NewCampus’ Dean’s Council Decentralises Alt-MBA Curriculum To Prepare Asian Managers For Real World

To alt-MBA business school, NewCampus, the introduction of their newly formed Dean’s Council is key to overcoming the various disconnects between theory and practice in the education and training of managers in startups and hypergrowth organisations. 

NewCampus’ Dean’s Council Decentralises Alt-MBA Curriculum To Prepare Asian Managers For Real World

Helmed by three business leaders with experience scaling teams in some of the biggest hypergrowth startups and corporations in Asia-Pacific, the Dean’s Council will play a pivotal role in the curriculum design of its business programme for first-time managers, ensuring that the programme stays structured while evolving with massive cultural and economic shifts in SEA by infusing frameworks and practices from regional business leaders.

“As the global stage continues to shift and evolve, we still need to continue to develop Asian leaders. With the Dean’s Council, we're building a community of talent learning and development rather than a more individualized approach to learning to bridge the gap between academic form in curricula with transferable skills and translatable practices that are meaningful in reality,” said Dr Susan P. Chen, Director and Head of People for Riot Games Asia.

Designing future-friendly, decentralised and relevant curricula

Traditionally, curricula for training and educational programmes were often designed with a top-down approach by full-time academics or management consultants rather than those active and engaged in the field. The curriculum development cycle is often too long, linear, corporate-centric and ‘eurocentric’, making it harder for Asian managers to put theory into practice. 

Particularly for hypergrowth companies and startups, even curricula designed by faculty who are practising leaders and managers, are unlikely to address the rapidly-evolving challenges facing companies in such a dynamic and changing market like Southeast Asia. 

As such, the Dean’s Council aims to help ensure academic rigour, structured thinking and learning accountability that addresses present and future market situations. 

To Momo Estrella, Head of Digital Design for IKEA China, “An Asian business school adds this layer of cultural diversity - one that’s acutely aware of the rules of these fast-moving markets and of course, the speed of growth that you can only see really this part of the world right now. It's an exciting time to explore ambitious regional mindsets that will help advance these leaders and these nations, of course, to prosperity.” 

Facilitating discourse, scaling ideas and building a community of leaders 

A key role of The Dean’s Council is to prompt discussions by regional business leaders through a series of monthly roundtables and fireside conversations. 

While the monthly roundtables focus on introducing and identifying key challenges for first-time managers through a specific lens (such as ‘Design Leadership’, ‘Learning Accountability’, ‘Scaling Culture’), the fireside chats focus on more in-depth areas like culture-building, coaching, scaling teams in complex environments. 

Attendees would then be given prompts after each session for them to continue the discourse with each other and contribute to NewCampus’ content and curriculum.

As Yu-Chuang Kuek, iQIYI’s VP of International Business puts it, “It’s great to have a platform — a community — where people can come together and exchange ideas and experiences, sharing personal stories and allowing one to live vicariously through each other. It is through conversation that you can learn about other perspectives and other experiences and other lives, learning without having to go through the tough lessons in life, as it were.” 

The Council is chaired by Yu-Chuang Kuek, Vice-President of iQIYI’s International Business, Dr Susan P. Chen, Director and Head of People for Riot Games Asia and Momo Estrella, Head of Digital Design for IKEA China.