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            Live Updates: Coronavirus Impact On Business Schools

            What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more

            5 Tips For Leading Virtual Teams

            Working in virtual environments has been on the rise for years. According to a 2018 survey by the International Workplace Group (IWG), 75% of employees worldwide perceive remote working to be the “new normal.”

            Now, in the midst of coronavirus, more people are working from home than ever before. 

            “What’s different right now is how suddenly face-to-face teams have been told to shift to a virtual context,” notes Eva Freedman, Adjunct Faculty at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the UNSW Business School in Sydney, and Managing Director at Change Management Consultancy, The Good Change Company.

            At AGSM, Eva is co-director of the Leading Virtual Teams course—one of a new suite of Virtual Learning Short Courses delivered entirely online by AGSM.  

            The “Leading Virtual Teams” course explores how managers can adapt their leadership styles to a virtual environment, handle challenging conversations remotely, and build a culture of trust.

            To find out what managers can do to ease the transition to virtual working, we caught up with Eva and two of her colleagues: Professor Frederik Anseel, Associate Dean of Research for UNSW Business School and Dr. Christopher Bell, Director of Sanciolo-Bell Group, and Adjunct Faculty member at AGSM.

            Here are their top five tips for leading virtual teams:


            1. Pin down your team’s purpose


            Planning out team purpose

            Articulating the purpose of your team builds a sense of belonging and efficacy © Rostislav_Sedlacek via iStock


            For Christopher, defining a team’s purpose is one of the most important things you can do when leading remotely. This means setting clear goals and explaining how they connect with the organization’s overarching mission.

            “What binds a team is its sense of a common purpose,” he explains. “If individuals are clear on their purpose, there’s a much higher chance of individual and team commitment.”

             Ensuring that your team’s contribution is recognized is another important element, Frederik adds.  

            “In a virtual environment especially, leaders need to be an ambassador to make everyone’s work visible,” he notes. 


            2. Building trust 

            Once you have established your team’s purpose, building trust is essential. But this can be tricky without sharing a physical space. Building trust requires open communication and consistency, Frederik explains.

            “Trust is also built through recognizing the team, and being transparent when you’re delivering feedback,” adds Eva. 

            This recognition will build your team’s confidence in themselves, which will also add to and build trust within your team.  

            “You need to help individuals build a high degree of self-efficacy and confidence in their own ability to deliver to a set timeframe or a common goal,” Christopher says.


            3. Be mindful of different home situations


            Working from home with son

            Leaders must be mindful of home and family obligations when their team works from home © monkeybusinessimages via iStock


            Teams consist of individuals, and virtual teams are no different. When your team works from home, you should be even more mindful of their differing situations.

            In the office, Frederik notes, workers have access to the same resources, and tend to behave in similar ways. At home, however, environments can vary greatly.

            “The challenge for leaders is not to make assumptions, and try to understand how each individual works,” says Frederik.

            This flexible leadership style is emphasized on AGSM’s Leading Virtual Teams course, Christopher notes.

            “We’re using the lens of adaptive leadership, and there are two levels of adaptation required. You need to adapt to the new world, and help your team adapt,” he says. 

            Because the course is designed to fit with professionals’ working schedules, they will be able to apply these leadership insights right away. 

            After completing the webinar component of the program, students can follow up with each other to discuss how they applied the course material to their work, and what were the outcomes. 


            4. Assess your strengths and weaknesses

            In a virtual environment, Frederik explains, it is much more difficult to hide your weaknesses as a leader, and they can soon become amplified. 

            “If you’re very directive or authoritative, for example, the effects of this will become much clearer online than in-person,” he explains. “Or if you’re a bit chaotic, this is also amplified when you lead online.”

            To overcome these tendencies, leaders must challenge themselves to work on their areas of weakness, and apply a more well-rounded leadership style to their virtual teams.

            This requires a lot of self-awareness, and the ability to evolve your leadership style. 


            5. Always consider the future 

            As the workplace continues to evolve, working toward a shared vision can improve your team’s confidence in the future.

            “Creating this future-focused perspective is very important,” says Frederik. “Otherwise you get a defensive team who feel they need to survive week to week, and find things challenging right now.”

            In the future, Frederik, Christopher, and Eva all predict that remote working will retain its importance—balanced with face-to-face interactions. 

            The increased desire for flexible working arrangements will be a bonus for women, since they still take on the majority of childcare and household responsibilities, according to a recent survey by parenting site Netmums.

            Greater flexibility in the workplace for both partners could make splitting care easier.

            “Professional women in particular, have been asking for flexible working arrangements for a long time, and now they’re proving they’re still getting the job done and making it work,” Eva reflects. 

            With this blend of face-to-face and virtual environment, today’s leaders need to be more adaptable than ever.

            Stanford GSB Lecturer Shares Zoom Presentation Tips

            May 15 Roundup


            Presentation tips for your next Zoom meeting

            How can you stand out in a virtual setting? Matt Abrahams, organizational behavior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, shares his top tips for presenting in a zoom meeting.

            The most precious commodity we have in the world today is not gold, bitcoin or even toilet paper. Rather, it is attention. We are constantly bombarded with information. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the many, many virtual sessions in which we are now participating.

            Unfortunately, our audiences are easily distracted, and they habituate quickly. To counter these tendencies, you must diversify materials to keep people’s attention, with variation in voice, variation in evidence, and variation in visuals.  

            Vary your volume and speaking rate to help keep the attention of the audience and motivate them to listen. And by speaking expressively, your passion for your topic comes through.  



            Varying the type of evidence used to support the claims in your presentation is equally as important. Too often, presenters exclusively use their favorite type of evidence, over-relying on data or on anecdotes. But both qualitative and quantitative academic research have found that when you triangulate your support you provide more compelling and memorable results. 

            So, try providing three different types of evidence, such as a data point, a testimonial, and an anecdote. This triangulation neatly reinforces your point, and it allows your audience multiple opportunities to connect with your idea and remember it, which is why it’s a technique often used by advertisers to reinforce that you should buy their product.  

            By varying your voice and evidence, you will make the words you speak more memorable. But what your audience sees is also critical. Just as a monotonous speaker can cause mental shutdown in an audience, slides jammed with words can fatigue and distract an audience. Think visually to rescue yourself from the trap of creating verbose slides that act more as eye charts than helpful aids.  

            Variety truly is the spice of life and memorable virtual meetings and presentations. By varying your voice, evidence, and slides, you help your audience to stay engaged and remember what you’re saying.


            Syracuse University launches Online MSc in Supply Chain Management

            Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management is launching a 15-month online MSc of Supply Chain Management, in partnership with 2U. Julie Niederhoff and Patrick Penfield––who have been interviewed top media outlets on the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains––will be heading up the faculty overseeing the course. 




            “In today’s interconnected world, the importance of supply chains to the global economy and our collective security and well-being has never been more clear,” says Patrick––professor of supply chain practice at the Whitman School. 

            “At this unprecedented moment in history, when businesses, governments, and civil society are grappling with complex supply chain challenges, my colleagues and I look forward to teaching a new generation of leaders and problem-solvers who will help shape the future of this critical field.” 

            The new program will be launched this fall, designed to be taken part-time, STEM-designated, and deeply rooted in data analytics and digital transformation.  

            “The Whitman School is an innovative partner with a bold vision for the evolving role that business education can play in preparing leaders for the future,” adds president of global partnerships at 2U, Andrew Hermalyn.  


            Warwick EMBAs join the fight against COVID-19 

            Three EMBA students at Warwick Business School (WBS) have set up free of charge weekly online seminars for healthcare workers on the frontline tackling the Coronavirus pandemic.  

            Dr. Ali Mehdi, Mathew Sewell, and dentist Omo Akoje Okonkwo say they wanted to use what they’ve been learning on the EMBA to help medics like themselves during this difficult time.  




            “This series of programs has enabled me to become resilient and go beyond fear to learn and grow,” says Ali. 

            “I was motivated by the need to help medics in all roles to be resilient and lead during the COVID-19 crisis by sharing the learning at WBS through the network developed from it. It felt important to promote an understanding of one’s self and the environment that we function in to be able to deal with it, rather than just cope, which is the traditional approach.”  

            So far, 50 to 100 healthcare workers have been logging onto these workshops each week, but the three students hope more healthcare workers access the resource.  


            One for the weekend:

            Connect with MBA admissions directors

            The MBA Tour is hosting a series of virtual events this summer to connect candidates with business schools. Their intelligent matching algorithm distills recommends the best schools for you. They’ll make the introductions, give you access to exclusive panels and discussions, and help you network with admissions professionals, alumni and fellow candidates.

            See upcoming MBA Tour events

            One In Three Business School Candidates Will Defer If Classes Start Online

            May 14 Roundup


            Business school candidates reject online learning

            Everyone is talking about the benefits of online learning right now. But, according to new research from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 36% of candidates intending to study on-campus in 2020 will defer rather than study online if forced to by coronavirus.

            The news comes as business schools plan to deal with the COVID-19 disruption by starting programs in an online format before moving to regular on-campus programs later on.


            Original source: GMAC


            5% of candidates said they would decline their offers if forced to study online. However, pointing at the continued value of a business school degree, 59% of candidates surveyed by GMAC said they would accept their offer regardless and enroll.

            The news is also more positive if programs start on-campus as normal. A majority of candidates are likely to accept and enroll (84%), if admitted to a program starting as normal in 2020. 2% report that they will decline the offer, and another 14% indicate that they will defer.

            According to GMAC, international candidates are more likely to defer, and candidates pursuing an MBA are more likely to defer than candidates pursuing a business master’s.

            Considering doing an MBA this year? Read why an MBA is still worth it in 2020.


            5 Tips For Acing The GMAT Online Exam


            Why entrepreneurship is key for post-coronavirus recovery

            Cranfield School of Management’s director of the Bettany Center for Entrepreneurship, Dr. Stephanie Hussels, says after coronavirus, entrepreneurs will be essential to kickstart the global economy. Find out why.


            MBA Tour offers personal conversations with b-school admissions directors

            The MBA Tour is hosting a series of virtual events this summer to connect candidates with business schools. Their intelligent matching algorithm distills recommends the best schools for you. They’ll make the introductions, give you access to exclusive panels and discussions, and help you network with admissions professionals, alumni and fellow candidates.

            See upcoming MBA Tour events

            COVID-19 Will Change The Future Masters Study Model

            May 13 Roundup 


            New research shows shift to more flexible masters programs 

            According to new research from CarringtonCrisp, COVID-19 is going to shape the future model for masters’ programs. 

            The 2020 Tomorrow’s Masters study, in association with EFMD, reveals there’s more demand for shorter and more flexible learning options and the need for business schools to speed up the diversification of their programs is heightened by the pandemic. 



            “Competition from traditional providers in global markets, from online providers and from new private entrants offering degrees and alternative qualifications are likely to mean that prospective students will be able to shop around to get the best value for their spend,” says author of the study, Andrew Crisp. “While that does not always mean the cheapest degree around, students will be very focused on outcomes.” 

            Of the 1,041 students across 35 countries involved in the study, 36% are interested in digital learning and 33% would consider short online courses as alternatives to full-time degrees. Interest in blended learning programs has almost doubled since 2019, from 7% to 12% 

            “Even before the pandemic, there was growing interest in alternatives to traditional business masters degrees, partly driven by concerns about rising living costs and fees,” he adds. “Modular study options, where students get to tailor their course to suit them, will become more prevalent long-term,” Andrew adds.  


            Wharton Reveals AI For Business Offering 

            Wharton MBA alum Tao Zhang and Selina Chin, donated $5 million to establish the business school’s AI for Business course. Led by AI expert, professor Kartik Hosanagar, the course will enable students to explore digital transformation in business.   

            Tao is a 2002 alum who previously served as co-chairman and co-CEO of Chinese internet company and platform, Meituan-Dianping. Selina graduated the same year and went to serve as the China chief financial officer and vice president of finance for Goodyear Tires & Rubber Co.  

            “Selina and I share experience and interest in management, tech, startups, and opportunities for leadership in global business which comes together in AI,” says Tao. “Wharton is the ideal setting for us to enable these experiences for such talented students and renowned faculty. We are proud to be engaged with the school and to be a part of jump-starting AI for Business.” 




            “The advances made possible by artificial intelligence hold the potential to vastly improve lives and business processes,” addWharton Dean Geoff Garrett. “Our students, faculty, and industry partners are eager to join in our AI knowledge creation efforts to more deeply explore how machine learning will impact the future for everyone. We are deeply grateful to Tao and Selina for so generously enabling us to explore this opportunity and get AI for Business underway.” 

            AI for Business will include the development of new coursework for undergraduates and postgraduates, covering the implications of AI technology, competitive strategy, and the impact on society, run collaboratively with professionals worldwide through executive education.

            “Our students and professors are energized by the idea that AI is influencing nearly every aspect of humanity and our efforts to understand it can make a difference for years to come,” says Kartik. “I’m very excited to help lead AI for Business since the future of machine learning is happening now ­– there are unlimited entry points for experiential learning to explore the topic.” 


            ISB 100th School To Win Triple Accreditation 

            The Indian School of Business (ISB) has been awarded accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA). It’s now the 100th school in the world to achieve the triple crown––accredited by AMBA, EQUIS, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)––joining the likes of IE Business School, University of St. Gallen, and Singapore Management University.  



            “I would like to congratulate ISB on becoming the milestone 100th triple crown school,” says Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of AMBA & BGA. “They have now joined an outstanding group of schools who are justifiably proud of their triple crown status.” 

            All ISB MBA students and alumni are now a part of AMBA’s global member community, which involves 49,000 students and alumni across 150 countries, with networking, thought leadership, career development, and a variety of benefits.

            Read more about the MBA at ISB