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Hope you had a good weekend. The return of in-person meetings and conferences means it is time to reassess the benefits of professional networking. Hybrid events that mix in-person and online elements offer a way to meet professionally in the post-pandemic world. But do they work? Written and edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.
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Andrew Hill’s Management Challenge
Corporate schmoozing is coming back, judging from my unscientific soundings from last week’s Chelsea Flower Show, where dealmakers go to see and be seen, and the promised return of the World Economic Forum in Davos next year.
But how useful is in-person networking, given all we have learnt about the benefits of virtual conferences? For the next management challenge, I’d like to see a two- or three-sentence memo to the boss justifying your request to go to an in-person conference or event. Alternatively, put yourself in management’s shoes and send a brief response explaining why video calls are better. I’ll be monitoring email@example.com for your entries.
Thanks for the responses to last week’s theatrical challenge, where I asked what show you’d stage for managers. Alison Chappell, who works at a big energy company, mischievously suggests JM Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World “for our trading team”, while lecturer Thomas Roulet sent an extended synopsis for Waiting for GodOVID, loosely based on Samuel Beckett’s existential masterpiece Waiting for Godot: “Every organisation is eagerly waiting for [the end of the pandemic], but nobody seems to know when, and more importantly how it will happen.”
In further reading, Ian Cook in Harvard Business Review offers some therapies for companies rocked by staff joining the “Great Resignation”. “Before you can determine the underlying causes of turnover at your organization, it’s critical to quantify both the scope of the problem and its impact,” he writes.
In an FT survey, Masters in Management alumni say finance is the subject that their schools are strongest at teaching, followed by general management and international business, write Leo Cremonezi and Sam Stephens.
Business schools are still not rated as highly by graduates for technology-related subjects, when compared with general management disciplines. Graduates in the US and Canada gave lower scores for finance compared with alumni in other regions — and rated highly their schools for international business teaching. Here are more charts about the MiM programme.
Work and careers round-up
Our main feature looks at how corporate social responsibility jobs have changed. While core functions such as finance and marketing remain, soft skills such as collaboration and resilience are becoming equally important.
Pilita Clark talks about leadership lessons from Ted Lasso, the sweet-natured comedy shows that it pays to be a kind and decent manager.
Post-pandemic hybrid business events have their pitfalls. Viv Groskop explains that producing conferences with both in-person and virtual elements requires expertise — and few organisations have it.
Chris Sheldrick, co-founder of What3words, the location app, shares his leadership tips from scaling an ambitious start-up. He advises: “Have breakfast with a different employee every day to hear what they are doing and gain knowledge and feedback.”
In the shortlist for the FT’s Business book of the year 2021, climate change, opioid addiction and cyber crime are among the themes analysed in the £30,000 award.
Finally, what advice would you give to motivate colleagues if their boss does not care about what they do?
How good is your knowledge of the news?
Top business school reads
Evergrande deadline sends chills through $400bn Asian debt market Traders fret over fallout if indebted Chinese property developer begins to miss payments.
China expands crackdown by declaring all crypto activities ‘illegal’ The country’s central bank seeks to stop residents trading on overseas exchanges.
Beijing frees Canadians after Huawei CFO reaches deal with US prosecutors Meng Wanzhou flies to China after resolving fraud charges while Spavor and Kovrig return to Canada.
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