Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

Managing Complex Business Challenges

Learn to embrace ambiguity and discover new approaches to managing the complex challenges that your organisation faces.

Uncertainty effects every organisation, but the most successful ones learn to embrace the unknown and discover how to use this to their advantage.

Find out more about the course from Professor Paolo Quattrone:

4 days
Upcoming sessions:
15-18 Oct 2024 - 20% discount available
Contributes to the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership

Key information

Course topics

Course lead, Professor Paolo Quattrone, is a highly experienced academic who has held multiple international research positions and has recently been awarded an Interdisciplinary Leader Award from the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM). 

During this course, you will work alongside curious and open-minded business leaders to deconstruct conventional management approaches and tackle challenges with a new perspective. A data led approach will help you to ask the right questions to reach successful conclusions.

Day one:

  • Deconstruct conventional management styles, exploring their pros and cons
  • Analyse the relationship between knowledge, rationality, action, and change and its impact on business challenges
  • Understand the governance of decision-making and how data can inform decisions

Day two:

  • Discover new management strategies when dealing with complex challenges
  • Focus on the principles of managing ambiguity and dealing with inevitable tensions
  • Learn practical skills and principles to strengthen your ability to make reasonable and wise decisions

Day three:

  • Understand how new management approaches can be applied to your organisation
  • Analyse how business challenges link supply and value chains to social and environmental issues
  • An introduction to the Maieutic Machine, a tool used to improve the quality of decision making in business challenges

Day four:

  • Reflect on new ideas which support complex decision-making
  • Build your own Maieutic Machine and consider the effectiveness of your current communication, mediation, and engagement
  • Take part in final group presentations, testing your new knowledge in a risk-free environment

During the course, you will have a range of opportunities to get to know your class, including a course dinner which offers the chance to come together with a wider cohort of short-course learners to help expand your network.

How you learn

By utilising cutting-edge research which has been applied widely in the public and private sector, you will discover how to implement customisable frameworks, techniques, and strategies into your organisation that focus on embracing complexities and uncertainty within business.

Throughout the course, you will hear from leading industry experts, network with a variety of business leaders and work with other delegates to apply core aspects of the course to your organisation.

During your time on this course, you will gain several stand-out learning experiences, including:

Applied Learning - A learning environment created by the course facilitator that draws on the experience and input of your course peers.

Knowledge Transfer - A steady stream of feedback from participating peers with diverse business backgrounds to help build your leadership skills.

Reflection - A rare time-out to contemplate your own leadership capabilities and challenges while engaging with our world-class faculty.

Network Expansion - An expanding professional network drawn from your peers.

Personal Growth - An expanding self-awareness of your own leadership competencies and how they can be honed.

Behavioural Change - An adoption of new rationales and mindsets that improve your managerial skills.

As part of this course, you will gain access to our comprehensive virtual learning environment before, during and after your time with us. Here, you will find course materials, including pre-work, slides, case studies, and recommended readings, all conveniently available to aid your learning.

At the end of the course, you continue to have access to this online learning area and the University of Manchester online library for up to one year, supporting you to embed your new toolkit of skills and knowledge back into your workplace.

How you benefit
  • Develop a refreshed mindset, thinking outside the box on organisational ambiguity
  • Learn to live with ambiguity, rather than avoiding it
  • Discover alternative ways of designing data visualisations to cope with uncertainty
  • Explore how to reframe challenges into opportunities
  • Gain expert insights through real-world case studies and industry speakers
How your organisation benefits
  • Suggest improvements to your organisation’s governance practices to better manage complex problems and challenges
  • Implement customised models and frameworks to cope with conflicting demands, ambiguity, and uncertainty
  • Begin to build an opportunist attitude towards hurdles within your organisation’s culture
  • Strengthen decision-making processes through teamwork and diffused leadership
  • Seek ways your organisation can profit from inevitable tensions surrounding complex decisions 
Who should attend

This course is designed for senior business and government leaders who are curious, open-minded, and willing to explore new approaches to solving their business’s problems.

Whether you are a programme leader, are involved in business innovation, or perhaps your role focuses on strategic planning, this course will provide you with practical management insights which encourage you to rethink how you govern complexity, engage your team, and communicate with key stakeholders.

Past delegates include:

Course Lead

Paolo Quattrone is a Professor of Accounting, Governance and Society at Alliance Manchester Business School. He has extensive experience researching uncertainty and discovering counterintuitive and innovative solutions to highly complex business scenarios.

Paolo has a wide range of experience delivering professional development programmes, and through his enthusiastic, highly applied approach to teaching, he connects theory with practice to allow delegates to deconstruct conventional management styles and make way to explore unique approaches to complex challenges.

Paolo also incorporates elements of the Maieutic Machine into his teaching, a set of principles that help managers improve the quality and maturity of decision-making practices in the face of uncertainty.


Upon successful completion of this short business course, participants will be awarded the Manchester Professional Certificate in Managing Complex Business Challenges.

You will also receive a digital Manchester Professional Certificate in Managing Complex Business Challenges from Accredible, in the form of an online certificate and badge which can be displayed on LinkedIn profiles and represents completion and participation in the course.

You can choose to curate your own curriculum by attending any four courses from our extensive portfolio. On completion of the four courses of your choice, you will be awarded the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership.

As part of the professional diploma, you will receive three executive coaching sessions.

These sessions will help you to apply your continued learning directly into your organisation, identify the specific skills needed to enhance your leadership capabilities, and align your professional development goals with the wider goals of your organisation.

Staying in Manchester

If you choose to stay in Manchester during your time on one of our short business courses, you can benefit from preferential rates at the Hyatt Hotel, a modern and elegant hotel located at the heart of our campus and adjoining the Executive Education centre.

Learn more about the Hyatt Hotel >>

Quote image

The course revealed an entirely different approach to managing decisions and governance and it has been transformational in altering my thinking behind making decisions.

Jonathan Falder, Director and Owner, HMG Paints Ltd.

Speak to a team member

If you have any questions or would like to chat to us about this course and how it could benefit you, please get in touch with the course advisor.

Quincy Ernest

Quincy Ernest

Client Relations Manager

Contact us

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