New executive MBS in Innovation and Leadership

Walking the walk - new Innovation and Leadership Masters for NW businesses.

Innovation is the buzz word of the 21st century, but what does it mean?  Michael Margey, Lecturer in the School of Business, suggests innovation can often be misconstrued.  “Innovation doesn’t have to be new to the world, it can be new to your company.  I believe innovation is about significant business development.  It can be about bringing something new to your business model, product/service or process that will make a positive difference.”

Michael Margey has been involved in putting together a new type of course for business people, where innovation and learning is focused on taking action rather than talking the talk.

“We started out with a gut feeling that there was a gap to deliver an executive Masters for experienced company leaders in the North West .  We began by sounding out the business community, economic development agencies and opinion formers in the region.”

The team at LYIT was obsessed with putting together an executive Masters which was action-based, work-based, and offered flexible attendance.  “It was paramount to us that this Masters had to meet the needs of business and be innovative in how it was delivered and the quality of the content.  Above all, it had to be applicable to the business on the ground,” says Margey.

It soon became apparent that there was an appetite for such a programme, and Údarás na Gaeltachta and FÁS helped to directly fund the Masters.  The new executive MBS in Innovation and Leadership introduced by LYIT last year, is aimed at business owners and senior managers in the North West region.

Its participants are nearly through the first year and include a diverse mix of leaders from small and large organisations in the NW.  These include: IBEC, Pramerica, Boston Scientific, NW Tourism, Seagate, Doherty Joinery, Mc Sharry & Foley Financial Services (Sligo), ISS Ltd, Highland Radio, Medisize, Natural Dairies Ltd and Proiseail (an Clochan Liath) Teo.

Eugene Doherty, Doherty Furniture and Kitchen Makers, says it’s been very beneficial, “being part of this group of like-minded people gives me a peer group which I respect and trust because they have an immense collective knowledge in the world of business leadership, it has also shown me the great advantages of working for myself in my own business."

According to Head of School of Business, Billy Bennett, “The aims of this Masters are routed in reality and being able to have a direct impact on the business performance.  The goal is to offer new skills in leadership, ideas, process and management which can be directly applied to real ‘live’ challenges in the company.”

As Michael further explains, “The MBS has to deliver tangible benefits for small and large organisations, you can’t come on the programme unless you have an issue you wish to tackle.  It runs over 2 years, so taking action as you participate is a major part of the programme.  We don’t talk about it, we do it.  We want people to apply new approaches and then evaluate them afterwards with the benefit of best practice and other experienced business brains.  Confidentiality is absolute.”

One of the unique things about the Masters is that there are no exams and that it centres around times which suit the businesses.  Another impressive aspect is the calibre of the speakers: Jerry Kennelly of Stockbyte fame (acquired for $135 million by Getty Images); Joe Gantley (RIP), former Head of Apple Europe; and Michael Carey, CEO of Jacob Fruitfield, have all featured.  It means access to some very successful innovators and business leaders for the participants.

“This was extremely important to us,” says Michael.  “The quality and the experience of the external speakers had to be first class and we’ve had major players in international industry and experts on the programme, plus the expertise of our own School of Business team, which means we’re sharing current best practice ideas and the standards are extremely high.”

The LYIT has a close relationship with Manchester Business School one of the leading business schools in Europe whereby there is an exchange of knowledge and experience.

“This Masters is for experienced business people who want to move to the next level,” Michael continues.  “Many senior managers/owners can feel isolated and most don’t get a chance to reflect on the overall future of the business.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a manager in a large company or an owner manager of an SME, if you want to improve your leadership skills and learn how to bring significant improvement to your organisation, you’ll get a lot from this programme.”

Entry to the programme normally requires an honours degree in any discipline, however, business experience is counted towards entry, especially where applicants who have significant experience as a Senior Manager but don’t hold a degree may be eligible for admission to the MBS.

Click here for more information on the course.

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 00:00:00 GMT


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