, of HB36, mentioned the poetry of Donald Rumsfeld. I was baffled until I looked at this link 
 
Chris Dalton

 

 

 

 

Until recently Professor Corrigan was Director of Commissioning Improvement and Innovation at NHS London.   Since leaving the NHS London Strategic Health Authority in April 2009, Paul has been working as a management consultant and an executive coach helping leaders create and develop step changes with their organisation. Paul Corrigan gained his first degree in social policy from the LSE in 1969, his PhD at Durham in 1974. He is adjunct professor of public health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. For the first 12 years of his working life he taught at Warwick University and the Polytechnic of North London – he was Head of Department of applied social studies in the latter. He taught, researched and wrote about inner city social policy and community development.  In 1985 he left academic life and for the next 12 years he worked in local government – mainly in London but also as a member of staff in the local government unit of the Labour party. In 1997 he started to work for himself as a local government consultant. In 1998 he published Shakespeare on Management.  From July 2001 he worked as a special adviser to Alan Milburn first and then John Reid, the then Secretary of States for Health. Others have credited him with being the architect of NHS Foundation Trusts. At the end of 2005 he became the senior health policy adviser to the Prime Minister Tony Blair leaving that post in June 2007.

 

 

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It’s not uncommon at workshops and events at Henley for participants to disappear at breaks grasping their Blackberry handsets (other mobile messaging devices are available) to deal with whatever work is throwing at them. This has become such a norm that we hardly notice it any more and arguably most of those messages are just generated by the fact that they can be.  

Occasionally, though, things are different, as has been demonstrated by a news story that broke this week – namely the announcement of a ground-breaking project involving Pfizer, who will provide funding to develop a therapy to use stem-cell research to cure blindness.

The lead negotiator from Pfizer in this deal was Henley DL MBA programme member Diane Harbison, and the announcement neatly explained the frantic amount of messaging and extra work she did while also (fully) participating in the recent elective trip to Budapest, Hungary (see earlier blog entries). So, congratulations to her – clearly (in my view, at least) the skills and confidence developed on the programme so far, and Diane is half way through the final part, have helped contribute to something that satisfies Henley’s ambition for managers to be making right choices at community as well as organisation levels.

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Here is the link to today’s article, with quotes from me, in the Times supplement on MBAs and new media. From this page you can also look at the other articles in the feature.

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Snow has become an “event” in the UK. At least, the weather forecasts in the 48 hours were warning of ‘significant snow events’ in and around London and the south east of England on Monday.

In the event, visitors from eastern Europe or very northern Europe would have been left scratching their heads at the complete and immediate collapse of just about every aspect of outdoor existence under the weight of what would have appeared to them as no more than a minor annoyance; as opposed to great blizzard. But, when in Rome…

Actually, I imagine that the lack of preparation and equipment to keep everything clear and moving did actually prevent many going about their business, but the growth of technology since the last time this region was snowed under (18 years, they say) meant that you could be just as (if not more) productive working from home. I got through a lot of backed up administration, for example. And, by all accounts, Henley looked just lovely in its winter coat.

Back to normal frustrations tomorrow.

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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.

 

Chris

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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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