Last year, the Carlson Global Institute (CGI) launched a process to revise its strategic plan to align with newly developed plans of the Carlson School and the University of Minnesota. As part of this process, CGI gathered insights from Carlson School faculty, students, and staff, and University, corporate, government, and global partners, and other external stakeholders through surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

Numerous insights were gathered that will help shape the Institute’s priorities in the coming years. Themes that emerged from the process include: 

  • The Carlson School was one of the first U.S. business schools to require an international experience. As education and business continue to evolve, CGI must continue to innovate and iterate its courses and collaborations.
  • Global business skills and knowledge apply to all functional areas of business. It is important to continue integrating and instilling a global mindset across the curriculum and co-curricular initiatives.
  • The value of international education goes beyond studying abroad: It is about productive interactions with others in the community and workplace whose cultural roots may not be the same as one’s own.
  • A significant number of stakeholders from a variety of sectors indicated that soft skills—including the ability to work effectively across cultures, ability to adapt to ambiguous work situations, and ability to creatively solve issues—are critical to succeeding as global leaders.
  • CGI has launched a research and evaluation agenda to measure and assess the types and extent of various global initiatives on individuals’ mindsets and motivations for learning. This thoughtful, data-driven approach to global initiatives is highly valued by its stakeholders. 

CGI leveraged these findings to refine its mission, vision, and priorities to uphold the Carlson School’s reputation for excellence in global business education well into the future.