By Wilson Kalunge – MBA Director
Last month four Strathmore Business School faculty members attended the globally acclaimed International Faculty Program held at IESE Business School, Spain. They were Dr. Ben Ngoye, Dr. Fredrick Ogola, Mr. Wilson Kalunge and Mr. Stephen Gugu. The 3-week program is traditionally aimed at enhancing the quality of management education worldwide by giving participants a general management perspective applied to teaching and allowing them to identify their own strengths and areas for improvement.
In this years IFP, now in its 21st edition, 31 participants from 16 countries took part in the intensive program, which includes case studies, academic sessions, exercises, coaching, interactive networking activities and, last but not least, team-building excursions. The participants were grouped into 3 teams of eight and 1 of seven, using criteria that resulted in great team-diversity; experiences and cultural backgrounds.
Each day had an incredibly tight work schedule, beginning with early morning team case discussions, assisted by a faculty member, followed by classroom case sessions moderated by very experienced faculty members and further group discussions.
On the two Saturdays there were team-building excursions to places of great cultural interest, which generated camaraderie and opportunities to communicate. Gloria, a professor at CETT (Barcelona) remarked, “Sharing this experience with participants from such different countries has helped me understand that – no matter what our areas of expertise, teaching environments or years of experience – we all have the same goal of improving our profession.”
Among the highlights this year was a session led by visiting Professor Kirstie McAllum, from New Zealand, specialized in Managing People in Organizations. During the session “Collaborative Classroom Communication,” Prof. McAllum removed the chairs in the classroom to create an atmosphere that improved participant interaction, eliminated barriers and helped boost communication skills.
One of the most enriching aspects of the IFP is the opportunity students have to present cases in class, whether they be those from their own schools or from other institutions.
Over the next few years, the group will stay in contact through various channels, including social networks. A new IFP newsletter, to be published bi-annually, is work-in-progress, with the collaboration of alumni Aránzazu Narbona (IFP ’12 and PDD ’12). Some members of the 2013 IFP class have already began working on a book “Towards Effective Teaching: Perspectives on Refocusing Management Education on the Person,” set to be launched in September 2014. The book “is a reflection of what we have learned on the program and in our role as educators,” said Kemi Ogunyemi, professor at Lagos Business School (Nigeria).
When we were selecting class representatives, such as the President, Vice President and Secretary, the count of votes for each were being recorded on a board, to my surprise my name came out top on each board and I was simply dumbfounded.
The vice position was taken by Alejandro (a professor at INALDE, Colombia, currently completing his PhD at IESE) and the secretarys role went to Kemi (LBS) This voting result was really recognition of the wonderful effort by the SBS team during the Program; Ben and Fred made impressive case presentations and I presented an Agribusiness course design.
Yes, we can trailblaze!