The impact travels with you

2 minute read

Wherever you go, you’re planting seeds that grow even when you move on.

I did the diploma for myself: I didn’t do it for the business or the businesses that I have worked in. I invested in personal development, and it’s good to feel that no one can take that knowledge and education from me. But I can share it. I used it when I was at PepsiCo, and I’m using it now I’m at Volvo Cars. So the impact was on me and travels with me, and has travelled from England to the USA, to Sweden - and maybe somewhere else in the future. 

When I applied for the diploma, I’d been doing strategy work for a long time, but I’d never been formally taught it. I wanted some education about frameworks and help in structuring my thinking so that I could translate the vision into strategic direction for my team and the company as a whole.

At that point I was working for PepsiCo in the European team. By the time the course started I had moved to the global team, and developed my thinking in my new role in tandem with what I was learning on the diploma, which was really useful for me and for PepsiCo and very much justified to me the time spent travelling to Oxford and studying by myself.

I was then headhunted for this position at Volvo Cars. The interview process started almost immediately after the diploma modules ended, and I channelled everything that I had just learnt directly into my presentations. In particular, one of our modules had actually focused on the automotive industry, and I was able to use the models we had been taught to show how established players in the industry will be able to use their scale and decades of automotive experience to build market share in electric vehicles.

In my first year in the role I also used my new understanding of organisation design to help transform the operating model for data analytics and raising the profile of data analytics within the company. No one used to take any notice of data before and the change that has happened in the last year is promising. That’s partly down to my ability to express myself in business language that I credit Saïd Business School for helping me to polish up.

Oxford Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation