On the 23rd day of January 2022, I officially joined the Executive MBA class, Cohort 27 of the prestigious Lagos Business School. It was indeed a long but exciting day and we had sessions with different LBS directors, the dean, and the alumni team. They put the new class through various aspects of the school. I had worked with notable multinationals most of my work life, so when the session came to the topic of LBS culture, I was very excited and very impressed as well.
Two months into my first year, I would share my experience about each of these cultural points in my journey so far with the school.
Care for Details
The school appears to take this extremely seriously. Right from the entrance gate, you will feel a difference from the usual Lagos. The security personnel always greet you with a smile, requesting you put on the face mask and sprinkle the hand sanitizers. Once one enters the school, one cannot miss the impeccable lawn and walking path. Without even entering the buildings, one feels a general sense of orderliness, tidiness, and a deliberate attempt to ensure everything was done properly. Inside the school, one is again greeted with lots of warmth and inspiration all around. It is almost like you are being asked to be a better form of yourself with each step one takes. You would not miss the unique painting on the wall, well-positioned for inspiration, or the big fabric-made LBS sign hanging from the ceiling at the cafeteria. Neither would one miss the ambiance in the classrooms.
The cleanliness is on another level. From the classrooms to the corridors and even in the restrooms, someone is definitely making sure that things work the way they should. Sometimes, I have to smack myself a bit just to remind myself that I am not only in Nigeria but in Lagos.
Then the facilitators- they seem to have been chosen specifically for the classes they take. They are detailed and purposeful in their approach impacting the students with the right learning and skills.
Mutual Respect- Give the respect you want to receive.
Our facilitators live this every time we have met them. The staff too at the kitchen are very cautious and well mannered. Maybe there is a unique training they all go to which makes them all abide by this creed. I will ask about this sometime, Even the security men all remain well-mannered.
Several times in our classes, we have had our facilitators exhibit high levels of humility and respect. This kind of encourages the class member to do the same in their groups’ sessions too. Even the IT support staff and janitors all accord everyone respect. With that, they also get the utmost respect from the students.
Service is an interesting concept. Many say they serve, but in reality, they do it only for their good. In LBS, we see service with a smile and with no selfish intention. I mention the security teams at the gate a lot because, from my experience and travels, the behavior of the security teams at the entrance of a facility gives you an idea of what to expect. In other places, you would see some form of ‘over-familiarity’ in order to get some tips or so. In some others, there is that sense of entitlement just because they secure people’s cars, etc. These are completely not seen in LBS.
I would not forget one Saturday I forgot my jacket after classes. I came back the next weekend and asked at the help desk if anyone had seen it. Not only did they show me the lost articles section where I found it, but they helped me without any indication that I had to give them something in return.
Standards are not compromised at LBS. The fact is that anyone who comes into the school feels it from day one. From the quality of the food to providing bottles of water every time during classes. From the professionalism exhibited by the facilitators to even the service provided in the kitchen- professionalism is observed. Even when things do not go right- you notice the urgency and speed in resolving the issue to avoid any discomfort. In addition, apologies are issued out of respect to the impacted colleagues.
Our coordinator is very professional as well in her approach to questions, concerns, and comments that are raised. She takes her work very seriously but still finds the time to laugh with us and make us feel warm at the school.
This caps it all up and I think it is the bedrock upon which the school is built. You are immersed in it from the first time one visits the school to apply for the course. You see it in the transparency of the facilitators, in the genuineness of those at the helpdesk, and in the candor of the coordinator. Even when my team sat down with our group director, he preached it in all he spoke. This gives one a sense of hope in a country where a lot of integrity issues are raised.
In conclusion, I am not writing this piece to praise LBS about their culture. That is not my objective. They are already doing well, and the quality of their alumni and accreditations speak for it. I also do not think they drive this culture simply for the school image. What I would like to highlight here is that these cultures easily pass into the hearts and minds of the students. Every day we live within this MBA program, we continue to imbibe these cultures and assimilate them. That mindset drives us all to make anywhere we eventually find ourselves in a better place than it once was. That is the true aim of Lagos Business School, and I am proud to be part of it.