One year ago, I filled in my application for the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation.
Why? I wanted to understand how to help my organisation deliver something new and stay relevant in markets that have not yet really formed, specifically sustainability and digital platforms and analytics.
As with most adventures, I had no idea of the value that the experience would really give me. I was expecting a bookish exercise with new tools to understand, communicate and deliver revolutionary ideas. This was certainly delivered but, what I did not perceive was the overwhelming value of the people and network that overshadowed any theory I learnt.
The Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation enticed a disparate group of senior executives, from C-Suite executives and entrepreneurs to innovators and representatives from NGOs. The only thread that connected us all was the need to create something special in our own organisations and bring this to a reality. That passion creates more than simply good ideas, it creates friends and meaningful connections. It also developed each of us to view our world differently through these other wide experiences and develop our worldview and leadership abilities. I felt a discernible change in myself and could see it in my cohort, with new ventures, new roles, and new jobs aplenty.
In the course we talk about what makes your organisation special? What capability is ‘inimitable’ (a bit of a mouthful I know!)? We decided to call our cohort ‘The Inimitables’ for this reason – there was something special in our combined knowledge that advanced us all through class participation and many out of class discussions. The social experience provided through the in-person modules in the surroundings of Oxford accelerated this learning.
Having just completed the final module, I was given the opportunity to make a toast. Keeping it short and sweet, I drew on my favourite academic reference, Winnie the Pooh: ‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’. It was sad to leave Oxford, but the education and network has just started.
Finally, many of you reading will be considering whether this course is for you. Instead of this question, I would ask yourself:
- Are you ready for the course and wider experience?
- Do you want to expand your vision, outlook and really capture wider growth for your organisation and yourself?
If so, the learning and experience on this diploma programme will benefit you in ways you did not expect.
Oxford Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation