Championing collaboration, culture and change

4 minute read

My pathway into the Executive Diploma in Organisational Leadership began long before I even thought of studying at Saïd Business School.

In the beginning

It all started when I was a senior HR leader for the LATAM region at my company at the time. My biggest challenge was to rethink the HR strategy to support transformational growth in the region. As I began to diagnose the problem, I realised the most complex issue at the core of this project was leadership related. The LATAM arm of the company at the time was a result of a merger and acquisition project, which had been handled separately. It meant that there was a disconnect between the in-country teams in the region, and between the region as a whole and the central organisation. The structure and culture of the regional arm wasn’t aligned to the rest of the business.

I set about transforming the region by working on a new HR strategy. This included a new operating model and team composition, leading a cultural transformation project to connect five country teams under one strategy, and designing a framework to assess leaders against the company’s values, based on collaboration, respect, inspiration and leading by example.

I presented my findings to the senior leadership group and got their buy-in to design a new leadership team for the LATAM region. I set about devising my new team, coaching and developing them to demonstrate the very best of our company culture and encourage collaboration at all levels.

The results spoke for themselves. The LATAM region achieved the revenue growth that it had been targeting for years. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) was now positive, and the highest it had ever been, and we acquired two more companies in Peru and Chile for the first time.

The next chapter

This rewarding project gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my ability to lead effective HR transformation and create an effective high-performance culture. As a result, I was promoted into a global role to create a top-class leadership team to drive productive and sustainable change.

At the time, I was also researching options for further study. I had always dreamt of studying at Oxford, so naturally I started my search there, and that’s when I came across the Oxford Diploma in Organisational Leadership.

I felt inspired that the diploma would not only support me in creating a high-performing leadership team, but in my longer term professional goal of becoming a Chief HR Officer.

The content and concepts covered by the diploma programme really resonated with me, particularly the focus on managing and leading change, and creating effective working cultures. The learning outcomes felt very real and tangible, and I was blown away by the quality of the professors and their vision for the business school.

I applied and was delighted to receive a Director’s Award Scholarship.

Writing the rest of my story

I’ve now completed the first module and the diploma has added so much value already. Not just in terms of highly relevant discussions around collaboration, culture and change, and how to apply this successfully, but in terms of the diversity of perspective, background and experience represented by my classmates. I’ve even met people from countries that I didn’t know existed!

I’d go so far as to say that the input and challenge from my peers in those discussions, was why I could effectively apply my learnings the moment I returned to work. Hearing about their experiences inspired me, and the leader-to-leader learning equipped me with ideas for innovation to put into practice.

The immediacy of the value you get from the Diploma in Organisational Leadership is not something I’ve seen elsewhere. When studying an executive programme or a further education qualification, the theory can sometimes feel too abstract and difficult to apply in everyday life. This diploma programme is the complete opposite! The fact I briefed my team on the learnings and changes we were going to make the following Monday after module one, is testament to this.

My journey may have only just started, but I can safely say that this Executive Diploma truly changes everything and the return on investment is priceless. I can’t wait for module two!


Diploma in Organisational Leadership