Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/05/15 Business innovation class at U. Hull

Last year when I visited the University of Hull Business School, I did a 2-hour lecture for Alan Benson‘s MBA class. Since the students didn’t throw me out of the class then, I was invited back for this year, for a 6-hour session.

As a change, I decided that I would do more traditional innovation content, and thus spent a long time working through definitions from Schumpeter 1934 (The Theory of Economic Development) and Schumpeter 1943 (Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy). Given that those works were published pre-WWII, I asked the students to challenge the assumption that Schumpeter is still valid in a Thomas Friedman “world is flat” context. In groups of two or three, they discussed how a business they knew might work differently when “the world is flat”.

MBA students working on the innovation exercise

The time went by quickly, and, as always, I learned a lot from the students. At the University of Hull, they all seem to have had a good background in real life businesses, with some already operating small businesses internationally!

The facilities at Hull are quite nice, since the buildings were renovated a few years ago, specifically as an investment in the business school. There’s a central common room where people seem to gather.

Commons

Outside, the Wharfe wing reflects traditional British architecture.

Wharfe wing

Jennifer’s office (and the one that I was assigned) are in the Derwent wing.

Derwent wing

I enjoy visiting Hull. It’s a smaller school with a faculty strong in systemic thinking, and the students are particularly diverse. With a pattern of lecturing in two consecutive years, I may be setting a precedent for returning again next year.

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