Why I chose to study an Executive Diploma

04 January 2023

James Montgomerie explores how the Executive Diploma in Organisational Change provided an opportunity for reflection and the space to continue to learn.

Studying for an Executive Diploma has allowed me to do what the political philosopher, Hannah Arendt, called ‘stop and think’.

Indeed, Arendt is mentioned on the Executive Diploma in Organisational Change course where the recommendation to ‘stop and think’ is a key ingredient in planning and designing change in an organisation.

For me, ‘stopping and thinking’ is an important element of my approach in life, both professionally and personally. It allows for reflection and the space to continue to learn. This is important in a world where we see so much change and are regularly confronted with challenges. I also like to think I am a perfectionist – wanting to do things as well as I can – and an Executive Diploma gives you the tools and frameworks to make the best of your professional goals and to be more productive in your business environment.

Stopping to think takes up time and, of course, an Executive Diploma is a large time commitment; but it is time you are investing in yourself and your career. With the right course, this period of learning and reflection can prove an excellent investment.

Studying for an Executive Diploma allows you to broaden your horizons by looking at issues from different perspectives. This can be through reading and gaining insights from some of the greatest thinkers – such as Hannah Arendt – or from your fellow executives on the course who come from different industries and sectors yet struggle with similar issues and challenges. There were many ‘aha’ moments. When comparing notes during coffee breaks or over a cohort dinner and a glass of wine, colleagues speak of ‘lightbulb’ moments.

When I was looking for relevant courses, I found the Executive Diploma at WBS combined a number of features which were important to me. Firstly, I enjoy learning in a class environment, as you learn from colleagues and fellow executives. Secondly, the facilities in The Shard were excellent – central and easy to get to for me. Thirdly, and most importantly, a WBS Executive Diploma gives access to excellent lecturers who are both researchers and practitioners in their respective fields.

Why an Executive Diploma in Organisational Change? In my view, the ability to conceive, develop and execute change in an organisation goes to the heart of being an impactful leader. If you cannot identify, direct and implement change in your organisation it will stagnate, and competitors will overtake. My Executive Diploma has given me an in-depth understanding of an organisation's strategic context, including the nature of the operating environment and how an organisation creates and captures value to ensure it is aligned with the organisation, its vision, mission and strategy, and its capabilities. Identifying and bridging gaps is the key requirement of organisational change and of a good leader.

Having completed the Executive Diploma in Organisational Change, I am confident that I will be a better leader for it. 

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