Video highlights from our masterclass on Better Governance. Better Consequence. Reply

During our masterclass in London on 23 February, Professor Simon Lee, Professor of Law at The Open University (OU), explored the links between governance and sport. Professor Simon Lee made the case that governance isn’t about being the referee, it’s about being the goalkeeper. Being able to take a step back from the central action allows businesses to anticipate potential risks and make a strategic plan.

Professor Lee used examples from the sport and business worlds to explain how:

  • Governance is an attitude of mind rather than a particular process;
  • Trust and responsibility are key to corporate governance success;
  • Anticipating change and making appropriate adaptations will stand businesses in better stead;
  • It is important to account for the fact there will always be situations businesses cannot plan for.

During the masterclass, Professor Lee was joined by Pete Winkelman, Chairman of MK Dons FC, who spoke about regulation in football, and Etienne Stott MBE, Olympic Gold Medallist (Canoe Slalom) from London 2012, who showed how the governance of his sport created the structure for success. Video highlights are available:

Regulation in Sport – Time and Money

Pete Winkelman – Chairman, MK Dons FC

Governance in the Goldilocks Zone: Structure of Success (Part 2)*

Etienne Stott MBE – Olympic Gold Medallist (Canoe Slalom), London 2012

*Part 1 of this video is available via our online webinar.

Further video highlights are available from:

  • Professor Simon Lee, Professor of Law and Director of the Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area at The Open University focusing on governance and current affairs;
  • Etienne Stott MBE, London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist (Canoe Slalom) looks at the governance choices of his sport in nurturing athletes.

You can watch more videos on our one-hour webinar, which takes place on 15 March 2017, by registering online.

Better Governance. Better Consequence. 1

Our Business Perspectives masterclass will take place on Thursday 23 February 2017 at 12:00 – 17:00 in London. Join Professor Simon Lee, Professor of Law and Director of the Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Centre at The Open University and other leading experts, who will use sport as a metaphor to explore governance.

In this masterclass, Professor Simon Lee will base his presentation on latest current affairs in the sporting world. We will explore multiple facets of governance and how, in an ever changing world, sport and business have similar qualities. Professor Lee will also explain how lessons from sport may be applied across business.

In this session, you will broaden your knowledge on governance rules, structure and regulations, which may help you and your organisation improve ways of working.

Places are limited. To book and for further information, please visit The Open University Business School website.

Strategy Matters: Leveraging your business model for innovation and growth Reply

Photo of Professor Thomas Lawton
Guest blogger: Thomas C. Lawton, PhD FRSA, Professor of Strategy and International Management at The Open University Business School.

The purpose of our Business Perspectives event in London on 21st September is to integrate research, consulting and practice in a discussion about the interface of data, digital and business models. Questions raised will include: what is a business model and how can managers innovate existing business models to create new market opportunities? How have digital technologies transformed business models? How can big data drive a growth-oriented business model? We are fortunate to have three excellent business speakers, representing insights and experiences from large corporations (BT Group), mid-sized companies (Hillgate Travel), and consultancy (Added Value/Kantar). I will add my thoughts, based on 20 years of research, writing and advisory work.

Whilst the tone of the day will be critical but upbeat and positive, it is worth reflecting in advance on the challenges and in some ways, existential threats that exist to disruptive and often asset-light business models. Let’s take two examples: Airbnb and Uber. Investors have valued Airbnb at $30 billion and Uber at close to $70 billion. But as I write, I am in Germany’s capital, Berlin, a city that has regulated to prevent entire homes being rented through Airbnb and that banned Uber, ostensibly on consumer safety grounds. As we know, lobbying by black cab drivers meant that London came close to restricting Uber’s business model when Boris Johnson was mayor. Sadiq Khan may yet impose Berlin-style restriction on Airbnb, as research indicates up to half of Airbnb rentals in London are offered by professional landlords, limiting further the number of long term rental properties available in a city with an already chronic shortage of housing.

My point is that it is easy to be carried away by the hype and hubris surrounding new, digital, data-driven business models. What the market and some consumers value may not be valued by all and if a company does not factor in wider stakeholder engagement, it risks unravelling the very fabric of its business model. In my research, I call this an imbalance or misalignment between a company’s market and non-market strategy. The non-market refers to the political, regulatory, social and environmental contexts in which a company operates. Airbnb rushed to grow its global footprint and sign up more and more hosts without considering the impact its nightly rental business model would have on neighbours and communities. Uber focused, understandably, on customer satisfaction but neglected to make a case to political and regulatory authorities about the positive impact its business model would have on urban congestion and pollution through, for example, its ride sharing option.

For companies to maintain growth, an aligned strategy, reflecting both market and non-market engagement, is critical to the integrity and success of business models and must occur at all levels, from city to state.

We can continue this conversation during and after Wednesday’s event. I look forward to meeting you there.

If you would like to attend our masterclass ‘Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models’, please visit The Open University Business School website for further information and details on how to book.

Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models Reply

Our Business Perspectives masterclass will take place in London on 21 September, led by Professor Thomas Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management at The Open University Business School (OUBS). Professor Lawton is a published author on international business and strategic management and has spent twenty years advising leaders, managers and entrepreneurs on business development and market growth.

Guest speakers include:

  • Antoine Boatwright, CTO, Hillgate Travel
  • Patrick Callinan, Global Head of Data and Analytics at Added Value (a Kantar/WPP Plc company)
  • Hilary Collins, Lecturer in Management, OUBS

A symbiotic relationship exists at the heart of successful strategy between what the customer wants and what the company can deliver. In this masterclass we’ll explore:

  • What are the critical components to design and deliver an innovative, effective business model?
  • How do you render a growth-oriented business model robust enough to deal with today’s unpredictable world?
  • How can you factor in global disruptions driven by digitalisation, big data and geopolitical risk?

We’ll also look at the latest thinking and frameworks to better enable growth oriented business strategies that are adaptable and responsive to technological change.

Places are limited. For more information and to register, visit our website.

Business Legitimacy Roadshows 1

You are invited to join the latest Business Perspectives ‘Business Legitimacy’ roadshows entitled ‘Staying on the “right” side of public opinion… and how to avoid controversy’; commencing at 18:00 until 20:15 with networking drinks and canapés reception afterwards on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 11 May 2016 in Dublin at Croke Park Conference Centre
  • Thursday 19 May 2016 in Munich at The Hilton Park
  • Thursday 26 May 2016 in Manchester at The Hilton Deansgate

We are especially delighted to announce Dr Björn Claes, Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at The Open University Business School (OUBS) will lead a highly interactive workshop to engage and debate.

Keynote guest speakers will be:

  • Dublin – Marc Sweeney, Thorntons & Partners Director, Thorntons Group
  • Munich – Andreas Klugescheid, Head of Steering and CSR, BMW
  • Manchester – Lucy Hinds, Head of Facilities, Covance

Facilitators will be:

  • Dublin – John Darcy, National Director, The Open University in Ireland
  • Munich – Paul Heardman, Consul General Munich, British Council
  • Manchester – Jim Yates, Director Fulcrum Management Limited

In the interactive workshop we will explore the issues of legitimacy in the organisational environment and activities will include:

  • Identify legitimators as evaluator
  • Identify legitimators as evaluees
  • Devise legitimation strategy from differing perspectives

During the event we will also cover maintaining legitimacy through CSR strategies.

To book and for further information, please visit our event website pages for Dublin, Munich, Manchester. Please note, places are limited.

Bending my mind to intercultural leadership and political astuteness Reply

Guest blogger: Dr. Elaine Monkhouse, Open University MBA tutor, and freelance coach and consultant.

The Business Perspectives masterclass took place on 23 June, if you would like to watch video highlights you can register for our webinar on 15 July 2015.

The recent Business Perspectives seminar on intercultural leadership, cross-cultural coaching and political astuteness really left me thinking.  On the face of it, here were three topics with which I have experience in practice, and I thought that I understood the relevance of each to the others as different but related areas of management. And yet the fundamental pertinence, indeed the crucial link between them, only struck me fully while sitting in the seminar and talking with fellow participants.

As Dr. Bjorn Claes pointed out so clearly, today’s business culture norm is multi-cultural. We can assume nothing about someone’s cultural identity, whether through origin, upbringing or socialisation. And yet as a manager, as an executive coach, and as someone often finding my way through organisational political mazes, aren’t I making assumptions all the time? I may encounter colleagues and team members in a conventional British or European setting, much as I did 20-30 years ago, but all the cultural constituents to building those relationships with any of those three hats on has potentially changed out of recognition.

There are of course instances where I am consciously operating in a different cultural context, such as a coaching contract I carried out in Dubai. That very obviously different setting, the way every gesture and custom is distinctive, immediately puts one’s cultural ‘antennae’ up and we are perhaps automatically more sensitive and less liable to make assumptions as a result.

But the presentations and discussion pulled me up short on how much I am in danger of assuming about someone that I encounter in my ‘home’ setting. Very useful, and I must thank Phil Hayes, who spoke about cross-cultural coaching. But add to this the fascinating insights that Professor Jean Hartley brought to us in her presentation on leadership with political astuteness, and I was humbled. Can I really advise a Director of Strategy of a very high profile Dubai corporation on how to secure the sponsorship and buy-in of the shareholders? I realised that I understand so little of ‘how business is done’ in that setting, despite being alert to it diverging from my ‘norms’.

Thankfully, I was left feeling that ‘yes! I can still be useful as a coach and an advisor’, if I continue to develop my skills and cultural sensitivity by embracing some of the very useful and practical, and what’s more generically valid, principles that both Jean Hartley, and Phil Hayes proposed. My three big ‘take-aways’ from Phil, which I aim to adopt in my own practice, would be (1) don’t assume that feedback is always seen as good or appropriate, (2) recognise that not all cultures are goal and change focused, and (3) helping someone reach their individual potential (as is usually the point of coaching) may not be the point at all in a culture where collective performance is the primary goal.

Jean’s explanation of the key components of political skill really struck a chord with me. I am a strategy consultant by trade, but so much of successful strategy is about managing politics, and so the penny dropped with quite a thud at about 4pm that afternoon in the seminar! The alignment between personal skills, interpersonal skills, reading people and situations, building alignment and alliances, and strategic direction and scanning really brought it all together for me.

Video highlights from our masterclass on ‘leading and managing in age diverse organisations’ Reply

Explaining employer behaviour in youth transitions into the labour market – Professor David Wilson, OUBS and Professor Melanie Simms, University of Leicester

Championing better work and working lives – Peter Cheese, CIPD (focusing on ‘baby boomers’ in this segment)

Taking stock of stereotypes – Dr Rebecca Whiting, OUBS

Steps towards a living pension – Professor Sharon Collard, OUBS and Lydia Fearn, Barclays

Further video highlights from Peter Cheese, Chief Executive at CIPD (focusing on the modern working environment), Martin Hall, Senior HR Manager at BMW, Robyn Palmer, Programme Lead at NHS Employers and James Davies, Joint Head of Employment at Lewis Silkin LLP are showcased via our Age at Work webinar.

Age at Work trend report & webinar Reply

Business Perspectives trend reportOur latest Business Perspectives trend report looks at our current topic of Age at Work focusing on Multigenerational workforces: leading and managing in a new age. The report considers the wider world of ‘4G’ working, looking at flexibility, environment, mindset, future workforce and learning

The pace of business has never been so fast, which is why this summary has been designed so it can quickly inspire you at home, in an airport or on the go. You can download the report now, absolutely free.

Download the report

Continue the conversation with our free Age at Work webinar, focusing on managing in multigenerational organisations and how you can leverage age diversity. Our free one hour webinar will take place on Wednesday 25 February 2015 at 19:00 (GMT).

The online webinar will introduce video highlights from the Business Perspectives masterclass, held in London on Thursday 12 February. During the webinar, we’ll draw on contributions from our masterclass and further develop these discussion points. You can contribute via our live online polls and Q&A forums.

Register for the webinar

We invite you to download and share the report and send us any comments. If you would like to contribute your perspective towards future topics, please contact our Business Perspectives Editor.

Video highlights from The Power of Trust masterclass on 22 May Reply

Creating and maintaining trust in organisations
Professor Ros Searle, The Trust Hub, Coventry University

Building trust from the bottom up: a workplace strategy
Anne Sharp, Chief Executive, Acas

Trusting you, trusting me – An exploration of trust in the recruitment and selection context,Volker Patent, The Open University

Can trust be managed? Ann Francke, Chief Executive, CMI

Further video highlights from Dr Steven Chase, Director of People, Thames Valley Police; Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive, Relate and Dr Diannah Lowry, OUBS are showcased via The Power of Trust webinar.

The Power of Trust Masterclass Reply

Have you read our latest blogs on trust? Do you want to find out more about why trust is key to long term competitive advantage and learn how to repair and build trust? You can understand its dynamics in your own organisation and continue the discussion at the next Business Perspective Masterclass on The Power of Trust in London on Thursday 22 May 2014. Join a host of experts from industry and academia.

Further information on the programme and details on how to register are available on our website.