Consulting Project: Business School Lausanne Project

Project Title: Implementing Economy of the Common Goods Assessment

This project is assigned by Business School Lausanne (BSL) to a consulting team of 4 participants within the Diploma in Sustainable Business program. The project timeline includes the period of September 2012-June 2013.

Overall goal

To evaluate, consider, recommend and implement a new assessment tool for BSL complementing the existing financial reporting and balanced score-card with an integral reporting measure called the Common Good Matrix (CGM). This will place BSL at the forefront of higher education institutions in Switzerland and Europe.

Project objectives

  • Evaluate how the Common Goods Matrix can be implemented at a business school
  • Research and benchmark with similar or comparable institutions or businesses (there are over 700 companies and at least 1 university that have implemented the CGM)
  • Contribute to the Common Goods Economy English material that the movement can use to further advance the cause into the Anglo-Saxon world
  • Scientifically observe, follow, report and measure the evaluation-assessmentimplementation process at BSL in order to publish a case study on the project by the end of the year that can serve as an example for other business schools to implement the GCM
  • Undertake 2 assessments at BSL: before and after the implementation of actionable improvements which the project team will manage during the implementation phase

Project outputs

  • The completion of the Common Goods Matrix (CGM) as a starting point
  • Benchmarking with relevant players (universities or training institutions that use the CGM)
  • Presentation to the involved stakeholders with actionable improvement suggestions
  • Professional implementation management of a no. of selected improvement steps with measurable achievement
  • A second Common Goods Matrix showing the impact of the improvement steps

Project execution

NEW: BSL released its first Common Good Matrix Audit Report in November 2014 as a result of the continuous efforts of two program teams in 2012-2014. Read more about it here.

In 2012-13, 4 program participants – Anna Kroczak (Poland), Franziska Klaus (Germany), Giovanni Facchinetti (Switzerland), and Stephan Egloff (Switzerland) – worked together on a consulting project aiming at implementing the Common Good Matrix (CGM) as an assessment and reporting tool in addition to the existing financial reporting and balanced score-card at Business School Lausanne. The project was run from September 2012 to June 2013 within the Diploma in Sustainable Business program.

As part of the assignment, the consulting team had to adapt the CGM and make it applicable to a business school. The project included an in-depth analysis in the following constitutional dimensions: human dignity, solidarity, social justice, ecological sustainability, and democracy and transparency.  For that purpose, the project team developed a comprehensive questionnaire of 244 questions in total which were distributed to various BSL stakeholders including students, alumni, partners, suppliers, parents, administrative staff, faculty, and other external parties. The survey was completed by 91 participants in total.

Based on the results, the consulting team evaluated BSL’s performance in each of the five dimensions (human dignity, solidarity, social justice, ecological sustainability, and democracy and transparency) and proposed recommended actions for improvement in areas where scored results were not satisfactory. The proposed recommendations included high impact targets, achievable with minimum effort (“low-hanging fruit”).

As a result of the stakeholder engagement process facilitated by the consulting team, BSL established its own “Green Team” – a group of volunteers including students, staff, and faculty, who committed to achieving the targets recommended in the CGM analysis. A number of new initiatives were launched and independently driven by the Green Team members in the following areas: energy saving, measuring the footprint of BSL, improving recycling on campus, providing healthy and organic nutrition, introducing work from home possibility for employees, subsidizing public transportation, reorganizing BSL’s reception area in alignment with its sustainability orientation.

The consulting project was taken over by another student consulting team in 2013-14. Arjen van der Meer, 2013-14 project member, aims at submitting an official report on BSL’s progress towards the development goals the school set for itself in 2013, following the first Common Good Matrix (CGM) analysis.

Project members Anna Kroczak, Franziska Klaus, Giovanni Facchinetti, and Stephan Egloff share their experiences, challenges and learning outcomes during the 10-month project assignment:

Arjen van der Meer talks about follow-up actions on the Common Good Matrix analysis: delivering an official progress report to evaluate BSL’s development towards the CGM objectives:

Past Consulting Projects