Genuinely International Focus
The Advanced Management Program (AMP) is a rigorous program that explores the latest management thinking in an increasingly competitive global arena. The participants are senior corporate executives with 15 or more years of management experience.
- Explore innovative policy and implementation ideas;
- Probe the political, economic, social, cultural, and ethical aspects of domestic and international corporate performance;
- Emphasize learning within a framework of intensive corporate renewal and increasing global competition; and
- Enhance participants abilities to lead and change their organizations.
The following interview is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher: Hobsons Publishing of Cambridge and London, UK.
Course Title – Advanced Management Program (AMP)
Country of Origin – UK
Career History – Simon Oddie worked for Schlumberger in the Middle East for several years before returning to London and postgraduate studies. He joined Enterprise Oil in 1984 and worked up through the company to run the Italian operation in Rome in 1995. He returned as General Manager in 1998.
It was a chance to consolidate the management experience I'd built up over many years.
Back to School – I knew people who'd attended HBS, the program offered a genuine international focus, and of course there's the excellent reputation. I wanted an intensive period of study and the nine-week course was ideal.
As a general manager, your ability to be single minded is diminished when you are used to dealing with many situations at once. This was a skill I had to relearn and it was quite difficult, especially as there was so much course study to be done each evening. My ability to read, absorb and understand quickly was severely tested in the first two weeks.
Case Study Method – All courses are taught by the famous Harvard case study method—studying and putting yourself in the place of the executives who made decisions on that project. Each case history is skillfully written to keep your interest and attention, and debate on the rights and wrongs of the study leads to intensive discussion. For me it was a very Powerful and effective way of learning how to formulate strategy.
We began with a case study on Nike as a basic finance module. This was extremely valuable for those of us without a finance background, and led to the main topic areas of Financial Management; Strategy – Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage; Business, Government and International Economy; Information, Organization and Control Systems; and Managing Organizational Effectiveness. Every module had something to offer, and I gained particular benefit from the Financial Management course.
Global Interaction – The courses were structured so that at various times during the day we split into smaller, focused groups for in-depth discussions. 180 people in the program represented 30 nationalities, and this continual interaction of cultures, countries and professions was a major strength of the course.
There's no situation in the corporate world where you're thrown into such a rich mix of people and disciplines, and as you progress in your own field, the ability to create any new network becomes more difficult—you're very much busier and generally tied to your own sector.
The living experience—we were eight per group, all different nationalities and disciplines—was also designed to prompt debate, and was a unique opportunity for someone of my age and background to learn from other businesses and cultures.
Boston was a wonderful location and we socialized by watching baseball and ice hockey games in any free time we had. Nelson Mandela and Richard Branson were just two of the eminent visitors constantly passing through Harvard during my nine weeks there.
Change Direction – Although I have an international background and have worked and lived abroad, I gained much more from the global focus of the program than I could have imagined. It consolidated everything in one heightened learning experience.
The Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program expands horizons and gives you a much broader perspective.