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Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) Feature: Estelle Thirion

The opportunity to enrol in the USB-ED’s Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) Programme was first suggested to Estelle Thirion as part of her career development with the aim to become more equipped with strategic building blocks to use within the workplace and her (still growing) department.

She shares that “As a Food Scientist, working in a major FMCG business, the goal of developing, regulating and maintaining products is fulfilling, detailed and focused, but to build a team around it, managing people and responsibilities, building processes and procedures, career paths and objectives, I realised that most of my growth to date was still very operational driven;  I needed better strategic understanding. I needed tools behind my decision-makings; names and structure to the things I might have already been doing in some way and adding confidence and strategy to leading my department.”

Estelle says that she quickly realised that, “SMDP was more than just a Senior Management Programme. Starting our programme in the middle of the hard lockdown, months after our business was bought over and in a major merger process, the SMDP modules gave me tools and strategic thinking ability to use actual work-related issues and strategically find solutions for it. In a work environment where practical work is critical, remote working challenges urgently needed a re-think within our department, but also within the bigger side of our business to ensure agile-ness and solutions. Taking some of my assignments “in-house” and taking the time to practice it on my team, supported us with actual feedback and solutions for real-life business issues.”

She found the SMPD to be a fulfilling journey. She said it is a programme in which you learn more about yourself, your leadership skills and how to equip yourself to manage through implementing different supportive behaviours (such as coaching, directing, delegating and supporting). “The strategic tools taught in SMDP are easily implementable in different work environments and will show great outcomes.”

For prospective SMDP participants, she says to “Embrace the opportunity and learn as much as you can. Doing SMDP on top of a full day’s work and family will be tough, but knowingly, push through the amazing five months marathon and it will support you for years to come.”

In today’s rapidly changing environment, organisations are being exposed to a completely new way of working. Towards this, management and leaders need to be taking things to the next level. Over the course of 6 months, this senior management training empowers participants with invaluable tools to:

  • Develop leadership thinking
  • Explore strategic concepts and integrative strategy
  • Evaluate new frameworks and tools to support sustainable business
  • Interpret the challenges of globalisation and its effect on business
  • Assess and report on the financial viability of organisations
  • Develop foresight and navigate shifts in organisational forms
  • Determine the importance of changing business models
  • Formulate strategies for customer value creation using design thinking
  • Apply project management tools and techniques to plan and execute projects efficiently and effectively
  • Interpret and demonstrate the relationship between various strategic, operational and leadership themes

Our 2021 Senior Management Development Programmes (SMDP)s are still for enrolment here.

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