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OUBS alumni gather to explore thought-provoking idea that “less is more”

The Business School hosted an exclusive face-to-face event for alumni, focused on the transformative idea that “less is more”, as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. The seminar encouraged delegates to think about how they could apply theories around decentralisation, self-sufficiency, sustainability, and different measures of productivity to achieve more in their own organisations. 
 

Michael Ngoasong, Alison Sturgess Durden, Richard Longman, Bjorn Claes
Professor Michael Ngoasong Professor of Entrepreneurship at The Open University Business School, Alison Sturgess Durden Director at Mayden, Dr Richard Longman Lecturer in Management at The Open University Business School and Dr Bjorn Claes Teaching Director for Masters Programmes at The Open University Business School.

 

This thought-provoking event, held at the spectacular Institute of Directors’ premises at Pall Mall in London, was led by Dr Richard Longman, Lecturer in Management at The Business School, who shared insights from his research and experience in the fields of alternative ways of organising. 

Richard explored some of the disruptive ideas at the heart of the degrowth movement, suggested ways businesses can adapt, and asked delegates to break out into groups to discuss their thoughts and ideas for applying these concepts in their own working practises. 

Alison Sturgess Durden is a Director at Mayden, a healthtech company, who have chartered innovative territory by operating entirely without managers and become more productive as a result. Alison shared Mayden’s operating premise which is “manage the work, not the people,” working on the belief that people don’t need managing in their personal lives, so why do they need managing in their professional lives?

Martin Wardhaugh, Sadia Ahmed, Susan Heightman, Rob White, Richard Longman and Gerard McGurk

Alumni Council members Martin Wardhaugh, Sadia Ahmed, Susan Heightman and Rob White, Richard Longman Lecturer in Management at The Open University Business School and Gerard McGurk Alumni Council member.

Alison generated lively discussion asking delegates what they would need to operate in a ‘manager-less’ environment. Some of the responses included: clearer objectives and targets, more transparency in productivity, and increased autonomy. 

Dr Sadia Ahmed, Climate Change and Environment Ventures Lead at Deloitte and valued OU Business School Alumni Council member, welcomed guests and spoke about her experience of the Alumni Council describing it as “an innovative and transformative community.”

The evening ended with networking, allowing attendees to build their own professional networks and continue to discuss some of their take aways from this stimulating event.

Alumni event “an intellectual Cirque du Soleil”

Cass Swallow is the ‘Chief Pickle fixer’ of eEnergy whose vision is to make NetZero possible and profitable for all organisations. As one of our delegates from the event, he has shared his thoughts on the session in a blog post: ‘LinkedIn Roulette: My Unexpected Dive into the World of 'Less is More' and 'I'm Possible'. Cass refers to the evening as “a speed dating event, where the only constant was the electric hum of brilliance ready to collide”. Read the full blog.

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