Dr. Richard Straub

In the course of his international career Richard Straub held various executive line and staff positions in IBM, Assistant General Manager PC Marketing for IBM Europe, based in Paris Chief Learning Officer in the US with global responsibility and Director of Learning Solutions for Europe, Middle-East and Africa. He is currently senior advisor of the Chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa. For part of his time he is being seconded to the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) as Director of Development. For the last 10 years Mr. Straub has been deeply involved in European Union Initiatives in the area of skills and lifelong learning as President of the European Career Space Consortium (ICT skills and new University curricula required for the 21st Century Economy) and President of the European eLearning Industry Group (from 2002 to December 2006). Since 2005 he is also chairing a European initiative targeted at creating a new European Innovation System with participation of major corporations (such as SAP, Nokia, IBM and Atos Origin) and various Universities and Research Centers. This initiative has been launched under the Finnish Presidency in November 2006 as the “Network of European Living Labs”. Mr. Straub serves on various business school advisory boards and scientific councils such as the EM Lyon and the Helsinki School of Economics with its Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research. He is a guest lecturer at major Business Schools and Universities such as IMD Lausanne, London Business School and Donau Universitaet Krems. He is keynote speaker at major international conferences such as the European Union eLearning Conference 2006 in Dipoli, the 2006 EDEN Conference in Vienna and Online Educa, Berlin 2005.

MODULE - Competencies, Culture, Continuous Learning The Three C’s of 21st Century Entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs must increasingly understand how to manage not only the hard elements of business but also the soft side.


Starting from entrepreneurial skills and competencies this module will equip the participants with an understanding and with the ability to better manage cultural differences and to create an environment conducive to continuous learning and innovation.

Short description

In the demanding environment of today’s knowledge economy, the focus on entrepreneurial competencies must be increased. These competencies include not only the knowledge and skills required to be a successful entrepreneur but also the behaviours and attitudes and deeper seated drivers of action. A good assessment and knowledge of oneself is the starting point for addressing this subject. Every entrepreneur needs a fundamental understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses as well as of the competencies of their team members. While these subjects require the famous “gut feeling”, the understanding of the underlying concepts is important to be able to act on them in the right way. A particular dimension in this context is the impact of culture on the effectiveness of organizations and entrepreneurs’ businesses. The module aims at focusing on national culture and the broad field of cross-cultural management, as well as on organizational culture where learning and sharing is perceived as of value by management and employees and rewarded accordingly. This culture is an element of a broader entrepreneurial culture – geared towards innovation. We are currently moving from the original notion of a knowledge economy into the direction of a learning society and economy. The notion of learning clearly describes the dynamic character of continuous acquisition, validation, sharing, distribution and continuous renewal of knowledge. In an extension of Rene Descartes famous expression, “I think, therefore I am”, it may be appropriate today to say, “I learn, therefore I am”. Learning capabilities are becoming essential elements for competitiveness of companies and for innovation and hence for survival. An innovative environment increasingly relies on information and communication technology. For this reason entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of both sides - the cultural elements required as well as the technology to enable and support a learning culture. As 80 % of all relevant learning happens “on the job” and not in classrooms or other formal educational settings, there is a growing focus on how technology can enable and enhance these informal, work related learning processes. The recent interest in collaboration technology, social network analysis and blogs are just examples of new innovative uses of technologies for communication, knowledge sharing and collaborative development of new knowledge.

Core Topics

Skills and Competencies for the 21st Century Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur Knowing oneself and managing oneself Spheres of cultural influences National Managing across Cultures Cultural challenges for virtual global high performance teams Corporate Elements of a culture for continuous learning and innovation Building an entrepreneurial culture Technology as an enabler for learning and innovation Hype vs. Reality eLearning – from Web Based Training to Workflow Learning Convergence of Knowledge Management and eLearning Best practices examples and case studies