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Dealing with Continual Disruptive Change, EMBAs and Career Acceleration

Professional development such as undertaking a part-time Executive MBA (EMBA) can help managers become leaders through helping to accelerate and transform their careers

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It has often been said that the only constant in business is change. I believe we can add that nowadays the only certainly in business is continual disruptive change. Digitization, the internet-of-things and big data among other things are beginning to transform whole sectors such as health and mining in ways never before imagined. Within such a context how might professional development such as undertaking a part-time Executive MBA (EMBA) help managers become leaders through helping to accelerate and transform their careers? There are several features and benefits from undertaking an EMBA which will help such a career transition. These are:

Thinking strategically: This essentially means the ability to think out of the box. Doing an EMBA challenges students to think in positive, creatively and innovative ways when questioning the existing business assumptions most organizations are typically following today. Students learn how to envision the organizations of the future and their likely career roles within them.

Managing across an organization: EMBAs are typically a generalist training and participants learn how to approach an issue from many different perspectives such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, HR and Strategy. The knowledge, skills and confidence learnt then encourages them to apply for jobs up and across their organization as well as career transform to other organizations and Sectors.

Business Acumen: Case studies and simulations taught within EMBA courses never contain all the data about a business issue and therefore students learn how to deal with ambiguity and uncertainly when making and justifying their decisions. Case studies also typically contain conflicting information and therefore students must make trade-offs when making choices for managing complexity. This will likely be critical for developing business acumen for the most senior level jobs of the future.

Soft Skills: Softer skills which includes everything from listening more effectively, emotional intelligence to making an effective sales pitch are critically important soft skills needed for career acceleration. These can be addressed on EMBA courses through offering specialist Workshops.

Value Creating: A very noticeable trend is the increasing number of students and Alumni who want to take sole responsibility for their careers through starting a new venture. Many take the opportunity during their studies to develop a high-quality business plan typically under the expert guidance of both an academic supervisor and industry advisors.

Networking: Building a loosely coupled network of peers is widely regarded as a key success factor for career acceleration. An EMBA course can facilitate this in several ways such as hosting events between current students and Alumni.

The world in which we live in today will continue to change far beyond our wildest imagination. My recommendation for aspiring leaders for helping to deal with continual disruptive change is not about asking the question 'Should I do an EMBA?' but rather is about asking 'When will I do one?'


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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executive mba management digitization networking

Dr. Gary Stockport

The author is professor & Dean, EMBA, SP Jain School of Global Management

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