Financial TimesBusiness School Briefing: Asia-Pacific schools and lust for success

November 2, 20200

Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


Q&A: Should I study business in Asia? Join our online conversation here with leading faculty from business schools across Asia with a live discussion from 9 to 10am GMT. Ask your questions in advance by emailing us now at Spread the word!

Wanted: student social investment projects: We are looking for innovative student-led ESG/social impact investment activities in business schools. Submit your examples here by November 15. The best will be cited in the FT and can attend our Investing for Good US summit.

Asia-Pacific schools

What business course students want is changing and schools are hastening to adapt in the Asia-Pacific. The FT report contains a directory of business programmes in the region, articles on data points for choosing a programme and lessons from Wirecard.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Ambition is considered a necessary quality for success in many domains, but what about lust? That innate, unteachable, insatiable quality distinguishes exceptional leaders, good and bad, from the merely ordinary, according to a new book by Barbara Kellerman and fellow academic Todd Pittinsky. Lust is fully on display in the candidates for US president, as I point out in my latest column.

Kellerman takes issue with business schools’ failure to teach students about lustful leadership. For my management challenge this week, write a very brief outline for a “Lust 101” starter course — case studies and key objectives — and send it to

Last week, I asked you for a question or test that would assess “soft” skills. Aris Catsambas presents candidates with four factors for revenue growth of a business unit and asks “How would you track how much each factor is contributing to revenue growth throughout the year?” The problem helps him assess their learning, analysis and problem-solving skills, he says.

In further reading, here is Annie Murphy Paul’s excellent examination in the Boston Globe of the need to rethink the premium given to “smartness” and “smart” people. Thinkers such as Michael Sandel, David Goodhart and Fredrik deBoer instead “imagine a world in which respect and prestige is granted to people who work with their hands and who care for others — not just those who sit in offices and stare at screens”.

Data line

Schools in the FT’s EMBA ranking of 2020 perform well in the teaching of several of subjects deemed most important by alumni — see chart.

Corporate strategy, general management and international business are important to graduates — and EMBA programmes teach these subjects well. However, alumni rate entrepreneurship as important but think that the teaching could be better.

Top business school reads

Apple develops alternative to Google search iPhone maker pushes to build its own search tools as ties to Google come under antitrust scrutiny

Scientists warn of new coronavirus variant spreading across Europe | Free to read
Genetic mutation that originated in Spain transmitted by returning holidaymakers, researchers find

Global equities suffer worst week since March Tech stocks lead Wall Street lower as Covid and US election angst builds

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