New program starting in Fall 2020
In today’s increasingly complex and chaotic professional world, future leaders and high potentials more than anyone require a wide range of practical leadership tools and a suitable methodology to be braced for the everyday challenges of leadership. In the past, however, the educational offer in this area in Austria left much to be desired. From fall 2020, the WU Executive Academy will offer a Professional Master in Leadership and General Management, which will equip tomorrow’s leaders with tools for innovative leadership methods and modern corporate governance that are not only practice-oriented but also anchored in recent research. The new academic program can be completed in two semesters and is taught in German. To be admitted to this program, applicants need three years’ professional experience and a bachelor’s degree from a university, or hold the academic degree “Diplom Betriebswirt” conferred by the WU Executive Academy.
The coronavirus crisis has changed many areas: work processes, personnel management, business models, and entire industries have been disrupted and thrown into a process of transformation. Executives are suddenly faced with new challenges: skills like farsightedness, business savvy, and the ability to untangle complex economic and social interplays have, almost overnight, become as sought after as a good grasp of innovation and digital technologies. And that applies not only to experienced managers but also to future leaders and high potentials.
This is where the new Professional Master in Leadership & General Management at the WU Executive Academy comes in – and in a compact, part-time format at that.
“It is very important that future leaders are equipped with practical tools and are able to stay fit for the everyday challenges of leadership. Our students are taught the entire range of business essentials by leading experts in business and economics from all over Europe, who furnish them with the latest tools needed to step boldly into the future. This approach might be best compared to a sailboat: you need a solid hull, i.e. the business essentials, and the right sail for each weather (i.e. agile tools and methods) in order to brave even the stormiest waters,” Prof. Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy and Academic Director of the new master’s program, concludes.
The program builds on the existing business education of the participants: admission requirements include three years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree from a university, or the academic degree “Diplom Betriebswirt” conferred by the WU Executive Academy.
The program prepares participants for leading employees innovatively in the complex VUCADD* world. They will use business cases and acquire a diverse range of tried-and-tested tools and methods that are ready to be used at work. Once done with the program, participants will be able to establish new organizational forms within a company and identify and consciously make use of complex social and economic performance factors.
“Students receive a practical leadership toolbox and extensive know-how in all areas relevant for effective corporate governance. Equiped with this advantage they return to their companies to further their transformation,” Stöttinger says. The following topics prepare participants for the VUCADD* business world:
In Corporate Governance, students learn everything they need to know about advanced economics, business and innovative forms of marketing in the digital age.
The Global Markets module trains students’ analysis skills against the backdrop of societal and economic relations and teaches problem-solving and the scenario planning in areas such as ethics and genuine corporate social responsibility that is worthy of its name.
In Strategic Corporate Management, students reflect on the development, management, and positioning of their company, whether as a (future) salaried executive or as a founder.
Another focus is on Marketing and Sales Management as well as Distribution Strategy and Organization: in addition to well-founded theoretical knowledge, practical application is a pivotal issue.
In the area of Personnel and Organization, participants question existing organizational forms and are introduced to new and agile forms of collaboration, which will help them encounter the challenges of our time.
The subject of Innovation Management imparts the expertise needed to create value through innovation in a company and conceive new business models. “There is a whole day set aside for intense reflection on design thinking,” says Stöttinger.
Naturally, students are eager to future-proof their education: the subject of Digitization and Digital Transformation teaches students to utilize opportunities for digital transformation. They get to know new digital methods and acquire a better understanding of digital markets and business models.
The Leadership Lab provides a space for participants to reflect on their own governance behaviors, mindsets, and leadership styles, as well as their readiness to change and adaptability. “Top-down leadership and rigid command and control systems will only get us so far these days. An awareness of our own mindset is vital if we want to make conscious decisions,” Barbara Stöttinger says. Agility, however, is not always the answer. Depending on the business model, sometimes there is nothing wrong with hierarchical leadership – if it is chosen consciously and for strategic reasons. The Leadership Lab aims at giving students a well-reflected sense of their leadership competence to enable them to lead successfully while keeping the corporate DNA in mind.
The program is topped off with the master’s thesis, which participants may write independently or as part of a group. Students reflect on relevant issues of the companies they came from, for instance a market entry study, the launch and initial execution of a change process, or the implementation of an IT system.
With its new Professional Master in Leadership & General Management, the WU Executive Academy provides an ideal opportunity for professionals to benefit from university-based executive education: the Marketing & Sales and Logistics & Supply Chain Management Certificate Programs offer specialized further education to industry experts, while the Certificate Program in Management (“Diplom Betriebswirt”), which graduates of these programs can subsequently enroll in, is designed to convey know-how in the field of general management. The new master’s program is a seamless continuation of the Certificate Program in Management, helping students sharpen their executive profile.
Prof. Barbara Stöttinger
Our Professional Master is also aimed at high potentials who have climbed the career ladder quickly and have already made their mark in informal leading positions or as team leaders. Our program qualifies them for their next career step.
Also department heads benefit from the in-depth expertise conveyed in the areas of digitalization, innovation, and new organizational forms and leading styles. And for those truly devoted to executive education, the completion of the Professional Master need not be the final destination of their life-long-learning journey: as their experience grows, managers can continue their studies with a Professional MBA or an Executive MBA at a later time.
For more information about the Professional Master Leadership & General Management, please click here.
*VUCADD = Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity, Dynamics & Diversity