This year the first time that CEIBS Accra has an entire building to itself. Until 2017, all the other locations were shared spaces. And so, CEIBS Accra Campus has finally moved into a new facility in the plush East Legon area of the capital city.
As the new CEIBS Accra Campus is nestled on an acre of land, there is also space for further expansion, as needed.
The academic building is where teaching and learning takes place. The ground floor of the one-story building houses the Kente Auditorium: an 80-seat ultra-modern lecture theatre which has been beautifully designed in the rich Ghanaian kente fabric. Also located on the ground floor are five syndicate rooms for break-out sessions, a canteen and the office of the China Africa Centre. The first floor of the building houses a 90-seat seminar room, a board room, a library and a faculty office.
The administrative block, the focal point for the day-to-day running of the school, begins with a spacious reception area and executive lounge. It also includes office space, an open-plan employee working area, as well as the CEIBS Alumni Ghana Chapter’s office. In the centre of the block is a staff lounge, beautifully adorned with flowers.
The tranquillity and calm of the new environment, as well as the enhanced security, is very attractive to companies and executives who have increasingly used our facility for corporate events. This has attracted a lot of traffic to the campus, which has proven very useful for our re-branding activities.“ says Executive Director for CEIBS Africa, Professor Mathew Tsamenyi and he adds that “the new gated space offers a quieter and more serene environment that is more conducive to higher learning, particularly the kind of exclusive and high-end education for which CEIBS is known.”
Events already hosted on campus include this May’s first ever Design Thinking Ghana Conference, along with others by several corporate institutions including the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies and the Alpha Mead Facilities and Management Services.
The new and improved facility has also proved popular with students who took part in the Agile Leadership in Banking and the CEIBS-AVIC Strategic Management Training programs held in September and October, respectively. The campus has also hosted several classes for mid-level managers of Tullow Oil Ghana Limited, and was also the venue for the launch of the CEIBS-Vodafone SME Masterclass Programme in September.
In addition, students from IESE Business School and the CEIBS GEMBA classes of Shanghai and Zurich all attended classes at the new CEIBS Accra campus in April.
“Our goal is to make CEIBS Accra Campus synonymous with world-class education, knowledge sharing and continuous learning,” said Professor Mathew Tsamenyi. “The classes and events hosted on campus are typically those that cater to the needs of our alumni, as well as our existing or potential clients. It’s all a part of our efforts to educate Africa’s global leaders.”
Headlining a CEIBS Executive Forum for an intimate gathering of academics, diplomats, students and alumni, former Prime Minister of France Jean-Pierre Raffarin expressed concern that the world has become less safe.
“In all my 40 years in politics I’ve never seen the world this dangerous. Unlike my parents and grandparents who had seen war, I was born in a generation that trusted the world. We saw French and Germans talking together and we saw growth and we thought – if these two peoples could talk – wars would be impossible,” he said. “But look at what’s happening today. Can I really tell my grandchildren war will not happen? When I hear [US President Donald Trump’s comments on North Korea at the UN], when I hear religious fanatics, can I really say war is no longer possible? War will only become impossible if we make concerted choices to make it so.”
In his impassioned defence of multilateralism Raffarin hailed the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a landmark project that will provide stability in an unstable world. And he urged France and other countries in Europe to “get on board”. He concluded that “peace is when we are all working together around the table; it’s about real multilateralism. That’s what’s good about the BRI.”
The BRI, Raffarin said, it would be naïve to believe China does not stand to gain from the project it conceptualised (to find a solution to its overcapacity issue, pave the way for internationalisation of the RMB, strengthen its position in Asia while building relationships in Europe and Africa).
But he also stressed that China’s gain does not mean others will lose. “Xi Jinping is not building a project for France, Ireland, Kazakhstan; he is launching an initiative that’s good for China and will serve to nurture China’s ambitions,” said Raffarin, who represented France at May’s historic BRI talks in Beijing. “But the BRI is about cooperation. It’s not built by one country for another, in isolation. It’s all about cooperation.”
He was critical of Europe for being slow to embrace the initiative, which he sees as a “genuine opportunity for the region to position itself as a mediating point between Asia and Africa”. Building on common goals, such as those outlined in the Paris climate change accord, he said, and Europe’s experience in building smart cities, they could work with China on creating smart towns. This would move both sides forward in terms of productivity, the fight against pollution, mobility, more effective energy management, green tech, etc., he said. He urged France, in particular, to act now. “The BRI is fundamentally important for France. What are we waiting for? Let’s sit down with the various partners to make this a reality,” he said.
(Read an extended version of this post on ceibs.edu)
To reach its full potential, the popular innovation methodology must be more closely aligned with the realities and social dynamics of established businesses, say co-authors Jörg Reckhenrich, Martin Kaupp and Jamie Anderson.
Jörg Reckhenrich (middle) is an artist based in Berlin as well as a faculty member of our faculty at the Zurich Institute of Business Education, CEIBS Campus Zurich. Martin Kupp (left) is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the Paris campus of ESCP Europe. Jamie Anderson is an adjunct professor of strategic management at the Antwerp Management School in Antwerp, Belgium.
(published first: September 12, 2017 in MIT Sloane Magazine, Fall 2017)
In recent years, “design thinking” has become popular in many industries as established companies have tried to apply designers’ problem-solving techniques to corporate innovation processes.
Key elements of the design thinking methodology include fast iterations; early and frequent interaction with customers; agile process design with less hierarchy; and a learning-by-doing approach that involves building prototypes and creating mock-ups of any kind as early as possible in the process.
Here’s how design thinking initiatives are supposed to unfold in a corporate setting.
A clearly defined innovation challenge is presented to a team trained in design thinking. The team conducts research to better understand the problem. Drawing on their insights, they propose a variety of solutions, start building prototypes, and in the end, identify a fresh, profitable business opportunity.
That’s how the process is supposed to work — but it hardly ever does. Over the past seven years, we have helped more than 20 companies pursue more than 50 design thinking initiatives and have found that such initiatives rarely proceed according to the textbook model. Innovation is an inherently messy process, made even messier because it conflicts in many ways with established processes, structures, and corporate cultures. Fortunately, once you understand the challenges, you can avoid the most common pitfalls.
The root of most of the problems is the disconnect between design thinking and conventional business processes. After all, most companies’ successes are built on delivering predictable products by repeatable means. That means organizations almost instinctively resist bringing fuzzy, messy, and abstract vision into the equation. This antipathy toward design thinking runs deep, all the way from the C-suite to line workers. We find that employees often try to dodge design thinking assignments, shying away from the habits and mindsets the methodology requires.
The organization of the teams themselves leads to a second difficulty. The design thinking methodology calls for egalitarian, self-organized teams, but this isn’t how most established large companies work. In fact, the design thinking teams we have studied tend to have clear process and project owners, usually senior managers. These managers not only supervise the design thinking project but also assign tasks to team members and are responsible for its outcome. To make things worse, these senior leaders often supervise 12 to 15 design thinking projects at a time. This maximizes the leader’s time but reduces the teams’ efficiency, hinders passion and commitment, and slows progress.
In many companies, four cultural factors tend to aggravate these structural limitations:
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The toxic work culture at the ride-hailing company Uber was among the reasons why a group of investors recently forced out its CEO Travis Kalanick. Company culture typically comes from the top; employees take their cues from company leaders about what behaviours are acceptable in the workplace. The issues at Uber, which received extensive media coverage, included battles between the company and its drivers over some of its compensation practices, and an investigation into around 200 bullying and sexual harassment allegations.
When Uber evaluates CEO and other C-Suite candidates, besides the traditional personality and competence assessments it should also evaluate their mindfulness, according to the results of a new study co-authored by several CEIBS faculty members. The researchers explored how leader mindfulness enhances employee performance, and their results show that leaders who are more mindful are more likely to follow fair principles (what academics call procedural justice) when making important decisions. This includes allowing employees to express their views, giving them influence on the decision, and adhering to ethical standards. In the case of Uber, it seems that the CEO mostly ignored the perspective of his employees (e.g. when they complained about company culture/practices) and of the drivers (when they complained about declining pay). A more mindful approach would have helped him to be open to the signals by his employees and to adhere to ethical standards, which may also promote performance in the organization. As the researchers found, this is in part because increased procedural justice reduces employees’ emotional exhaustion. This study by CEIBS faculty is one of the first to examine how a person’s mindfulness can influence the attitudes and behaviours of others.
The researchers conducted three studies in their exploration. The first involved an online survey of 277 US employees across a wide range of occupations and industries which asked questions designed to rate their leaders’ mindfulness and their own degree of emotional exhaustion and performance at work. The second study was done in China. The researchers surveyed 54 team leaders and 182 employees from various organizations in China. Leaders were surveyed on their degree of mindfulness and asked to provide contact information of at least five direct subordinates. The subordinates were later contacted and asked to complete an online survey that measured the degree of their leaders’ procedural justice and their own emotional exhaustion. Next, the researchers asked the leaders to rate their employees’ performance. The final study was a laboratory experiment. The researchers recruited 62 senior managers from various organizations in China and randomly assigned them to one of two conditions, an experimental condition (mindfulness), and a control condition (unfocused attention). The participants then listened to a 10-minute pre-recorded audio clip based on which condition they were assigned to, and afterwards completed a survey designed to measure their mindfulness and degree of procedural justice.
The results suggest that promoting leader mindfulness may be an effective way to reduce unfair behaviours. Besides measuring the mindfulness of candidates for supervisory roles, companies may want to promote a culture that recognizes and rewards the benefits of mindfulness. The researchers also suggest that companies should consider mindfulness training programmes. The improved employee well-being and performance that would result, particularly when mindful leaders are better able to follow fair principles in their decision-making, would seem to outweigh the costs involved.
The results of the study have been published by the Journal of Business Ethics in the paper titled “The Interpersonal Benefits of Leader Mindfulness: A serial mediation model linking leader mindfulness, leader procedural justice enactment, and employee exhaustion and performance”.
he authors are Assistant Professor of Management Sebastian C. Schuh, Lecturer of Management Michelle Xue Zheng, Professor of Management Katherine R. Xin, and Professor of Management Juan Antonio Fernandez . Read the paper here.
by Robert Glaze *)
A Digital Dark Age may be upon us in the next decade. This will be so because of the tension and stresses between the digital technology driven decentralization and fragmentation of all aspects of commerce, communications and innovation, and, the increasing desire by federal governments to increase the centralization of power and control of its citizens and business through deeper regulation of the digital infrastructure, digital networks and systems that are proliferating worldwide.
Today, from Asia to Europe there are now conversations about a return to city-states as an alternative to nation state models. Large centralized governance models may no longer possess the current knowledge based flexibility and agility to reflect the diverse and innovation driven desires of their citizens, institutions and businesses that are rapidly adopting the technology blueprints for decentralized societies. Third Industrial Revolution firms and industries may align with federal governments to save themselves from the new decentralization and circular economics and markets of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Vigilantes fighting for “web freedom”
The Digital Dark Ages will emerge when the tension between federal governments, the technology super powers and people and businesses reaches the point that federal and state agencies seek to seize control of access to electrical power, digital infrastructures, and all communication systems and networks. This will create outages of services and power limitations in a new form of cyber warfare takes place between ever changing alliances by traditional governments, technology super powers and guerilla groups of highly skilled technology vigilantes fighting for “web freedom” without a flag.
A cyber-revolt from the ranks of the ever-growing global underclass, who, due to having erratic connectivity of electrical power and digital connectivity, will create varying degrees of social disorder as food supply and medical services decline and unemployment soars due to automation and computation. The overall populations in the civilized world today are both aging and becoming less literate and more dependent on touch based dumb devices linked to smart clouds and data centers and in general are defining their existence around a digital world.
The rise of virtual nations will emerge for the technology, financial and business over-class and elites and the role of geographies will become lost to time as the basis for political and economic systems. If you are not a citizen of this virtual nation, which will be for approximately 800 million people, who will represent over 90% of the world’s wealth it will be due to your digital economic value qualifications are not valid for citizenship.
The end of nations?
Just this week the nation of Denmark appointed and sent an “ambassador” to engage with Silicon Valley to perform a role more commonly associated with nation to nation engagement. Over the past few years your humble author of this article has provided strategy simulation exercises on how a virtual nation could form and exist for very concerned officials and agencies in three of western civilizations leading countries.
The end of nations will be the end of order, and for some years or decades, a Digital Dark Ages for at least for 90% of the world’s population. This will be a return to the historical models of wealth and asset distribution on the earth, 5-10% of the people will control 90% to 95% of the capital, assets and power.
The increasing complexity of our emerging world as shown by many of the above examples will lead to a new era of uncertainty and insecurity. This world we live on is too important to leave to politicians, technology titans and self-appointed techno-political vigilantes.
MEET ROBERT GLAZE!
On September 22nd 2017, Robert Glaze will be the keynote speaker of our event “Leadership 4.0 Leading in the Age of Digitalization“. LEARN MORE
*) Robert Glaze
is a meta-technologist and global senior level practitioner, speaker and executive tutor in the Business of Technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Digital Convergence.
He calls himself a developer of the concepts of Digital Industrialization,the Digilithic Era, Management in the Digisphere and The Coordination of Complexity.
He has served as a strategic advisor to first pan european broadband networks, first global continent to continent broadband networks, manufacturing, digital services and technology industries CEO’s, COO’s, CTO’s and CISO’s.