2015 Press Releases

New Centre launches innovative leadership education

24 Sep 2015
Professor Connell Fanning Image: Tomás Tyner

The demands of the increasingly complex world are over the heads of many leaders in Ireland according as evidenced by the very narrow thinking leading up to the Banking Bailout to UCC Professor Connell Fanning. 

This has been revealed almost daily at the Banking Inquiry.

Professor Fanning sees the same issues as facing business leaders who have the challenge of bringing their people to a higher level of mental capability in order to grow their organisations. While there has been much talk about ‘transformation’ in Executive Education few offerings address the real nature of transforming minds and tend to fill the ‘barrel’ with more information rather than enlarging the ‘barrel.

Professor Fanning believes that “more of the same will not do” for Ireland to remain ahead in the years to come. A qualitative change is called for and in effect the future requires more complex minds for effective and successful leadership. Forget about How-To modular programmes which purportedly provide manuals, and quick-fix formulas packaged under catchy phrases.

Improving How Leaders Think is more important than What They Think and indeed that they think about thinking and is the key issue of our time, says Professor Fanning. Minds with the capability to handle the greater ambiguity and uncertainty of politics, business and life are needed.

To address these leadership demands, Professor Fanning recently launched a new business research facility, The Keynes Centre at UCC. Its Transformative Thinking approach adds a different dimension to what is currently available in the executive education market. The Centre will be pioneering innovative programmes to meet the requirements of busy people seeking a challenging and supportive space to grow their leadership minds.

The first of these, and for the first time in Ireland, is the Reading for Change Book Club for business executives which utilises the power of shared reading and productive conversation as the means for personal professional development.

Starting in October, this is a book club with a big difference.  Forget about Maeve Binchy, Marion Keyes, Cecilia Ahern and other beloved book club staples. Instead, once a month, Professor Connell Fanning, Director of Cork’s new Keynes Centre will select a short, thought-provoking book and will facilitate a discussion session to explore the wider implications of the readings for participants to think about theirpersonal professional self.

These carefully selected monthly readings will introduce key ideas for levering change in leadership thinking and include some of the greatest minds of the 20th/21st Century, such as German-American thinker Hannah Arendt.

Bookings are now being taken for this eight month programme: http://keynes.ucc.ie/book-club/. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.  The book club will meet at the Keynes Centre which is in the heart of Cork city, at UCC Business Research Centres 13 South Mall. For further information contact 021- 4658605.

Dr Connell Fanning was Professor of Economics at UCC and Head of the School of Economics from 1988 until 2015 when he established The Keynes Centre at UCC.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF