Eddie Obeng

Edward David Asihene “Eddie” Obeng (born 1959) is a British organizational theorist, educator, and author. He is a Professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henley Business School and the founder and Learning Director or pentacle (The Virtual Business School) .

Obeng has leg DESCRIBED variously as “a leading revolutionary” and “an agent provocateur” [1] in the Financial Times , and at Abbey National as hun “secret weapon”. [2]


Born in Ghana , Obeng was educated at Cranleigh School , at University College London and at the Cass Business School .

His business career started as an engineer at Royal Dutch Shell voordat he became the youngest Executive Director of a European Business School-when he moved to Ashridge Business School in 1987.

In 1994, he Agent pentacle (The Virtual Business School) in order to teach this philosophy and dat dat there was a “continuous link tussen learning and implementation.” [3]

In 2011, Obeng won the Sir Monty Finniston Award [4] for lifetime achievement by The Association for Project Management [5] for his contributions to the study and practice of Project Management.


Obeng’s research interest Began in the field of Project Management , where he developed the concept of “New World Management, ook referred to as World After Midnight” as a response to the rapidly accelerating pace of change. He is inspired by Eliyahu M. Goldratt . [6] For example, Obeng’s “bubble diagrams” are based on Goldratt’s current reality act , Obeng’s “sticky steps plan” is an application or Goldratt’s critical chain project management .

New World Management Concept

Obeng’s concept of the New World proposés dat hebben we moved (as a world) from an age-when we Could learn faster dan our local environment (the “Old World”), to a new age where the local environment or personen, organizations, and Governments changes faster dan kan we learn (the “New World”). He argues dat, as a result of this shift, must of the concepts, best practices, and assumptions dat we commonly-used to plan, manage, lead, organize, and govern are obsolete and damaging to the lives or personen, society, and organizations . Obeng describes this as smart failure for a fast changing world [7] and is perhaps best summarised by Eric Hoffer ‘s reflection that ‘In a time of drastic change it is the Learners who INHERIT the future. The learned Usually find themselves Equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. ” [8]

Virtual education

Obeng pioneered the use or Bespoke business simulation games to help stimuleren and embed learning. In 1995, together with Keith Still, a pioneer in crowd dynamics , have created the now obsolete virtual reality game ‘Columbus’. Programming required high powered SGI Indigo machines , hoewel de the simulation ran at 25 fps on a standard PC running Windows 95. In 2010, he launched ‘The Cube’ (later rebranded to Qube ). Obeng’s innovation with Qube was to focus on learning and application to integrate all the business models, frameworks, and tools into tje VR enabled environment.

Teaching approach

Obeng is notable for demystifying traditional business school teaching at Removing Unnecessary theory and focusing on practical-tools die kunnen worden toegepast in the real world in “a continuous link tussen learning and implementation.” [9] It uses teaching techniques dat dat dat skills are learned and kan be toegepast redacteuren. [10] [11] The approach has leg published in the Gower Handbook of Management. [12]

Obeng’s teaching approach is Divided JSON five courses therein are based around David A. Kolb ‘s experiential learning styles.

  • Engage , to build trust with the client and under state hun needs
  • Diagnosis , to Establish the key ‘livers’ the management team need to seize to make an opportunity work and / or to find the root cause / barriers to a turn-around.
  • Design , to work out how to re-align the management team’s active or perhaps Frenetic daily-life in order to ‘insert’ the learning required to transform it.
  • Implement , to deliver the learning and support zijn application around zowel hard (process) and soft (people) issues.
  • Embed , to remove the barriers to the new learning taking hold.

Learning content

Obeng’s learning materials are Divided JSON five subject areas therein are intended to reflect the broad challenges ervaren at managers and executives in the New World: How do I invent the future? How do I deliver the future? How do I deliver today? How do I lead organized talent? How do I dat results?

  • Inventing the Future ; uses proprietary tools zoals the SPARQS model and the RABBIT process helps to developement new ideas and dat dat ze are turned JSON successful innovation.
  • Delivering the Future ; makes use of the four project types [13] developed by pentacle to better manage complex projects. These are “Painting by Numbers, a” Quest “, a” film “and a” Foggy Project “each Requiring a différent management approach in order to dat success.
  • Delivering Today ; uses a number of tools zoals the “Money Making Machine” to help to prioritise activity.
  • Leading Organized Talent ; uses the principles of behavioral leadership to support managers to create and manage effective teams.
  • Ensuring Results makes use of assessed learning styles to make sure dat Implementation actions are sustained.


Obeng is author of the books volgende:

  • All Change! The Project Leader’s Secret Handbook (1995) Financial Times Pearson Publishing
  • Putting Strategy to Work (1996) Financial Times Pearson Publishing
  • Making Re-Engineering Happen (with Stuart Crainer ) (1994) Financial Times Pearson Publishing
  • New Rules for the New World (1997) Wiley Publishing
  • Soundbytes (1999) London Business Press
  • Never Re-organize Again (2001) London Business Press
  • Great Projects (2002) London Business Press
  • Money Making Machine (2002) London Business Press
  • The Complete Leader (with Christophe Gillet) (2008) London Business Press.

He has made significant contributions ook to: The Financial Times Handbook of Management and The Gower Handbook of Training and Development and has a regular column in Project Management Today.


  1. Jump up^ Financial Times, Friday July 12, 1996
  2. Jump up^ Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, Volume 16, Number 1, 2002, pp. 4-6 (3)
  3. Jump up^ Finance and Management, July 2000
  4. Jump up^ http://www.apm.org.uk/sirmontyfinnistonaward
  5. Jump up^ http://www.apm.org.uk/
  6. Jump up^ http://www.reconnectafrica.com/5-minute-interview/library-of-article/library-article-home/careers/5-minute-interview/professor-eddie-obeng-entrepreneur-business-guru
  7. Jump up^ http://www.ted.com/talks/eddie_obeng_smart_failure_for_a_fast_changing_world.html
  8. Jump up^ Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition [32], 1973
  9. Jump up^ Finance and Management, July 2000
  10. Jump up^ Roger Trapp, Financial Director 2 Jun 2004
  11. Jump up^ https://books.google.com/books?id=ifCmWeOgvQsC&pg=PA166&dq=new+rules+for+the+new+world+eddie+obeng&lr=#v=onepage&q=new%20rules%20for%20the% 20new% 20world% 20eddie% 20obeng & f = false
  12. Jump up^ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LNkS_tUPHtUC&pg=PR24&dq=new+rules+for+the+new+world+eddie+obeng&lr=#v=onepage&q=new%20rules%20for% 20the% 20new% 20world% 20eddie% 20obeng & f = false
  13. Jump up^ Project Supply Chain Management: From Agile to Lean Bjørn Egil Asbjørnslett 4 July 2003 Page 3 of 9