Independent workers such as Deliveroo couriers worry about the volatility of their income © AFP
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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

Andrew Hill’s challenge

The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.

In my column this week, I have pointed out how actors, such as those allegedly harassed by producer Harvey Weinstein, were the original "gig workers" , subject to a succession of self-esteem-sapping encounters with directors and casting agents. As the freelance economy develops, a similar combination of power and impunity could build up among the gangmasters and gatekeepers of the gig economy, putting independent workers at risk of exploitation.

Safeguards are needed — something that goes beyond the easily abused "rating" system — so for this week's challenge let me know your suggestions for ensuring fair dealing between powerful customers and the many relatively powerless individuals and micro-enterprises who now supply them. Should there be a legislative solution, a new technology platform, a code of practice, or can we continue to trust mutual self-interest to regulate the growing sector? Send your suggestions to

I asked you last time to come up with incentives that could be more effective than bonuses. Two of you came up with a very similar idea. Alejandro Perucha writes: "In my career I have seen that demotivation is not only due to a low salary, but to a lack of recognition". He suggests publicising achivements internally, as does Matt Parkes, who writes: "An article on the employee or by the employee in an internal newsletter allows them to build a reputation within the company which could be very valuable …especially in a sizeable organisation."

Continuing my horrid fascination with new interviews with Donald Trump, I've picked Forbes' cover story on the US president — "Inside Trump's Head" — for this week's further reading. Author Randall Lane gives the interview a management twist, by pointing out that "Donald Trump didn't get rich building businesses, despite years of brand-burnishing via The Apprentice and millions of votes from people who craved exactly that experience," he writes. "Instead, his forte lies in transactions — buying and selling and cutting deals that assure him a win regardless of the outcome for others."

Professor's picks

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

Zahir Irani, dean of the Faculty of Management and Law at the University of Bradford, selects:

Prepare to meet the robot recruiters We need to think carefully about what parts of our job that cannot be automated. These include your emotional intelligence and being adaptable. The articles states that a growing number of tech companies are creating algorithms that can perform recruiter’s’ simplest tasks, such as finding CVs for a role. This means that the job of a recruiter could change, for example, more time spent on crafting job descriptions and performing consultative type of work. It is important to think about how to future-proof your career from the effects of automation.

Plan for five careers in a lifetime and What the rise of the AI dull-bots means for humans Due to globalisation and automation, the skills required in the workplace is in a constant state of change. These pieces show it is important to be adaptable.

Gaining new skills and knowledge — your biggest assets — will help you to reinvent yourself, whether you are working in the gig economy, dealing with new challenges in your current organisation, or switching sectors. Be proactive in your learning, and don’t rely on your workplace to look after your development.

Jonathan Moules' business school news

If there is one thing that unites Europe it is separatism. Independence movements are to be found across the continent, from Lombardy in Italy to Scotland in the UK. Such separatism seems to fly in the face of the mantra at business schools of free trade and globalisation. Does a declaration of independence therefore damage a local business school’s brand?

This week I look at the possible effects of the independence vote in Catalonia on the region’s two world class business schools, Esade and Iese, both of which have MBA courses in the top 20 of the annual Financial Times ranking.

The Spanish situation is in many ways a repeat performance of the concerns raised about British business schools in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. This is still an issue in flux, but evidence so far suggests that strong brands can ride out local political unrest. Many of the top UK schools are reporting a rise in applications a year after the vote for Brexit.

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Edited by Wai Kwen Chan —

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