Preparing Undergraduates for a Dynamic Business World

Globe. Photo: Izabelha.

Business leaders face a world that is much more dynamic than in the past. Business education needs to change to prepare young people for the challenges ahead of them. Therefore, the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is launching a pilot project for its undergraduate programs to include new topics into the curriculum.

The project—entitled “Creative Complexity: Preparing for Leadership in a Dynamic World”—will take up to 30 participants each from the 2012 and 2013 intakes on an exciting learning journey. Three five-day workshops during semester breaks will take them out of the normal class environment to explore new topics.

With this project the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management emphasizes its ambition of not only being the best Business School in Germany but also one of the leading institutions in Europe.

Trends of the future

We have identified four major global trends that will directly affect the way organizations will be run in the future.

Areas "Creative Complexity"
Four thematic areas and three levels of the “Creative Complexity” project

(1) The impact of Big Data

Technological progress in all areas of life enables us to track and collect more data than ever before. Rather than having to find scarce data, in today’s business environment there is abundant information. How do we analyze it and how do we make sense of this mountain of knowledge?

(2) Boundless and borderless collaboration

Globalization and online technology make work borderless and boundless. Tomorrow’s
business leader need to co-operate and collaborate with colleagues, partners and clients from all over the world—face-to-face, in virtual environments and generally in a much more constant and interactive way. This requires not only good intercultural and psychological skills but also a deep understanding of new forms of communication and how they shape our environment.

(3) Public and private spheres converge

In the old days, the worlds of business, politics and society were fairly separate. Today, these spheres are converging. Social Entrepreneurs provide vital services for the poor and make money at the same time. Political regulation affects companies, but it can also be an opportunity and open new markets. Some global challenges cannot be solved by governments anymore without using private enterprise as a lever. Business leaders cannot just be business people. Without experience of other sectors and spheres they will miss opportunities and fail to recognize important trends for their companies.

(4) The speed of (disruptive) innovation

Business environments change a rapid pace. Challengers with a new service, a different business model or some crazy technology can appear out of nowhere and have the potential to radically alter existing markets and sectors. Business leaders need to be flexible, holistic thinkers with an ability to apply creativity.

The workshops will deal with each of these four trends and show participants how to embrace and use them on a personal level, for their teams and organizations and beyond. Leading international practitioners will facilitate the workshops.

The project is jointly funded by Frankfurt School and by the European Social Fund through the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts of the State of Hesse and has a projected total budget of € 280,000. The first workshops will take place at the end of February 2013.