Undergraduates train leadership skills in second round of “Creative Complexity”

Students during the Creative Complexity workshop in Heidelberg
Students during the Creative Complexity workshop in Heidelberg

In August, our pilot project “Creative Complexity” at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management went into its second round with the 2012 cohort. The project’s aim is to try new formats and topics for the undergraduate programs to prepare students better for the leadership challenges ahead of them.
This time we went to Heidelberg. In five days we covered three modules with very different topics.

Visual communication

We started with a module on “Using Video as a Communication Tool”. Facilitated by Yvonne Schulz, a freelance videographer, students learned basic concepts of thinking in moving images and some technical and practical knowledge about shooting a video.

I believe that visual communication will become much more important. Managers and leaders need to know how to translate their ideas, business processes and products into visual narratives very much like they are now expected to put something in writing.

In the spirit of the project we didn’t want students just to hear about something, but to apply it immediately. We had brought video equipment and the participants were tasked to film the remaining days in different teams. We will publish the results soon, either as standalone films or as part of a bigger video about the project that we are currently producing.

Media training

Camera training at the Creative Complexity workshop in Heidelberg.
Camera training at the Creative Complexity workshop in Heidelberg.

The following two days we spent with Klaus Jancovius and Jacqueline Stuhler, two veterans of German television who have held multiple positions in the industry on and off camera. In their module “Working With Media and Crisis Communication” they taught students how to deal with the media. On the first day the focus was on camera training, that is, on being interviewed on TV. The second day focused on crisis communication with a number of scenarios. Each student received individual feedback at different times throughout the module.

Leadership and personal influence

For the 2012 cohort this marks the end of “Creative Complexity”, much to their dismay. For me, planning for the 2013 cohort starts, where we will have another opportunity to try things. And, of course, I already have an eye on what comes next. The idea was always to include as many successful elements as possible into the regular curriculum. This, I believe, would lift Frankfurt School’s Bachelor programs to a whole new level, which would be good for the students, but obviously also for the School and its place in the market.The last two days were on “Leading Through Personal Influence” with Juraj Ondrejkovic and Orsolya Kovács, who had already facilitated a module during the first week in February. This time, the topics where Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Students had completed the Mayer-Salovey Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) before and everyone received feedback in an individual session with one of the facilitators.

Photos from the workshop are on Facebook.