The future of management education

2. November 2019

Date: 31-10-2019
Source: The Economist

We have obtained a copy of a recent letter to a business dean

Dear Dean Whiteboard,

On behalf of the trustees of the Gordon Gekko Business School, I write with a helicopter view on our beloved institution. There is good news and bad. First, congratulations are in order. Under your leadership, GorGeBS has again been named by The Economist as one of the world’s top 100 business schools.

The bad news is that our best-of-breed status is in jeopardy because the very business model of our school faces tectonic challenges. Demand is plunging. Our mba applications are down by a quarter. Across America, applications to business schools have fallen for five years in a row. Even at Harvard, they are down this year by about 6%.

One reason is a drop in international applicants, many of whom are put off by America’s anti-immigration policies. But before you rush to blame all those law graduates staffing up government departments, the bigger factor is that we are charging too much. Our mba costs nearly twice as much as it did a decade ago, but nobody believes we are delivering twice as much value. Read the rest of this entry »

B-school remorse: When the degree is just not worth it

9. November 2013

Date: 09-11-2013
Source: Fortune

Mariana Zanetti had been working as a product manager for Shell (RDSA) in Buenos Aires when her husband got a promotion to a new job in Madrid. One of her colleagues, a Harvard Business School graduate, suggested that the Argentina native go to business school for her MBA while in Spain.

She took his advice, enrolling in the one-year MBA program at Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School In Madrid. Zanetti borrowed money from her family to pay for the degree. And when she graduated in 2003, it took her a full year to land a job as a product manager at a Spanish version of Home Depot, at exactly the same salary she was earning three years earlier, without the MBA.

For years, Zanetti says, she wanted to write a book on her experience but didn’t out of fear that it would hurt her career, which included stints as a product manager for Saint-Gobain and ResMed, a medical supplier. Now that she has left the corporate world, Zanetti says, she can tell the truth about the MBA degree.

Her take, in a self-published book called The MBA Bubble: It’s just not worth the investment. “There is an education bubble around these kind of degrees,” she says. “I don’t think they have much impact on people’s careers. There are exceptions, of course, in management consulting and investment banking, where the MBA is always valued. But for the rest, it’s a nice-to-have degree. It’s not that it is harmful to you, but every market expert I interviewed for the book says that what is needed today is specialized knowledge and skills, and an MBA is generalist training.” Read the rest of this entry »

How strategists lead

30. July 2012

Unfortunately, she refers still to the outdated Harvard concept of strategy (Michael Porter & Co. 30 years ago!) hfk


A Harvard Business School professor reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies.

July 2012 • Cynthia A. Montgomery

Seven years ago, I changed the focus of my strategy teaching at the Harvard Business School. After instructing MBAs for most of the previous quarter-century, I began teaching the accomplished executives and entrepreneurs who participate in Harvard’s flagship programs for business owners and leaders.

Shifting the center of my teaching to executive education changed the way I teach and write about strategy. I’ve been struck by how often executives, even experienced ones, get tripped up: they become so interested in the potential of new ventures, for example, that they underestimate harsh competitive realities or overlook how interrelated strategy and execution are. I’ve also learned, in conversations between class sessions (as well as in my work as a board director and corporate adviser) about the limits of analysis, the importance of being ready to reinvent a business, and the ongoing responsibility of leading strategy.

All of this learning speaks to the role of the strategist—as a meaning maker for companies, as a voice of reason, and as an operator. The richness of these roles, and their deep interconnections, underscore the fact that strategy is much more than a detached analytical exercise. Analysis has merit, to be sure, but it will never make strategy the vibrant core that animates everything a company is and does. Read the rest of this entry »

A costly lesson

28. August 2010

Date: 28-08-2010
 Source: The Economist

If “executive” MBA programmes are not much different from their full-time counterparts, how do business schools justify charging twice the price? 

IT STARTED with a little-reported court judgement in an American backwater. In 2007 Ruth Creps, a resident of Idaho, was made redundant by her employer. She applied for funds from the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance programme, a scheme designed to help retrain workers who lost their jobs due to international trade competition. Ms Creps wanted to take an MBA at nearby Boise University, but decided that she would rather do the $41,000 part-time “executive” MBA (EMBA)—which is usually paid for by employers who are looking to train up their high potentials—instead of the full-time programme which cost just $14,000. When her request was turned down Ms Creps fought them all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court, only to lose because the court decided the more expensive programme was not significantly different from its traditional alternative. Read the rest of this entry »

#SiliconValley2009: Top 10 Elements of Technology Entrepreneurship for High-Growth Innovation

6. October 2009

We were able to participate on a great lecture on “New Ventures – From Idea to Enterprise” by Prof. Tom Byers, Stanford University.

From a “Helicopter View” participants learn about the life cycle of entrepreneurship. How to find an idea an opportunity? How to find the right team? Where to find investors and how to convince them about your business plan. What kind of funds are best for your new business? What are the major challenges for young entrepreneurs and what their biggest mistakes? Why should one think of how to get out of the new business before even starting it? These questions will make participants aware of very crucial aspects which might decide on failure or success. This lecture will provide a fundamental attitude towards the look at numerous examples of enterprises presented during the whole study week.


Read his Top 10 Elements of Technology Entrepreneurship. We also highly recommend to check out Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner and watch several video clips or listen to a podcast.


Why We Need Big Organizations

19. August 2009

Big institutions will become more relevant than ever—once they focus not just on efficiency but on providing platforms for individuals to systematically experiment, learn, and innovate

By John Hagel and John Seely Brown and Lang Davison

Posted on The Big Shift: August 11, 2009 8:29 AM

“Bye, bye, organization guy.” Those words start the first chapter in the estimable Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation, published in 2007. In that book, Pink observed how increasing numbers of people in the US are choosing to work as independent contractors, temps, and on a project-to-project basis.

Workers were leaving big corporations, Pink said, to get away from “unfulfilling jobs, dysfunctional workplaces, and dead-end careers.” As readers of our blog will recognize, we see this dysfunction as the inevitable result of the industrial-era model in which most of today’s big companies remain stuck. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s 10 Leadership Mistakes (And How Not to Make Them)

19. August 2009

Aus Umair Haque’s Blog bei der HBR.Org. Umair Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab, a new kind of strategic advisor that helps investors, entrepreneurs, and firms experiment with, craft, and drive radical management, business model, and strategic innovation.It’s a case that might stump Sherlock Holmes. President Obama has a superior intellect, a keen grasp of history, powerful analytical skills…and yet, something’s missing.

August 18, 2009

The Obama Presidency is continually, easily disrupted by featherweight PR flacks, junior political hacks, run-of-the-mill lobbyist attacks, cliques that run with the pack, and debates that veer off-track. Why doesn’t anybody have Obama’s back?

President Obama is an ineffective leader, one unable to transform power into policy, resources into action. Here’s why — and how not to make the same mistakes whenever and wherever you’re called on to lead. Read the rest of this entry »

Eine Geschichte über Kundenservice…Und Zufriedenheit!

14. January 2009

Vor kurzem habe ich im Auftrag eines unserer Kunden mehrere Lieferanten parallel mit einer Kundenanfrage konfroniert.

Medium: eMail mit

  • 18 tiefgehenden Fragen zum Produktangebot

  • Anfrage für ein genau spezifiziertes Angebot

Response rate:

  • Lieferant 1 (UK): 20min! – Fragen sehr ausführlich beantwortet, unaufdringlicher Vorschlag auf ein persönliches Treffen
  • Lieferant 2 (UK): 1h 05min – Fragen ausführlich beantwortet
  • Lieferant 3 (AT): 37h 50min – nachgefragt – 48h später noch kein Angebot
  • Lieferant 4 (AT): 22h 20min – “Danke für die Anfrage” – weitere 28h und 17min später dann das Angebot

Nicht repräsentativ? Stimmt! Aber trotzdem beeindruckend…

Sie wollen Ihren Kunden auch innerhalb von 20min professionell antworten können? Kontaktieren Sie uns!

Kundenzufriedenheit kann so einfach sein…

By Bernhard Hoetzl

Could Management Embrace a Code?

13. November 2008

In times such as these it is no coincidence that Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria – both professors at Harvard Business School – picked up a topic targeting at mangers’ performance, behavior, and business ethics. In their latest HBR article “It’s Time to Make Management a True Profession” they stated that

” … Most successful codes – such as the ancient Hippocratic Oath, for doctors – establish the ideals and social purposes that members of the profession embrace. As the sociologist Robert K. Merton has argued, such codes have enormous influence because they provide guidelines for how an occupant of a role ought to behave. They can trigger strong positive emotions such as pride (when one acts in a manner that exemplifies the code) and equally strong negative emotions such as guilt or shame (when one acts in ways that transgress the code). The influence of such emotions in shaping behavior can be as significant as the expected material or reputational consequences of a professional’s behavior.
Codes and their supporting institutions also help define an implicit social contract among the members of the profession. By establishing a standard for inclusion, they create and sustain a feeling of community and mutual obligation that members have toward each other and toward the profession. These bonds shape the social capital of a profession – capital that builds trust and greatly reduces transaction costs among the members of the profession and between the profession and society.”

In fact there’s no mystery to the process of establishing a professional code for management, the authors argue:
• articulate the code (as so many other professions have done)
• familiarize students with it during their formal management education
• require students to embrace the code as part of their professional license or certificate to practice
• and create peer review bodies to monitor adherence, establish protocols for due process review infractions, and administer sanctions as necessary.

A Hippocratic Oath for ManagersAccording to Khurana and Nohria a code for managers could look like this →

Read the full article in Harvard Business Review, October 2008:
“It’s time to Make Management a Real Profession” by Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria.