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In Further Detail

If you want to know how to manage with more impact and better connections to the people around you, this course is for you. You will analyse in detail the main challenges you face, with input from International faculty and – even more importantly – experienced managers from around the world. This is an unusual opportunity to examine the complex reality you manage, especially the aspects that cant be solved by an off-the-shelf quick fix. Rather, you will be guided through a ‘slow fix’ – and by the end of the week you will be clear about what to do.

At the same time you will have gained deep insight into management in other cultures and industries, working on the challenges faced by peers from all over the world – experienced managers dedicated to a level of understanding that goes beyond abstract theory or first impressions.

This course is about connecting – to peers, to your values, to humane and effective ways of managing. We look forward to getting to know you and the managerial challenges you face.

Managing Around the World: RoundTables for Experienced Managers is a one-week intensive course for people who find themselves leading and managing in complex environments. Now in its 15th year, the course has a reputation for both thoughtfulness and pragmatism. The course is unusual in several ways: it is centred around the current managerial challenges that participants face in their jobs; there are very few formal lectures – but skilled and experienced faculty work alongside participants in structured activities – not role-play or management games: but detailed and sustained analysis, based on innovative concepts and techniques.

Some of these are described in more detail on this website; but often the most important ingredients are the conversations that happen in between, amongst participants and with faculty.

We think in terms of three sorts of learning on the RoundTables for Experienced Managers (RTs) programme, which are invaluable to the development of the students on our MBA programme. Learning about content; learning from process; and learning from context. Content traditionally dominates MBA programmes, provided by faculty in formal presentations and lectures. At the RTs, content by faculty and representatives of various organisations means only the start of the potential learning.

The primary source of content is engaging with other managers from across the world, much more than what could be achieved in class. Indeed, the process followed at the RTs focus on interactive and informative discussions and activities, designed to probe deeply into the resources that all the participants (as well as faculty) bring to the event. As such, participants learn more about themselves and about how activities can be well managed from the process of working with fellow participants and the practices of management. Learnings and observations are integrated and embedded through reflective processes. The RTs process also provide tools to take back home and work with.

The specific context of the RTs provide an invaluable experience to MBA students, with participants and faculty representing many different cultures, from many different countries and business sectors, in a unique context. When our students observe and experience a different context closely and sensitively – and then consider their reactions carefully – they discover an enormous amount about ourselves and our managerial challenges. The new context becomes a mirror reflecting back to them all sorts of new understanding of themselves as individuals, leaders and managers.

The seamless and unique integration of content, process and context provide an unrivalled developmental opportunity to any person. In the words of one recent MBA participant: “The setup of the programme in itself is fantastic. There is nothing but praise from my side as the teachings and frameworks really exposed me to new ways of thinking and contributed to my personal growth."

Mias de Klerk
Professor and Head of Research, University of Stellenbosch
CoachingOurselvesLogo_wTag_English.png

Does an orchestra need a conductor? Does a class need a-professor? Well, sometimes, but not always – a lot of good work gets done by disciplined, good-natured and timely conversations amongst skilful, experienced and curious practitioners. Coaching Ourselves is a process for managers to quite literally coach themselves in groups of 5-8, and to improve their day-to-day practice and understanding. You will engage in some of this work, and receive all you need to take the method and materials back into your workplace – just one of several ready-to-use tools from the course.

(For more details see www.coachingourselves.com).

Company Visits

In the middle of the week you will visit local companies to study how they are managed. In small groups of people from various backgrounds you will spend half a day inside an organisation, observing management in real time. In an industry and sector different to your own, you are there to examine complex aspects of values, power and responsibility. With your international team from diverse backgrounds you will educe original insights into the process of managing, and present these to follow Roundtables participants. Later in the week you might have the chance to engage agin with executives from the company you visited. In the meantime you will hear from your classmates who visited other companies – and together you will identify key points of comparison and contrast that you can later apply to your own job.

These visits are always a highlight of the program – drawing on the privileged contacts of our local hosts, they offer intriguing insights and also a profound mirror onto your assumptions about managerial work.