Financial TimesBusiness School Briefing: compassion coaching, lessons from poker, OMBA topics

April 19, 20210

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.


Special Report: Responsible Business Education
Business schools are being urged to integrate ESG topics in core courses, as well as foster diversity among their faculty and students. Are they succeeding? The FT’s special report into Responsible Business Education is a multi-part series.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Managers who want their teams to win need to use more than an angry reprimand; they need to show humanity to their team members, too.

That’s the message Claire Jones draws from the Netflix series Last Chance U, which follows John Mosley, unconventional and compassionate coach of the East Los Angeles College Huskies, a junior college basketball team.

I often think the parallel between coaching in sport and management in business is strained, but for my management challenge this week, I’d like to hear your thoughts about the areas where business leaders might learn useful lessons from sport, and where they cannot. Send your concise ideas to and we will publish the best next week.

In further readingThe Atlantic warns about the risk that individual workers blame themselves for suffering burnout, when employers and managers are also responsible for reducing the burden that leads to intolerable stress. Olga Khazan writes that bosses could act to “place fewer demands on people, give them more control over how to handle those demands, and provide support to handle them”.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

Moves to improve gender balance in the workplace have taken a novel twist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, which is piloting an extracurricular programme to help women build leadership skills through learning the art of poker. The course, run in partnership with women-led Poker Powher, is being offered to MBA students and an executive education course is being planned for the winter.

More dean appointments, this time at Madrid-based IE Business School, which has named Lee Newman to succeed the current head Martin Boehm in June. Newman is originally from the US, joined IE in 2009, and is currently serving as dean of IE’s School of Human Sciences and Technology. Prior to that, he worked at McKinsey and also founded two startups during the dotcom era.

Finally, news of an MBA helping with the pandemic response. Icelandic Bjarki Kristjánsson, chief technology officer of Intenta, graduated from Copenhagen Business School’s Executive MBA programme in 2019. He then worked on a strategy project, putting his new MBA education to good use by developing a software solution, now used by Pfizer, to monitor the distribution of vaccines globally. The software is also being used by the American army to monitor vaccines on a state level in the US.

Data line

FT-ranked online MBA schools performed well in a number of subjects taught: general management and organisational behaviour have been consistently highly rated by alumni for the past five years, says Leo Cremonezi.

Fintech and ecommerce training received lower scores, as did IT, though this is the sector that most alumni work in three years after graduation. Find out more in our Online MBA ranking 2021 analysis.

Bar chart of Percentage breakdown of alumni and their scores given to their OMBA subjects showing General management topic is highly rated by Online MBA degree alumni

Top business school reads

Coinbase valued at $76bn in coming-of-age moment for cryptocurrency Investors cheer direct listing of digital currency exchange though shares drift lower after debut

Investors brace for ‘major shift’ as momentum and value collide Rare melding of strategies may add more fuel to gains for energy stocks and banks, analysts say

Investors brace for ‘major shift’ as momentum and value collide Rare melding of strategies may add more fuel to gains for energy stocks and banks, analysts say

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