“Executive Education – managing the global challenges!”
Andreas Emser, Head of International Executive Programmes at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, on the benefits of Executive Education
Andreas, why should a manager attend an Executive Education Programme?
I find the answer to that question every day from watching the news. The global financial crisis in 2008, the present European financial crisis, the political turmoils in northern Africa, natural disasters and the booming economies in China, India, Brazil and Russia are changing the world at great extent. But these events also impact one’s business setting and pose huge challenges. Executive Education Programmes can help executives to understand these changes and how they affect their businesses. Executive Education Programmes provide new tools and innovative approaches to deal with them. Participants meet experts who offer business insights and business counterparts from around the globe who share expertise and thereby widen each others’ horizons. The main goal of Executive Education is to make you to think out of the box.
But this sounds…
… quite academic, I agree, but let me give you an example. The global financial crisis has shown that over many years the financial markets have created financial products with a complexity that many market participants no longer fully understood. Perhaps some of them were not intended to be understood. In addition to understanding mathematical complexities, the Head of a Dealing Room also has to understand the complexities of the market, including the market conditions prevailing in a particular industry in a particular country - take the US real estate market as an example. But he also has to have an eye on a variety of other market influences: crop yield expectations in Russia, oil pricing trends, currency risk and climate change, all at the same time. Who can manage all that? I am exaggerating slightly but there is an obvious correlation between global political and economic developments and the evaluation of a company’s business activities, and you can apply this to every industry. Executive Education Programmes can help you understand aspects of your business which seem to be far away but are close enough to put you at risk.
You mention risk. That's quite a gun to hold to their heads, isn't it?
There is a strong correlation between complexity and risk – and the world is not becoming any less complex. Risk management has therefore become extremely important. You may be able to reduce complexity and thus reduce risk. But maybe reducing complexity is not a choice at all and you have to manage the residual risk. A good part of that work requires analysing and understanding the complexities entailed in your business. Risk Management has become essential not only for financial institutions, but for any industry and organisation and it is not only the concern of a risk manager.
Is there a debate on risk, risk awareness and how to develop it?
Let’s have a look again at the global financial crisis: financial regulators and financial institutions around the world now focus on competence as a key factor in managing risk. They consider competence – a combination of expertise and behaviour – necessary for stable global financial markets. And they mean it! Some regulators have asked me how one can motivate seniors to attend courses and improve their skills or at least keep themselves up-to-date with market developments. Others simply initiate procedures which require qualifications and ongoing learning in order to get on the register which you need in order to become licensed for your job. This is a clear example of the importance financial regulators now attach to education and qualification as part of the risk management process.
Germany is an engineering nation. Why should, let’s say a manager from India who holds a degree from a university in the US, attend an Executive Education Programme in Germany?
Germany’s economy is well-organised and in many industries, German corporations are true global market leaders. Everybody is familiar with famous German brands like Mercedes, Adidas or Siemens. But the hundreds of thousands of family-owned SME businesses actually form the backbone of our economy. Many of them have become world leaders in their respective fields. Big name corporations and little-known SMEs jointly form the global brand “Made in Germany”. Also, our political system constitutes a powerful framework for the economy. Democracy, the rule of law, effective public services, a strong infrastructure, and a rich cultural heritage are key pillars for our innovation-driven economy. Also, our cities rank high among the world’s most liveable metropolitan areas alongside lovely villages and the beautiful country-side. Moreover, Germany is embedded in the European Union and is one of its major driving forces. This is the context of “Executive Education Made in Germany” – in my view, it is a valuable framework which every manager or expert can learn from. I believe that we have quite a lot to offer.
Frankfurt School Campus
And you would of course recommend attending an Executive Education course at the Frankfurt School?
Well, certainly! The Frankfurt School is a business school with a large global network and with a special focus on banking and finance. We can look back on a history of more than 50 years. In addition to our high quality Executive Education Programmes, we offer both Bachelor and Master programmes as well as a PhD. We have one of Germany’s largest business faculties. The Frankfurt School is a powerful platform of research, best-practise management and teaching. Our Executive Education portfolio includes open enrolment and in-house and customized programmes. We also organize conferences and lectures. We develop and publish our own study materials and offer distance learning programmes. I sincerely believe that the Frankfurt School is an excellent choice for every executive who wants to take the next step in his or her career.
Andreas Emser is responsible for the international programmes on Executive Education at Frankfurt School.