Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  02 Sep 2010

MANAGEMENT: Course To Lift Strategy Skills


Recent Western Cape Business News

A new short course at the UCT Graduate School of Business is to give business leaders the advanced skills needed to devise more creative and effective strategies for success.

The aim of the course is to develop decision makers and strategists who are creative and open to different ways of thinking, seeing and acting. According to two major global leadership studies in the past three months, successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require this flexibility and innovation in business strategies.

According to an IBM survey of more than 1 500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries, less than half of global CEOs believe their enterprises are adequately prepared to handle a highly volatile, increasingly complex business environment. Eight in ten CEOs expect their environment to grow significantly more complex but only 49 percent believe their organisations are equipped to deal with it successfully – the largest leadership challenge identified in eight years of IBM research. CEOs expect revenue from new sources to double over the next five years and 76 percent of CEOs foresee the shift of economic power to rapidly developing markets. 
These findings are backed by the latest Boston Consulting Group and BusinessWeek Global Innovation Survey, which stated executives are gazing on a ‘New Reality’ after the recession. Eighty-three percent of respondents said innovation will be a key part of their strategy for the future, and to remain competitive in the face of rising global competition.

According to Jon Foster-Pedley, Senior Lecturer at the UCT GSB and programme director of the Advanced Strategy for Strategists short course, South Africa can join the ranks of those coming out ahead in the innovation stakes.

The IBM study reveals, for example, that Chinese executives understand that they cannot simply replicate the models they have used in their domestic market when it comes to global markets. CEOs in China are devoting far more energy to building new skills and capabilities than their peers in the West. And it’s paying off – for the first time since it began the survey in 2005, the majority of corporations in the Top 25 of the BCG BusinessWeek study are based outside the US. The reason: the new global leaders led by China, India and Brazil.”

Foster-Pedley said he has designed the Advanced Strategy for Strategists short course at the UCT GSB to help leaders achieve growth in their imagination, techniques and skills when it comes to strategy.

We want to leave leaders with a better ability to practice and facilitate strategy at a senior level and on a large scale – so that their strategies are better, more creative and more resilient,” he said.

The course makes use of orthodox and unorthodox techniques, taken from a range of activities, using design thinking, visual intelligence, systems thinking, decision-making and problem-solving among other methods; it mixes artistry with science to provide a provocative and positive environment for learning.”

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