By Professor Suresh Cuganesan
The recent sentencing of UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli continues a series of scandals in the financial services sector (think Barclays Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lloyds Bank). However, financial services are not alone in experiencing an increasingly obvious point, trying to maintain if not increase profitability in a down financial market can be incredibly risky.
Striking a balance between risk and return requires leadership and direction from the top – and that is why it is vital that the leaders of tomorrow are equipped with the skills they need, and be able to implement forward-thinking solutions, rather than relying on outdated solutions.
A down market will often provide business with the need to look elsewhere for new market opportunities, often in a hurry. These new opportunities can look very tempting against a backdrop of stagnating or decreasing profitability – and that tempting nature can lead to hurried decisions from managers and CEOs who are blinded by the positives, and fail to consider the risks.
By Mike Jenner, he is the co-leader of the Leadership Practice and Development Unit within the University of Sydney Business School’s new MBA degree. He is also the founder of in•flu•ence, a leadership development consulting practice. Mike has an MBA from the Harvard Business School. From 1998-2000, he was the #1 ranked professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where he redesigned and ran their Leadership Development Program, LEAD.
I’ve always been fascinated by how people interact. What makes one person influential while another is much less so? I’ve been trying to figure this question out since I was a kid, but when it really grabbed my attention was when I got a job selling books door-to-door.
Door-to-door book selling is influencing in its purest form. The interaction of two people: they’ve never met before, they’re unlikely to ever meet again and, for that brief moment in time, what happens?
By Associate Professor Nigel Finch
One of the fundamental skills required by any business leader is the ability to make decisions. Tough calls on major decisions can turn out to be the defining moments of a successful career – or they can be milestones along the road to failure, depending on how those decisions have been reached.
That’s why, behind every big decision, there needs to be a solid business case – one that identifies and assesses the key elements of the choices faced by the company.
In developing a solid business case, there are two very important concepts that underpin almost every major business decision a CEO is likely to have to make: risk, and value creation. Without a solid grounding in these two areas, business leaders can find themselves on very uncertain ground, especially in a volatile economic climate.
By Professor Suresh Cuganesan, Professor in Organisational Control and Performance
Post GFC many organizational leaders are focused on short-term performance gains, extracting costs out of their business and optimizing growth opportunities within their existing business models – trying to extract more value out of their existing customer base and product and service portfolios. These are important to do and need to be done properly. However, in many cases this is not enough. One of the crucial lessons that has emerged from the past few years of extreme economic uncertainty is that business leadership models of the past need rethinking.
Today’s business leaders need to be able to adapt to changing conditions, especially when those changes are going to continue at the pace we have recently seen. This means leaders need to be able to formulate and execute strategy, but also need to be able to adapt and evolve their business model choices. That is why the concept of strategic agility is rapidly becoming critical for sustaining high-performance in dynamic operating environments.
By Dr Kristine Dery, Senior Lecturer of Work and Organisational Studies
When designing our new MBA program, we set out to achieve two important objectives. Firstly, we wanted to put together a program that would help participants in the development of their technical and professional skill sets, and make them a more attractive employment option to managers.
Secondly, we wanted to help our students to complement their core technical skills with a strong program of personal skills development. Traditionally, it’s this second objective that most modern MBAs have failed to cover. The importance of strong personal skills in any leader cannot be overstated, particularly in light of the changes that have occurred in the world of business in the past five years.
When developing this program, we spent a lot of time talking to senior business managers from a wide range of organisations. Time and time again we heard stories of MBA graduates aged in their mid-20s to early-30s, who, while typically possessing excellent technical abilities, were unable to deal with unexpected dramatic change.
Posted in MBA
Tagged Kristine Dery, MBA
By Christine Bishop, Managing Director of The Social Business Strategy Group advising businesses on how to use social technology to become leading organisations and a graduate from the inaugural cohort of the University of Sydney Business School Global Executive MBA Program.
When I graduated from the University of Sydney Business School’s Global Executive MBA program, I came away with more than a degree. I graduated from that program with new knowledge, fresh perspectives and the skills I wanted to be a better leader.
Since the Global Financial crisis, and through the advent of the internet and social media, I have seen the world of business develop and evolve very quickly. And with that evolution has come a need from business and industry for a new type of leader. One with the kind of hands-on experience that can only come from immersing yourself in real-world issues, and applying a thorough theoretical understanding.
By Associate Professor Nick Wailes, MBA Director
In the modern business world, one thing is very clear: leadership ability is a critical element of career success. We consider it to be a quality that can significantly enhance the effectiveness, innovative potential and prosperity of any organisation.
That’s why it’s no surprise that throughout the development of the Business School’s MBA we remained firmly preoccupied with two key questions: What do individuals require in order to become the best leaders they can be, and how can this competency be readily demonstrated to industry employers?
The need to address both of these questions lies at the very heart of our degree’s DNA.
Posted in MBA
Tagged Nick Wailes