The Berlin School of Creative Leadership is the world’s first educational institute dedicated solely to the development of creative business leadership. The school was formed in 2006 by a group of executives from the creative industries – among them Michael Conrad, former President and Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, who has been acting as their President since the very beginning. They believed that creativity and leadership are key for any business to succeed and innovate. This belief remains a core part of the school’s philosophy today. Their range of tailor-made programs and their part-time, global Executive MBA program in Creative Leadership are at the heart of a diverse community of creative minds from more than 60 countries. Based in Berlin and operated by a not-for-profit foundation, the school’s mission is to turn great creative minds into great creative leaders.
From my, admittedly somewhat limited, perspective the Berlin School which is located about 500 meters from where I live and work has provided an excellent place to meet some of the younger top creatives whose work has been featuring in Archive over the years who were enrolled there. Just to name a few examples, here are Nigerian advertising whizz kid Abolaji Alausa or Lithuanian Rimantas Stanevicius, the charming creative head of the Milk Agency in Vilnius. And, of course, among the school's alumni is our very own CEO, Christian Lürzer (Class of 07).
In order to invest in the next generation of creative minds, Lürzer's Archive, which as been dedicated to celebrating creative excellence in the ad industry since its first publication in 1984 are are offering a scholarship – €20,000 tuition support which will be applied towards the tuition costs of €53,000 for the Berlin School Executive MBA in Creative Leadership program starting March 17th. Up to three additional finalists may be eligible to receive up to €10,000 in tuition support for the Berlin School Executive MBA program in Creative Leadership starting.
Ideally, the scholarship candidates should be accomplished executives in branding, advertising, marketing, media, or a similar creative field with a strong professional background and track record of creative and/or business excellence. Entries will be judged according to their overall profile and Executive MBA application, as well as their response to an additional Lürzer’s Archive Scholarship essay question which is as follows:
“In the digital age, the biggest challenge we’re facing is how to get people to pay for content.”
For decades, print media has been an astoundingly profitable industry and the backbone of how society remained informed. These days, consumers are increasingly looking for free access to digestible online media and the rise of clickbait media has diluted the demand for quality content. How do we get people to value quality in this environment? With the above in mind, propose a creative business strategy for a sustainable online media model that encourages readers to pay for quality content."
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is November 15th, 2018.
For more information please go to www.berlin-school.com/luerzer
Below you will find a conversation with Michael Conrad and Christian Lürzer.
Creative businesses are evolving rapidly under new technology, trends, and globalization, making it even more challenging and exciting to prepare for the future. In this climate, it’s vital to empower developing leaders with the mindset and skills to analyze complexity, implement creative solutions, and turn these changes into an opportunity for long-term business success.
Why is it important for a business to educate its future leaders?
Christian Lürzer: Investing in education is so important. If you want to grow as a person, you must continue learning. Otherwise, you stay still. The same applies to companies.
Michael Conrad: Just like in sports, a company is only as strong as its bench-strength. If you are a leader and you have
not prepared for succession, then you risk the future and opportunities of your company. Surprisingly often, companies look outside their business to see who is qualified to take over, instead of grooming leaders who are familiar with the company’s values and DNA.
What are upsides to facing disruption and change?
Michael Conrad: Big change – like expanding to new territories or even facing a merger or acquisition – can breathe new life into a company. But in the end, its success depends on leadership.
Christian Lürzer: Change can be an amazing opportunity for a creative business. The EMBA taught me that it’s also a chance to check and re-check your business model and make sure you’re still relevant, still competing.
What is unique about the way creative leaders deal with complexity?
Michael Conrad: Creative leaders thrive in analyzing complex scenarios and are more comfortable developing alternative strategies. Therefore, they can create alignment and have the ability to oversee implementation.
How does the Executive MBA empower creative leaders?
Christian Lürzer: The Berlin School gave me a new perspective. It allowed me to be more than a creative. I developed structure and knowledge around numbers, finance, and strategy. It also taught me to empower people to be better creatives and decision-makers.
Michael Conrad: By their DNA, creatives have the desire to see change and disrupt the status quo. Our Executive MBA, tailored for creative minds, gives them the ability to lead people and understand complex business situations. This combination unlocks huge potential to make an organization a success.
How does a diverse and global classroom strengthen global leaders?
Christian Lürzer: Being away from my own business and in a classroom full of people from both my own industry and totally different industries, I have learnt so much from others’ experiences. It’s a place to test out ideas and where you can always ask for a new perspective.
Michael Conrad: As industries and companies evolve, diverse leadership enables businesses to adopt a global perspective and embrace new and greater challenges for their teams and clients.