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General Management Plus Program at WHU

On July 9, 2016 a group of 13 managers from India, Spain, Israel, China and Germany completed their half-year Executive Education Program on General Management at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. All can look back on six months filled with emotions and moments of stepping out of their comfort zone, growing as leaders and working as a team.

The five modules of the General Management Plus Program made them not only grow as responsible leaders but also as a team. Especially the fourth module, in which they implemented a learning center in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka, impressed them. During the last module of the program in July, the participants reviewed on their exciting learning journey:

Sima Dor-Hay: “My three key learnings of the program are:

1. Stretching my own comfort zone
2. Do things you believe in
3. You need a team to achieve your goals”

Stefan Paraschiv: “For me, the three components of leadership are:

1. Inspire and help people
2. Make use of all resources available
3. Do all things with love and feel good about what you did”

All participants emphasized that it was very challenging to act and work in an unknown environment. Stepping out of their comfort zones made them grow personally, and also to get to know and accept their personal limits. Maria described the program as a “ride on a rollercoaster of emotions”, including many personal and intercultural experiences. For May-Britt the most emotional moment was the situation when two teenagers signed up for a course offered by the new learning center in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka.

The General Management Plus Program, in which the managers participated, combines theoretical General Management knowledge with the direct application of the learnings in a social business project. Starting with a “theoretical” module in Düsseldorf, Germany, the participants are equipped with the foundations of Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Participants are then challenged to set-up a sustainable business plan for a social business – a learning center in an Asian country – and to pitch to an investor. The program further strengthens the participants´ leadership capabilities and personal and intercultural experiences: Together as a team, they implement the learning center in the Asian country. The program is run in cooperation by WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and the social enterprise BOOKBRIDGE, which builds learning centers in Mongolia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Impact: The team of the pilot program implemented a learning center in Tonbloab, Cambodia. Build in 2014, 80,195 people have been reached through the education initiative so far. In 2015, the team of GMP+ 2 set-up a learning center in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It has reached 28,779 people until today.

More information: www.whu.edu/gmp

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