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Stephen Douglas


Degree:

EMBA

Location:

United States

Industry:

Public Administration

Year:

2016-17

Twelve years’ professional experience, including: eight years leading multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural teams in conflict affected regions of Europe; four years as a diplomat in an international organisation; and six+ years in four political parties in three jurisdictions, spending one+ year as interim CEO of Northern Ireland’s then governing anti-sectarian party. A US citizen, born in Ireland, Stephen has degrees in history and political science from Trinity College Dublin, and in law from Cambridge University.

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Posted by: on April 20, 2017

FOMO or as a pre-emptive strike? Why foreign firms must be in China

Before the China Oxford University Executive MBA module, I wondered: Should I take extra time off work to sight-see? A wise old-hand advised: Sure, if you have any vacation-days from work remaining. After 14 EMBA months; 14 modules; 32 written assignments (averaging 3,000 words and 50 footnotes each); and having read about 2m words from […]

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Posted by: on February 28, 2017

Six Secrets to Success for a Brilliant Oxford Entrepreneurship Project Pitch (Pa...

1. ID brilliant, agreeable, like-minded team members This one is easy. I heard one classmate’s brief presentation of another classmate’s plans to use machine learning in her project about predicting global water scarcity. I wanted immediately to be part of their team. My role as Chief Business Officer is to develop a market for our […]

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Posted by: on February 27, 2017

Six Secrets to Success for a Brilliant Oxford Entrepreneurship Project Pitch (Part 1)

One evening while I was a post-graduate student at Georgetown in the late nineties, some humbled MBAs called to my door. They were selling Christmas cards for their MBA entrepreneurship project. Partly because of this experience, I’d dreaded the prospect of doing an MBA: would I have to sell Christmas cards door-to-door to prove to […]

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Posted by: on January 17, 2017

What’s the adjacent possible?

I didn’t get the feeling, as my Executive MBA at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School began exactly one year ago, that many of my classmates intended to use the EMBA course as a career transition mechanism. Yet, a transformation in many of us has taken place over the past twelve months. From business case studies in […]

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Posted by: on December 7, 2016

What’s Inevitable About Innovation? (Part II)

Reading the FT yesterday, I noticed the following paragraph in a story about a letter Apple wrote to regulators recently (attempting to sculpt laws governing nascent innovations and markets is just as important to innovators and inventors as the technology itself, so we have been learning – see “What’s Inevitable About Innovation? (Part I)”): “…Despite […]

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Posted by: on December 5, 2016

What’s Inevitable About Innovation? (Part I)

Now, during this ninth module, we started: “Strategy and Innovation” – the first elective course of my Executive MBA at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. Our “Strategy and Innovation” module follows a by-now familiar pattern of learning. First, we’re convinced that “Innovation” is a natural product of an equilibrium that mysteriously coalesces in the space […]

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Posted by: on October 17, 2016

How to Discount Accurately the Value of Business Education

Valuing today a future cash flow is the essence of Corporate Finance. There’s a risk that a cash flow promised today for delivery in the future may not be delivered. So it’s sensible to pay less today for that promise of future performance. In Corporate Finance during Module Eight of my Executive MBA at Oxford […]

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Posted by: on September 9, 2016

Autumnal X-ray Accounting and Libraries’ Sofas

Learning accounting at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School was surprisingly interesting. I remember reading, as an undergraduate, about how double entry bookkeeping’s invention was a condition for the industrial revolution. I’m glad now to understand more of what double entry bookkeeping actually is. I’ve managed the finances of an organisation. But then I just copied […]

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Posted by: on August 4, 2016

Part 2: Why Segregating the Sexes at Heathrow Makes no Strategic Sense

As I was flying back to my job as a diplomat in a conflict zone, I found myself at Heathrow musing on what I had just been learning about during the sixth module of my Executive MBA at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. A dominating KSF (Key Success Factor) of an airport must be the […]

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Posted by: on August 2, 2016

Part 1: Aligning Operations and Marketing with Strategic Intent

Hopefully, I’m wrong when I detect that my Oxford Saïd EMBA programme is speeding up. Usually we have two courses per module. Last week we had three: Marketing; Operations and Technology; and Behavioural Strategy. “Alignment” was one of many common themes running through these courses. Privileging alignment as a unit of organisational focus is, of […]

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