Building Sustainable Legacies

Management education of the future

Incremental change is not an option when looking at the planetary boundaries[1]. We need radical, disruptive thinking and vision that fundamentally question the unconscious underlying assumptions that form the mainstream discourse that determines the way we look at business, society and the world. While many traditional business programs today have a focus on leadership or entrepreneurship, few fully integrate these areas and even fewer integrate responsible leadership, sustainable entrepreneurship or enlightened statesmanship.  As Kenneth Mikkelsen (2010) notes, the speed of change is now so intense that firms must adapt faster than ever before, thus, linking leadership and entrepreneurship is mandatory if the adaptive organization is to be realized.

Holding the space for sustainable leadership for a sustainable world is a tall order and the single ideas brought together in this vision are not new. In fact, many of them are well established in other fields. We are hopeful that the magic of the vision lies in the clarity of focus in which these state-of-the-art ingredients are brought together and the purpose which they are dedicated to.

The future management school not only develops globally responsible leaders, it does so by walking the talk. It embraces globally responsible leadership by embodying its key dimensions of entrepreneurship, leadership and statesmanship as defined by GRLI[2]. We suggest that beyond developing leaders, the future management school needs to also support organizations, particularly business organizations, to successfully transform into operations to serve society and the world. And, we believe it is high time for the management education profession to actively engage in and lead the public dialogue on how to transform the existing flawed economic system into a structure that isn’t purely self-serving but contributes to the world vision we have defined above.

 

Figure 1: Holding the space for providing responsible leadership for a sustainable world


[1]            Johan Rockström: “Planetary Boundaries” (2010)

[2]            As defined by Philippe de Woot of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI)

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Author: Katrin Muff PhD

Dr. Katrin Muff is a thought leader in the transformative space of sustainability and responsibility. Until 2018, she led the Thought Leadership activities in the area of conceptual design at Business School Lausanne, where she acted as Dean from 2008-2015 until self-organization made such a title redundant. Under her leadership, the school focused its vision on entrepreneurship, responsibility and sustainability in education and research. Her business experience includes 10 years at ALCOA (GM in Russia, Industry Analyst for Global M&A in the U.S. and Business Analyst Europe), 3 years as Director, Strategic Planning EMEA at IAMS Europe (Procter&Gamble), and 3 years as a co-founder of Yupango, a coaching consultancy dedicated to start-ups and training management teams.

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