In a world of painfully delicate terms such as “global financial crisis” and “wealth gap”, people on both sides of the social equilibrium often get upset about the stereotypes branded firmly on the classes they represent. Truthfully, however, our society constantly pushes us to become more regardless of our starting point, and striving to do that is what makes a leader – unbound by class or income. But what is the connection between all of that – leadership, capital, globalisation, people?
Global people capital
Let us turn our attention to what the experts say.
First, the globe is converging and thus becoming smaller indeed. According to a report by Deloitte the rapid expansion and universal approval of globalisation was facilitated by the fact that "from around 1980, and for almost three decades, global trade increased at about 7% per annum on average—twice the rate of growth of global GDP," continuing on to note that the 2008 financial crisis only served to bring the speed of trade growth in line with GDP growth.
Second, people have become empowered by unseen levels of connectivity, thus allowing them greater control over their personal, social and work lives. The UN Development Programme claims that "more people have access to a mobile device than to justice or legal services" and that we are witnessing "a new wave of democratisation" as a result of "state-of-the-art technologies and diminishing barriers to entry."
But what about leadership?
Global leadership is local people management. It is about the practical implementation of the complex relations between international capital and national employees. And it is executive MBA education that teaches this strategic thinking to C-level managers.
It all starts with tapping into a network of globally-thinking, and yet locally-raised seniors:
"You meet extraordinary people from 5 continents that will become your friends for life, you have discussions that will change the way you view the world and help you understand yourself better. I have the frameworks in all fields, the network of individuals that can help and the leadership skills to realise our dream," says Anthony Boukather, an INSEAD EMBA graduate and Co-CEO of A.N. Boukhater Holding.
EMBA education teaches cross-cultural soft skills by localising the experience. According to Sophie Mathiaut, Marketing Manager of the Kellog-WHU EMBA programme, students learn about doing business locally in different parts of the world like Asia or Latin America, while also benefiting from a global alumni network.
A citizen of the world
Global EMBA programmes are not bound to one location, and this is one of its greatest benefits. Students are able to travel the world and visit the campuses of the school in order to learn from the best local minds, in addition to catering to their own geographical limitations. This also allows for another advantage – time management. EMBA programmes last longer than full-time MBA i.e. 16 to 21 months, compared to 10-12 months, but that is due to their understanding of the busy schedule of its cohort.
Furthermore, EMBA education allows managers to implement new knowledge and skills on the job right away due to its modular structure and on/off-campus nature. It also provides the framework to fine-tune one's leadership skills and build a personal style by benchmarking with other executives: "I feel that one of the main challenges of executive training is to really get participants to change the way they work. More often than not, you go back to the office and you eventually end up working the same old way. The programme really forced me to re-think how I approached my work," says Caroline Wouters, Vice President at Wolters Kluwer, The Netherlands.
A study by Harvard Business Review claims that today's global companies are transnational in nature and require the leaderships of diverse people. Ultimately, this is exactly what global EMBA education is centred around – transnationalism – or the term behind the ever-green saying "think global, act local".
Education merely follows the trends of the sector it is positioned in, leading to the need of business schools to adapt their curricula and teaching methods to new developments. If global business is about transnationalism, globalisation about localisation, and leadership about people, then EMBA education is about creating global leaders.
This article has been produced by Advent Group and featured in the 2015-2016 Access MBA Guide.