Organizations from many sectors approach business schools for help with a wide range of challenges – to enhance leadership capability, drive innovation, develop management skills, devise and implement strategy, and more.
These short studies of programs run for three different organizations, in collaboration with Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), show three distinct ways customized executive programs can support organizational change:
ING – Empowering People to Stay Ahead
ING Wholesale Banking consulted RSM to support its experienced vice-presidents and directors in further enhancing their capabilities in acting as trusted advisor with C-level executives of their clients and potential clients.
The company’s network of offices in more than 40 countries provides its clients with a broad suite of financial services, including treasury, trade finance service, working capital solutions, international cash management, commodity and export finance, and securities finance.
The ING Wholesale Banking executives further developed their knowledge, skills, and attitudes at RSM. At the end of the program, participants were challenged to apply their newly developed business acumen in the above areas by conducting a strategic dialogue with an ING CFO, in preparation for earning the primary relationship with their clients.
The initial runs of this customised program were so well received that it has been adopted as a mandatory core course in the development track of ING’s wholesale bankers globally.
“We challenge participants to deepen their knowledge in the areas relevant to their clients, for example in strategic management issues, corporate governance, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and banking regulations. This enables them to talk the language of their customers, and understand their challenges.” Dirk Schoenmaker, Professor of Banking and Finance, RSM.
Deutsche Bahn – Keeping Innovation on Track
Deutsche Bahn needed an innovative program to replace its existing senior management development course, so participants would learn how to apply their new knowledge in practice. RSM developed the Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, designed in two modules of three days each.
The first module taught a group of senior managers from various business areas the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for growth and survival. After the highly interactive session, in which participants generated their own business improvement concepts, they tested and validated their ideas using the tools and techniques introduced by facilitator Dr Ferdinand Jaspers. Guest speakers from Deutsche Bahn and other organizations, including entrepreneurs, also enriched the program.
In the second module, participants further developed their ideas and also practised how to pitch these – a new experience for many of the participants. On day two, participants pitched their ideas to young entrepreneurs from Berlin’s thriving start-up community.
The projects worked on by the participants during the modules were diverse and included process reengineering, developing an IT platform to capture improvement innovations across other parts of the business, and setting up a new way of involving the many stakeholders important for the smooth operation of international rail traffic.
“The program was just great: it provided me with the skills to analyse an issue, and test new ideas in a structured way. I have applied this in practice, and re-engineered a process which has improved the way we work and serve our passengers.” Wolfgang Merz, Head of International Business France, Benelux, UK, DB Fernverkehr AG (long-distance railways).
TBI Holdings – Creating a Future
A group of 12 managers from real estate, construction and engineering group TBI Holdings completed a customised executive education program which ran from mid-2015 to mid-2016. The group’s companies had been involved in projects including the construction of Rotterdam’s Markthal, and the renovation of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The overall aim of the program was to challenge and develop TBI managers from sales, operations, finance, IT, purchasing and logistics to prepare them for future senior leadership positions within TBI’s companies.
While the participants were experienced in their fields of expertise, TBI wanted to provide them with business theory and skills on innovation, strategy, sustainability, finance and leadership. In addition, RSM helped develop their creativity and self-sufficiency, intrapreneurship, business acumen, initiative, the ability to sell a vision, and lead in an effective and empathic way.
The RSM Diploma Program consisted of four two to three-day modules about business management, connected by a strategic project which was the red thread throughout the program. Participants attended modules about business model innovation, strategic management, sustainability, and financial management. RSM also guided and supervised the project groups.
“I was impressed by the drive and enthusiasm of the participants and the way that RSM helped them grow from an operational level of thinking to a strategic one in such a short time. For me, that was the most valuable outcome of the program.” Daan Sperling, CEO, TBI Holdings.