What is a responsible leader?
From including the right stakeholders to ensuring that you're selling the mission and purpose, and from driving innovation to enabling others to think in new ways – these mechanics are the key points that Alistair Edwards, MBA alum & Associate Global Portfolio Director at Novo Nordisk has taken with him as a responsible leader, post MBA.
“The MBA was really the first exposure I had to this way of thinking,” Alistair explains. “The way I think about responsible leadership is by interrogating how you bring a team on a journey with you. How do you lead them along a path which covers different elements of the leadership role you want to fill.”
“Underneath, there's the details around exactly what it means to different industries too,” Alistair says, “You have to think about leadership from a personal level, from a sustainability level, as well as from an environmental and social perspective, and that's actually quantified and factored into assessing performance across the organisation. So there's a very real impact to it.”
This is Alistair’s second role post-MBA and he has noticed a tangible requirement for leadership ability, “Every senior role, especially the ones that I've been through, have required you to think about this kind of thing,” he says, “It is a skill and a set of learnings that you pick up in the MBA and you really have an opportunity to use them, they're really in demand in the workplace.”
How is the MBA structured around leadership?
The CBS MBA programme is first and foremost a general management MBA that brings together all the critical skills required by today’s leaders. The focus is predominantly on providing participants with an overall structure of management and leadership to enhance their understanding from both a theoretical and practical perspective.
“The sustainability and responsible management aspect is a real core part of the program,” Admissions Manager Andrew Mellor says, “Also, being in Denmark, we definitely walk the talk around sustainability, it’s part of the culture here.”
Accelerating your career
Fundamentally, an MBA experience will elevate your career, that’s why at CBS, there is a year long modulewhich focusses expressly on helping you achieve your professional goals.
As Andy says, “Something that really comes across as a direct consequence of the program itself are the post-MBA careers. Participants are looking to elevate their career through an MBA so we spend a lot of time with you one-to-one, focused on careers both through the module itself where you’re spending class time, but you’ll also you have an alumni mentor who we try and align to your post MBA goals.”
The Leadership Discovery Process
An essential element of the CBS MBA is the Leadership Discovery Process, which enables participants to get hands-on experience leading. As Andy says, “We want you to be able to get to know yourself better as a leader throughout the program so again you can take your career to that next level after you graduate.”
The Leadership Discovery Process is where participants spend the most time outside of the classroom. It’s where they can apply the concepts around leadership that they’ve learnt and actually get an opportunity (in a safer environment) to put these concepts into practice through leadership simulation exercises. “It’s very reflexive,” explains Andrew, “We want you to get to know yourself a lot better as a leader after that particular module.”
For Alistair, it enabled him to deploy his skills and discover how he operates as a leader. “One moment you're going to be leading the group, other times you're going to be supporting, but you still have to assist with the leadership function from that position.”
“It’s an opportunity to put what you've learned into action,” he adds.