Industry 4.0 executive requires new learning models transcending the traditional MBA programs.

RECONFIGURABLE EXECUTIVE LEARNING  by Robert Glaze The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Industr


The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Industry 4.0 is based upon a number of new principles one of which will be explored in this article as it also relates to executive learning and knowledge development.

15 years ago I began exploring the seminal Hobart Paper by Sir Douglas Hague titled BEYOND UNIVERSITIES, Douglas was the founder of the Manchester Business School and an innovator and patron of Business Education at Oxford University in the UK. My meetings and discussions with Douglas led rapidly to the realization that business education was in need of serious change and it would be more successful in aligning the university with business and those who studied and analyzed the nature of business, executive learning and how knowledge could be developed to meet the rapidly accelerating digital world that was unfolding.

A number of years ago I started sending my innovative periodic bulletins and commentaries on technology and business to Peter Lorange, who, after successfully building the Swiss University IMD into a significant institution had founded his own revolutionary graduate school of business on the shores of lake Zurich in Switzerland. The Lorange Institute has emerged as a fasting moving and quick adapting prototype of executive learning for Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

One of the principles of the Industry 4.0 emergence is the need for rapid reconfiguration in manufacturing systems, all manner of services platforms and infrastructure and, all supply and distribution chain evolution.

The Industry 4.0 executive is going to require new learning models that transcend the traditional business school executive education and MBA programs. We will need to step “beyond universities” as Douglas would have said.


Under the continued influence of Peter Lorange and the innovative leadership of CEO Philipp Boksberger, The Lorange Institute has aligned itself with the China Europe International Business School where the emergence of the world’s fastest growing economy is adopting the Industry 4.0 framework and is aggressively engaging with the technology leadership of European companies and institutions.

As a European leader for global Industry 4.0 and Fourth Industrial Revolution learning, The Lorange Institute is creating a portfolio of innovative executive learning models that are themselves rapidly reconfigurable with non-traditional faculty and both academic and industry leading thinkers on all aspects of the business models for Industry 4.0.

This model of “lifelong learning” that was developed by Peter Lorange and that is now effectively executed by Philipp Boksberger, goes well beyond the “custom or traditional executive education models” available in even the most prestigious international universities.

Rapidly reconfigurable executive learning requires boldness and a keen anticipation of the future. Lean yet intellectually deep and operationally efficient talent is required to develop and manage the continually changing requirements that maintain pace with the rapidly emerging world of Industry 4.0.

As an Associate Fellow, my work at Oxford University is with the Oxford Praxis Forum Research Centre an innovative and somewhat radical exploration of how executives learn. The OPF was seeded by Douglas Hague and since 2012 led by the innovative thinking and sometimes radical approaches of Marshall Young.

In my own company, The Brenva Institute, I provide briefings and tutoring to senior executives globally on the leading and managing of the complexity of the rising Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital convergence.

Today, as member of the executive faculty of The Lorange Institute, I am part of a continually morphing set of approaches to practical and practitioner based learning that engages even throughout the same day innovative seminars, industry engagement and a quest for the next content and knowledge delivery configuration that will be required to support what will be the next great technological and commercial era in the history of civilization.

The world is changing and most of what we assumed was required from business education is passing away.

Almost all business schools and universities are still tied the Third Industrial Revolution models and strategies for business, economics and management education; and their executive education models fare no better.

Douglas Hague challenged the world to think “beyond universities” in 1992.

More recently Peter Lorange has challenged the world that unconventional life long business learning was the key to success.

Invention and innovation always occurs “on the margins” of companies, industries and yes, universities. Rapidly reconfigurable education must also be undertaken more frequently as the changes in technology, business, commerce, economics and politics dictate a new awareness and commitment to continual learning.

Senior executives, their companies and industries who seek to be successful in the transitions and transformations underway need to be a part of these new radical mutations that are redefining the nature of how executives learn, and what innovative and renewing learning approaches will be required to successfully anticipate and manage in the future.

We are entering a new world where economic power and technological leadership will be changing and shifting across continents and oceans. Both globalization and localization will build new global and domestic economic and business models.

Rapidly reconfigurable executive education must be a part of your future individual and executive team’s knowledge strategies as machines become your co-worker and circular ecosystems replace organizations.

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.