At the Oxford MBA, we have been exploring what it means to run a company from the perspective of a future CEO focused on sustainability with a mission to effect good globally. Having the opportunity to hone our strategy and leadership skills with world class faculty at Oxford has been a tremendous experience this past spring, learning from Marc Ventresca and team in the Strategy of Innovation, and discussing the Doughnut Economy as a class with Kate Raworth. As we discussed and debated, we re-examined the role of leadership and responsibility in the globe for social equity. How do CEOs lead and innovate in a world where corporations make up nearly 70% of the top 100 economies of the world? What are their responsibilities, in a world where there is a loss of trust in traditional institutions, yet investors and shareholders are demanding tangible results?
We examined how leaders identify stakeholders and learned to put ourselves in the same shoes, sharing our personal experiences gained from across the world. Hearing Christian discuss military operational strategy for Special Ops interventions, Daniela share how she built an educational social enterprise in India, and Garang – a doctor and global health researcher – address global health infrastructure development in Africa, our collective global knowledge allowed us to tackle projects with diverse perspective and energy. We debated the virtues of a good leader was and the attributes of a progressive CEO. We teased out principals for building the partnerships, mobilising communities, and ultimately creating the conditions to build the capabilities to survive and grow, and establish the long-term legitimacy of the business for good. Our sessions were spirited, full of intellectual debate, and always left me with a sense of satisfaction of learning.
The breadth and depth of our exploration is wide and deep as we rethink leadership in the 21st century. We analyse and create future scenarios that could dramatically change the landscape of the world, discussing with CEOs, strategists, and business leaders. We attend forums on the role of institutions and responsibilities in global health equity and human rights. The ability to think outside the box and create and effect change through communicating a vision is a key skill all responsible leaders should possess. We create and innovate not only through new tools and technologies, but through ideas and delivering a single vision. As we engage the CEOs of today, we are redefining the role of leaders and business for tomorrow.Back to top of article