Oxford Educational Dynamics - The Entrepreneur Master Class

Oxford Educational Dynamics was an Organisation Founded by Stuart Kewley who are the Director of studies Oxford Universities. This awesome guys were PhD Cambridge University holder now running four Limited Companies around the globe which is in UK, China, Bulgaria with partnership in Malaysia, India, the US/Canada and Russia. 

By right, he was in Malaysia on  29-30 Nov. For this two days he manage to handle a workshop called The Entrepreneur & The Entrepreneurial Leader. I was invited to join this great workshop at Impiana Hotel, KLCC.

Now, I'll try to share something about Oxford University that he told us.

Its begins here, the first thing that he share was the transitional experience of Oxford Universities. What are made the Oxford Universities Excellence, what is the challenge, competetive, culture of entrepreneurship, organisation and so on. 

''So in this presentation I would like you to look at Oxford as a Business, like any business Oxford faced a challenge of staying competetive. Its has a great branding, a good product but it was in danger of losing relevence.. it needed to innovate, it needed to become more creative. To achieve this goal it needed to create a culture of entrepreneurship.."

What Oxford different with others? Usually, a great University is define by have a great thinkers, great teachers and great researces. Instead of other University, Oxford have a great Administrators, Great Technology Transferors, producing Great Leaders and even great entrepreneurs. 

 Second, The Cultural Dimension. Generally academics at Oxford have to three roles they must perform as part of their employment obligations:

1) Perform researces, this role is desirable and there are a lot of good researchers at Oxford. Currently has 10,000 researchers.
2) Teach, an essential but less desirable role..although Oxford has some very good teachers.
3) Administrative or a management roles, the least desirable role and in my view academics do not make for good managers. Oxford works on the premise that a safe pair of hands doesn't rock the boat, its management style is risk averse, it is path dependent and it doesn't embrace change. It certainly isn't entrepreneurial.
4) Moreover if we drill down even futher to where the value lies in the organisation; its research and it's researchers - we can find an even greater cultural problem in the way the outside is percieved..

While the challenge facing by Oxford is: 

1) How to tap into this rich stream of latent value in the organisation.2) how to cross the cultural devide. 
Then, what Oxford developed was, Isis.

Isis is the Intermediary or the change agent. Technology transfer is stimulating communication between two very different cultures. (Academia & Business). The two cultures will not in general spontaneously understand each other. Therefore intermediaries are required.

Its should be in Malaysia too I think. We need intemediaries, not just between Academia and Business but also in Youth and Government. 
Some pic during workshop.

Then, the Oxford Model Technology Transfer and why it works:

Oxford had a reconised value and leveraging that value: its structure is Oxford has a 

1) Rich portfolio of wholly-owned intellectual Property Rights which are very strong and world-class researces base. 
2) Clear Intelltectual property (IP) policy which are led from the top and widely supported.
3) Investment in research support & tech transfer. They have 100 staff in research services and Isis Innovation.
4) Clear internal demarcation of responsibility between the university and its tech transfer office.
5) Effective internal (research units) and external communication (investors etc.)

Why the model really works?

1) Isis -the staff- they are bilingual, they can speak the language of research and the language of commerce. They able to communicate simultaneously to two quite different constituencies.
2) Like Acas they are arbitrators, they can bridge two diiferent cultures that are often mistrustful of each other.
3) They are socialised in both cultures.


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