Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS
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The coloured fins of the Alliance Manchester Business School building

Patricia Perlman-Dee, Stuart Wells

Professor of Finance and Director of Custom Programmes and Managing Director for Executive Education

Custom Made

Demand for customised executive education programmes is soaring.

Whether it’s navigating the rapidly changing world of work, tackling continuous disruption, or dealing with huge challenges around data and AI, it’s probably never been a tougher time to be running a business.

In response to these challenges we have seen significant growth in our customised executive education programmes in recent years, able as we are to draw on our track record of using our business research and industry experience to deliver innovative and practical tailor-made programmes for clients.

Never has the application of our 'Original Thinking Applied' ethos been more relevant as we turn our cutting-edge research into practice across all our programmes. Academics that deliver on our custom programmes also benefit greatly as it gives them the opportunity to develop relationships with senior executives in international organisations, so helping to initiate transformational thinking but also lead to further collaborations.

International growth

We believe our commitment to excellence in research and teaching, our strong industry connections, and investment in new programmes and initiatives have supported our growth both in the UK and internationally.

We have worked collaboratively across the world with a wide range of leading organisations, public sector bodies and governments, and this huge experience makes us extremely well-placed to deliver the right solutions for clients today.

Over the last couple of years we have seen particular growth across the Middle East and Asia, as well as in the UK. This growth has also been supported by the launch of our new portfolio of open programmes last year, which acted as a catalyst to showcase our capabilities and build engagement with both existing and new clients.

In particular, we have recently established new partnerships with clients in the likes of Malaysia, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, as well as more widely across Africa.

The work complements the existing executive education relationships that we have with organisations in China that we have developed since 1986. Indeed, we are now delivering again to organisations from China and are hosting a number of summer schools for Chinese participants this year.

Saudi-British Fellowship Programme

Last year we designed the Saudi-British Fellowship Programme in partnership with The Council for Foundations and Leaders Development. This programme was designed for KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) not-for-profit leaders to empower them to lead change and develop the work of their organisation and the sector. Following the successful delivery of the first cohort we look to continue to expand this partnership.

New relationships have also been formed with Suman Education International, and with the international schools group Wellington College, China. We have also extended our relationships with BP Egypt, Siemens, and with our range of summer schools.

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Deep relationships

Not only do we work with organisations to deliver custom programmes, but we also look to deepen our relationships with clients, drawing on and learning from their industry expertise.

A good example of this is our work with sustainable glass bottling company Vidrala for whom we recently delivered their Strategic Leadership Programme. This consisted of four blocks, each with masterclasses and workshops aligned to the company's strategy, providing it with an understanding and ability to develop transformational strategies, fully aligned with business goals and objectives.

Another growth area is around project management. Almost every business will lead a major project at some point, no matter their size, industry or location, and we have seen this highlighted through our portfolio.

For instance, this year we have been working with the National Trust in delivering their Complex Project Sponsorship programme designed to support the organisation's leadership team navigate the challenges of executing new projects.

The programme consists of a series of masterclasses over six months and enables participants to consider the challenges of leading complex projects and how to engage stakeholders. After successfully delivering a first programme, further cohorts are planned into 2025.

Manchester impact

Finally, it is also worth mentioning the considerable benefits to Manchester of running our programmes. Following the opening of our new Executive Education Centre on campus in 2018, it is fantastic (in the wake of the pandemic) to see this now back in use week-in-week-out for the delivery of our programmes, welcoming delegates from across the globe as organisations and individuals look to re-connect in person.

It is always a pleasure delivering internationally for our clients, but the Centre also allows us to welcome our international clients to Manchester and explore our city's rich heritage and thriving culture while they are studying here.

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