Business School Briefing: Win awards for positive societal change and learn adaptability lessons from showbiz

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Hope you had a good weekend.

Be in with a chance to win a prize if you are making the world a fairer, greener place and read what businesses can learn from the pandemic. Written and edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

Take part in our responsible business education awards

The FT invites business school teachers, researchers and alumni around the world to enter its new awards for responsible business education.

Entries are open until October 20 for examples of projects by recent graduates, teaching cases, and research studies that have had a positive societal and environmental impact.

There are three awards:

  • Best alumni “change makers” who have graduated from business school in the past three years and personally helped redefine “business as usual”, whether as intrapreneurs within organisations or as entrepreneurs running start-ups

  • Best business school teaching cases published in the past three years with sustainability and tackling climate change as key learning objectives

  • Best business school academic research published in the past three years that addresses societal challenges, with evidence of positive impact on policy or practice

More details can be found here.

FT business books: September edition
Indra Nooyi, the former PepsiCo chief executive, reveals how grinding it was to rise through companies such as BCG, Motorola and ABB while trying to support her family. Also, learn how to tackle the burnout epidemic in this month’s top titles.

Indra Nooyi, former PepsiCo chief, reveals her journey into corporate America © FT montage

Take part in our hackathon

How do you measure academic output with societal impact? We are looking for business schools, publishers, data experts and others to join our “slow hackathon” to develop ways to measure research. Details are here: or email us at

Andrew Hill’s Management Challenge

Live theatre is back on both sides of the Atlantic, with last week’s reopening of Broadway’s big shows drawing huge ovations from stage-starved audiences.

As I write in my column this week, the way in which these complex theatrical collaborations have emerged from the pandemic offers lessons to other businesses in adaptability, ingenuity and improvisation.

My management challenge this week is a bit more light-hearted than usual, and has a theatrical twist. Let us know which play, show, or opera you would choose to stage for senior managers. Anything Goes for HR? Mamma Mia! (“here we go again”) for the business continuity team? Send your concise programme note to

West End Theatre
Ingenuity has marked the return of the theatre, just as it helped companies revive production through the pandemic © Anizza |

In further reading, a sobering take on the “Great Resignation” in the New York Times, where Kellen Browning and Erin Griffith look at the lockdown phenomenon of people who were hired and then left companies without ever meeting their colleagues in person. “I felt like a name on a spreadsheet. Just someone you could hit delete on,” says one.

Also, don’t forget that if you’re under 35 and have a brilliant idea for a business book, you have until September 30 to enter the £15,000 Financial Times and McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize for business book proposals. More details about how to enter here.

Data line: reasons for studying for a Masters in Management

Almost eight in 10 graduates said that their biggest motivation for starting a MiM degree was to learn business fundamentals, say Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi. Networking and better career opportunities were also important factors. Starting a company was a less popular reason among MiM alumni, who responded to an FT ranking survey. Here are more charts about the programme.

Chart showing business basics top list of motivations for doing a MiM, scored out of 10 (%)

Work and careers round-up

What are the pros and cons of working from home? Well, it won’t save the planet, says Pilita Clark. Studies indicate that remote working offers modest emissions savings at best — and at worst is a carbon enhancer. On the other hand, being in an office of loud co-workers is a problem. But no one can act alone to cure the curse of a noisy colleague.

Our big feature looks at the rise of the chief diversity officer. This is the newest senior leadership function in many organisations but the role can be hard to navigate.

The CDO role includes identifying gaps in an organisation’s equal opportunities structures and creating a strategy to tackle discrimination © Dominika Lipniewska

Tania Boler, founder of female healthtech (femtech) company Elvie that revolutionised the breast pump, offers lessons on overcoming investors’ resistance.

How good is your knowledge of the news?

Answer our 10 question quiz.

Top business school reads

China lashes out at Australia, UK and US over security pact Canberra scraps French submarine programme to sign a deal with Washington and London.

Members of the Taiwanese Navy in Taiwan
Members of the Taiwanese Navy in Taiwan at a ceremony for a new corvette. Taiwanese officials say the pact will help balance China’s military strength in the region © Bloomberg

Beijing to break up Ant’s Alipay and force creation of separate loans app The Chinese fintech will turn over user data to a new joint venture partly owned by state.

Ant’s growing share of revenue from lending

Apple introduces four iPhones and refreshes range of devices The group focuses on improvements to cameras and processors in a push to drive upgrades.

Tim Cook, Apple chief executive
Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, says the new iPhone series has the ‘biggest camera system advancement yet’  © Handout via REUTERS

Further reading

The top 100 Masters in Management of 2021, ranked by the FT, are revealed here. Is your school on the list? Read our report at:

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