Nyenrode and her LES-principles in times of crisis

March 21 2020

The Corona virus pandemic makes us humble. It determines our vulnerability as an organism as a human, as Nyenrode. It makes us humble in the sense of being a bit clumsy, uncomfortable and invisible. We disappear in the mass because we are all in this together. All in the same boat, floating, drifting and looking for new winds to sail. As an individual and as an organization.

So, what does the word humble mean? It’s equivalent to ‘simplicity’ and ‘modesty’. Humilitas in Latin means getting on your knees, to be quiet. The new reality stops us. It makes us small. Nevertheless, we remain upright. As a person and as Nyenrode. We can deal with this. We are connected to each other. We believe in each other and in our mission to shape future leaders. That connection gives us strength, mental, social, relational and imagination. And as Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

The Corona virus affects our health, but it doesn’t affect our human dignity. Our identity remains intact. Our social identity that we derive from our connection with Nyenrode also remains intact. This identity might get a boost. Since crisis connects.

However, our ego does not tolerate this. Masculinity scores in the era of the strong man. We want to be heroes, stand out, stand on a pedestal. However, the Corona virus crisis is shaking us off our pedestals. We are suddenly all equal and all equally vulnerable. Because we are all human. This we already knew but we might have forgotten it sometimes.

This savage time gives us the opportunity to stop and reflect. Reflect on the what we do with the time given and given talents. This can be a time of reflection. Even though we didn’t plan it, we are caught by this opportunity to maneuver in the dark to preserve what we have and discover new ways of working, aided by technology.

It must change. To continue to pursue our purpose, serving society by shaping future leaders, we must first offer our education differently. But we also have to go deeper in our content. We must find out what this new reality means for our research, our education and our LES principles. As Nyenrode faculty and soulmates we must investigate and teach what the LES principles in times of crisis entail and what the new reality of future leaders wants. We can continue our journey from there.

Since 1946 we have proved to be one agile ecosystem for and by the Dutch business community. Because we are people that connect the power of knowledge and imagination. Shoulder to shoulder. That gives us the resilience we need so much right now. In life and well-being.

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