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Waikato MBA class set their sights on London

24 August 2017

Waikato University went to business leaders across New Zealand and asked them what they look for in high-quality executive education courses.

Two clear themes emerged, says Dr Heather Connolly, academic director of Executive Education at Waikato Management School.

First, the ability to deal with complexity and constantly changing business models; and secondly, leadership development.

“To meet these challenges, we also looked at how executives want to learn – which is global best practice, backed-up with experiential, practical, real-life examples from businesses which have already tried different approaches – in some cases succeeding and in others failing," says Dr Connolly.

“The distillation of these real insights is what executives can take back to organisations, making them more effective in their roles immediately."

“Waikato's new-look MBA has been built on these very foundations – and is ranked in the top 1% of MBAs worldwide. We've looked at all aspects of our MBA to make sure it provides executives with the latest thinking, delivered in a modern context," she says.

"For example, other MBAs have been focused on tours that visit export markets like China and India. Instead, we turned this around to identify where true global insights could be brought back to the local economy."

"Which is why, this October, our 40 MBA participants will fly to London to visit two of the UK Catapults – a network of world-learning centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth."

At the Digital Catapult, they will witness the practical application of digital innovation and how this can improve organisational productivity and drive regional growth. 

“Our participants will get up close with these world-class innovations; learn how they have been developed from inception through to commercialisation; understand how to manage the process; and, more importantly, will be able to bring the knowledge back to New Zealand to implement in their own organisations," says Dr Connolly.

“The Future Cities Catapult explores how digital innovation, urban data and citizen-led design can influence city planning into the 21st century’. Even locally, we are seeing the challenges of population growth and how past decisions are affecting the current ability of larger urban areas to support future development," she says.

"Our participants will learn and appreciate the huge opportunities available to develop more liveable and resilient urban infrastructures using new business models."

This article was first published in NZ Business magazine on 22 August 2017.

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