Founded in 1959 in Fontainebleau, France, INSEAD was initially devoted to training young Europeans in management techniques adapted from the United States. However, it quickly evolved into a world-ranked business school with a unique approach to international management education. INSEAD’s rapid development is based on four core values: international focus, closeness to business, centrality of intellectual capital, and emphasis on people and process.
INSEAD wished to clarify its strategic position among the leading business schools in Europe and the United States, and to define its particular strengths and vulnerabilities.
AKA first worked with INSEAD in 1992, undertaking a feasibility study for a global development campaign. In concert with another consulting firm, we undertook an extensive survey of the competitive landscape and outlined how INSEAD could best situate itself within a rapidly changing competitive environment. This new landscape included an increased presence in Europe of leading American business schools; substantial gains in quality and reach by other European business schools; and more intensive competition for the best students and faculty by both American and European business schools. These dynamics were playing out against a backdrop of rapid globalization, remarkably robust capital markets and the explosion of information technology.
Our early work included helping articulate a new strategic intention for INSEAD for it to become a leading influence on the thinking of the academic and business communities throughout the world. Further, we recommended that INSEAD launch a global campaign to build the financial foundation necessary for it to realize this bold new ambition.
We assisted with the design and development of The INSEAD Campaign, which was launched in September 1995 with a target of FF 700 million to be raised over the following five years. Our work included guidance on every aspect of the Campaign: feasibility analysis; organizational design; recruitment of leadership and staff; design of financial and tracking systems; prospect identification and research; stewardship and visibility; training of volunteers; training of staff; design of the global approach; and attention to individual country activities. We worked closely with the INSEAD Board, the leadership of the INSEAD International Council, the Deans of the School and faculty and staff.
The Campaign successfully ended on time almost 12% ahead of its goal. The Campaign, the first such effort by a continental institution of higher education, allowed INSEAD to substantially increase the number of faculty, the number of endowed chairs and the size of its student body. The Campaign also funded new construction and gave a significant boost to INSEAD’s endowment.
INSEAD is now widely recognized as one of the leading business schools in the world and enjoys unprecedented regard.