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Course description

This is a time of remarkable change in Europe. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the cities of London and Paris.

After 47 years of membership in the European Union, in 2016 a referendum in the U.K. shocked the world by voting to leave. Brexit officially was enacted by Boris Johnson’s Conservative government on January 31, 2020. Since then, the world has been through the turbulence of the pandemic and the fates of the U.K. and Europe have become both uncertain and troubling.

In 2017, Emmanuel Macron became the youngest President in French history at the age of 39. He had only founded his political party, En Marche, the year before, calling for a democratic revolution to ‘unblock’ France, yet won a landslide victory, overturning decades of stability amongst the main political parties.

Whether or not you are planning on working in Europe or U.K., there are themes running through the current situation that have relevance to situations around the world:

  • The surge of "reverse globalization" — why are countries becoming more protectionist?
  • Increasing tensions between neighbors — why does collaboration seem harder than ever?
  • The rise of populist, authoritarian leaders at the same time as the rise of empowered movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter — in what ways is leadership evolving in the twenty-first century?
  • The ability of politically inexperienced "outsiders" to overturn existing infrastructures and power bases through unconventional strategies — what can we learn about how to influence when you have no formal power?

These are fascinating questions, and we will be using examples across the political, business and historical worlds in both London and Paris.

There are some specific, critical questions that we will be exploring during this Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) course:

  • Why is Europe struggling and why did the U.K. decide to leave?
  • How did the "Leave" campaign defy the odds to bring about an astonishing victory?
  • What does a post-Brexit U.K. look like? A post-Brexit Europe?
  • Why do the U.K. and France have such distinctive and different cultures and areas of business excellence?
  • How did Johnson and Macron sweep to power with such rapid and far-reaching effect?
  • How are Truss and Macron coping with their radical, but wildly different, agendas?
  • What lessons around leadership and change can we learn from leading political figures and cutting-edge businesses in both cities?


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Faculty and advisor bios

Faculty bio

Richard Jolly has taught at the London Business School (LBS) for the past 20 years during which time he has consistently been one of the school’s most highly rated, innovative and award-winning lecturers. He has taught at Columbia Business School for 13 years and at 20 other academic institutions around the world.

He has taught core OB and leadership courses, electives on organizational change, power and politics, and interpersonal dynamics, as well as all the flagship Exec Ed open programs and custom programs for more than 70 LBS clients. He has also designed, launched and co-directed two new Exec Ed open programs — Leading Change and Professional Services — Strategic Client Relationships. Richard has been identified as one of the most entrepreneurial course creators having created two new, highly popular electives — Paths to Power and Inter-Personal Dynamics; student field trips to Lima, Peru and Mexico City; and the London Core Application Practicum consulting program for technology, media and telecoms and government, healthcare and third sector.

For the past 22 years, Richard has been a Director of the consulting firm, Stokes & Jolly Ltd, with offices in the U.K. and, now, the U.S. He coaches senior managers; facilitates senior group processes; delivers keynote addresses; runs senior development programs; and works on a diverse set of consulting assignments. His clients are located in a broad range of geographies and industries, and he has lectured and consulted with leading companies in 41 countries.

Richard received his MBA with Distinction from London Business School.

Advisor bio

Robyne Hart is the director of operations for the Career Management Center (CMC). At Kellogg, she oversees CMC technology, annual employment reporting, as well as administrative and logistical aspects of CMC programming.

Prior to this role, Robyne was a member of the business factor at Hanover College and established the Center for Business Preparation (Business Scholars Program), an innovative, experiential business program for liberal arts majors. She moved to Chicago to launch the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Chicago - Entrepreneurship program.

In addition to higher education, Robyne also worked in the financial services industry for over 10 years. She held numerous positions during her banking career and has over 25 years of managerial experience. She served as Vice President of Operations for a mid-sized commercial bank where she was responsible for transitioning the organization from a privately held institution to a publicly traded company.

She holds a B.S. in Finance from Butler University and an MBA from Indiana University.