Reporter World Forum

Vaughn Tan, a free thinker for a responsible economy

Save management to save our last chance. Vaughn Tan exposes a new social way of managing business in the context of the sanitary and ecological crisis.

Vaughn Tan is a polyvalent research associate. He combines a job as a professor in Strategy and Design at the University College London’s School of Management and works as a consultant in innovation strategy in term of crisis for businesses and non-profitable organizations. Surprisingly, Vaughn was not formed in management but has a PhD in Organizational Behavior and Sociology jointly from Harvard University and Harvard Business School. His career path seems to be in accordance with what he describes in the conference as the figure of “free thinker”. It is someone that does not follow societies’ norms. He argues that education should encourage the development of such profiles.

Vaughn Tan is the author of the Book, The Uncertainty Mindset: Innovation Insight from the Frontier of Food, a revolutionary manual on innovation and adaptation in the fine culinary sector. The professor’s main innovative concept is about “productive discomfort”, which argues that in a period of uncertain times, business should not aspire to be the most optimal. On the contrary, manager should take care of their employees and suppliers to create trust and sense through the supply chains. To compensate the loss, business should rise the prices of goods. According to Vaughn, this will induce positive impact on the long run. To sum up, business should be ethical and less competitive in time of crisis.

As a French resident, Vaughn asserts that he “love the French culture although he does not speak French”. From a professional point of view, France is a good place to induce responsible management change since society is not driven by business schools’ management ideology.

In the context of ecological and sanitarian crisis, the field of management has been forgotten as a vector of societal changes. The conversation with Vaughn Tan introduced us to a post crisis managerial strategy and invite you, CEO and business representative, to think about other strategies that could make better the living together.