A mini-blog series, by Daniel Cade
My call with Stefan coincided with his commute to Basel. We were interrupted by travel announcements, a patchy internet connection, and a hasty exit to avoid him ending up in Hamburg. Despite all this, Stefan still managed to impart on me, very eloquently, the central role that the concept of value creation will play in his new course.
Stefan clearly enjoys teaching MBA students. “They already have a career, they know what they want, and they’re very confident. They don’t need academic flow, they need rigorous economic and strategic insights that they can use in their day-to-day lives,” he told me. “The smart manager of tomorrow must have the right tools and the ability to think to find suitable solutions,” he added.
That turned out to be a key sentence to illuminate Stefan’s overall philosophy and approach. Smart managers, he explained, “Are those that can understand how the global challenges of today affect the crucial parameters of value creation for their businesses.” To reach this point, students on Stefan’s course will first explore the “fundamentals” of how companies actually create value, before learning how to “structure and organise their thoughts in the face of uncertainty,” as he put it.
And what format can students expect? Well, not a lecture – at least in the traditional sense. “My classes are 100% interactive,” he insists. “I’m there to teach students how to think, not to teach them what I think. “ They’ll need to be equipped to make decisions in the present, for the future, based on the past” he added.
Stefan was now on the train platform; his microphone battling with the wind, his scarf blowing in all directions. Though I did manage to get one more audible sentence out of him before he left: “We’ll go beyond the buzzwords on this course to deliver real value.”