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Specialists and above all managers in almost all areas of corporate activity must be able to engage in business-focused thinking, decision-making and action that go above and beyond their respective core competencies.
A globally positioned manufacturer of electric motors with more than 10,000 employees and several dozen production sites is planning a practical, compact but comprehensive business training course for specialists and managers, with the aim of maintaining and building on its position in the market as a successful, profitable company. The range of participants is broad, heterogeneous and international; they work at different sites on different parts of the value chain. They include a range of experts with management responsibilities or duties within the company who have very different backgrounds in the sciences, technology and engineering.
In two 3-day sessions of close collaboration between the client and our experts, we break down the business interactions and processes within the company, as well as how they relate to the various departments, and map them onto a series of intensive, interactive modules.
The particular challenge of this project lies in embracing the participants’ heterogeneity while at the same time using it to gain multiple different viewpoints. We must also ensure that the ideas arising in the course of this compact development programme gain enough traction for participants to incorporate them into their daily working routines.
Our first step is carry out a preliminary analysis in order to assess the participants’ relative level of knowledge, so that we can adjust the emphases in modules 1 and 2 – which cover the fundamentals of business administration, accounting, cost accounting and controlling – in response to participants’ needs. To prepare the participants for the different functions involved in managing business across the group as a whole, as well as within each individual company, the programme then focuses on various site-specific topics and factors. Exercises involving comparisons between different sites provide the participants with further insights. In the concluding workshop, the insights and skills they have acquired during the course are tested in realistic simulations “played” by competing teams, helping to firmly embed the knowledge acquired in the first two modules by demonstrating its practical application.
Analysis of the excellent feedback from participants and the company clearly shows that the analysis of participants’ needs, the combination of needs-based modules covering business fundamentals, and the subsequent simulations in the hands-on workshop, helped to deliver successful outcomes. Standard programmes in particular require exceptional care and attention!