As a preface, I would like to mention that before I entered the Academy for this course, the idea of such training, taking into account the essence of my work, came to my mind about 2 years ago. I was looking for an excuse for lack of time, money, family issues, etc. Probably, everything in life does not happen by chance, because at that moment, when I faced with certain difficulties at work, I once again thought that it would be great to broaden my horizons, and I came across an article in Forbes about the Academy and this program.
I don’t want to describe it with trivial characteristics in the format “it was very useful”, “I learned a lot of new things”, etc. I will say one thing – when you are a leader (I am sure many of the leaders who will read this article can agree) you must constantly “look ahead” if you want the company to develop. Strategic thinking is extremely important, and, unfortunately, it often occurs in practice when, in fairly large companies, CEOs, and sometimes even founders, perform the functions of the chief operating officer, directing each process, without delegating their powers and freeing up their time for more important strategic tasks. Expanding my strategic thinking and learning how to delegate powers effectively was one of my top priorities at the beginning of my studies. While studying the program, I encountered a number of questions that, to be honest, I did not even think about: how to build an effective organizational structure, taking into account the specifics of the business; how to effectively take into account the influence of external and internal factors on the operational strategy; what types of analysis should be carried out when developing strategies; what types of strategies should be used, taking into account various factors, etc. As long as you work “as you are used to”, you do not think that perhaps you are acting incorrectly and understand this better earlier, starting to study. Studying at the Academy provided me with 2 principal things: tools and an understanding that the learning process for someone who wants to develop is on-going:).
The strength of the course I would like to point out is the books of the Academy. I know that not every business school gives such a detailed description of the materials. A person cannot remember everything, so it is very important to be able to periodically re-read what he/she has learned. The books of the Academy in this regard are as efficient as possible. For all the books I can give one general characteristic: everything is VERY accessible. In my practice, these are the first business books that were so easy to read and understand. In practice, the applicability has been already achieved, then I will describe in more detail how I have used the knowledge gained. A lot of tools have been given. I think it is impossible to introduce and use everything even in a year, since the sequence of actions and innovations is important. The main thing now is where to spy :).
Online seminars are also productive. One of my colleagues at the company was studying an MBA program at another university, and somehow I invited her to listen to one of our marketing seminars. She was surprised. I know, she was even upset and later expressed her complaints to her teachers on their style of training: why they do not have the same efficient format :).
Based on the results of the training, I decided that any changes should start from the basics. It’s like in a pyramid, where you can’t build higher if the base is moving. Therefore, the first thing in the company was to revise the mission, vision and values. Organizational structure has been adjusted. Updated quality management strategy launched. Introduced deeper analytics of sales performance to understand where to invest. In some production areas, innovations with incentive systems were introduced, which led to a significant increase in the number of customers over the current year. Today we are engaged in optimization of business processes in the company, since over the years of its existence the company has changed and those processes that worked 5 years ago are not always effective today. We are self-critical of this process, wanting to succeed, we involve employees in the development of adjustments so that the changes are effective. We began to devote more time to corporate things in order to demonstrate the success of the company and each individual employee: we kept on holding general meetings, corporate events for recreation, training programs, issuing a monthly corporate magazine, organizing rating systems with monthly financial bonuses. The process of collecting feedback from clients was revised to take into account their wishes about our work as much as possible. I don’t want to say that a lot has been done, because I understand that there is still a lot of work ahead. The main thing is the development strategy that we follow, and the desire of many people to make the company better and more successful.
I am very grateful to the teachers, especially Iurii Kagarlitskii. In addition to an interesting and productive format of work during face-to-face tutorials, he provided assistance while I was writing my thesis. He really helped. Sometimes, at 10 p.m. I sent him letters with questions, and he, even being abroad, answered.
The templates really helped a lot: we have already applied BCG-matrix, Gantt chart, sales performance analysis, SWOT analysis and competitiveness analysis with colleagues in practice. In general, it helps a lot for practical activity when, in addition to theory, there is a template with an example that you can disassemble and immediately use for yourself.
As a result, I can say that the program met my expectations and that’s what I call a positive return of money and time. I am sure the company performance will prove it.
Executive MBA program, full-time training, Class of 09/01/2017.