Monday, December 01, 2008

e-Newsletter for November & December

Dear all,

The idea that we live within, not apart from, a globally inter-connected world is not new and has been around since at least the 1970s, but the economic events of the last few months have probably revealed with frightening (though hindsight) clarity how the world’s major economies have become linked in a complex system and how trying to understand and make corrections using only tools of linear cause and effect is about as useful as trying to deal with California’s forest fires simply by making sure that there are never any fires in the forest.

It’s interesting to note that these things only become truly obvious when something happens to cross a threshold of bias and force a change to the system. Business Schools, and in particular MBA programmes, have come in for a fair amount of stick in recent years for being in part responsible for our current woes. This debate will continue, of course, and I hope both that you all manage to avoid the most unpleasant aspects and effects of the recession, and that you grab the opportunity to incorporate personal and professional insight with both hands.

This newsletter, delivered a tad late for November, will double as the e-newsletter for December. Henley will re-open after the Christmas/New Year break on January 5th

Henley on LinkedIn

We’re up to nearly 3,600 members of the Henley LinkedIn group now, and I’m glad to report that there are a healthy number of discussions going on. If you haven’t joined LinkedIn, or have but haven’t joined the Henley group there, you can do so by rewquesting this online. Please make sure your profile is up-to-date and accurate about your Henley studies, otherwise it’s very difficult to approve your request.

Jargon busting

Work in any organisation long enough and you tend to use all sorts of acronyms and abbreviations as short cuts to communication, and it has been pointed out that some may need some explanation. For example, I often refer to intakes with a two-letter/number code. “HB” stands for those intakes studying directly with Henley (Henley-Based). Other countries are usually designated by a country code, such as DK for Denmark, SA for South Africa etc. I will think about doing a blog entry with a small glossary. It’s worth remembering that there are over 3,000 of you who receive this email in excess of 110 countries and in almost 70 active MBA intakes.

New Intakes

This weekend we welcomed three new intakes to the Henley MBA at a starter workshop at Greenlands. New groups from Ireland (IE02), Malta (MT02) and Germany (GM02). Hopefully they are all now energized by their workshop and busy analysing everything back at work, whilst carefully filing their reflections on HenleyConnect. We are now in the build up to recruitment of the next HB (quick jargon test) intake, which kicks off at the end of February 2009. Again, if you have any contacts or colleagues

Home Straight News

With the inclusion of those in HB30, the population of the Home Straight Community now stands at 261 members. Nearly half of these have yet to submit a proposal, so a major focus of the efforts of Mike and Richard is support for this. Ultimately, though, only those people can do the work, so if you are in this position, please make sure you go online and look at the ‘Dissertation Builder’, a very useful resource. Details of the next Greenlands Home Straight Event will be included in the January newsletter.

By the way, those of you coming to the very end of your studies and about to complete and submit your dissertations please don’t forget to check whether you have completed both of the compulsory 50-hour electives in good time. It’s all too easy to lose the focus on anything else in the Dissertation, and it can cause all sorts of problems if you get all the way to the finishing line and realise that you dropped the baton at the last inter-change!

Research Corner

Those who posted requests for participation in last month’s newsletter received excellent responses, so many thanks for that. I always believe that it’s good both to support fellow learners’ efforts in gathering data and also see what techniques are being used, which may help when you come to gather your own research data. This month, an external link which may interest you:

Paul O’Nolan, an MBA student at London’s Westminster Business School, has made MBA alumni networks and social networking the topic of his MBA dissertation. He is seeking the help of fellow MBAs to take part in an opinion survey for his dissertation. His questionnaire should not take more than 5 to 10 minutes of your time. It is anonymous. All information will be kept strictly confidential, and will not be used for any purpose other than for Paul’s MBA research project. To access the electronic survey, please click on the following link: [removed from this blog entry].
Paul’s questionnaire has been sent to the alumni associations of every business school in the UK and Ireland as well as to some national and international MBA alumni associations. The survey closes on 12-Dec-2008 and participants will receive summary reports of the results in Feb-2009.

Then, from one of our Full-Time MBAs, Najam Mahmud, for those of you active in the Asian region:

As part of my final phase of MBA I am doing a dissertation/management report and the title of my study is: Identifying effective people management strategies for the Asian Emerging Markets – A Multinational perspective (key focus on India, China and Middle East). In order to gather some primary information I have developed a questionnaire that should not take more than 20 minutes to complete. I sincerely hope you will take the time out to complete this questionnaire, brief details of the study are as follows: To complete the survey please go to this link and once finished you can submit online: [removed from the blog]

International Business Environment elective – last call

This is a call for anyone currently thinking about taking advantage of the March 09 extra elective, the International Business Environment elective trip to Budapest. The cut-off for sign up is Friday December 12th. Payment will be due by January 9th 2009, so we will want to hear from you now even if your payment comes in January. As things currently stand, there are not enough of you signed up to run, so now’s the time to act….

Access to the University of Reading Library and Wi-Fi

Many of you will by now have received an email from me giving you details on how to access the University of Reading e-library and Eduroam-Web Wi-fi access. If you haven’t received it by the start of next week, please contact your programme administrator. It may be that your spam filter caught the email.


A couple of forthcoming dates for the diary (from Amanda Proddow):

03 December - Survive the recession with help from Henley Business School - Free expert advice evening in the City, British Bankers' Association (BBA), Pinners Hall, London.

04 December - The London Alumni Group - Christmas Networking Event - Building a Business from Scratch with Paul Johnson & Jeremy Richardson, founding Directors of Kew Green Hotels. Price to alumni £20.00.

For full details and booking instructions for the above events please go here

March 2009 (date tbc): Pharma Forum - Creating Market Insight: Addressing the Gap between Strategy and Implementation, Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus contact

May or June 2009 (date tbc): Pharma Forum - The Reality of Emerging Markets for Pharmaceuticals, Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus contact

*Sunday 5th July 2009 - Members' Family Day at Greenlands, Henley. Please note that this event is on a Sunday next year. Full details will be available on the web from 1st March 2009.

Holiday opening times for the Greenlands library

The PowerGen Library will be open at the following times over the festive period:
Sat 20th December 10.00-15.00
Sun 21st December 10.00-14.00
Mon 22nd December 08.30-17.30
Tues 23rd December 08.30-17.00
Wed 24th December- Sun 4th January CLOSED
The Library will re-open at 08.30 on Mon 5th January.

Good luck to all of you who are taking exams this week, and enjoy a well-earned rest of the Christmas holidays (though I suspect not a few of you will be busy working on pre-reading, core reading, research and writing). Run Towards It!


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