Smart Moves: How to learn in a global classroom

Today's Tuesday, this must be Hong Kong. No, not the bemused mutterings of a jet-lagged traveller, but the words of an international executive on a business management course.

Our German manager from Lufthansa will have flown in to the former British colony on whistlestop tours of LG, the Korean conglomerate, and Standard Chartered Bank, as part of his international training programme. After that, the next stop could be Brazil to see how ABB, the international engineering group, adapts its working practices to local conditions.

The globetrotting executive is already a well-established figure in the international picture. But he is now being joined by the global executive on a management training course. Why hold dry in-house study programmes, regurgitating old ideas, when the environment that today's top-flight executives operate in is global? Business schools have responded by offering courses in which the international element is the linchpin. At London Business School's Global Business Consortium, for example, a senior manager each from ABB, BT, LG, Lufthansa, SKF and Standard Chartered Bank come together each year to learn about how different global businesses operate.

Each of the regions of Europe, Asia and South America are represented in the operations of these six blue-chip multinationals. The emphasis is on participants learning from each other.Insights into cultural pitfalls and practical guidance are also part of the package.

But the only way of getting a feel for the special considerations of operating on the ground in another country is to visit the region itself and meet local leaders, academics and senior managers. Here course participants will aim to get the low-down on the relationship between global strategy and regional characteristics. Each of the participating companies acts as host to the other five as part of the module-based learning programme. On site they will work in a cross-country team analysing various aspects of the host company's strategy.

The Ashridge European Partnership MBA has been running since September. Three German companies - Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank and Merck - have formed a consortium enabling employees to study for an MBA with Ashridge Management College, in Hertfordshire.

"The English learning atmosphere is different from the German," said Dr Peter Weicht, director of personnel and organisational development at Merck, the international chemical and pharmaceutical group. "It is good for team building, which will be very important between different cultures. In England there is a more relaxed relationship between lecturer and student."

Ashridge, in particular, holds great store on recruiting its faculty from all over the world

Dr Martin Moehrle, head of management development for Deutsche Bank, also favours global training. "In Germany we are too domestically oriented and internationally it is a must to be exposed to the English language and to other industries."

He was impressed, too, by the "modern approach" of the MBA compared with its more technical, accounting-led German equivalent which is less concerned with leadership issues.

Another plus for organisations embracing the international element in training is that it will help them to attract those ambitious men and women who want to continue their studies. These training add-ons enable high-flyers to carry on with education without leaving the company.

DeutscheBank, in particular, has felt the sting of talented employees leaving to carry on learning, only to join another company later.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones