Several weeks ago, I had the great fortune to travel to London – a city I love – for a PR summit with our clients from London Business School and representatives of the School’s other regional PR agencies from Hong Kong and Dubai. During one meeting with the School’s leadership and faculty, it occurred to me that the group was reflective of the kind of diversity that defines the School’s faculty, student body and staff.
With our sessions comprised of PR professionals from Hong Kong, Australia, Great Britain and the American contingent of me and my S+A colleague Hillary Blum, I quickly learned how energizing it is to collaborate with such a diverse international group. Much like New York City (in S+A’s “backyard”), the city of London itself teems with diversity-fueled energy. Everywhere you go, you find diversity in the faces you see, the restaurants where you grab a bite, the stores you shop in, and the languages you hear in the tube, on the street, in buses and at the airport. But it’s the School that really fascinates with its unique measure of variety within its small community, laying claim to faculty from 27 countries and students from 130. I even jokingly asked myself, “Are there really that many countries on the planet?” Amazing.
I envision London Business School, and perhaps the city itself, like the hub of a spoked-wheel: it pulls in people from every end, teaches them (and learns from them), and then sends them back out with a new perspective on how to conduct business in our increasingly global world. And the passion among those who support this community – from the Dean to the marketing and PR staff to the faculty and administrators – is nothing short of inspirational. Surely, all members of the London Business School benefit on a daily basis from diversity-fueled energy.
But as with any trip, this one too had to end. Before it did, I was quick to take advantage of some sightseeing, and can’t resist sharing with you a quick tip for any would-be UK travelers. Around the bend from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, check out the Cabinet War Rooms on your next trip to London and see the place from where Winston Churchill led the nation during the Blitz – a step back in time you won’t want to miss.
By Ned Ward, Vice President, Stern + Associates