Word from the dean

"Individuals are increasingly responsible for guaranteeing their own employability, and making sure they can become 'serial masters'"

Philippe HaspeslaghDear reader,

As I write this, the weather seems to be oscillating back and forward between winter and summer. Pretty much like our sideways-moving economy. Business-wise we see things holding up fairly well, but like many companies we are wary of nasty surprises. Beneath the apparently uneventful surface, however, your School is steadily moving forward. We have recruited development managers in both Russia and the Netherlands, two markets where we can develop a solid position based on our unique capabilities and heritage. Clients of our company-specific programmes in both countries have consistently been delighted with Vlerick’s pragmatism and quality. Together with our alumni, we are preparing for the new Vlerick branding, which you will discover on our website, in our campuses and at our opening ceremony on 12 September in Brussels. Internally, through our “Stronger Together” initiative, we are making sure that we are ready to live the brand inside with renewed programmes and organisation.

Progress is an accumulation of many small wins. Three new faculty joining us; our Master’s students on the podium of the National US collegiate sales competition; Wouter De Maeseneire winning the EFMD case-writing competition in Banking and Finance; Jan Lepoutre taking the Oikos Award for the best case in Social Entrepreneurship; five new A* or A papers by Céline Louche, Kristof Stouthuysen, Jan Lepoutre, Ann Vereecke and Sophie Manigart; and a new book on Performance Management by a faculty team led by Regine Slagmulder. The Vlerick house is steadily being built using many stones brought by all our talents - seniors and juniors alike.

Talent management, the main topic in the latest Vlerick reflect, is also the single most strategic issue for our own organisation: we are in a supply-driven business and all we have to sell is the talent of our faculty and the service quality of our professionals.

Talent management is also our market. Two fundamental trends are going on in the workplace. They guarantee our future, provided we can adapt and gain the trust of individuals and organisations. One trend is that individuals are increasingly responsible for guaranteeing their own employability, and making sure they can become “serial masters”, as inevitable changes will force them to develop multiple career phases. We service them with Master’s programmes to give them a jumpstart, MBAs to re-orient and accelerate their career goals, Executive Master Classes to deepen their understanding, and open programmes to broaden their perspective and help with career transitions.

The other trend, from a corporate perspective, is the evolution of HR to strategic talent management and its integration with performance management. For Executive Education providers like Vlerick, this means a radical shift from traditional teaching in the classroom only to integration with the strategy execution and change processes for the benefit of line management. It requires us in our company-specific programmes to partner flexibly with the client and other providers in support of broader organisation development that leads to measurable output and improvement.

As in every issue, we bring you the perspective of our faculty, describe the work of our Centres of Excellence, provide an illustration of some of the tools we have developed and offer a number of testimonials from students and clients. Enjoy reading the latest news and take care of your talent!

Philippe Haspeslagh
Dean, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School

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