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50 Second Q&A: Maja Korica

All 50 Second Q&As

An associate professor at Warwick Business School, Maja Korica’s  research focuses on understanding the nuances of complex and rarely seen organizational settings, particularly at the top of organizational hierarchies.

What book are you currently reading?

I am a ‘multiple books on the go’ kind of a reader. At the moment, I am making my way through Omar Saif Ghobash’s ‘Letters to a Young Muslim’, and ‘We are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama’.

How do you describe what you do?

I spend longer periods of time with interesting people in fascinating organisations or contexts, to understand what they do and how. Then I discuss that with my students at Warwick Business School, and write about it as well.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My mother, for teaching me tolerance and providing perspective. My partner, for being unapologetically himself, and living a life of principles. Everyday people I know and meet.

What does success look like?

Freedom to do and say what you feel is right, consistently, without apologies, and to make this possible for others as well.

What is your competitive advantage?

I am not sure it is or needs to be a competitive advantage – I prefer to talk of more or less unique skills we each have. In my case, it’s likely engaging with everyone as a human being, whose individuality I respect and want to understand in nuanced ways. Earning almost instantaneous trust is key in my research – and people don’t give that easily.

How do you keep your thinking fresh?

Detaching myself from my every day as much as possible by travelling frequently. Seeking out interesting people, the more seemingly different from me the better. Chatting to everyone I encounter- you never know what people can teach you.

How much time do you spend travelling?

As much as possible – it is one of the great privileges of my life.

What is the secret of a great presentation?

A light-hearted joke at the start, and a human story to tie it all together.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Give time to others. Find your people, and work together to make it fun. Learn to say no. But mostly, do your own thing, with integrity.

What is your next goal?

To go back into the field and finish up our project interviewing experts on how on-the-ground coordination happens in refugee emergencies. An important and continually relevant subject, plus fascinating people whose experiences ought to shape our thinking.

Describe yourself in three words.

Engaged. Curious. Surprising.