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Welcome to the MEL Institute  |  What we do

We are delighted to introduce you to the MEL Institute, an applied research and consultancy center that aims to explore the role of personnel archetypes in meeting the challenges of today’s institutions. Our work centers on the actions of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders (MEL) in sustaining innovation in the global corporation. The genesis for founding the Institute came from our experience of observing organizations struggle to balance dealing with current complexities while – at the same time – preparing for future change.

Raison d’être

Inability to attain this delicate balance has resulted in many otherwise adept companies failing in rapidly changing markets. Recent business history is replete with firms who have either gone to the corporate graveyard or are now sadly diminished. Over many years of observing and working with both SME’s and large international corporations, the MEL founders – Dr. Udo Dierk and Dr. Phil Dover – became intrigued by the concept of the “ambidextrous organization” and by the formal and informal roles played by various personnel in longitudinally guiding the firm. In particular, we pinpointed the integrative impact of three archetypes – managers, entrepreneurs and leaders – in sustaining the fortunes of the organization. This raises such questions as:

  • What weighting of managerial, entrepreneurial and leadership practices leads to short and long term company success?
  • What balance of skills should be evident in the top management and innovation teams?
  • How are these weights impacted by contextual variables such as industry maturity, company ownership and cultural norms?
  • What are the implications of these findings on such decisions as recruitment, training and designing the innovation process?

Our Approach

We have developed a measurement tool – the MEL Index – that assesses perceptions on the role of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders within the organization while quantifying both individual and institutional competencies on these three dimensions. We are intent on bridging the interests of both practitioners – highly salient real-world application – and applied academics – rigorous conceptual underpinnings – with this initiative.

Vision:

The MEL Institute is dedicated to becoming a leading global provider of research insights and applied guidance on sustaining innovation within the organization.

Mission:

The MEL Institute – through a network of experts conducting and interpreting applied research on the dynamic role of managers, entrepreneurs and leaders – will offer prescriptive direction to organizations throughout the world on:

  • The capabilities required to balance both short and longer term growth
  • How best to navigate the conflict endemic in the “ambidextrous organization”
  • Activities available to acquire desired competencies

The Institute will serve all forms of organization, including family owned businesses and non-profit ventures.

Value Proposition:

For executives concerned with effectively directing the “ambidextrous organization,” as well as applied academics involved in the search for the correlates of continuous success in the rapidly changing environment, the MEL Institute provides unique research insights into the challenges involved in sustaining growth. Our research methodology – including an imaginative way to measure and visually portray manager, entrepreneur and leader capabilities – allows diagnostic decisions to be made on recruitment, training and coaching strategies that enable balanced and longitudinal institutional development.

Who We Are

The MEL Institute was founded by Dr. Udo Dierk, President of ConEdu Consult (www.conedu.com) and formerly Director of the International Center of Management learning (ICML) at the Paderborn Business School FHDW in Germany – an entrepreneurial business school created by Heinz Nixdorf, and early pioneer in computer development – and Dr. Phil Dover, a professor at Babson College in the USA – the world’s leading business school for entrepreneurial studies.[i] Both founders have long histories of working and teaching in the corporate world in many parts of the globe.

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Udo Dierk: Udo had many years of commercial experience before entering academe and starting his own consultancy unit. After receiving his doctorate in mathematics and computer science, he worked for some time as a software developer for Nixdorf Computers. He made a mid-career switch to human resources management at Siemens-Nixdorf, eventually becoming the VP of Management Learning, the Siemens Corporate University. He teaches and consults extensively on organizational development issues and is an acknowledged expert on business-driven action learning. It was his observation of the often conflicting roles of executives that led to the development of our measurement tool, the MEL-Index.

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Phil Dover:  Phil has spent much of his academic career in executive education, teaching and consulting on strategic market management and corporate entrepreneurship topics with a wide variety of technology and service-based organizations. He worked for BP and Nestlé and served on the faculty at Amos Tuck and IMD prior to joining Babson College, where he is now on the faculty of the Marketing Division and a faculty Director at Babson Executive Education. Experiencing countless companies struggling to balance the need for current success with that of future adjustment has provided a reservoir of knowledge for conceptualizing this present project on harmonizing management, entrepreneurial and leadership capabilities.    

Network Partners

Because a critical goal is to build a global data base of MEL findings, we will forge strategic alliances with individuals and institutions to help in this collection process. Our current plan is to have a strong affiliation with a leading business school in each of the USA, Europe and China.

In summary, we are not a typical academic institution. We bring a world of practical experience to a project that has a primary aim of providing real-world application from the research findings. However, we also have the scientific training that allows us to conceptually reflect on and explore phenomena that has concerned both of us and our clients for a long time.  


[i] Financial Times has ranked Babson as the #1 business school for entrepreneurial studies for the past 15 years.