Get a taste...

Curious about the content of the sessions? We would like to give you a brief idea of what you can expect! On this page each faculty member shares some insights and tips on the topic that they will cover in the Feed Your Mind series 2015.

Change management in a VUCA world
Professor Peter De Prins

Change is accelerating all over the place. We now live in a VUCA world: full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. But as we go about ‘managing change’ in our professional lives, maybe we could use some stability (for a change)?

What’s good about it?
Passionate teacher and executive coach, Professor Peter De Prins specialises in motivation, leadership, coaching and management practice.

Prof De Prins: “A lot of people talk about how to manage change – including disruptive change – in organisations. But companies so often focus on how to manage a new way of thinking and new processes – and how to manage changing people’s behaviours – that they spend hardly any time showing people what is still there, what is staying the same. And how to exploit the things that are going well.”

That’s called stability management. “How to get people to see that the change they are going through is basically an elaboration of something that is already going on in the workplace.”

 

 
Professor Peter De Prins:
"Stability management is as important as change management."

A new model for change
As he works with a wide variety of organisations, Prof De Prins often finds change projects quite logically designed, but very traditional. “Ask the person leading an important change project to explain the scope of the project to you,” he says, “and chances are you’ll get a nice printout of a stepping plan in 5 or 6 phases. Supported by project management, milestones, deliverables, KPIs, … Well thought-out. But often the road to failure.”

In his Feed Your Mind session, Prof De Prins will provide you with a new model for change, based on 6 organisational ‘batteries’. “Successful change requires insights into tangible and intangible components,” he explains. “As a change leader, you are responsible for keeping those batteries charged so that you can implement your change project successfully.”

United we stand, divided we fall
Professor Smaranda Boros

Working in virtual teams is a reality for most organisations today. However, when people think of virtual teams, they usually think of everything that goes wrong – they worry about the disadvantages of working this way rather than looking at all the potential.

Looking at the positive
Professor Smaranda Boros is an expert in the areas of intercultural management and organisational behaviour. She creates learning experiences that are innovative, experiential and challenging. The perfect ingredients for a Feed Your Mind session on building a team whose members interact at a distance, geographically and even culturally.

Prof Boros: “While it is true that virtual teams do not function as collocated teams, there are also many advantages that virtual teams bring to the picture.”

Pulling a team together
So, how do you turn a virtual team into a productive articulated team? How do you optimise communication and build trust among virtual team members? Where do you begin?

“First of all, you need to reframe and repaint the picture of virtual teamwork from something threatening to something that can add value to all stakeholders of the organisation,” Prof Boros explains. “In order to create the conditions for the work to start, you need the ability to create a comprehensive structure and a thorough plan up front.”

 

 Professor Smaranda Boros:
"Leading a virtual team requires a paradox of competences, which are rarely found in one person."
 
A paradox of competences

Prof Boros’ Feed Your Mind session will provide participants with good practices for ensuring well-functioning virtual teams and satisfied team members. But leading a virtual team requires a very divergent set of skills. In addition to the ability to see the big picture and pull the pieces together, she says that “you also need the ability to let go and allow the emergent processes to evolve in their own way – to decentralise both communication and coordination.”

And this combination of competences – organising, controlling, facilitating and allowing flow – are hard to find in a single individual. “Paradoxically, you need to be both a skilled and thorough planner and centraliser and, at the same time, an inclusive facilitator who can become part of the background.”

Selling your idea: Getting others to buy in – including your boss
Professor Barney Jordaan

‘Selling’ your creative idea, your brilliant solution, or your board proposal can be a tense affair. What if nobody else likes it? What if the egos in the room feel threatened? What if you make a fool of yourself…?

What’s in it for me?
It’s true: the fear of negative or unenthusiastic reactions to our ideas can be inhibiting, even demoralising. We then do one of two things (neither of which is helpful): either we keep our great ideas to ourselves, or, if we are compelled to put them forward, we do so in a way that actually pushes people away from us and our ideas.

So, how do we go about crafting and putting forward suggestions, proposals, or ideas that are persuasive and that others will take seriously? Vlerick Professor of Management Practice, Barney Jordaan, is a seasoned expert in negotiation, conflict management and mediation. His many years of experience have taught him that, if you want to sell your idea and persuade other people, you have to make it worth their while.

 

 
Professor Barney Jordaan:
"Humans are selfish beings: they’ll only buy your idea if it’s in their interest to do so."

Letting them have your way
Prof Jordaan: “In selling our ideas, we need to think from the other person’s perspective. How can I persuade them to move in my direction by making it worth their while to do so? This requires a fundamental change in how we approach the issues (the proverbial ‘mind shift’), how we present our ideas, and how we interact with those we are trying to influence.”

Prof Jordaan’s Feed Your Mind session will show you what you need to do to improve your chances of ‘being heard’ and taken seriously when it matters most. “The old saying ‘Diplomacy is the art of letting them have your way’ also applies to selling your ideas.”

Digital beyond the obvious –  How digital can contribute to the strategy and growth of your company
Professor Steve Muylle

Make a real difference
How can digital contribute meaningfully to your business? Digital goes beyond the obvious online actions – such as an optimised website, a successful social media campaign, or a highly rated app. These initiatives are only the tip of the digital iceberg.

You can make a real difference by preparing a well-founded digital strategy that seamlessly connects to, and interacts with, the strategy and processes of your company.

Discovering what digital can do
Prof Steve Muylle: “You’d better be good at selling value to the customer – if you’re not, you’ll just be replaced by a website that does the job. And even when you figure out what the added value of your product or service is, the Internet is still a valuable platform for offering digital services that help customers understand what that value is, and perhaps experience that value.”

“It’s all about discovering what digital technology can do for a product or service,” Prof Muylle continues. “How can I help the customer in a digital environment? From grasping the complexity of the offering, to configuring and customising it, and helping customers understand what it means for them. Now the sales force has to figure out what it can bring to the table that a computer can’t do.”

 

Professor Steve Muylle:
"You’d better be good at selling value to the customer – if you’re not, you’ll just be replaced by a website."

High impact
So, how do you ensure that your digital strategy is on the money and contributes to your organisation’s competitive advantage? In this Feed Your Mind session, Prof Steve Muylle will provide you with a practical understanding of digital opportunities and reveal how you can create a digital strategy with high impact.

Accreditations
& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times