Resilience: can some companies withstand a strong lightning bolt? © 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 feedback about FT Business school, please email

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How to Lead

Helen Marriage, director of UK arts organisation Artichoke, talks about how to make the impossible happen, in our weekly series How to Lead.

Start-up Stories

The new series of Start-up Stories is here, the FT's entrepreneurship podcast. Listen to this and previous episodes at A theme of this series is the outsiders who disrupt sectors — like Julie Deane, the founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Andrew Hill's challenge

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

Resilience is an increasingly common buzzword in boardrooms and business schools. The word, or its derivatives, occurred more than 2,000 times in the FT last year, compared with just over 600 in 2005-06, before the financial crisis. As I've written this week, primary school children and MBA students are taught how to be more resilient, while we neglect the risks building up in the whole system, which could be brought down by the equivalent of a single lightning strike.

Roger Martin of the Martin Prosperity Institute has suggested a range of solutions to increase overall resilience, ranging from trade barriers to better — and better-paid — jobs. For my management challenge this week, I'd like to hear the best examples of ways in which you or your organisation can improve resilience, either at an individual, corporate or systemic level. Send your concise thoughts to

In further reading, I continue my mild obsession with the job nobody wants to admit they have — that of "middle manager". Adam Grant of Wharton recently responded to a reader of his blog who asked: "How can we make middle management a desirable role?" All Grant's responses are thought-provoking, but I particularly liked his suggestion that "we should stop assessing managers on the rate of idea success and start assessing them on the rate of idea acceptance", as a way of encouraging middle managers to stick their necks out and back more unproven proposals.

Professor's picks

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

Francesc Rodriguez Tous, lecturer in banking at Cass Business School, selects: 

European Investment Bank pulls back on UK funding after Brexit It is important for business students to understand the effects of Brexit. This article is very relevant as it highlights one particular impact. The UK had been, for many years, the main recipient of venture funding through the European Investment Bank. But this has ended this year due to a lower demand from the UK and the uncertainty regarding Brexit.

This could reduce the leadership of the UK in terms of innovation and technological change, and potentially move the European hub for technological companies away from the country. France and Germany seem to be best positioned to be the new leaders.

BoE’s Saunders: ‘gradual’ policy tightening needn’t mean ‘glacial’ How do central banks decide their monetary policy? A group of nine people — the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) — votes on whether to decrease, keep or increase interest rates in the UK. This article reflects the main discussion nowadays inside the MPC: with inflation above target and growth picking up, should rates go up? Or is the growth too fragile given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit?

The MPC members have all the same information, but they might have different interpretations, and hence disagree on the actions. But one thing that we gained after the financial crisis is that nowadays there is much more transparency on this process.

Ask the academics

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Edited by Wai Kwen Chan —

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