MBA London Symposium 2022: Developing and adapting careers in changing business cultures

Four-day elective closes with talks on working collaboratively, equality in the workplace, and transformative London.

The final day of the MBA London Symposium highlighted the value of employers and individuals being progressive, as well as finding solidarity, community and purpose in their lives and work amid the evolving face of business.

Held at London’s National Gallery, speakers discussed what employees should expect of opportunity and the future of work, how we should think about developing our careers in changing industries and business cultures, and how we should think about adapting to new organisational technologies, structures and ways of working and how that will affect businesses.

The day was opened by journalist, broadcaster and author of ‘Lift As You Climb’ and ‘How to Own the Room’, Viv Groskop. Ms Groskop led an interactive session explaining to the participants from Bayes’ MBA programmes the value of grasping moments to grow your career and how mindsets and behaviours support progressive career growth in an evolving organisational culture.

Viv Groskop

“I needed to learn how to project leadership and status and understand how people read me,” said Ms Groskop, who turned to stand-up comedy to attempt to better understand purpose. “Leadership is important in terms of practical strategy but the underlying issue of personal impact and how you go into the world with the intention of making people feel is very powerful.”

Kunle Olulode MBE, Director of Voice4Change England, spoke about the history of equality in Britain and modern-day perceptions of race, plus how the findings of the recent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report will support change. He also looked at the opportunity in diversity and the regeneration of community and solidarity in society and the workplace.

“There is no doubt that the need for racial equality is now part of the corporate brief, and it is not going away,” said Mr Olulode. “This is no longer the property of radicals, but it is very much in the business discourse. We need to look at things that unify and bind us together in the search for progress.”

Having a sense of purpose reduces your chance of death’, was the opening from Charlotte Cramer, author of ‘The Purpose Myth’ and Healthtech consultant. She explained the value of being driven, and how it manifests in individuals, their jobs and careers.

Charlotte Cramer

“Purpose drives us and helps us survive. Inter-generational relationships are eroding, and that has resulted in a purpose vacuum, which has resulted in an opportunity for business to sell the idyll of a purposeful role. We need to unlock an intrinsic motivation and we can all find great purpose.”

The final keynote speaker was Dr Harvey Lewis, Associate Partner at EY, and Honorary Senior visiting Fellow at Bayes, who spoke about how working – including skills, technology and collaboration – in London will transform.

“The human brain has been shrinking for the last 28,000 years, albeit we have been getting bigger,” said Dr Lewis. “It is our culture that creates our environment today. Today, technology is reshaping the world of work, in our politics and society. In the future, while some jobs will be impacted by automation, we will not be competing with machines. We are smart and can work in ways with them that can create new opportunities.

“The occupations of the future will be fundamentally different. We will need to work across a range of tasks and challenges and that is where technology can help us.”

Sally Taplin

The event was closed by Sally Taplin, event organiser and Visiting Lecturer at Bayes Business School.

“The theme of #TimeToBuild2022 was based on a desire to be open and challenge ourselves and the status quo as to how the world exists,” said Ms Taplin. “Challenging assumptions is important. We need to imagine the kind of recovery we want as this is a different world we find ourselves in. Let’s be open to reinvention and understand others perspectives.”