Friday, June 27, 2008

e-newsletter for June

Dear all,

There are some events in the UK that are synonymous with the name of their location. Wimbledon, Ascot, Glastonbury and Notting Hill all come to mind as both places and experiences. In the social calendar it is now Henley’s turn - that time of the summer when the banks of the river Thames in front of the College fill up with moored (and very expensive) craft and the early mornings are punctuated by the hortative shouts to rowing crews from coaches on bicycles. Henley Regatta week.

When Shakespeare wrote “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet” he was right to detach the name from the thing it named. Nevertheless, it is noticeable how much meaning we do attach to words; it seems the human brain works best by co-creating meaning via associations. For any of you who have spent time here at the College the name Henley will bring to mind many different things. I suspect that a fair amount of that vast reservoir of connections are things held in common, shared and highly prized. What we all want is for a virtuous circle of reputation whereby the strength of the name encourages the best and brightest to apply, which strengthens the reputation, which… etc.

This means, therefore, that we need to be careful and clear when things are in a state of change, as they surely are at Henley at the moment, in order to protect what we value most. For me, Henley should always mean certain things, among them the insistence on balance between rigour and relevance in teaching and learning (and research), an environment conducive to reflection and personal growth, creation of insight via discussions with talented colleagues, and pride in the ability to act quickly (sometimes quirkily) and flexibly when needed. As the deadline for the merger gets closer, I’m sure we will all be reflecting on this and other things. As long as we remember how we got here, I’m trusting that we’ll still all attach the same meaning to Henley in the future.

Having said my piece, here are this month’s newsletter items.


You should have heard from the College by now, either via email or letter, of the need to ‘novate’ your terms and conditions from Henley Management College to the new legal entity of Henley Business School from the end of July. This is a necessity because the College will cease to exist from that time and in order to deliver your programme, and your degree, you will need to accept the new terms. This is a fairly simple exercise that involves you logging in to your e:assignment portal (the login is your student ID and whatever password you reset when you first logged in) and looking for this as a task in your intray. If you joined the College before the beginning of 2008, you will be asked also whether you wish to be presented with the current design (oak leaves) on your MBA diploma, or the new Reading-shield design.


This newsletter idea is catching. Lucy Carter, who is working as Brand Manager on the MBA here, is interested in developing a newsletter which she can circulate among those who are interested in applying to Henley. As part of this exercise, she is interested in hearing from anyone actually on the programme who would be willing to share their experiences. As Lucy writes, we’re looking for “a monthly/bi-monthly round-up of progress/challenges/activities that month - whether it was the programme itself with visits/workshops etc or whether it was work/personal/family based in relation to their studies - just to show that these are real people with real challenges all round.”

I know some of you write a blog (and if you’d like to link yours to mine, please let me know), so it might be a great way to broaden your audience.

Dissertation Corner

Tarek Dawas, a programme member on HB27 at Part Three, writes “I am currently looking for willing participants for my research project which is focused on identifying the cross-cultural critical success factors for the implementation of Talent Management systems in global organisations. I am ideally looking to interview project managers who have had experience implementing systems in multiple locations or globally to help me identify the cross-cultural critical success factors for these types of projects.”

I’m always willing to run adverts for anyone looking for people to help them with their MBA research, or from those who might have suitable dissertation-sized projects in search of someone to do the work. Professor Ghobadian has asked me to place a quick reminder of his research project, mentioned last month, the survey on how managers obtain, bundle and deploy tangible and intangible assets.

Keep in mind that the next Dissertation Clinic will be on September 17th at the College. Contact Susan Parr on for further details and booking.

PE Hub MBA Forum up-date

With thanks for Onat Atayer, who informed me after last month’s email that he was able to log in to the PE Hub MBA Forum with the password I provided using his regular email address, so no need for one that ends in ‘.edu’.

Welcome to our new Intakes

We had 36 new members joining us as part of HB38 recently. Nearly half that group is taking part in the International Stream, so we had a global starter. Joining them were 21 new members from Malta, and we expect between 45 – 50 new members in the Trinidad which kicks off in a day or two. We have an ambitious target for the next Henley-Based intake, HB39, in September, so I’d like to ask anyone who has a good contact in need of a good MBA to let us know.


You might be interested to know that we are now only a few people below the 3,000 mark in members of the Henley group on LinkedIn. If you’re already connected, then I hope you are finding it useful, especially for research purposes. If not, then it’s fairly easy to register, and you can request a fast link from me. It would be great to get above 3,000 before the end of July.

Member’s Day July 5th

There’s an incredible, and record-breaking, 1,359 people currently signed up to attend this event, so even though some of those people are small children, it should be a packed day out (in all senses). Irina and her team have been working flat-out to prepare a full set of activities and (you won’t be surprised to hear me say) the grounds here are looking lovely.

In next month’s newsletter, I’ll be asking you to take part in the 2008 Annual Survey and I’ll hope to have a review of where we stand with the Home Straight Community. It will also be the last e-newsletter from Henley Management College, so I’ll try to think of some way of making it special.

Chris Dalton
Director of Studies


Anonymous said...


I understand that students feed into faculty member's performance management process through feedback forms. Is there a similar mechanism for feeding into the performance management process for programme directors? It isn't clear to me from the HenleyConnect website?

Chris Dalton said...

Hi, thanks for posting a comment. Yes, the feedback forms from workshops are closely watched and do form part of the faculty member's review. For programme directors, the measurements are slightly different - we have budgets and performance, service and teaching objectives set for each year, and the feedbac gained from the annual survey of members is also a good inidcator of how I'm doing. That said, I have no direct reports, so there's a whole aspect of achieving goals which relies on the ability to work across line management trenches.