8 groups of MiM students involved to crack 8 key topics in the headlines


8 hot topics


  • Defining a new value proposition for the office
  • Leading a co-rpo-working space
  • Leading a different workforce (free-lancers, slashers, platform workers…)
  • Leading in a hybrid environment (teleworkers & non-teleworkers in the same team)
  • Leading virtual teams
  • HR decision-making via artificial intelligence
  • Integrating newcomers in a remote environment
  • Developing/maintaining social bonding remotely

This challenge is the final step of a 30-hour course delivered by Professor Emmanuelle Léon, Scientific Director of the Reinventing Work Chair
“The Reinventing Work chair is an ecosystem where managers, professors and students work together in order to better understand the changes at hand in the organizations. This course has been designed in partnership with the different members of the jury, some of whom shared their experiences and knowledge with the students during class. It is through these continuous interactions between research and real-life challenges that we will be able to move forward. Designing a video, writing an executive summary and confronting their points of views with the jury’s have raised the students’ awareness of today’s real life challenges”, she explains.

To assess the students’ achievements, a panel of experts were Jury members. We warmly thank Géraldine Conti, Head of HR for International Retail Banking, BNP Paribas ; Olivier Cros, Head of Workplace Strategy, CBRE France ; Ulysse Dorioz, Director of the transformation, Conseil Régional d’Ile-de-France ; Maud Lesieur, Upskilling programme Leader, BivwAk! ; Claire Maldera, Head of HR for Wealth Management, BNP Paribas ; Frédéric Thoral, Head of HR for Personal Finance, BNP Paribas ; Dominique Turcq, President, Boostzone Institute ; Arnaud Weiss, Co-founder and CEO, @Axel.
Each group took the “e-floor” for 10 minutes to present a 3-min video pitching their recommendation and to answer questions from Jury members.
Two groups have been awarded: 

“Leading virtual teams”
Congratulations to Elèonore Andries, Wilhelm Bingsmark, Davide Castellano, Yu-Ning Lee and Swetha Sindhu Nair

Learn more about their findings

Remote work and virtual teams are on the rise, and the current pandemic has only accelerated their advent. For companies to be able to adapt to such ways of working, they need to learn and comprehend how to leverage such experiences, and team leaders need to understand how to successfully manage a team of people who are not physically together. We investigated how virtual teams should be built and which leadership practices that managers should adapt in order to guarantee the success of a virtual team. What exactly is a virtual team? A virtual team is a group of people working together towards a common goal, but it does so from different geographical regions. From a managerial perspective, leading a virtual team means to harmonize and manage communication amongst colleagues spread across the world, and to ensure the success of the team’s operations. Through trust, clarity and vision (Forbes, 2015), virtual team members are able to work together as one in order to achieve common goals. However, there are additional factors which play significant roles in the accomplishment of a virtual team’s objectives, such as people’s personality traits, behaviors, and preferences. It is worth mentioning that leading a virtual team and virtually leading a team are two different things which must not be confused. We based our work on literature analysis on the topic and on interviews conducted with three different people from diverse environments, namely the business and academia. To ensure the reliability and validity of our research, we used a standardized interview guide regarding the possible challenges and benefits of virtual teams to all of our interviewees. Our first interviewee was Dr. Paul Caussat, Professor at ESCP Business School, whose experience from almost a year of virtual teaching provided him with valuable insights on how best to deal with virtual teams in an educational context. Secondly, we reached out to an Amazon’s employee. Her insights on how to lead virtual teams were interesting that she has had a longstanding experience of remote work, even before the pandemic. Lastly, we had the opportunity to interview Ms. Barbara Chen, the President of AGORA, a platform made by and dedicated to ESCP students, representing more than 6,000 of them over all six campuses, which allowed us to gain a managerial perspective in the school ecosystem. We can see that though our interviewees valued different aspects and factors in the success of leading virtual teams, most of the insights we gained from them highly coincide with our research findings collected. The success of a virtual team relies not merely on the leadership role, but also key traits, such as diversity a team shall possess, along with co-created norms to which all the team members shall respect.
Source: Executive summary of the students group

“Integrating newcomers in a remote environment”
Congratulations to Fiona Deodato, Viktoria Leroux, Ribal Moujaes, Marvin Ulbrich and Julie Zimmermann

Learn more about their findings

Integration refers to a sense of healthy fit between employees and employers, to maximize the overall performance of the company to reach a specific goal and to help with building sustainable interpersonal relationships. It is important to point out that integration is about adaptation, and humans are capable of adapting to any environment, but of course this ability to adapt varies depending on the quality of support provided.
Effective integration within a workplace relies on two aspects, which are usually complementary (Arshavskiy, 2019):
An informal aspect -This aspect is usually done to emotionally engage the new hire, and transmit a sense of culture. It is usually acquired through more user friendly mechanisms.
A formal aspect -The onboarding process, which is done to formally integrate and introduce the new hire into the company, giving them full access to the company’s tools and resources.
Effectively transmitting a company’s culture is the first step and vital to integrate new employees well. An important aspect is that culture is a unique asset of a company that cannot be copied, and helps employees get a sense of belonging and identity.
Newcomers place more and more emphasis on being aligned with the organization’s values and beliefs, and it is important to ensure such alignment as soon as the contract has been signed. This will help with creating an overall team cohesion, maximizing employee engagement and retention, and with the overall performance of the company.
Furthermore, onboarding is vital to increase employer branding but also to give candidates an overall idea of the companies’ culture and work environment. Indeed, as highlighted by Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of the consulting firm The Interchange Group, onboarding is “the perfect time to tell stories about the organization's history, values, people and big-picture vision for the future".
Onboarding was a critical factor in a successful workforce integration strategy even before the Corona crisis. Now,rapid digitization of the integration of new hires has been made inevitable by the pandemic. Our research draws a first conclusion from the implementation of integration processes in the virtual environment, putting the established formal and informal onboarding process to the test through a qualitative approach.
Our research indicates that the best practices of the invoked onboarding process continue to hold in large part. Interestingly, the "warm first day" and the "welcoming days" merge into one best practice, which may be due to the absence of building tours and hardware setup that are common during the on-site introduction. A key component that can be seen across all interviews and aspects of our study is the importance of clear and frequent communication, whether formal or informal, to be able to create transparency and a personal relationship.
Without sufficient communication, it is also not possible to transmit company values and corporate culture to the newcomers, which is essential for a smooth onboarding and long lasting integration.
Source: Executive summary of the students group