After completing his MBA at Warwick Business School 10 years ago, Mark looked to the Executive Diploma in Digital leadership to update his knowledge.
Executive Diploma in Digital Leadership participant, Antonio Yupanqui Raygada, shares why he decided to join the programme and how the experience has made him feel more prepared to tackle new challenges.
It’s hard to find any space in our lives where digital transformation hasn’t caused a big impact. We interact with the world through digital tools, regardless of whether we are at work, on holiday, or just at home. The digital revolution is everywhere you look. It was quite clear for me that I needed to find a programme where I could dive into the latest theories, concepts and frameworks of digital transformation and better understand how successful organisations have managed to generate value from their digital journey, the new opportunities they discovered or unlocked and how markets benefit from it.
Having previously followed my MBA and another Diploma in the UK, I was well aware of WBS’s reputation. Coming from a non IT background the Digital Leadership programme offered just what I was looking for. It was designed to explain the technicality of some concepts such as AI or machine learning but just enough for us to have a wider view and understanding rather than diving into technical complexity of algorithm and programming. We spent a great deal of time learning the business potential and opportunities digitalisation has to offer and the course provided us with more tools to manage the transformation and become digital leaders. The course structure allows you to balance work and studies. Being based in Lima, Peru, I was ready to travel once every eight – ten weeks to follow the programme in London, I knew it was quite feasible since whilst I could stay at the top of my work, I could also travel and fully engage and enjoy full day lectures for a week. However, the pandemic hit us all and forced us to stay home for the course. Given the time difference, I still remember waking up in the middle of the night to start classes at 3am. Fortunately, WBS has an extremely well developed online infrastructure (no surprise that the WBS Distance Learning MBA programme is ranked No. 1 in the world according to the Financial Times) and lecturers were able to deliver the content whilst we could interact with them and amongst each other.
The course helped me to understand not just the frameworks but how complex and wide digital transformation really is, and how people at all levels of the organisation must be ready to embrace change, be innovative, flexible and sharp to create and extract value from digital technologies. One of the insights that I value the most from the course, is that we as leaders and managers need to be ambassadors for digital transformation. Digital transformation requires hard technical skills but also requires committed leaders who understand the concepts and softly but decisively lead the team through the journey.
At the beginning of the course, and working in the graphic industry, I had planned to develop the concept of Smart Packaging for my final project, and whilst I still pursued and in fact developed AR technology for our packaging division, I changed it later on thanks to the topics covered during the programme. As a Commercial Director who specialised in B2B markets, I found it useful to write on the use of Analytics and AI to make the sales funnel more predictable and ultimately improve conversion rates, and also how digital engagement and specially ecommerce, is shaping the B2B business landscape. Thanks to the materials we saw in class and having the Warwick library at our disposal, I was able to conduct my research on those matters. I think in part this reflects what an educational journey is, during that journey you learn, question previous ideas and emerge, more prepared and ready to tackle new challenges, and in our post pandemic world, many of these challenges will have a digital angle.