Jon Anderson, ALE - South Africa, Emma Marsh, RSPB and Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo have all attended the Cranfield Advanced Development Programme.
Previously when a five year plan was mentioned I thought it impossible to know how a business would be in five years and how there was no time to worry about this when the current year’s budget required work to be delivered.
So many positives have come from my time at Cranfield that have allowed me to stay out of the operational detail and really focus on the five year strategy. The most resounding proof of progress for me is the fact that I have no idea how I intended to run my business unit (now units) without the foresight I have developed since attending the Cranfield Advanced Development Programme. It is extremely rewarding to be making deliberate decisions and trade-offs which are achieving a long term, sustainable advantage.
The business is now much more focused with a specific sector and client approach, we have cut out chasing work where we cannot provide advantage. The initial reaction was a nervous one, however the result has been quite the opposite as we know which clients and projects we can add value to and spend more time understanding and supporting these.
Jon Anderson, Director - South Africa, ALE
The Cranfield Advanced Development Programme has been one of the best development experiences of my career to date. It reached every part of what it takes, both personally and professionally, to operate at this level and has given me the skills and confidence to do so comfortably. I couldn't recommend it enough.
Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo, attended the Cranfield Advanced Development Programme following a recommendation by his boss who had attended previously. He knew that Cranfield offered a great learning opportunity for him and he had seen first-hand the practical application of the programme in his organisation. He liked the faculty and the environment Cranfield offered.
Andrew took away a number of valuable insights from the programme; in particular he valued the quality and practical relevance of the lectures to real life business issues, the objectivity of his peers, the networking opportunity they provided and the overall first class resources at Cranfield. The quality of teaching and ongoing support of faculty even after attending the programme four years ago are still of benefit today.
Above all else however, Andrew now feels that he has much better strategic decision making capability and the increased confidence to have ‘difficult’ leadership conversations. This included negotiating with his parent company at that time to sell his business unit to a larger corporate in a complimentary sector. His business needed more capital investment to develop its market potential. The business has since been acquired by Sodexo and been transformed with new capital for expansion within a global business network.
Andrew would sum up the programme as “the best learning and development experience in my professional career” and he would definitely recommend it to others.
Andrew Wilkinson, Managing Director, Sodexo Property Solutions