Sunday, September 30, 2007

September e-newlsetter

Dear all,

It's an autumnal end to the month here at the College, with a mix of days alternating between bright and blustery and misty and overcast. Somehow the grounds seem to shine in all weathers, though it's not without a lot of work done unseen in the background. Our Principal's face was equally ebullient yesterday with the news that in the 2007 Economist MBA rankings, which uses our Full-Time programme as its source, has placed Henley in the world's top 10 for the first time, a rise of four places on last year. This translates to 5th in Europe and 2nd in the UK. In the particular areas of "Potential to Network", "Personal development" and "Educational experience" we are now ranked number 1 in the world. We came first also in the categories for "Faculty Quality"; "Student Quality" and "Breadth of Alumni Network" and number 2 in the world for both "Increase in salary" and "Final salary".

This is a very satisfying result and one which, like our pristine grounds, is the result of the hard work of many people in the background. It is also a challenge to us (and you!) to keep it up, and to continue to make this MBA different from the rest.

Aptly, this month's newsletter is being written at the same time that our newest MBA intake, HB36, are in College for their Starter Workshop. There are 50 managers in this group, and they are now getting to grips with their first module, Dynamics of Management. One really interesting story from this group was the re-uniting after 27 years without meeting, of two former classmates of the same High School in Nigeria. Neither had any inkling that the other had applied to the Henley MBA! As for other news this month:

Thanks to all those who responded to a separate email trialing a new workshop structure (those in intakes HB35 and HB36 and those studying abroad via an associate won't have received that, sorry) and I'm glad to say that it filled up in about two days. We look forward to seeing you here on October 20th.

Home Straight Community Up-date

September was a good month for the Home Straight Community, with progress made on contacting and engaging with members coming to the end of their registration period, and at least two dozen people who have now submitted their final dissertation for marking. The community will welcome any member of Intake HB27 who has not completed by the end of October and Richard and Mike will be running their second Home Straight Community event at the College on Sunday November 4th. Details of this will be sent to all community members soon. In the meantime, the next dissertation Clinic will be on October 11th. Please contact Susan Parr if you would like to attend.

Leadership and Change Conference

This year's Full-Time MBA group have been preparing a one-day conference on Leadership and Change as part of their assignment in that subject. The conference, which will be held on November 23rd, "features top key international speakers from industry who will share their exciting experiences and provide deep insights into the challenging and topical subject of Leadership and Change.

The event will include a panel discussion drawing conclusions to take away. Speakers and guests include:

Professor Iain Densten, Lancaster University Management School. Iain will provide the latest research insights into leadership and its relationship to organisational effectiveness, behavioural complexity, communication and organisational culture.
John Morris, Principal Consultant, The Answer Ltd
Karen McKeever, Head of Talent and Leadership Development, DSG International. Karen will provide a perspective from her practical experience of engaging people in a time of cultural and structural change and keeping them engaged through the challenges.
Robert P. Fritz, Vice President, Vestas Constitution, Vestas Wind Systems A/S. Robert will share his exciting story of a successful turn-around, with a huge change management programme addressing corporate culture and financial performance whilst maintaining an impressive growth rate of more than 20% per annum.
Sian Evans, Head of Talent, Premier Foods. Sian will together with Iain Densten, John Morris, Karen McKeever and Robert P. Fritz discuss changes from a practical perspective and round up the conference with some examples of “what-to-do” and “what-not-to-do” in practical Change Management seen from a leader’s perspective.

Optional Skills Workshops

I'm pleased to say that we have finalised the line-up of half-day optional workshops on the weekend of November 17th and 18th. Full details will be available on your eLearning area and also from Susan Parr.

Saturday (morning)
Facilitation Dr Jean-Anne Stuart
Research Methodology Carola Hillenbrand
Consultancy Skills Dr Stephen Simister
Effective Networking Tony Newton or Judith Perle

Sunday (morning)
Consultancy Skills (repeated)
Introduction to NLP Professor Kevin Money
Coaching and Mentoring Dr Richard McBain
Effective Self-Marketing Bill Faust

To book (and numbers are limited in each session), again please contact Susan Parr.

Early results from the Annual Questionnaire

In all, we received 137 completed questionnaires in response to the 2007 Survey, so thank you very much. The report summarising the results will be posted in your intake's eLearning area. There were marginal improvements in 12 of the 17 questions asking for a rating, including the big question of to what extent overall the programme has met your expectations. There was some very useful and constructive criticism and comments, which have now been shared with various parts and levels of the College.

Quantitative Skills workshop

Please note that the Quantitative Methods Workshop 1 (of 2) has been re-scheduled from the 6th October to 19th November. The workshops could be of benefit to programme members on any MBA programme who are seeking to develop their skills in quantitative analysis.

Only those currently in Part 3 of the Programme will be eligible to attend.

Comings and goings

September saw several long-standing members of faculty and staff leaving, and I wanted to acknowledge a few who you might have come across on the MBA programme. Professor Susan Foreman, who most recently held the post of Director of Open Programme (of which your MBA is one), and who was the first woman ever to be appointed Professor at Henley, has left and will be the new Dean of the Business School at Stafford University. Susan's replacement is Neil Gibbons. Linda Parham, who was involved in many aspects of managing the introduction of the new MBA curriculum as well as development of the materials in the previous version, is leaving to take up an post in eLearning at the College of Law in London. Also moving on are Helen Innes, who was a course administrator for several Associate Network countries, and Linda Mateus, who helped do about a million tasks connected with electives, elearning and administration.

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