This past January, our new Dean of Executive Education and Global Outreach, Carlo Giardinetti, was invited to present as part of the third annual MERIT Summit for Corporate and Executive Education which took place in Vienna, Austria.

Dean Giardinetti represented Franklin at this unique two-day rendezvous of top business schools, multinational companies and HR service providers from around the globe. As he presented "What are the Necessary Foundations for a Learning Organization of the 21st Century?", he not only had the chance to talk about his own research in collaborative leadership in times of organizational transformation, but also the challenges pertaining to a culture of learning, innovation and growth, with international delegates from diverse industries.

At the Summit, companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Vodafone, LinkedIn, Deutsche Telekom and many more shared their vision, ideas, challenges, new approaches and lessons learned about transforming organizations through talent management and leadership development.

As he remarked, “During this event, I could once more appreciate and understand how universities and business schools are being challenged with building and nurturing new forms of dialogue and learning partnerships with companies and organizations. The model under which schools would simply sell executive education to organizations is destined to shrink more and more in the future. New and innovative learning partnerships are being shaped, and Franklin certainly wants to be a major innovator in this exciting scenario.”

Having experienced and studied both extremes of self-managing and hierarchical organizations, in his presentation Dean Giardinetti pleaded for “a hybrid organization and a synthesis of the two models that proposes to use empowerment, collaboration and personal development as the muscles to be trained for any organizational structure.”

Looking forward, “Future leaders will have to learn how to learn and unlearn in a much faster and dynamic way than they do today,” Dean Giardinetti noted, “and this will inevitably lead to an adaptive challenge that requires mindfulness, gentleness, determination and individual personal development. This is what we do at Franklin: we challenge students to become responsible decision makers and change makers, with the skills that make them employable.”

In addition to being part of the distinguished panelists at the MERIT Summit, Dean Giardinetti’s research was also recently profiled in BusinessBecause, a business school news source on future business leaders, and in TriFinance consulting.