Our Challenge

There has been an increasing amount of research on birth order these days and how it affects one's relationships and ultimate success through life. As a father of three girls--a built-in scientific study of sorts--I can attest that there is definitely some truth in these classic characterizations. The eldest child is supposed to be the responsible one, the middle child is the one who is struggling for recognition for their good efforts and unique position and the youngest is the one who is most likely to take chances because she has less to lose and has learned from the mistakes of her sisters.

At Webster University's School of Business & Technology, we are a bit like all three children. We carry the mark of the oldest, in that we take our responsibilities to our students very seriously. We want to deliver an outstanding educational experience to them and not let them down. As a "middle child," we are not an Oxford University. Yet, we are striving to be recognized for our unique position as a viable provider of business and technology education in select locations across the world. We are also a bit like "the youngest child," as well. We have only been around for a couple of decades, we do not
carry the blessing and the burdens of centuries of tradition, therefore, we are free to experiment and innovate.

In the course of our time here in London, we will share with you what we are doing to own the space in global business education through a fresh approach to delivering an educational experience that is provocative and insightful.

Specifically, the Global MBA is our quest to move closer to achieving our mission/vision to be more global centric in our offerings and delivery.

The School of Business and Technology has what I will characterize as a few natural liabilities. We are young, relatively speaking. We are not a rich school and we don't have any thing that we are known for globally, yet our greatest opportunity is our willingness to turn our liabilities into assets.

Some examples of our natural liabilities are:

Webster does not have one area we are known for yet. We need to quickly focus on defining our place among global b-schools.
     - We have the opportunity to hone our specialty in a few but compelling areas.
We understand that to become a competitive b-school we need:
     - A strong, disciplined faculty.
     - An adaptive, collaborative staff.
     - A willingness to embrace innovation as if our lives depended on it.
     - A knack for and pursuit of a sustained partnership with corporations and organizations globally that will assist in our
       curriculum delivery and recruit our students.
     - To remain totally committed to self-evaluation and continuous improvement.

Global Motif
We should be ready and willing to make global a motif that plays throughout our curriculum similar to a motif that plays through a symphony. Our singular focus is to identify with the compelling urgency to move from rhetoric to substance in defining our quest to become a b-school with a global motif.

Our Competitive Advantage
In our conversation today on how we can achieve globality, I urge you to be thoughtful in your utterances. I ask that you think about the meaningfulness of your ideas by asking one important question, "How can we achieve a global motif?"

I give you a quick example using Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft is the richest organization in the world per capita wise in scale and substance while Google is the highest capitalize corporation on earth and has momentum on its side. Google is relentless in its pursuit of expanding its ownership of its competitive space.

I believe Webster must strive to be more like Microsoft - to become stronger by using our current infrastructure of global multi-campuses.

Our purpose as a business school is to be able to ensure that our student experience is measured and meaningful. We will come close to achieving this by arming our graduates with the universal skills that lend them to be meaningful participants in a world where how you use what you know is much more important than what you know.

My friends, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering business and technology education the question and the answer rests in our willingness to focus on doing a few things well.

The environmental scans for each of our international campuses will provide an internal perspective of your region and offer a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities we face. I believe that our success as a school of business rests on our ability to rededicate ourselves to core strategy by using the assets which we already have our student base, our institution and a bold vision to stay the course. In our time together over the next two days, I ask that we focus on the following questions:

  1. Where do we want to be in five years?
  2. What do we want to be known for and respected?
  3. How will we articulate our distinctiveness?
  4. Answering the question why should people come to Webster?
  5. How can we leverage our existing infrastructure to enable the success we seek?
  6. How do we prepare our students for the unpredictable future?

Our conversation should lead us to find the answers to these questions. These answers will serve as the road map for the future of the School of Business and Technology.

Thank you and welcome to London.