Baglieri: re-starting from competences

Conversations with SDA Bocconi new managers


Competence as the real safe haven: this is the main lesson of the global crisis caused by the pandemic. Vertical, specialized competences, of course, to give quick and innovative responses in order to manage discontinuities. And, in addition to that, relational competences, typical of a positive leadership model allowing to face the uncertain and volatile scenario ahead of us. This is the vision of newly appointed SDA Bocconi Associate Dean for Master’s Division Enzo Baglieri, who had already redesigned the Milan and Rome Executive MBA programs he was in charge of until December last based on wide-ranging managerial competences and horizontal leadership. With him we have talked about the post-Covid perspectives of graduate education.

Which are the main new directions in managerial education nowadays?

“An ongoing change – a pattern the health emergency has just accelerated – has certainly to do with the ever-expanding presence of digital systems. The key word here is hybridization, with regard to delivery modes, teaching methods and, to some extent, content as well. Online teaching will be more and more integrating traditional in-person teaching, expanding the opportunities for users to attend, reaching out to broader targets, easing pressure on premises and logistics; in one word, overcoming some structural constraints. This is not to say that distance learning will ever replace in-person in our master’s programs. This is not going to happen because direct interaction and what I call the ‘emotional temperature’ of a class are key factors in the learning process”.

The new challenges will have to be considered even when it comes to content, for all that the hard-core specialized knowledge characterizing each of our training journeys remains intact. “Among the main issues, I see the transformative impact of technology on business models”, Baglieri continues, “along with sustainability, concerning corporate social responsibility, which is today a competitive factor across industries, finally embedded in the fundamentals of finance and corporate evaluation.” The global health emergency has highlighted another key dimension – “the relevance of public-private partnerships in the economic dynamic, which makes the system more resilient to non predictable events and crises. This model is to develop in many fields well beyond the Covid emergency”.

Which is the priority of the new Master’s Division?

“It can sound bombastic but, especially considering the times we are living, I think the task for managerial education is to disseminate and develop the competences our country and the whole world need to recover”. This challenge requires that business education is capable of “making what you learn during the program rapidly usable on the ground, in your professional life, especially when crises demand a strong capacity to respond to the unexpected”.

And what do you reckon is going to be your main personal contribution to your new role?

“I belong to a school where leadership is taught and learnt by example, the example of inspiring mentors,” says Baglieri “I believe in being committed to and passionate about your job, and I value teamwork. I wish to make it always clear that the results our Master’s programs have reached, earning them top positions in international rankings, and the ones we are yet to reach, are rooted in an alliance among the members of SDA Bocconi community, made up of faculty and staff and of all the students who choose us and count on us to help an important part of their dreams come true.”

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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