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With change comes opportunity

Clare Schofield, professorial lead of business and finance programmes at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), comments on the challenges and opportunities inherent in developing the next generation of business leaders.

 In 2012, Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: “The world is experiencing one of the most extraordinary periods in history,” and I think he is right: the world of business is undergoing rapid evolution.

New business models and ways of doing business are being generated daily – quite literally. New technologies are helping business become more efficient and convenient, and access to knowledge has never been easier. However, the fundaments of business and enterprise remain the same and they are still driven by people.

The world needs people to be curious, creative and critical because they are the drivers of the entrepreneurship and innovation that are required to meet complex local and global challenges.

Business is both dynamic and disruptive, and it is being shaped by factors that apply competing pressure to organisations. The external environment is shaped by globalisation, shifts in global power, political instability, demography, financial crises and the environmental. 

Scholars such as Kuratko et al in 2013 argue that “many of the conventional rules of business no longer apply. Fundamental assumptions about employees, products, resources, technologies and markets have been challenged and in some cases discarded altogether. For many companies, turbulence in their external environment has become a way of life”. 

However, where there is change, opportunity often emerges, and at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) we want to develop professionals who can adapt and thrive in the face of uncertainty. Business schools are adapting to meet the needs of business and are at the forefront of knowledge creation; education has the ability to transform people, policy and organisations.

At UCS we want to teach our students to think; to be critical, questioning and analytical. We want to encourage the generation of innovative ideas. We want students to sample new activities, to step outside their comfort zone, to assess and take risks with their learning in a safe environment, and to identify the learning gained from those experiences. 

UCS is a unique Higher Education environment. From our county, which was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and of Charles Darwin, we draw inspiration from and pay homage to a rich seam of history and heritage. Students have the opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary environment with peers studying a variety of different subject disciplines.

This is underpinned by the values of the programmes in the business portfolio that are built on four central tenets: 

We are working to ensure Shropshire develops the next generation of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, and we look forward to celebrating their successes as they work towards graduation and take their first steps on their chosen career paths.

 *See Issue 3  of Shropshire Business magazine - out on March 15 - for a full feature article looking at how educational centres in the county are paving the way for the next generation of business leaders.


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