Business School in pioneering project to develop global leaders

29 May 2011

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The Global Executive Leadership Programme

Encouraging New Zealand managers to adopt a "global mindset" in order to achieve the international growth potential of their businesses is the aim of a pilot programme being developed by The University of Auckland Business School, in conjunction with business growth centre The ICEHOUSE and the United States-based Thunderbird School of Global Management.

The experiential Global Executive Leadership Programme, designed and delivered by the consortium, is funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and comes in the wake of research by the Ministry of Economic Development showing that the management practices of the country's manufacturers are "middling to average" by global standards. The programme, which is targeted at senior executives, owners and directors, aims to accelerate the learning process for globalising companies and improve their likelihood of success in overseas markets.

"Teaching staff and management from across the Business School and The ICEHOUSE are involved in the initiative", says the Business School's Director of Executive Development, Darren Levy.

"This programme has been identified as critical in executing the strategies of both NZTE and the Business School for fostering a truly global mindset in New Zealand companies."

In December 2010, a project team from the Business School and The ICEHOUSE spent time at the Arizona campus of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which has been rated the best in the world for globally-focused executive education by the Wall Street Journal. The oldest and largest graduate school in the United States specialising in international management and global business, it also has course partners in Beijing, Geneva, Monterrey (Mexico) and Moscow.

During a reciprocal visit to Auckland in February 2011, the Thunderbird members of the design team met with Business School faculty and senior business leaders to share their insights into what it takes to be globally successful. The team continues to work closely on a virtual basis to develop the ground-breaking programme, which is scheduled to launch in Auckland in August and which will involve visits to China and the US.

Levy says the project is an opportunity to build a significant and mutually beneficial relationship with a world-class institution.

"Already there have been spillover benefits. Thunderbird has identified potential faculty from the Business School who can assist with a current project in the United States. Conversations have also been had about MBA exchanges and the possibility of Thunderbird faculty guest lecturing here."

Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the Global Executive Leadership Programme has been designed from the ground up to ensure that it will have a significant and measurable impact on participants and their businesses.