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Radical, Innovative Solutions Will See Britain Prosper Again

‘Question the relevance of current business practices’ says business leader

Issued on 09 June 2009

Radical, innovating thinking is needed to help drive the British economy forward, was the message coming from a conference addressing the future of Britain as it claws its way out of the current economic problems.

“Globally, managers should look at relationships with their workforce and may even consider evolving their businesses to community institution,” was one radical suggestion Charles Mbire, Chairman of MTN Uganda, keynote speaker at the University of Leicester this week. Mr Mbire was speaking at the inaugural School of Management conference, ‘Managing in Turbulent Times’ and organised by the University’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students. “Businesses need to consider recreating their particular business models, and question the relevance of their current practices to help lead Britain out of recession” he continued. The event brought together business leaders and students to consider how the current economic downturn could be beaten.

Addressing the conference, Mr Mbire urged participants to “Look at things in a different way. Managers need to question assumptions and the relevance of business models; they need to make decisions promptly using a systematic approach.” He reminded delegates not to underestimate the power of brand and suggested concentrating on customer retention rather than constantly chasing for new customers.

Chairman of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, John Day, believed that the bottom of the current downturn had been reached and discussed the importance of government initiatives in the recovery and MBA alumnus.

Former Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Manjula Sood called upon delegates to “share, learn, network and be inspired” and asked local business leaders to “invest in the skills and talents of the workforce to retain graduates in Leicester.” Mrs. Sood felt very positive that the city boasted the entrepreneurs of the future and asked students to empower themselves and have the confidence to overcome any future challenges and obstacles.

Gulf War fighter pilot and Leicester MBA alumni, John Peters spoke of the importance of leadership in times of uncertainty while The Apprentice Finalist, Claire Young, considered the need to combine a ‘just do it’ attitude with a focused and targeted approach to business.

Speaking after the event, Claire said “As the media continues to focus on the doom and gloom of the credit crunch it was refreshing to see Leicester University MBA students come together and defy this. The event was motivating and I was inspired by everyone's positive, upbeat 'can do' attitude. It is these characteristics which will set individuals apart in the tough job market. Armed with their strong qualifications and energetic approach they will do nothing but succeed. “

"It's terrific to see such an entrepreneurial spirit coming from MBA students at the University of Leicester.” agreed Tim Wright, Head of KM and Head of ICT, ITI Scotland. “It was an excellent day, with a diverse range of views being debated and lively discussions around the issues that businesses face today. ‘Managing in Turbulent Times’ is certainly a hot topic and it is inspiring to see the business leaders of tomorrow asking such challenging and positive questions. I hope to see more of these events."

The event brought together 150 business leaders and students to consider how current MBA students can help in the fight back from recession. The event provided business attendees the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with leading academics from the University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies, the Efficiency and Productivity Research Unit (EPRU) and the Leading Edge, the University’s employer engagement unit.


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