College of Business’ EMBA Consortium zeroes in on cultivating innovation.

FIU EMBA Consortium


FIU EMBA Consortium

Innovation is key for business success. Where do you find it? How do you incorporate it into your organization?

Nearly 30 graduate business students from around the world gathered in Miami at FIU College of Business’ 2015 Executive MBA (EMBA) Consortium for Global Business Innovation to address those issues.

An innovative, weeklong study abroad program, the EMBA Consortium provides students with in-depth exposure to global businesses plus the challenges these businesses face from local and international competition. The Consortium is a collaboration between nine business schools located in important world cities. FIU’s Executive MBA is one of two programs in the U.S. selected for the Consortium, which allows participants to live in and learn in a new business environment, with different peers and cultures.

The 2015 program, “Innovative Companies: It’s a Cultural Thing,” focused on the relationship between leadership and organizational culture and innovation. The goal: to assist participants in learning practices they can implement at their companies to build stronger cultures of innovation.

“Innovation requires a culture that promotes the free exchange of ideas among all those who engage with a firm,” said Stephen Barnett, faculty director of the EMBA Consortium.

This year’s EMBA Consortium at FIU included students from South Africa, Italy, China, Brazil, United Kingdom, Russia and Turkey. As part of the program, 28 FIU EMBA students and alumni participated in the program, traveling to the College of Business’ partner universities.

Opening new doors for success.

Athanasios Kolios, who traveled to FIU as part of this year’s EMBA Consortium, is confident that the program will open new career opportunities for him. Kolios specializes in risk management and research & development.

“I have seen that the management style as well as the educational system in the U.S. are very different [more direct and open] and it is very useful to get this perspective,” said Kolios, who graduated in 2014 from the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom. “In the weeks after the program, I have already built a product for my employer and it’s currently under consideration to proceed to implementation.”

FIU’s 2015 EMBA Consortium included a live case study based on West Kendall Baptist Health’s program to build an innovative culture. Lectures focused on self-awareness, human resource policies and information technology, and site visits to area businesses including the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Miami-Dade Department of Health.

“We saw this strategic initiative as an opportunity to design an insightful and practical learning laboratory for those joining our 2015 program,” said Barnett. “The purpose of our 2015 program is to establish the relationship between leadership and organizational culture and innovation, then assist each participant in learning a frame of reference that they can apply in their organizations to strengthen those relationships.”

FIU’s partner universities in the EMBA Consortium

  • University of Stellenbosch (South Africa)
  • Bologna Business School (Italy)
  • Chongqing University (China)
  • COPPEAD Graduate School of Business (Brazil)
  • Cranfield University (UK)
  • MIRBIS (Russia)
  • Sabanci University (Turkey)
  • San Jose State University (California)

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