WHU Executive Education Programs Fall 2013 – “Thinking in New Directions”

With its motto “Thinking in New Directions” WHU Executive Education enables program participants and companies to reach a goal in different ways. This motto also holds true for the programs that were offered by Executive Education in fall 2013.

In September the first open Executive Education program commenced at WHU Campus Düsseldorf. Twelve participants from countries like South Africa, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil were introduced to the topics Strategy and Accelerated Skill Development during the first of four modules (21 days). In this module that took five days, the participants also started with the inter-modular ‘Business Impact Project’: together with the social enterprise BOOKBRIDGE, the participants will develop a business plan for a learning center in Cambodia, which will be implemented on-site in the fourth module. The second edition of this program will commence in May 2014.

Furthermore, this year´s CIO Leadership Excellence Program took place on the Düsseldorf Campus. On October, 28 high-level IT executives from various companies took part in the program that aims to enhance the executives´ General Management and Leadership skills. The program consists out of a base module with a key topic General Management (being taught on WHU Campus Düsseldorf), as well as two modules abroad in which the participants can enroll: one in India (Mumbai and Bangalore) and one in China.

At the end of October, WHU Executive Education welcomed 33 Senior Executive MBA students from the Melbourne Business School on campus Vallendar. The executives are participating in a post-experience program, which includes a module in Europe. During the 8-day program, the participants gained insight into the European markets in various lectures and teamwork sessions. In addition, the Melbourne EMBA students visited the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and Lohmann Therapie-Systeme in Andernach.

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WHU prepares executives for Doing Business With India

In a new WHU Executive Education program, executives learn how to do business with and in India. In the innovative program, executives learn to be successful by understanding Indian culture, politics, industry, and business structures on-location. In spring 2014, the program participants will spend seven days in India.

India is a highly fascinating and contradicting country with highs and lows in growth, infrastructure, education, and training of its labor force. The fast-paced Indian market offers both opportunities as well as challenges: to be able to enter this market one needs to be aware of the cultural differences. The 7-day “Doing Business With India Program” takes participants by the hand and gives them a profound insight into India. While visiting companies, they gain deep insights into the leadership culture and get to know the Indian consumer. Furthermore, during lectures, talks, and case study discussions they learn about the characteristics of the Indian law system and how to create a successful business model. “This program is a really unique learning experience”, says Rebecca Winkelmann, Managing Director of WHU’s Executive Education. “We have blended many different elements and formats in order to make participants both learn and feel the Indian environment.”

Wolfgang Messner, Faculty Director of the program and Associate Professor of International Management at MYRA School of Business in India adds: “In this program, we will show you how to make business in India happen – and how innovation generated in India and for India can unlock other opportunities worldwide.”

This practice-oriented WHU Executive Education Program is suited for executives who are either facing challenges that come with doing business with India or for executives who are planning to expand their activities in India. The participants´ industry background and level of seniority may be diverse. “Whether you are a CEO, strategist, marketer, supply chain manager, engineer, or policymaker – business in emerging markets is a phenomenon you need to understand” explains Messner.

Doing Business With India Program at a Glance

  • Topics: Indian culture, politics, industry and leadership culture
  • Date: March 30, 2014 – April 5, 2014 (7days)
  • Venue: India (including Bangalore, Mysore)
  • Fees: € 8,950 excluding airfare to and from Bangalore
  • Participants will receive a WHU certificate of attendance after successfully completing the program

For more information please visit our website: LINK

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General Management Plus Program successfully started

In September, the first open WHU Executive Education program started at WHU Campus Düsseldorf. In this first five-day module of the program 12 participants from South Africa, Germany, Mexico and Brazil learned the basics of Strategy and Accelerated Skill Development.


Moreover, they started to work on the “Business Impact Project”: In cooperation with the non-profit organization BOOKBRIDGE, they will create a business plan for a learning center in Cambodia. During the fourth module of the 21-day program, the group will travel to Cambodia to implement the business plan on-site. In the evening, Carsten Rübsaamen, BOOKBRIDGE, gave a lively introduction to Cambodia.


The next module in December will focus on Leadership, Business Functions, and Change Management. In the meantime, participants will continue working on the Business Impact Project in virtual team workshops and will contact local project partners.

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Enroll now in WHU Executive Education: General Management Plus Program

WHU Executive Education is launching a new Open Enrollment Program teaching General Management skills. This pilot program has emerged from two very successful components and now combines four modules in nine months, 15 days of teaching, and 7 days real-life project launching in an Emerging Country.

During top-end lectures from WHU professors, important elements of general management will be taught in a dynamic way, and participants will be inspired to think creatively and gain confidence by discussing issues with fellow participants and faculty, case simulations, and peer discussions. By studying both the best practices of successful companies and the mistakes that have derailed others, you will learn how to identify the optimal structure for your department, assess and respond to rapidly changing markets, evaluate product- and business models and rank investment opportunities.

The theory will be put into practice by developing a real-life social enterprise, known as the Business Impact Project. With the professional guidance of BOOKBRIDGE participants are challenged to write and implement a business plan for a learning center in a desolate area of Cambodia. During the program, the participants will develop this center using their knowledge from the program and with close communication to local sources. During the fourth module, the plan will be implemented in real-life on-site in Cambodia.
The program helps business leaders to decide how to allocate resources, manage people and risk and deliver the return their shareholders demand. Through case studies, lectures, dynamic peer discussions, and the Business Impact Project in Cambodia, the program will demonstrate how to competitively position an organization for success.

The deadline for application for this program is August 9, 2013.

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Executive Education: Customer orientation, product innovation, and internationality as key factors

This is clear from three examples: the “CIO Leadership Excellence Program,” the General Management Program that WHU will offer together with the social business Bookbridge starting in fall 2013, and the tailor-made MAN program that WHU offered together with the University of Oxford from 2008 to 2013.

CIOs in the First International Module: “The Experience in India Opened up New Perspectives.”

The “CIO Leadership Excellence Program,” the first program of its kind in Germany, enjoyed a successful kick-off on the WHU campus in Vallendar in November 2012. On February 18, IT executives traveled to India for the first international module. A variety of program activities created a diverse impression. “It is incredibly important to us that the participants not only learn about India in case studies, but also develop a good understanding of the context and truly experience the country,” Winkelmann stressed. The program structure was developed on the basis of the India modules of the WHU MBA programs, which have been successfully carried out for many years. “Understanding emerging countries requires direct personal experience, in many ways. A combination of instruction at our top Indian partner schools and complementary activities in the form of intercultural trainings and visits to German and Indian corporations as well as to social projects and non-profits has demonstrated its value,” explained Professor Jürgen Weigand, director of the MBA programs at WHU.

Networking with Indian IT colleagues took center stage at the NASSCOM Leadership Conference in Mumbai, the most important industry event in India. A joint press release of the industry association of the German information and telecommunications sector, Bitcom, and its Indian counterpart, NASSCOM, emphasized the importance of the visit. It was stressed that the German IT experts formed the largest international delegation, and this was attributed to the cooperation of the associations with the “leading German business school WHU” and the CIO magazine.
In Mumbai, the participants then took part in a one-day training on the topic of “Doing Business in India.” The following day they were off to Bangalore in the early morning, where a visit to a charitable organization and a company visit to Bosch were on the program. In Bangalore, too, there was sound “input” at the top business school in India, IIM Bangalore, which is also a partner university of WHU.

The responses of the participants indicated their great enthusiasm and fascination for a country that is really constantly in motion. On the other hand, they were deeply impressed by the great challenges that remain for India.

The “CIO Leadership Excellence Program” offers a total of three modules: a basis module with emphasis on general management at the WHU campus in Vallendar as well as two international modules in India (Mumbai and Bangalore) and in China. The international modules are especially focused on the topic of “emerging markets.”

WHU and Bookbridge Send Managers to Mongolia
“The global business world is becoming smaller, which is why international participant experience is the focal point of the first open enrollment program at WHU,” said Rebecca Winkelmann. The General Management Program of WHU and the social business Bookbridge are specifically preparing talented mid-level managers for the future challenges of international projects and new markets. The hands-on continuing education program for managers begins in fall 2013 in Düsseldorf. “In international business, it is often the case that the ‘rules of the game’ in the local market cannot be implemented one-to-one in new markets. Many German companies that are active in markets such as India, for example, recognize early that the local presence and experience of employees is irreplaceable.” Dr. Carsten Rübsaamen, WHU alumnus and founder of Bookbridge, adds: “To be successful, you not only need knowledge about growth markets; you have to be able to set things in motion in those places, too.” This is provided for in the nine-month part-time program. In addition to coursework at WHU Campus Düsseldorf, each participant also works closely together with local Asian partners before completing the program with a seven-day visit to the project site in Cambodia or Mongolia.

Working in cooperation with local partners, the managers open a learning center in a local village that will create learning opportunities for the inhabitants. The participants acquire the skills necessary to develop a business plan and implementation strategy under challenging conditions. They learn to work together in diverse teams and to consider multiple perspectives. The program’s emphasis on social responsibility also helps to develop awareness about values and accountability, said Winkelmann. “I also see an opportunity to teach ethical behavior and to raise the question about the ultimate sense of what we are doing.”

Not Just Tailored Once, but Tailored Again and Again
Together with the University of Oxford, WHU developed and carried out one of the most successful tailor-made company programs in Europe on behalf of the MAN Group. The special aspect of the program was its duration – more than twice as long as other programs of its type. “Normally the lifecycle of such a program is shorter; people change, and company strategies change,” said Lutz Kaufmann. In this case, though, there was not only continuity on the side of the partner contacts; the development of the company was also constantly accounted for. “When we started in 2008, the economy was booming; but then we had to navigate through a financial and compliance crisis as well as through the integration of VW Brazil – in short, there were constant and significant changes in the company.” According to Kaufmann, it was necessary to constantly amend and adjust the program contents to fit the changing strategy. “As he expanded, we made the pants wider; as he grew, we made them longer. We didn’t just tailor-make this suit once; we tailored it again and again. At some point, MAN and Oxford congratulated us on our sixth successful pilot program!” The program was so successful, said Kaufmann, because the participating partners constructively and loyally worked together through all phases of corporate development, in all directions, between 2008 and 2013. “It was great fun to work in such an atmosphere,” said Kaufmann. “We really just had to implement the strategy for the participants with skill and enthusiasm, and that was it.”

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