Masters in Leadership

Blog of the Master Programme Leadership

June 3, 2012
by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker
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Interview with Thomas Klug, Lecturer at Karlshochschule’s Master Program Leadership

This is another video from our interview series with lecturers of Karlshochschule’s master program “Leadership”. Thomas (Tom) Klug has been working as a manager and consultant in Germany, the USA and in South Africa. He has been working with MIT’s Otto Scharmer, and among others, in his co-edited book on Leadership (“Führung neu verorten“), with Dirk Baecker as a co-author. At Karlshochschule he works with postgraduate students in the program “Leadership” on personal development and soft skills mainly.

The interview was conducted by Dr. Lutz Becker, Professor and Head of the Master Program Leadership at Karlshochschule.

Link to Tom Klug’s Webpage: cogitamus.eu

April 27, 2012
by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker
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Excursion to the Rhineland

Excursions complement classroom learning at Karlshochschule International University, foster academic curiosity and enrich student education. This year’s excursion of the master group went to the Rhineland respectively the County of Berg. The idea was to analyze and discuss a wide variety of environments in which leadership takes place.

First the graduate students accompanied by the Professors Andreas P. Müller, Bernd Ankenbrand and me visited the headquarters of Bayer Material Science (BMS), a world leading manufacturer of polyurethanes. Here the main topics of discussion were leadership, innovation and sustainability along the value creation chain. Although BMS does only produce chemical raw materials, Dr. Michael Graefenstedt, Vice President at BMS, displayed the importance of understanding the consumer, who is in fact three or more tiers away from BMS’ place in the value creation chain. Furthermore we held one of the very first pieces of foambeing a result of the so called “dream reaction” in our hands. It is an old chemist’s dream to make CO2 react. Here the CO2 from industrial exhausts has been converted into polyurethane a raw material which can be used to build windmills or isolation materials.

Lutz Becker

On our second day we had a two hours discussion with Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum VP of Henkel‘s laundry and home care division incorporating brands like Pril, Persil, Somat, Dixan and others. Also here in Düssldorf the connection between leadership, innovation and sustainability was the core subject of our discussions. Henkel’s sustainability vision “Achieving more with less” means to create value by reducing the companies footprint at the same time. A real challenge for corporate leaders since the real lever for better sustainability or reduced footprints is often not the product itself, but more the application – for example: when your dishwashing needs less time, less heat and less water.

Later that day we had a discussion with Frank Stolpmann of smb-consultants, a Dusseldorf based mergers & acquisition specialist introducing us into his field of business. We talked about how to repare a take over, how to evaluate and sell a company and how leaders can improve the post-merger integration processes.

The final day dealt mainly with the cultural environment and a brief look into the history of leadership. First the graduate students visited the Gesenkschmiede Hendrichs an industry museum in the city of Solingen – a former scissors factory. Here the students were confronted with the industrial and social challenges of the 19th century.

Later that day the discussions with Dr. Achim Stanneck, a art historian and specialist for Dutch art in the 15th and 16th century added a further and highly interesting perspective on leadership and aesthetic.

March 29, 2012
by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker
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Anthony Teitler on Leadership

Anthony Teitler from London gives lectures in the Master Program “Leadership” at Karlshochschule International University (Karlsruhe/Germany) since March 2012. Being both an actor and a political scientist by education, he has been working in the field of international conflict resolution, among others in Kabul/Afghanistan. In the modules “Structuration” and “Evolutionary Systems” he works with Karlshochschule’s master students on theory and cases on leadership in business, politics and society.

March 10, 2012
by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker
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The Licence to Mask

Didactics and research programs at Karlshochschule International University are highly connected to a constructivistic and culturalistic approach. We also try to understand Business and Leadership from a cultural perspective. Research questions are for example “How has leadership culturally emerged?“, “What are culturally determined frameworks for leadership and business?“, or “What impact has business leadership on our culture?


(Image: Dr. Johannes Wiele with Ruohui “Jane” Ding, Alumna from Shanghai, Karlshochschule’s Master Program Leadership)

Here is another example on how to discuss current economic and social issues (here: transparency versus privacy versus anonymity) from a historic and cultural perspective.

Dr. Johannes Wiele lectures in Karlshochschule’s master program “Leadership”. His current research is “dedicated to the exploration and discussion of a very old concept of anonymity in private and business life: The Venetian Bauta mask and disguise.

In Venice the Bautawas standardized and its use was regulated by government to give Venetian citizens the freedom to do business, to pursue interests on their own and to take part in political activities without being identified while still being recognized and respected as legitimate and honorable members of the Venetian society.

For more information on Johannes’ current research visit: http://licencetomask.wordpress.com/

Update (18.07.2012):

Johannes’ research is subject to the article “Die Maske der Ehrbaren” by Carolyn Braun in the current (July 2012) issue of the German business magazine brand eins.

November 26, 2011
by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker
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Leadership: Our Guest from Norway

I first met Professor Dr. Hong Wu last spring while being on an Erasmus faculty exchange trip to Østfold University College in Fredikstad and Halden, Norway (Høgskolen i Østfold). The Østfold University College is located southeast of Oslo, close to the Swedish border. Several students from Karlshochschule International University currently spend their stay abroad in Halden and Fredrikstad.

Now in November 2011 Dr. Wu – a Norwegian Industrial Engineer born in Beijing/China – visited us at Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe/Germany. I actually spent 3 days of exciting co-teaching with him.

Hong Wu who teaches Innovation Management and does research on Industrial Leadership joined our Masters Program Leadership for a colloquium with 2nd year graduate students. Besides discussing the current state of our student’s on-the-job research papers (at Østfold University College they follow similar teaching philosophies like Karlshochschule International University), Hong spoke about his research on Norwegian Industrial Democracy as well as the Nordic Leadership Style which is highly participative and based on the low power distance in Norway’s culture.

Thanks to our student Anne who is working at the Human Resources Department of Michelin (well known for “bibendum“, in German “Michelin Männchen”), we all were invited to visit Michelin’s Tire Museum in Karlsruhe.
(Picture: Dr. Wu tests the quality of tires on Michelins historical merry-go-round)

Here is a brief video interview I conducted with Hong Wu:

Read more about my trip to Norway (several posts).