12 May 2005

The Birth of a Business School Alumni Brand

The course I teach at the University of Amsterdam Graduate School of Business is coming to a close at the end of the month. What differentiated this group of MBA students from others is that we integrated the course with a blog and a wiki. They used the wiki as a collaborative space and the blog as a discussion space. We used the class time to address the processes and methodologies, and to build content. We also used the face to face time to work out the human relationship issues.

The purpose of this course is to learn how to strategically manage a brand. Using Applied Connective Dynamics, these MBA students tackled the interdependencies of a dynamic network structure of a brand, its identity and the concepts that drive the business. This is a lot to absorb for business focused professionals without an academic understanding of core physics' concepts like emergence, complexity and quantum mechanical parameters of pattern recognition. Add the politics of positioning and the identity methodology of profiling, and people can get quite lost in this maze of relationships that ultimately build reputation. The wake up for them was realizing that you need this content to build a business plan, make a budget and build the appropriate organizational structure to support it.

This year's students have created the groundwork for an alumni brand for the Business School. They want to build the reputation of the UvA Business School through fostering their personal growth through uniting this alumni community. Traditionally in the Netherlands, alumni brands are controlled through the University's administration. You can see the impact of this in the weakness of their brand's competitiveness with other Business Schools in different parts of the world where alumni have built the school's reputation and contributed to its success.

The success of this group and their alumni brand will be something to follow in the years to come. I think they will put something together that will bring UvAgBS alumni together into a community of engagement to grow value for themselves and for those to follow. They are establishing a legacy. It's been fun to partipate with them - and even more interesting to learn so much from them in their struggle to land this authentically in their own lives and in the lives of others.

Success to their preferred future.

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