May 27, 2024


The business lovers

Business School Briefing: Enron lessons, next ranking, EMBA salaries

Good afternoon from London. Twenty years after the collapse of energy group Enron, memories of the scandal are fading. How would you remind executives to avoid a repeat of past corporate mistakes. Also, the next FT Business Education ranking is upon us.

Written and edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


FT business books

From the politicisation of the workplace to implementing strategy in difficult times, here are the top titles for November and December.

FT European Business Schools 2021 ranking

It’s that time of year again and we are not talking about Christmas. On December 6 Monday, we will reveal the top business schools in Europe based on their performance in various rankings. Look out for this on and read our coverage on The first story was published this morning and looked at what can business schools teach a family firm?

Join us for the FT’s ‘Future of Business Education: Spotlight on MBA’

We will be holding a virtual event on Feb 23 Wednesday 2022 with FT Editorial and top business schools sharing insights about the FT MBA ranking, responsible business education, innovation and the future of the MBA in a post Covid-19 world. Register for free on:

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 ways to share it. Get in touch at [email protected].

Join our Future of Work live event

The final installment in the FT’s Future of Work series will feature a combination of interviews, panels and practical workshops to equip you with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a new world of work. Register now for this event — taking place on December 1 from 9.30 to 14.30 GMT.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Enron filed for bankruptcy 20 years ago this week. As I write in my column, today’s board directors need to know about this scandal and others, because, as the scandal fades in memory, the risk that they repeat old errors increases.

At the 10-year anniversary of Enron’s collapse, I suggested directors should keep a copy of the group’s hubristic last letter to shareholders on their desks, like Renaissance scholars kept a skull to remind them of their mortality.

For my management challenge, propose at least one way in which directors and executives might be nudged to recall this and other corporate cautionary tales? An annual “Enron day”? A simple calendar reminder? An online course in corporate failure? Send your ideas to [email protected].

Last week I asked for recommendations of a complex product or service ripe for simplification. On Twitter, @PaddingtonCares came up with a worthy candidate: the regulation and complaints process in social housing, which is “in dire need of overhaul”. The tweet states: “It takes far too long to deliver outcomes, and is too complicated for many to access.”

In further reading this week, I highly commend extracts from the three proposals that are through to the final of the FT/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize this year. The winner will be announced on December 1 (and you can join the fun online), but in the meantime enjoy insights into cyber security, the future of higher education, and the fight against climate change, from, respectively, Manuel Hepfer, Ines Lee and Eileen Tipoe, and Melissa Zhang. The £15,000 prize will be on offer again next year, so if you have great business book ideas and will still be under 35 next November, look out for it.

Data line

Every year, alumni from schools taking part in the FT EMBA ranking reveal their salary progress. Current salaries show there is still a pay gap between male and female alumni, with men reporting, on average, a base salary of $20,000 more than women, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi.

Female alumni, however, have a larger percentage salary increase compared to their male counterparts despite the substantial pay gap. Over the three years since completing their studies, female alumni salaries rose by 64 per cent, on average, compared with the levels before they started their EMBA, whereas it is 61 per cent for males. Female graduates from Asia-Pacific boast the largest average salary increase of all alumni at 78 per cent.

Bar chart of Current wage increase of alumni salaries from before their EMBA  compared with now, split by gender and location showing Executive MBA female alumni have a higher percentage salary increase compared to their male counterparts

Further analysis of the FT’s EMBA ranking can be found here.

Work and careers roundup

  • We’ve all seen colleagues who are bluffing, having not done their homework. Here are ways to spot those who are ‘winging it’ at work.

  • After overcoming ageist setbacks in their careers, two friends kickstarted training programmes with global ambitions. Find out how to thrive as a mid-life woman in the creative industries.

In 2021, Jane Evans (left) and Carol Russell, published a book called ‘Invisible to Invaluable: Unleashing the Power of Mid-Life Women’

Read more features on

How good is your knowledge of the news?

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Top reads from business schools in the past week

Boris Johnson announces measures to contain spread of Omicron variant UK acts as more cases detected in Europe and Asia-Pacific countries tighten travel restrictions. Also, stocks slide most in a year on concern over the new coronavirus variant.

Line chart of Stoxx 600 showing European shares have fallen from record highs

Chinese hypersonic weapon fired a missile over South China Sea The Pentagon struggles to understand how Beijing mastered the technology.

The Pentagon believes China launched the hypersonic glide vehicle on a Long March rocket, seen here at the Wenchang Space Center on China’s southern Hainan Island last year © AFP via Getty Images

Jamie Dimon apologises twice after saying JPMorgan will outlast China’s Communist party The Wall Street chief says he should not have made the remarks following a visit to Hong Kong.

Jamie Dimon at the French headquarters of JP Morgan bank in Paris, June 2021 © AP

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