March 2017 has been an exceptionally rewarding time for the MBA having been fully approved to launch our new boardroom-based programme from September 2017. The month began well with an incredible Saturday on 4th March when we hosted our One Day Board Experience.
The MBA Mini Board Room Concept
The multi-stakeholder event was designed as an opportunity for participants to consider how board-ready they are using the mechanisms designed into our new MBA philosophy. Current MBA participants, alumni, MBA Faculty, special guests and client organisations joined together to replicate in a condensed and miniaturised way how our Shadow Advisory Boards (SABs) will work in our new MBA programme. Participants form a complete SAB and individually take responsibility for specific roles in order to provide 360 degree strategic solutions for host organisations. The focus for this Board Experience was an Entrepreneurial context and we were delighted that MBA alumnus Fiona McCambridge acted as the host organisation with her Fintech start up.
Having considered the 10 key attributes we believe are essential for professional directors, Fiona shared her value proposition. Each team was tasked with reviewing the proposition and developing a priorities list for the next six months to enable a successful company launch.
Bringing Experts Into The MBA Board-Room
Valuable insights were injected into the day by special guests and authors of LID Publishing who generously supported the day. Jonathan Gifford and Dr Mark Powell co-authors of Perform to Win and My Steam Engine Is Broken challenged us to be more creative. We were also privileged that Dr Herbert Henzler author of Pushing the Boundaries and ex McKinsey CEO took an early flight from Munich to speak and work with our Shadow Advisory Boards.
While providing an overview of his experiences having led McKinsey Europe, Dr Henzler spoke about his personal learning through his career and addressed a range of questions. The need to remain mentally and physically fit to perform at your best as a leader made a lasting impression with the audience. Not becoming a ‘one winged bird’ was one lesson he shared to illustrate that careers only fly when we maintain a good work-life balance. Mid-semester our MBA participants were heartened to hear that making time for sociable activities was an integral part of leadership development.
Pitching to a Panel
The teams were invited to pitch their solutions to Fiona and an expert panel made up from MBA Faculty and seasoned entrepreneur and MBA alumnus Keiron Sparrowhawk. To help them prepare Jonathan Gifford and Mark Powell cited examples from the performing arts world with videos from Mark’s champion dancing days along with more recent examples of Ed Balls strutting around BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing stage. The essence of their well-made point was that when we work at senior levels we are all exceptional with regard to our technical ability. What makes the difference to whether you win rests on how much your performance is applauded. Without a great performance you are just the same as everyone else. Even without technical competence, being liked and respected for an overall exceptional performance can carry you a long was (as was indeed demonstrated by Mr Balls!). We certainly saw their message struck a chord with the audience and resulted in some notable pitch performances at the end of the day.
Overall the day worked exceptionally well with the mix of multiple stakeholders there. It was a great example of how the MBA Community with multi-stakeholders leads to some highly effective collaboration. Meeting Fiona after the event she confirmed that participating as a host organisation meant she has saved six months of work and she is taking up some of the recommendations that were proposed.
So one day may not seem like much time but certainly during this one day we not only heard from some amazing guests, enjoyed some valuable networking but also collectively crowd-sourced some excellent solutions. I would say that between us we really did demonstrate that collectively we acted as great leaders, strategists, stewards, innovators, entrepreneurs, digital advocates, investors, change agents and mostly collaborators.
Many thanks go to everyone attended. Our Microsite remains open with pictures from the day.
Thank you to Dr Kellie Vincent, the MBA Director for writing this review. We hope you can join our next One Day Board Experience on Saturday 17th June 2017.