We see that in times of crisis, such as with the Coronavirus pandemic, people tend to postpone big decisions because they don’t know exactly what the future will bring. According to our Dean, Marcel van der Ham, this is not necessarily the case for courses at Business School Netherlands. Here’s a short interview with him at his home office.

Marcel van der Ham (Dean Business School Netherlands)What are we teaching MBA students during this time?
“We are teaching them that the world is changing faster and faster. Today the Coronavirus is having a big impact, and tomorrow it may be something else disrupting the world. We teach our students to show leadership in these types of rapidly changing situations.”

How are we teaching managers to deal with crises and an unpredictable future?
“We offer a Masterclass in Crisis Management. In this master class, students are learning how to prepare for a crisis and how to maintain control during a crisis. We also have a Masterclass in Strategic Leadership in which we give participants perspective on how they can set up strategies as a dynamic process for their organisations to remain future-proof.”

Does Action Learning help with this?
“Action Learning, our training philosophy, is well suited to teach managers to respond quickly in a world that is almost impossible to predict. By taking up challenges when they present themselves, managers form a multi-disciplinary team and get to the heart of the matter through open questions.”

How is Business School Netherlands dealing with the current situation?
“We firstly cancelled all physical meetings for the coming weeks. Safety first. We are fortunate within Business School Netherlands that we have been offering an International Action Learning MBA for many years. This MBA is offered as a hybrid programme. In this MBA, a lot of teaching material is offered online, including the possibility to discuss online and the like.”

“Students only come to the Netherlands for physical lessons twice for two weeks. As a result, we have extensive experience in how we can offer lessons online, and we also know exactly where the boundaries lie. This allows us to quickly adjust our current Dutch MBAs where necessary.”

Next week we will already be offering a number of online meetings for our Dutch MBAs. Afterwards, we will evaluate these with the teachers and students. Based on those lessons learned, we will organise the continued roll-out. If there are lessons where it is not possible to offer them (in the short-term) online, we will postpone them to a later time.”

What does this mean for the MBAs starting in September?
“We don’t have a crystal ball, but it is our expectation that physical lessons will be offered again. If that is not the case, there is also an option that we can start online lessons in the first months, for example. We will respond flexibly to the situation as it then presents itself. The goal remains the same: Deliver managers who demonstrate leadership, even in turbulent times.”

For more information on our Action Learning MBA and Management Programmes, send an email to international@bsn.eu.

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