Welcome to the FT Business school newsletter, a weekly serving of management wisdom, reading recommendations and business-related challenges. FT subscribers can sign up here to receive the newsletter by email every Monday. If you have feedback about FT Business school, please email email@example.com.
You can view current and previous editions of the newsletter online.
In case you missed this edition published on July 2, Monday, here it is.
Top MBAs for entrepreneurship
Find out which 50 business schools are in our ranking for the top MBAs for entrepreneurship.
How to Lead
Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation (the body that controls the finances of the Nobel Prizes), talks about how he has dealt with crisis after crisis, in our weekly series How to Lead.
Summer business books of 2018
Andrew Hill selects his eight mid-year reads, which include Bullshit Jobs: A Theory and Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup — about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.
Andrew Hill's challenge
The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.
Our FT data show that readers devoted higher than average time to reading my column this week about the madness of time management, in which I take issue with the idea that every second of an executive's day should be monitored and measured.
For this week's challenge, I'd like to hear how you think managers should spend their limited downtime: more exercise, reading improving literature, playing with their children, or something quite different? Send a sentence or two to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week I asked for ideas about how to remind bankers (or indeed any business person) about the errors of the past. This was a dead heat between three excellent and quite different ideas.
Richard Portes suggests telling bankers to read Émile Zola's 1891 classic L'Argent (Money), "the story of a hugely ambitious banker, creator of the Universal Bank, who ends up using bank funds to buy the bank’s shares on the Bourse, in the ultimately vain hope of fending off collapse". Michael Olenick plumps for "full public disclosure" of any stock-price-sensitive deal, of the sort that allowed short sellers to spot the flaws in the subprime banking boom. Finally, Paul Roseveare suggests giving each department the task of "drawing a picture" of an issue from the last financial crisis. Staff vote on a winner who organises a collective night out to reinforce the message, such as a restaurant dinner to remind the subprime lending team of "the ritual of a family meal everyone should have a right to enjoy …without fear of losing their home".
In further reading, I highly recommend this blogpost by Michael Lopp, aka Rands, about giving and receiving feedback. "Your goal in life is to make feedback in all directions no big deal," he writes.
Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.
Thomas Roulet, senior lecturer in international management at King’s Business School in London, selects:
City of London establishes ‘Anti-Presidents Club’ fundraisers The President Club scandal shows how misconduct can tarnish the reputation of entire ecosystems and industries. In this case, the FT had unveiled earlier a fundraising event in which male participants engaged in gross sexual harassment.
A wide range of stakeholders from bankers to the recipient charities themselves, were tarnished by the scandal. The City of London is trying to collectively repair its reputation by launching fundraising dinners. The objective is to ensure that the charity industry as a whole does not suffer from a negative halo effect threatening its key resource: its social standing.
The ‘big four’ auditors have life far too easy The audit industry is an example of how industry structure can create incentives for firms to engage in malfeasance. The sector is an oligopoly – all firms need audit services that only a handful of dominant companies can provide.
The author stresses the moralhazard generated by this situation. When those firms engage in misconduct or fail at their job, their oligopolistic position shields them from the negative consequences: any punishment might trigger the disappearance of one more actor, and a vicious circle leading to an even more monopolistic position and more incentives to cheat for the remaining firms. A regulatory rethink is needed.
Jonathan Moules's business school news
Have we reached peak entrepreneur? Courses to understand the skills of starting a business and developing a business idea have long been among the most popular elements of MBA courses, and has stimulated many business school students to set up on their own. However, the latest data from the Financial Times annual ranking of these degrees indicate that declining numbers of students are taking the plunge in the three years after graduation in our latest top 50 MBAs for entrepreneurship ranking.
One reason for this, perhaps ironically, has been the growing interest among MBA students in working for large tech companies, often held up as the great entrepreneurial businesses of our age. This week I have looked at this trend.
Ask the academics
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Edited by Wai Kwen Chan — firstname.lastname@example.org