GSB designs skills injection for busy executives

04 January 2006

The Graduate School of Business (GSB) will run New Millennium Management, a programme tailored to give executives a skills-shot in the arm.

Course director Professor Neil Duffy, one of South Africa's top information and knowledge management experts, said few South African executives had the opportunity to think long-term.

Today's managers face a sea of change and complexity. The question Duffy poses is: are South African business leaders really ready to deal with this?

"There are a number of trends that lend credence to the view that managerial life is tougher than before and getting tougher. These include the destruction of the environment, changing world demographics, terrorism, increasing globalisation, increasing mobility of capital and labour, the emergence of new economic powers like China and India, the impact of technology, global unemployment and the growth of multinational organisations."

He said that global competitiveness is no longer a choice but a prerequisite for individual, corporate and national survival and prosperity.

"Business in South Africa needs to learn to tackle these emerging challenges so that they can shape the future rather than be buffeted by it."

The three-day course will take credible long-term global forecasts, examine their implications for South African managers, and help them develop broad corporate strategies to address them.

According to Elaine Rumboll, director of executive education at the GSB, the course is the "perfect programme" for those who have completed a business school qualification, such as an MBA, and would like to return to that stimulating learning environment.

A benefit is that the course is conducted in workshop mode. "In this sense, the outputs will be an input to the strategic planning processes of the participants. This practical, tailored approach is unique," he said.

"There are four parts to improving your position. First, benefit from tracking long-range global forecasts and using them as inputs to the strategic planning process. Second, use these forecasts to complement your own forecasts and scenario planning. Third, translate long-term forecasts into South African terms, but don't lose the global context in the process. And fourth, take a far more global view in the process of planning your futures or you will find yourselves facing difficult situations that could have been anticipated."

Duffy is emeritus professor of information and knowledge management at Wits Business School.

The programme will run from May 22 to 24.

For more information contact (021) 406 1094 or go to

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