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Equipping Managers with skills for Operational Excellence

  Aug 17, 2018

Operational excellence might mean different things based on what each leader perceives as a deliverable. There are some variability across organizations in their interpretation of operational excellence. For others, operational excellence is about creating the right work culture, and for some operational excellence has been defined in terms of operational results.

How then, can middle managers with the task of cultivating an operational excellence culture, navigate the dynamics of defining the different deliverables and attaining a continuous process improvement?

The Programme for Management Development allows functional managers to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities, re-assess their views on the current business environment, refine their judgment and enhance their skills set for effective team leadership. During their third Module, executives get an opportunity to reflect upon their operational excellence strategy through an experiential and cultural immersion programme conducted in Gordon Institute of Business Studies in South Africa, an affiliate of the University of Pretoria.

South Africa attracts many professionals and big multinationals. It’s currently home to more than 75% of all top global companies in Africa. Some of the global companies with a presence in South Africa include luxury car manufacturers BMW, the Standard Bank Group, Barclays Bank, Vodafone (one of the world’s largest communication companies), Volkswagen, and General Electric. There is also FirstRand, Sasol, Sanlam, and MTN Group. An attraction for big businesses to South Africa is its human resources. The efficiency and smooth operation of these large companies depend on the caliber of its labor force in which the South African labor force has been able to grasp.

With a population of 250 million people, cities in the East African region are fast growing into leading destinations for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods multinationals looking to expand into Middle East and Africa.

What lessons can leaders from East Africa derive from South Africa’s operational excellence as illustrated by its ability to implement organizational strategies?

“A special focus for the Business School as it endeavors to nurture leaders in middle management, especially during their third module, is operational excellence, continuous process improvement, innovation and emotional intelligence,” remarked Terry Kinyua head of Customised Programmes and Consultancy services at Strathmore Business School.”

Middle managers are usually team managers with the duties and responsibilities of managing the overall operations, effective and successful management of labor, productivity and quality control.

“Because of the crucial role middle managers play in overseeing the operational aspects of the organisation, they remain pivotal in spearheading the strategic implementation of the organisation which is key. The international module ensures that the participants are absorbed into the practical elements of operational excellence through simulation business gaming. We also ensure that they build up their self-leadership mastery, by taking them through personality and leadership psychometric test which enables them to realign their persona to their leadership style for an effective management strategy. All this blended with learning series of emotional intelligence and cultural emersion, the international module is definitely an experience all middle managers should take part in,” explained Terry Kinyua.

Intake for Program for Management Development 2019 is ongoing. Click here to learn more about the programme.

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