Deans and Directors as Catalysts of Change

Leaders in the 21st century are working with increasingly competing internal and external priorities.

Oasis Associate Director Claire Maxwell co-facilitated a Deans and Directors as Catalysts of Change Cohort for the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI).

Meeting at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the group spent three days together. Senior leaders of forward-thinking and outward-facing universities and business schools from all over the world, engaged in and committed to transformative change for people, planet and prosperity.

Claire said: “We were taking risks and mustering courage, developing relationships in order to affect change in the management education landscape. People are recognising that they can’t do that entirely alone, there is strength in numbers and collective action. I was astounded by the level of engagement and will. We transcended the individual experience. When we closed, we were a group, not a bunch of individuals. That doesn’t happen often and when it does it is magical.”

Rashmi Prasad, Dean of the College of Business, Western Governors University, Utah, USA, said: “The facilitation is something that I’ve really not seen before, but it created strong bonds and was subtle. Three days ago, I didn’t know any of these people and I feel a level of comfort and collegiality, intimacy, informality with people. It’s a very subtle process but worthwhile. I can definitely see the difference between this and another conference.”

Inspired by the 50+20 vision of “Management Education for the World”, the collaboratory of deans and directors grappled with the paradoxes and possibilities associated with developing a global perspective and implementing responsibility in leadership and practice.

The GRLI, an EFMD, AACSB International and UN Global Compact strategic partnership inclusive of the PRME, is committed to facilitating innovative, pioneering and action oriented co-learning opportunities for senior leaders in the fields of management, higher education and organisational learning.

As well as her connection to Oasis, Claire is also Chair of the GRLI. Its objective is to develop responsible management education for the next generation of global leaders.

The Deans and Directors Cohort will meet again in Marseilles in May. In these video interviews participants share some of their hopes and ambitions for the work ahead. The Cohort is now inviting a next round of proposals from prospective participants. Proposals may be submitted online and are due by 2 March 2018.