The Festival on our doorstep

It looks quite busy outside my office these days. Some workers are busily preparing Bristo Square to act as temporary venue for the Edinburgh Festivals. I think we all expect the Udderbelly to go up again but actually I’m not sure whether this is the case. This is a lovely picture of the thing from above, you can just see the School in the upper right-hand corner. Yes, it literally is a tent shaped like an up-side-down cow. And the colour is lavender. Rather amusing but a surprisingly good venue. I know because I’ve attended comedy in the Udderbelly. So a month of fun and laughter on or doorstep. At the end of the Festival we are reminded that it is back to business and the expectation of the new MBA class, soon to arrive, starts increasing. However before that, I have a couple of weeks off so please don’t expect much activity here until after 10 August. As you can imagine I’m busy as a beaver in order to make sure that my absence will not be noticed. And on that note….

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Are you I-Shaped?

I saw a lovely title in BW by Bill Buxton the other day. It was about innovation and the description of I-Shaped people was that they “have their feet firmly planted in the practical world, can stretch their hands to the clouds – and simultaneously span all of the space between“. This is an extension of Bill Moggridge’s T-shaped people who are seen to know something about a lot of things but also have real in-depth knowledge about one certain area.

Does this mean that good innovation takes that you have your feet firmly planted in the ground while still able to see far beyond everybody else? I guess it does. If you do not maintain contact with the real world there is a very real possibility that you will fall flat on your face with your innovative offering.

A final burst of energy

It’s very quiet in the building these days. This is deceptive. It doesn’t mean that the MBAs are not working. On the contrary. The students on the full-time programme are busily working on their final projects while the students on the International Business programme have returned from their exchange and are now undertaking their internships. I wonder whether they have time to catch up with what’s happening around them.

If you watch the news regularly you have probably heard as well that some people claim that the economy is picking up now. And there are some good signs with property prices going up ever so slightly and people in general expressing more confidence. The job market is still to show signs of improvement so most people will not be counting their chickens. Damaged by the last 12-18months people have now realised the importance of savings and not sticking everything on the plastic. It could be interesting to see whether the number of applications for credit cards have dropped during the crunch. Do any of you know? Approvals will have gone down but have people, scared by the crunch, decided not to live a life based on credit? leave a comment if you know.

All this energy being spent on the final project sends the message that another MBA years is slowly but surely coming to an end – a time for reflection. At the same time I’m in contact with many of the “new” MBAs arriving in Edinburgh in September. Yes, you do get to appreciate the cyclical nature of the world of education in this job.

Vacation is a great invention

You probably noticed that I was off last week. I had a selection of my family visiting from Denmark and we had a great time. The summer in Edinburgh has been really rather nice so far. We’ve had the odd shower but it has been nice and warm with plenty of sunshine as well. Hope it will continue like that.

So yes, backĀ  in the office. It is rather scary to see ones email inbox even after just one week off. I hate to think what it will be like when I’ll be off for two weeks later on late July. So much to do and so many things to catch up with: the intake numbers, next year and of course the necessary chatting to people to see how they are doing.