Developing-Leaders-issue-27-2017

Viewpoint 6 | Developing Leaders Issue 27: 2017 The role business schools can play is twofold. First, they need to work with business to restore public trust by explaining themechanisms of globalization and, while acknowledging the costs, highlighting its benefits. Not least of which, is that globalization has, over the past 20 years, lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and, alongside the creation of EU, led to an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. Secondly, business schools should support public policy in helping ameliorate some of the disadvantages globalization brings to local stakeholders. In too many countries the wealth created by globalization has not been spread fairly. The business school role can be to develop thoughtful leaders, described by Manzoni as “people who understand that business people and shareholders and all of us are jointly responsible for the economic and social system that we’re developing.” The economy is not an end in itself, but a means to a prosperous, fair and equal society, and corporate boards need to be more aware of the medium- and long- term effect of their actions and less focused on short-term profit. “In the past companies got away with it,” says Manzoni, “but we now live in a world where society catches up with you.” What is more there is now growing evidence that it is possible to do well by doing good. As well as the need to restore trust, businesses face a wide range of other challenges. Asked how well organizations are adapting to these challenges, Manzoni says it is hard to make general pronouncements that apply across contexts, across industries and countries, and he does not believe there is a simple answer or a Holy Grail. However, in discussing the notion of ‘agile leadership’, the team at IMD’s Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation have come up with three avenues, which may contribute to a beginning of an answer on this. These three avenues are:

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