Competition winner: Outstanding Case Teacher - Euvin Naidoo

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Euvin Naidoo won the Outstanding Case Teacher Competition at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2024. #CaseAwards2024

Euvin is Distinguished Professor of Practice for Global Accounting, Risk and Agility at Thunderbird School of Global Management. 

Outstanding Case Teacher Euvin Naidoo

Euvin’s teaching at Thunderbird focuses on accounting, risk, board governance, agility, digital transformation and artificial intelligence. In January 2024, he launched Thunderbird’s inaugural programme on artificial intelligence, “AI and the Future of Work”.

While accounting, financial reporting and control is at the core of Euvin’s teaching, he has used the case method to transform a lecture-based subject that initially elicited apprehension among students into one that is now consistently rated as a favourite and transformational for many students and executives.

A firm believer in “learning by doing”, Euvin uses cutting edge digital tables to deliver a high-impact case experience for his programmes. Students work to engage in a case and synthesise information in real time and deliver insights as part of a “learn by walking around” philosophy, inspired by Peter Drucker. 

Euvin regularly uses roleplay in his case teaching to simulate workplace and boardroom scenarios, with a focus on also having participants develop a skill set to ask the right questions. He is perfectly placed to do so, drawing on his experiences as former Managing Director and Partner for the Boston Consulting Group’s Banking and Public Sector Practices across Africa with a focus on innovation, digital transformation, agility, ESG, risk and controls.  

Through his ingenious application of the case method, Euvin crafts dynamic and engaging environments that captivate students and executives, fostering a passion for learning. This accolade is not just a recognition of Euvin’s exceptional teaching skills, but a testament to a deep commitment to excellence and innovation aimed at pushing the boundaries of traditional education.

Euvin is also Director of the Thunderbird Case Series. Researched and developed by faculty, the cases are used in Thunderbird degree programmes and executive education environments to illustrate real-world global management occurrences, and initiate deep analysis and professor/student discussion of causes and solutions. 

Furthermore, Euvin is heavily involved in several global platforms including the World Economic Forum (WEF) where he currently serves on the WEF’s Global Future Council on the Future of Job Creation, focused on the role of tertiary institutions in re-skilling, up-skilling and new-skilling society in the age of artificial intelligence. 

Euvin has received numerous awards and accolades during his illustrious career. He is the two times recipient of the best professor award (part time) at Wits Business School in South Africa. He was also selected as the opening speaker at TEDGlobal, highlighting his commitment to inter-disciplinary collaboration being at the heart of creating workable solutions to address the world’s most complex management challenges.

Hear from Euvin

Euvin said: “As the Director of the Thunderbird Case Series, I am deeply committed to fostering a global culture of curiosity and learning through cases. My role involves guiding students and professors alike in crafting their first case studies and facilitating masterclass workshops on best practices in case writing. 

“We are proud to publish cases from around the world, emphasising global perspectives, diversity, and cutting-edge topics that align with Thunderbird's mission to develop global leaders ready to embrace new frontiers. This work is not just a job; it's a passion for advancing knowledge and understanding across international boundaries.”

Outstanding Case Teacher Euvin Naidoo

On winning the award…

He continued: “Winning this award is a reflection of the collaborative spirit of the wonderful professors, colleagues and students I work alongside, celebrating our shared dedication to the case method and experiential learning.

"It reaffirms my commitment to creating an engaging and impactful learning environment that empowers students and executive leaders alike to be lifelong learners. I am humbled by this recognition, seeing it as a celebration of the collective effort of our community, grounded in curiosity, problem solving and smart experimentation. I am grateful to my students, colleagues and mentors for the inspiration and support they provide to continuously co-create, explore and innovate.”

On teaching with cases…

Euvin explained: “Teaching with cases is an opportunity to bring real-world challenges into the classroom, encouraging critical thinking and practical application of theoretical frameworks. This method not only builds analytical skills but also fosters empathy, communication, and leadership among students. It's a dynamic and interactive way to learn, offering insights that prepare students for the complexities of leadership and decision-making. The joy and impact of case teaching lies in seeing students teach each other, with the professor guiding the discussion towards deep, actionable insights.”

He added: “I am most proud of the transformative impact case discussions have on students' perspectives and their professional growth.

“Witnessing students overcome their fears of numbers through our accounting immersion programmes and seeing them embrace these challenges with enthusiasm has been particularly rewarding. The feedback from students across various geographies affirming the value and impact of these courses is testament to the power of innovative teaching methods. Moments like the Creative Industries cohort's heartfelt acknowledgment of accounting as their favourite subject highlights the impact of passionate, student-centred teaching.”

Final word…

Euvin concluded: “Collaborating with Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Nelson Mandela, Turnaround Leader case was a defining moment in my career, illustrating the profound impact of cases on understanding leadership and change. This experience, among others, has reinforced my belief in the case method as an essential tool for developing critical thinking, empathy, and leadership skills. It's a privilege to facilitate learning journeys that not only impart knowledge but also inspire action and change.”

TESTIMONIALS 

Hear from Euvin’s students and colleagues.

“As Thunderbird’s curriculum is global and case based, I have witnessed many award-winning case teaching professors excel in their classrooms over my three decades of academic career. Euvin Naidoo takes case teaching to a whole new level. He is not only many Thunderbird students’ favourite professor, but also conducts case teaching workshops regularly to share his best practices with his colleagues.

“Euvin teaches a core subject at the graduate level that many students dread to take – accounting. However, he is able to make accounting come alive by using real-life cases, role plays, interactive engagement, contemporary articles and the current news, and a flipped classroom approach. Students learn by doing, experiencing, and seeing the subject via contemporary real-life examples. The subject is taught to ignite students’ curiosity by asking controversial questions that spark active discussions. Students discuss why a particular concept is important, how it is applied to the real world, and how it matters to leaders across public/private and non-profit sectors. 

“In addition, each student wears a teaching hat and encourages other students to learn from each other. They not only gain deep understanding of the subject matter, but also build a safe environment that fosters active learning.

“Euvin also brings innovation to the classroom by employing cutting edge technology to facilitate his teaching. At Thunderbird, we have a classroom full of large touch tables that allow students to open up different windows for collaborative work digitally. Euvin conducts his session by asking students at each touch table to take a different principle from the case to make their principle come alive. He also throws in curve balls and has students manage the unforeseen disruptions in real time. His students learn to handle disruptions, manage their teams successfully during the process, and demonstrate agile leadership ability.”

Lena Booth, Deputy Dean and Finance Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“Euvin Naidoo is not only deserving of the award but he epitomises what it means to be an outstanding case teacher.    

“I have worked with Professor Naidoo since he joined the Thunderbird School of Global Management in July 2021. We have been colleagues in the classroom, and Professor Naidoo has been an integral part of a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional executive education programme that I lead on behalf of Thunderbird for the Sultanate of Oman. As such, I feel very confident in my ability to speak to his extraordinary teaching abilities, especially as it relates to case teaching.

“For most students accounting is a challenging and lacklustre course that they simply must do. Nothing could be further from the truth when they walk into Professor Naidoo’s classroom. Through case-based teaching, he brings the classroom to life; students are transformed into actors on the stage, drawn into the story through role playing, carefully crafted scenarios designed to challenge their assumptions, all the while building their knowledge base and skills. Real world events are delicately woven into his teaching to ensure novelty and relevance, equipping them with the ability to extrapolate their learnings and apply within a myriad of other contexts. His approach not only teaches the fundamentals of accounting but soft skills and life lessons that they will draw upon in their professional and personal lives.

“The dynamic nature of Professor Naidoo’s teaching is also evidenced in his employment of cutting-edge technologies including digital tables (think giant iPads). The table case, The Agile Manifesto, has allowed Professor Naidoo’s students to engage with cases in a new format, accelerating their learnings through inter-team engagement, while challenging them in real time when their tables are “hacked”. What happens next when the data is stolen, and the digital tables are in control of an unknown third party? And what does success look like for these students, along with that of their peers? These are the questions that Professor Naidoo’s students must grapple with as they navigate the case and the classroom, learning lessons that they will never forget.”

Diana Bowman, Associate Dean for Applied Research and Partnerships; Professor and Co-Director Center for Smart Cities and Regions, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“In the Spring of 2023, I enrolled in Professor Naidoo's Global Accounting course at Thunderbird. It was intellectually robust and insightful, using a flipped classroom and case method that built a strong foundation in managerial accounting. Professor Naidoo led expert discussions, diving deep into each case, promoting engagement, and unravelling complexities in learning objectives and their application. The curriculum covered balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, fostering fluency in U.S. GAAP and IFRS standards making accounting unexpectedly engaging.

“Professor Naidoo's video debriefs dissected cases, clarifying rationale and enhancing comprehension of accounting principles and decision-making. Combined with outstanding classroom activities, it created a rich learning environment, emphasising knowledge retention and analytical acumen development. Professor Naidoo's approach blended theory and practice, preparing us for the complex world of financial decision-making.

“Following my enriching experience in the Global Accounting course, I eagerly pursued enrollment in the Agile Leadership and Case Writing course during the summer of 2023, taught by Thunderbird's Deputy Dean, Mary Teagarden, and Professor Naidoo. In this class, we honed our skills in deconstructing case structures, deciphering their underlying significance, and mastering the art of effectively conveying complex content through compelling storytelling. We delved deep into the intricacies and architectural nuances of iconic case studies, transforming what was once a daunting endeavour into a cornerstone of my academic process. The Agile Leadership and Case Writing course has significantly sharpened my critical thinking abilities and enhanced my capacity for effective collaboration by utilising multimedia cases and cutting-edge tools to encourage learning and leadership. My new outlook inspired me to found the Case Series Club at Thunderbird to share this knowledge with my colleagues so we all may excel in our professional and personal endeavours.

“Professor Naidoo's teaching and mentorship have profoundly influenced and inspired my aspirations and capabilities. His pedagogical approach, firmly rooted in the principles of case method learning and applied to the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, leverages cutting-edge tools to elevate the educational experience. There is no more deserving candidate for the distinction of Outstanding Case Teacher than Professor Naidoo.”

Matthew Derminio, Student and President of the Case Series Club, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

JUDGES VIEWPOINT 

The competition was judged by Natasha Katuta Mwila, DeMontfort University; Nirmalya Kumar, Singapore Management University; and Vicky Lester, The Case Centre.

Judges 2024

“Euvin is a respected academic and thought leader in his field. Thunderbird School of Global Management boasts many top case teachers, proving just how strong Euvin’s credentials are. 

“Among the competition entrants, Euvin distinguished himself through his innovative teaching approach using the case method - a challenging feat, especially in the accounting field. His methods encompass digital table cases, role-playing scenarios, diverse protagonists, introduction of new protagonists, and a broad spectrum of views and perspectives.

"Euvin's case teaching style actively engages students. Undoubtedly, he has demonstrated unparalleled passion and motivation for the case method."

Vicky Lester, on behalf of the judging panel.

THE TEACHER 

The teacher

Euvin is Distinguished Professor of Practice for Global Accounting, Risk and Agility at Thunderbird School of Global Management. 

Outstanding Case Teacher Euvin Naidoo

Euvin’s teaching at Thunderbird focuses on accounting, risk, board governance, agility, digital transformation and artificial intelligence. In January 2024, he launched Thunderbird’s inaugural programme on artificial intelligence, “AI and the Future of Work”.

While accounting, financial reporting and control is at the core of Euvin’s teaching, he has used the case method to transform a lecture-based subject that initially elicited apprehension among students into one that is now consistently rated as a favourite and transformational for many students and executives.

A firm believer in “learning by doing”, Euvin uses cutting edge digital tables to deliver a high-impact case experience for his programmes. Students work to engage in a case and synthesise information in real time and deliver insights as part of a “learn by walking around” philosophy, inspired by Peter Drucker. 

Euvin regularly uses roleplay in his case teaching to simulate workplace and boardroom scenarios, with a focus on also having participants develop a skill set to ask the right questions. He is perfectly placed to do so, drawing on his experiences as former Managing Director and Partner for the Boston Consulting Group’s Banking and Public Sector Practices across Africa with a focus on innovation, digital transformation, agility, ESG, risk and controls.  

Through his ingenious application of the case method, Euvin crafts dynamic and engaging environments that captivate students and executives, fostering a passion for learning. This accolade is not just a recognition of Euvin’s exceptional teaching skills, but a testament to a deep commitment to excellence and innovation aimed at pushing the boundaries of traditional education.

Euvin is also Director of the Thunderbird Case Series. Researched and developed by faculty, the cases are used in Thunderbird degree programmes and executive education environments to illustrate real-world global management occurrences, and initiate deep analysis and professor/student discussion of causes and solutions. 

Furthermore, Euvin is heavily involved in several global platforms including the World Economic Forum (WEF) where he currently serves on the WEF’s Global Future Council on the Future of Job Creation, focused on the role of tertiary institutions in re-skilling, up-skilling and new-skilling society in the age of artificial intelligence. 

Euvin has received numerous awards and accolades during his illustrious career. He is the two times recipient of the best professor award (part time) at Wits Business School in South Africa. He was also selected as the opening speaker at TEDGlobal, highlighting his commitment to inter-disciplinary collaboration being at the heart of creating workable solutions to address the world’s most complex management challenges.

Hear from Euvin

Euvin said: “As the Director of the Thunderbird Case Series, I am deeply committed to fostering a global culture of curiosity and learning through cases. My role involves guiding students and professors alike in crafting their first case studies and facilitating masterclass workshops on best practices in case writing. 

“We are proud to publish cases from around the world, emphasising global perspectives, diversity, and cutting-edge topics that align with Thunderbird's mission to develop global leaders ready to embrace new frontiers. This work is not just a job; it's a passion for advancing knowledge and understanding across international boundaries.”

Outstanding Case Teacher Euvin Naidoo

On winning the award…

He continued: “Winning this award is a reflection of the collaborative spirit of the wonderful professors, colleagues and students I work alongside, celebrating our shared dedication to the case method and experiential learning.

"It reaffirms my commitment to creating an engaging and impactful learning environment that empowers students and executive leaders alike to be lifelong learners. I am humbled by this recognition, seeing it as a celebration of the collective effort of our community, grounded in curiosity, problem solving and smart experimentation. I am grateful to my students, colleagues and mentors for the inspiration and support they provide to continuously co-create, explore and innovate.”

On teaching with cases…

Euvin explained: “Teaching with cases is an opportunity to bring real-world challenges into the classroom, encouraging critical thinking and practical application of theoretical frameworks. This method not only builds analytical skills but also fosters empathy, communication, and leadership among students. It's a dynamic and interactive way to learn, offering insights that prepare students for the complexities of leadership and decision-making. The joy and impact of case teaching lies in seeing students teach each other, with the professor guiding the discussion towards deep, actionable insights.”

He added: “I am most proud of the transformative impact case discussions have on students' perspectives and their professional growth.

“Witnessing students overcome their fears of numbers through our accounting immersion programmes and seeing them embrace these challenges with enthusiasm has been particularly rewarding. The feedback from students across various geographies affirming the value and impact of these courses is testament to the power of innovative teaching methods. Moments like the Creative Industries cohort's heartfelt acknowledgment of accounting as their favourite subject highlights the impact of passionate, student-centred teaching.”

Final word…

Euvin concluded: “Collaborating with Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Nelson Mandela, Turnaround Leader case was a defining moment in my career, illustrating the profound impact of cases on understanding leadership and change. This experience, among others, has reinforced my belief in the case method as an essential tool for developing critical thinking, empathy, and leadership skills. It's a privilege to facilitate learning journeys that not only impart knowledge but also inspire action and change.”

TESTIMONIALS 

Testimonials

Hear from Euvin’s students and colleagues.

“As Thunderbird’s curriculum is global and case based, I have witnessed many award-winning case teaching professors excel in their classrooms over my three decades of academic career. Euvin Naidoo takes case teaching to a whole new level. He is not only many Thunderbird students’ favourite professor, but also conducts case teaching workshops regularly to share his best practices with his colleagues.

“Euvin teaches a core subject at the graduate level that many students dread to take – accounting. However, he is able to make accounting come alive by using real-life cases, role plays, interactive engagement, contemporary articles and the current news, and a flipped classroom approach. Students learn by doing, experiencing, and seeing the subject via contemporary real-life examples. The subject is taught to ignite students’ curiosity by asking controversial questions that spark active discussions. Students discuss why a particular concept is important, how it is applied to the real world, and how it matters to leaders across public/private and non-profit sectors. 

“In addition, each student wears a teaching hat and encourages other students to learn from each other. They not only gain deep understanding of the subject matter, but also build a safe environment that fosters active learning.

“Euvin also brings innovation to the classroom by employing cutting edge technology to facilitate his teaching. At Thunderbird, we have a classroom full of large touch tables that allow students to open up different windows for collaborative work digitally. Euvin conducts his session by asking students at each touch table to take a different principle from the case to make their principle come alive. He also throws in curve balls and has students manage the unforeseen disruptions in real time. His students learn to handle disruptions, manage their teams successfully during the process, and demonstrate agile leadership ability.”

Lena Booth, Deputy Dean and Finance Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“Euvin Naidoo is not only deserving of the award but he epitomises what it means to be an outstanding case teacher.    

“I have worked with Professor Naidoo since he joined the Thunderbird School of Global Management in July 2021. We have been colleagues in the classroom, and Professor Naidoo has been an integral part of a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional executive education programme that I lead on behalf of Thunderbird for the Sultanate of Oman. As such, I feel very confident in my ability to speak to his extraordinary teaching abilities, especially as it relates to case teaching.

“For most students accounting is a challenging and lacklustre course that they simply must do. Nothing could be further from the truth when they walk into Professor Naidoo’s classroom. Through case-based teaching, he brings the classroom to life; students are transformed into actors on the stage, drawn into the story through role playing, carefully crafted scenarios designed to challenge their assumptions, all the while building their knowledge base and skills. Real world events are delicately woven into his teaching to ensure novelty and relevance, equipping them with the ability to extrapolate their learnings and apply within a myriad of other contexts. His approach not only teaches the fundamentals of accounting but soft skills and life lessons that they will draw upon in their professional and personal lives.

“The dynamic nature of Professor Naidoo’s teaching is also evidenced in his employment of cutting-edge technologies including digital tables (think giant iPads). The table case, The Agile Manifesto, has allowed Professor Naidoo’s students to engage with cases in a new format, accelerating their learnings through inter-team engagement, while challenging them in real time when their tables are “hacked”. What happens next when the data is stolen, and the digital tables are in control of an unknown third party? And what does success look like for these students, along with that of their peers? These are the questions that Professor Naidoo’s students must grapple with as they navigate the case and the classroom, learning lessons that they will never forget.”

Diana Bowman, Associate Dean for Applied Research and Partnerships; Professor and Co-Director Center for Smart Cities and Regions, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“In the Spring of 2023, I enrolled in Professor Naidoo's Global Accounting course at Thunderbird. It was intellectually robust and insightful, using a flipped classroom and case method that built a strong foundation in managerial accounting. Professor Naidoo led expert discussions, diving deep into each case, promoting engagement, and unravelling complexities in learning objectives and their application. The curriculum covered balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, fostering fluency in U.S. GAAP and IFRS standards making accounting unexpectedly engaging.

“Professor Naidoo's video debriefs dissected cases, clarifying rationale and enhancing comprehension of accounting principles and decision-making. Combined with outstanding classroom activities, it created a rich learning environment, emphasising knowledge retention and analytical acumen development. Professor Naidoo's approach blended theory and practice, preparing us for the complex world of financial decision-making.

“Following my enriching experience in the Global Accounting course, I eagerly pursued enrollment in the Agile Leadership and Case Writing course during the summer of 2023, taught by Thunderbird's Deputy Dean, Mary Teagarden, and Professor Naidoo. In this class, we honed our skills in deconstructing case structures, deciphering their underlying significance, and mastering the art of effectively conveying complex content through compelling storytelling. We delved deep into the intricacies and architectural nuances of iconic case studies, transforming what was once a daunting endeavour into a cornerstone of my academic process. The Agile Leadership and Case Writing course has significantly sharpened my critical thinking abilities and enhanced my capacity for effective collaboration by utilising multimedia cases and cutting-edge tools to encourage learning and leadership. My new outlook inspired me to found the Case Series Club at Thunderbird to share this knowledge with my colleagues so we all may excel in our professional and personal endeavours.

“Professor Naidoo's teaching and mentorship have profoundly influenced and inspired my aspirations and capabilities. His pedagogical approach, firmly rooted in the principles of case method learning and applied to the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, leverages cutting-edge tools to elevate the educational experience. There is no more deserving candidate for the distinction of Outstanding Case Teacher than Professor Naidoo.”

Matthew Derminio, Student and President of the Case Series Club, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

JUDGES VIEWPOINT 

Judges viewpoint

The competition was judged by Natasha Katuta Mwila, DeMontfort University; Nirmalya Kumar, Singapore Management University; and Vicky Lester, The Case Centre.

Judges 2024

“Euvin is a respected academic and thought leader in his field. Thunderbird School of Global Management boasts many top case teachers, proving just how strong Euvin’s credentials are. 

“Among the competition entrants, Euvin distinguished himself through his innovative teaching approach using the case method - a challenging feat, especially in the accounting field. His methods encompass digital table cases, role-playing scenarios, diverse protagonists, introduction of new protagonists, and a broad spectrum of views and perspectives.

"Euvin's case teaching style actively engages students. Undoubtedly, he has demonstrated unparalleled passion and motivation for the case method."

Vicky Lester, on behalf of the judging panel.

THE TEACHER 

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