Business School Briefing: Flow state, top schools for economics, advisers sought

Good afternoon from London. You can achieve success while being in a ‘flow’ state. What is this and how do you keep it going? Also, we reveal which schools in our Executive MBA 2021 ranking are rated highly for teaching economics.

Written and edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

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Business school professor advisers sought

We are interested in hearing from business schools and their professors willing to help as advisers, identifying relevant FT content that is useful in their teaching and research and helping find to ways to share it. Get in touch at [email protected].

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On Wednesday November 3, we are showing the very best of FT journalism to a wider readership by giving free access to all articles, including the standard and premium ones. Get reading on and tell your family, friends and colleagues about our FT free-to-read day — #FTfreetoday.

Check out our coverage of the UN COP26 climate conference in Scotland and find out who is the Booker Prize for Fiction winner on the day.

In case you missed it, read the results of the FT’s top 100 EMBAs.

Do you want to talk or study crypto?

Since the first digital currencies were devised after the financial crisis, $2.3tn has been invested in them.

Binance, blockchain and Dogecoin, the FT explains key terms. Read our full report on: How safe are digital assets?

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Ask workers whether they wish they were doing something else and they say yes more often when they are at work than when they are relaxing. That’s a paradox, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian-American psychologist, because workers are more likely to report being in an enjoyable “flow” state when they are at work, than when at leisure.

Csikszentmihalyi, who died recently, was “the father of flow”, the feeling of being pleasurably lost in an engaging activity. His paradox lives on and resolving it is in part the job of managers, as I’ve written this week. So for my management challenge, I’d like to know how you would encourage team members back into flow — is the solution in team selection, technological assistance or some other managerial technique? Send your thoughts to [email protected].

Last week I asked for your tips for making hybrid meetings work better. Dan Kiernan offered these: “Log in two to three devices in the room to give different camera angles and capture everyone. Even a phone propped up on a beanbag works. Train one of the cameras on the screen the remote participants are being shown on, it gives them confidence they are being observed. Make sure the chat is being observed, so remote participants can jump in that way.” He adds — and I wholeheartedly endorse this — “The key, as with all meetings, is a good chairperson.”

Further listening this week, from the FT’s own podcasts: the newly launched weekly Working It series, hosted by Isabel Berwick, our Work and Careers editor, also features occasional insights from me and my colleagues.

The first episode is already available, in which Isabel and the FT’s Emma Jacobs talk about the value of wellbeing apps, and, coming soon, episode two in which I discuss whether workplace perks are a good way to motivate us.

Data line

Alumni who completed their EMBA in 2018, and had their degree funded, were in more senior positions compared to fellow graduates without financial support, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi.

The highest average seniority score is 44, for a partner/vice-president of a company with 500-4,999 employees. The lowest average seniority score is 19, which corresponds to a senior manager of a business with 500-4,999 staff.

See full EMBA ranking and read further analysis.

Chart showing seniority before EMBA and now

Work and careers roundup

  • Pilita Clark looks at why those from ethnic minorities want to spend more time working from home. 

  • The Bracken Bower Prize has given many young business writers a boost towards publication. The £15,000 award will be given to the best business book proposal to one of the 14 authors in the shortlist.

    Andrew Leon Hanna
    Andrew Leon Hanna: former winner and now a prize judge. He has signed an agreement with Cambridge University Press to publish ‘25 Million Sparks’, about the rise of entrepreneurs in refugee camps, next year © Elena Zhukova
  • How do you turn round an ailing start-up? William Reeve, a serial entrepreneur and investor involved in some of the UK’s best known tech start-ups, focuses on bonuses and performance goals to motivate staff.

  • Many doctors in the UK (GPs) are choosing part-time or locum posts to avoid burnout. But some practices are finding ways to ease stretched resources.

    For GP Lizzie Toberty, the uncertainties within general practice have only heightened her dilemma on whether to become a partner © Ian Forsyth
  • Regulations due to be reimposed next year could end homeworking for cross-border staff employed by Northern Irish companies.

  • Do you have advice for one of our readers who is a tax accountant at a Big Four firm, but now wants a career with a positive impact?

How good is your knowledge of the news?

Answer our 10 question quiz.

Top reads from business schools in the past week

Facebook changes name to Meta in corporate rebranding The move reflects the company’s push to build an avatar-filled virtual world known as the metaverse as it battles a deepening public relations crisis and growing regulatory scrutiny.

A smartphone with Meta logo and a 3D printed Facebook logo is placed on a laptop keyboard
‘From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first,’ Mark Zuckerberg said of the rebrand © REUTERS

Amazon strikes deal with UK spy agencies to host top-secret material Cloud contract for GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 aims to boost the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence for espionage, but it is likely to ignite concerns over sovereignty.

Binary code reflected from a computer screen in a woman’s eye
The new cloud service will enable spies to share data more easily from field locations overseas © AFP/Getty Images

US intelligence report sheds new light on Wuhan lab accident theory The declassified report reignites debate over whether China bears responsibility for the pandemic’s origins.

This aerial view shows the P4 laboratory (L) on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China
The P4 laboratory (L) on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China © AFP via Getty Images

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