“Lateral Collaboration”

Recognizing Educational Innovation With The Philippe Louvet Innovation Award

Encouraging entrepreneurship, supporting people who take the initiative, and enabling everyone to realize their potential, both personally and professionally, are all values that are firmly established in our Group’s culture. In 2020, as never before, we are convinced of the fundamental importance of helping future entrepreneurs to flourish, by providing the necessary tools and skills for them to drive innovation in tomorrow’s world. This view is also the objective set for the Philippe Louvet Innovation Award, which has been launched by CEMS and sponsored by L’Oréal.

The CEMS, or Global Alliance in Management Education, brings together 30 of the world’s leading business schools, 7 NGOs and 73 partner companies, including L’Oréal. In 2020, it launched the Philippe Louvet Innovation Award, which aims to encourage future generations of international business leaders to help create a world that is more open, more sustainable and more inclusive.

Support from L’Oréal

Our Group has long been convinced of the benefits of collaboration between the worlds of academia and business, and this year has once again demonstrated its commitment to educational programs. A team of CEMS MIM students have received the inaugural CEMS Philippe Louvet Innovation Award, in the shape of a €20,000 grant towards the launch of an innovative educational project.
The competition is named after a former vice-president of human resources at L’Oréal, one of the first in his position to help create the CEMS network in 1988. An honorary member and strategic advisor of the alliance, Philippe Louvet was widely recognized as a visionary in the field of education. In particular, he participated in the launch of Brandstorm, the marketing competition, formerly known as the L'Oréal Marketing Award.

A trio of universities win award

Competition organizers received six applications for the first edition. The projects had to be supported by at least two universities that are members of CEMS, or to include two types of stakeholder (for example, a business school and a partner company). In judging the various proposals, the quality of the innovation, the feasibility of the project, its durability, its impact and its alignment with the CEMS vision were all taken into account. The jury, which included Bertrand de Laleu, our International HRD for the HR Function, selected a project submitted by Canada’s Ivey Business School, the University of Sydney, Australia and the Prague University of Economics in the Czech Republic.

Teaching agile management techniques

The students developed a new teaching concept that highlights “lateral collaboration.”
Lateral collaboration is created when a group of people, without hierarchical connections, agree to rely on each other to achieve something together, thereby becoming interdependent,” according to members of the project.

“In a world where the pyramid-shaped hierarchy still dominates, some managers are struggling to provide leadership to teams that are spread around the world,” noted the competition winners. “Overwhelmed by the flow of information, they are tempted to focus on their objectives, rather than on innovation.” To solve the problem, the students recommended taking a more agile and dynamic approach to coordination.
However, future business leaders need to know to deploy such an approach.

“The perfect mix”

The award-winning project addressed this very question. The innovative online course replaces the traditional teacher-expert-student relationship with one based on multilateral participation. Everyone plays their part in creating the educational content and the definition of objectives. That way, students get the opportunity to be leading players in their own education – and in what they think they need to learn.

For me, this project was the perfect mix of both innovation (it was the first time that a course had been devised by all the key people involved), based on a genuine worldwide partnership (with three universities on as many continents), and realism (strongly supported by all the teachers).

Bertrand de Laleu
International HRD for the HR Function
The winners have received a first instalment of €10,000 to develop their course. The remaining €10,000 will be paid once the project is ready to be rolled out, in order to jointly finance its deployment across all the campuses within the CEMS network.
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