Ford appointed Jim Hackett as chief executive in May with a brief to speed up decision-making at the company © AP

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Welcome to the FT Business school newsletter, a weekly serving of management wisdom, reading recommendations and business-related challenges. FT subscribers can sign up here to receive the newsletter by email every Monday. If you have any feedback about FT Business school, please email bschool@ft.com.

The FT Masters in Management ranking of 2017 is out now

Find out which business school is number one in the FT's ranking of masters in management. Is your school in the top 95? Also, check out our accompanying magazine looking at why business school candidates are choosing the masters in management over an MBA, why you should plan for more than one career during your lifetime, and more.

Andrew Hill's challenge

The business world needs more thoughtful leaders and fewer "thought leaders", I argue in my column, this week. As Daniel Drezner argues in his book The Ideas Industry, shouty thought leaders are drowning out the more nuanced arguments of genuine public intellectuals. The marketing-led output of professional services groups and multinationals also risks overwhelming chief executives.

I cite a few examples of leaders who seem to find time to reflect — for instance, Jim Hackett, CEO at Ford, who is known for his ability to distil the essence of tricky academic articles into usable information. For my challenge this week, I'd like to hear about techniques for sifting through the surfeit of incoming information. What are the best ways for executives to filter what I call "the river of swill" for genuine insights? Send your thoughts to bschool@ft.com. 

In further reading this week, as a long-time observer of General Electric, I enjoyed Harvard Business Review's big take on Jeff Immelt's tenure there (including his own tips on how he assesses insights and information before taking a decision). Mr Immelt points out that it "takes a thick skin to see it through". While GE paid more in dividends during Mr Immelt's 16-year tenure as chief executive than in its previous 110 years, its stock price has underperformed. "Thus it is with transformation," he concludes, rather ruefully.

Bracken Bower Prize

Are you under 35 with an idea for a book that tackles emerging business themes? Submit a proposal for The Bracken Bower Prize by September 30.

For tips about how to come up with the idea and how to structure your proposal, listen to this podcast, where Andrew Hill discusses how to write a book proposal with agent Ella Diamond Kahn and publisher Joel Rickett.

In the meantime, find out which titles have made it to the longlist for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2017.

Professor's picks

Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.

Raymond Hill, senior lecturer in finance at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, selects:

Google case shows how Europe is still playing catch-up This article illustrates that antitrust policy in the internet age is complicated. Google attracted the attention of regulators because it was trying to use its dominance in search to enhance its position in an “adjacent market”, such as price comparison websites.

But competition in online retail is robust in spite of Google’s actions. The more important problem for regulators is how to deal with the market power inherent in value-driven networks. This is where one company achieves dominance because the more consumers that use the network, the more valuable the network becomes to each customer.

We closely regulate cost-driven networks (like electricity distribution) — this is when one company achieves dominance through economies of scale that new entrants can find hard to duplicate. Should Facebook, Google or Microsoft be subjected to the same regulatory treatment? This sets up a great debate for my class.

Ask the academics

Got a question for leading business school experts? Send it to bschool@ft.com and we will publish the best replies in future newsletters.

Test your knowledge

How good is your grasp of the news? Test your reading of last week's top stories with the FirstFT quiz.

Compiled by Wai Kwen Chan — bschool@ft.com

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