Gaining new ideas and insights for leading change

30 April 2021

Executive Diploma in Organisational Change participant Susan Ronaldson details how the programme equipped her with the tools to understand change and formulate a new future.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m busy studying culture change theory in support of my coursework on Satya Nadella's approach to cultural change at Microsoft. Only what’s really going through my head is what I’m going to do differently in my approach to culture change when I’m back at work on Monday morning.

If any of you have ever listened to the UK Radio 5 sports panel show Fighting Talk, you’ll know they have a bell that rings every time a competitor makes a good point – for me that is what my Warwick Executive Diploma in Organisational Change is like. Whether in lectures, study groups with my classmates, or while reading the wide variety of articles and books on our reading list, there is a constant stream of bells ringing as something that’s happening at work is explained, someone else articulates a common challenge, or a new framework is taught that I know I can apply at work.

Change is a constant in all organisations, but in a VUCA world the need to keep pace with the environment we operate in is even more important. What has struck me about the Executive Diploma is that approaches to good change management and leadership are themselves changing for this new world.

The programme gives access to the latest ideas and research which is relevant to now rather than standard theory based on the corporations of the 20th century. And it comes alive thanks to the fantastic range of people on the course. There is diversity of experience with participants from across the world from Ireland to India, Germany to the UAE and a wide variety of industries including air lines, charities, banks, public sector and big corporations. Within this difference however, there is so much common ground in the challenges we are facing and learning from. This makes learning from my class one of the most powerful aspects of the course.

My organisation, the National Audit Office, is in the middle of regulatory and technological change that is driving us to a new operating model and ways of working. Our people are at the heart of this, and ensuring that they are engaged and helping to lead change rather than being dragged along by the corporate machine is so important. And this is more so in the context of the past year of the pandemic, as we find new ways to work with each other now and into the future. In that context, my Executive Diploma has been well timed.

The programme is giving me new tools which help me (and allow me to help others) make sense of the challenges and opportunities we face, and to formulate and move towards a new vision of the future. It’s an empowering experience that not only better equips me for my job today, but gives me the skills and curiosity to ensure that I will continue to learn way beyond the formal end of the course.

Find out more about the Warwick Executive Diplomas.