IEâ??s new curriculum of the International MBA, which started on November 10, includes a number of exciting innovations.  As part of a two-week, interdisciplinary module at the start of the program aimed to develop skills in communication, leadership, critical thinking, and creativity, participants will work with actors and coaches from Shakespeareâ??s Globe and tutors from the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London.

Shakespeareâ??s Globe, the world-renown institution dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s work through education and performance, has designed a half-day workshop in which IEâ??s MBAs will be trained in voice, presence, body language, and improvisation techniques by the Globeâ??s top practitioners. The workshop, which will be held at IEâ??s newly-acquired Segovia campus in a 15th century monastery, is highly interactive and aims to take students out of their comfort zone. â??We wanted to break out of the mold of â??7 words per bullet, 7 bullets per slideâ??-type of communications workshops,â? explains David Bach, Associate Dean of MBA programs at IE. â??Working with the Globeâ??s internationally acclaimed actors and trainers is a real privilege.â?Â  For the Globe it will be the first participation in a top MBA program:  â??Drama was used at schools in the 16th century to help develop the students’ rhetoric and confidence for their future political or business careers. Perhaps if Polonius had acted more than â??onceâ?? at the university or had had better training, he wouldn’t have got stabbed behind the arras” says Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Education at the Globe.

At the other side of London, IE has found another potent partner similarly committed to innovation and disruptive learning.  The Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture, Europeâ??s leading architecture school that has counted Richard Rogers, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid amongst its students, has teamed up with IE to develop a design workshop for MBA students. Design thinking and working processes associated with contemporary experimental architecture has become an increasingly powerful tool in management with its strong focus on innovation, creativity, and teamwork. The workshop will expose students to this style of thinking and one of the forgotten parameters in business: the importance of quality work space and its relationship with creativity.  Following an introduction to the program and an overview of the convergence of design and management theory by Brett Steele, AA Schoolâ??s director, IE students will design an office space under the guidance of AA tutors.  The hands-on workshop will foster creativity and team work as well as sensitize participants to the importance of design â?? and in particular spatial design â?? in the world of business.  As would be common in an architectural setting, the workshop concludes with a design critique led by AA tutors and faculty of the new IE School of Architecture.  â??Todayâ??s design and management worlds are intricately linkedâ?, says AAâ??s Brett Steele.  â??Bringing MBAs and architects together is immensely enriching for both.â?

Regarding the entire two-week module of workshops and activities, David Bach, Associate Dean of MBA programs at IE, notes that â??what we are doing is soft skills 2.0 â?? challenge participants on the personal level and help them develop into multi-faceted and well-rounded cosmopolitan leaders.  Each year our MBA students are better prepared and more impressive, so itâ??s imperative to venture beyond the field of management to really help them flourish.  The arts and humanities offer tremendously fruitful terrain in this respect.â?