“Paul Hooper, our Group CEO, had previously experienced some sessions of the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Programme and was really impressed by the faculty, the environment and the people he spent time with. On returning to the organisation and after discussions with our HR function, Paul decided to identify a group of take out ‘senior’ managers who might be potential business leaders of the future. My colleague Sarah and I were fortunate enough to be selected. I was excited to be given this opportunity and then spent some time doing my own research on the programme, I could see that it was a high-quality, well-rounded course which would provide me with a good introduction to general management.
“I was eager to learn about other aspects of business that I don’t encounter on a day-to-day basis. I could see a real benefit in gaining greater insight, understanding and appreciation of the different functions and how they interact with each other. Having a broader perspective allows you to understand how decisions taken in one area of the business can have implications and consequences in another function.
I don’t think there was a single session when I didn’t leave thinking – we could do things differently and for the better.
“My part of the organisation is relatively small but operates on a truly international basis, so one of our key challenges is in ensuring that we use our available resources to greatest effect. Some of the concepts we explored on the programme looked at different ways of organising a business and allowed me to consider how we might best utilise our assets and align the functions to generate more value. It also reinforced for me how important it is in a business like ours, to get things right first time, as you don’t have the luxury to get things wrong. I was really stretched and challenged to think in a different way in order to get a better outcome.
“I was quite humbled that the majority of the class were from overseas and often from large organisations, but it immediately struck me that we all faced very similar challenges. Through discussions in our lectures, it became clear that we often handled issues in very different ways, these insights will encourage me to explore other solutions going forward. I don’t think there was a single session when I didn’t leave thinking – we could do things differently and for the better.
“One of the highlights for me was the opportunity to increase my knowledge and understanding of marketing. Marketing isn’t part of the business I am directly involved with, but I found the insights extremely valuable and it has given me ideas of how we might better present ourselves to the outside world. Interestingly, there’s an innovative wellbeing element to this programme which heightened my awareness of how health can affect your performance at work, of course it helps that Cambridge is such a nice place to study and an amazing, historic setting.
“Now I’m back in the organisation, I think the immediate impact for me is in thinking about our strategy and in setting our budgets for the coming year. What I learnt on the Cambridge General Management Programme will influence this process both in the immediate and longer term, it will help change the course of the ship for a better outcome and inform our strategy over the next five years.”