VENTURES AFRICA- One of Africa’s prestigious business schools, University of Cape Town‘s Graduate School of Business (GSB) collaborating with top Canadian business school, the Rotman School of Management, Toronto, to offer a new programme – Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice – specialising in Innovation Leadership. The programme begins in December 2012 and runs until December 2013.
According to the Director of the GSB, Professor Walter Baets, the programme begins in December 2012 and runs until December 2013 will focus on approaching innovation from a fresh angle.
Innovation is a much sought after skill in leaders, but training in the area is severely lacking, says Baets.
“For the first time, two top schools are coming together to combine two different perspectives on tackling innovation, with expertise from both schools being used to build and teach on the programme,” Beats said.
“The course is premised on the notion that the world is a holistic entity and you have to treat it as such. Can business leaders innovate, not technologically, but in our business models? Can we, for instance, design from the bottom of the pyramid, not just the top? Questions such as this are crucial for the survival and sustainability of companies,” says Baets.
The 12-month programme will feature both school heads – the Dean of the Rotman School of Management, Professor Roger Martin and Beats- teaching core principles.
The programme consists of four modules, each bringing different perspectives to bear on the topic. The modules are spaced over eight months, with a six-week inter-modular period during which a work assignment and position paper will be set to take participants’ learning and reflection to deeper levels.
Rotman brings its expertise to two modules: integrative thinking and business design, and the GSB bring its experience in systems thinking and organisational learning, all of which come together into one comprehensive programme.
“We thought it would be interesting to bring these different aspects together, and then ask participants to reflect on their own decision-making processes – to bring their own personal ways of tackling these problems into the course,” Jennifer Riel, Director of Content and Communications at Rotman, and lecturer on the programme, says.
“Wicked problems are the complex social and developmental business problems that change as you work through them. To begin to solve these, one has to apply new ways of thinking,” Riel posits.
In a related development, GSB will be showcasing its leading business programmes including the Masters in Business Administration at the Meikles Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe; giving business leaders and entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe the opportunity to see what the business school is offering.
The GSB MBA is the only programme in Africa ranked in the Financial Times’ Top 100 Global MBA’s. It has also received acclaim for the international scope of its curriculum, which nonetheless retains a distinctive orientation to the business context of Africa.