Student and Graduate Publishing

A Global Force for Good: Andrew Main Wilson, Chief Executive AMBA

Thursday, 07 September 2017 12:58

As a business leader, you have the choice to be responsible or take risks. 

Responsibility is about considering the impact that we have on our colleagues, clients, sector and function, and society. Even the most successful businesses cannot operate in a toxic environment, so there is an imperative to take an interest in the wider world, and focus on nurturing ethical practices and building a sustainable and socially responsible culture. 

This year, as AMBA celebrates its 50th Anniversary and ‘The Year of the MBA’, it's never been more important to bring the MBA community together and create positive change across the world; sharing our ideas on responsible and ethical business, and understanding how a shared purpose around sustainability is the key to long-term shared success. 

As brands can rise or die by their CSR credentials. Companies are being defined by their purpose and values, how they improve the lives of customers, and how they enhance the quality of life for their employees. By placing purpose maximisation alongside profit maximisation, and fostering a culture that promotes this, companies can unearth new sources of innovation, and help people express these values in their work. Many studies show that people are not motivated by money, but by emotion. I believe businesses can have the best of both worlds: establish more sustainable ways of working that don’t compromise profit and growth, but build on them for the long term. 

As part of the AMBA Career and Salary Report 2017, more than 3,350 graduates from AMBA-accredited MBA programmes in 135 countries were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement: ‘Working for a responsible and sustainable organisation is as important as a high salary.’ Almost nine in 10 respondents (86%) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.  Sustainability is a core principle of AMBA-accreditation criteria and all AMBA-accredited MBA curricula must emphasise the impact of sustainability, ethics, and risk management on business decisions, performance, and society as a whole. The impact of this policy is evident. More than 7 in 10 (71%) respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their MBA had given them a solid understanding of how sustainability issues impact business performance. 

This month AMBA will welcome it's 30,000th MBA student and graduate member into our global network of MBA student and graduate business leaders. I believe this growth is integral to our mission, as AMBA is set to become the world’s largest and most exclusive network of MBAs, extending to more than 150 countries. 

The reason for the importance I place on our growing numbers is two-fold. 

First, this international network is here for you as a body of like-minded innovative individuals, with whom you can share thought leadership, seek guidance from, and offer advice, online and at networking opportunities in various countries. 

The second reason our swelling number of members is so vital, is that you are creating a collective force for good. 

As more forward-thinking MBA graduates move into roles across business and society, they're bringing with them ethical, responsible, and sustainable leadership ideas, and initiatives that are having a positive impact on our world.

Our MBA scholarship is offering six individuals from six continents a collective scholarship of $50,000USD to support them in their studies. The winners, which we'll announce in the next issue of AMBITION, have put together proposals as to how they plan to use their MBA qualification to further their passion for sustainability. 

I've been inspired and humbled by the scholarship entries and I'm encouraged by the progress that AMBA's global force for good – of which you're all an integral part – is set to make across the world.