After completing his MBA at Warwick Business School 10 years ago, Mark Woodward looked to the Executive Diploma in Digital leadership to update his knowledge.
A promotion at work to Head of Digital was the much-needed catalyst that led me to undertaking the Executive Diploma in Digital Leadership at Warwick Business School (WBS).
The motivations were many but in the new role the need to upgrade my knowledge and boost my digital toolkit were apparent, to me at least. It had been 10 years since I had completed my MBA, also at WBS, and if truth be told a part of me had a touch of the ‘imposter syndrome’ as I took over a team of 20 digital natives and joined the IT leadership team as a marketer.
Despite 15 years working at the coalface of the digital transformation in large corporates I still felt like a newcomer, a digital non-native, so to speak.
At WBS I was buying the brand. One of the world’s best and most respected business schools and one that I knew could deliver. Whether I could was a different matter but I operate with the confidence that comes with a (naïve) lifelong philosophy that says I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to. And now I sit here today, just one project away from completing the Executive Diploma.
The course was very attractive because it is designed so that you can apply tools, techniques and learnings as the course progresses. This allowed me to drive immediate value back into my organisation. As an alumnus of the WBS Distance Learning MBA (2010) I already knew how valuable and important this was both in terms of embedding knowledge but also generating tangible benefits personally, professionally and for my organisation.
I also understood and was motivated by the network you build with fellow students, from diverse backgrounds, cultures and industries. This leads to rich discussions, debates and maximises the learning. I am still in touch with and derive mutual benefit from contacts I made on the MBA more than 10 years ago and I know that will be the same with my current cohort.
A key thing this year has done is equip me with the knowledge to ask the right questions. Working with some major thinkers in the digital field I have a much better idea of the digital disruption to come and what the major challenges and opportunities are around the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and using data and analytics for competitive advantage. To cement my learning I am now working on a multi-sided platform strategy that will, I hope, accelerate the digital disruption in real estate.
At the time of my MBA I worked in regional publishing but my dissertation was on the profit opportunity of internet estate agency. Here I am, a decade later, having worked in a major UK property group and working on how to transform it. This is not fate. I believe you shape your future by your thinking and actions today.
I invite you to shape yours!