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Lift off for Boeing's tailored management programme

Supporting innovation and transformation

By Peter Allen, Associate Dean - January 2020

Through its range of collaborations with multinational companies, as well as governments and multinational agencies, the Business School attracts the best candidates, keeps current and programme development relevant and its academic expertise makes an impact in the wider business world.

Since 2013, the University, led by the Business School’s Associate Dean for Engagement and Impact, Peter Allen, has been working with Jeppesen, a Boeing Company, to support its transformation from the world’s leading supplier of aviation navigation charts into becoming a leading player in digital aviation software and analytics.

Throughout the following years, the partnership has changed in line with the company’s needs and the global business environment. It has included a number of Boeing executives studying on the School’s EMBA and DBA programmes, student business projects, facilitation of regular innovation workshops and IDEAtor events, along with other strategic projects. Boeing executives have also contributed to the MBA and other programmes across the University.

The latest development has been the joint creation and expansion of a tailored management development programme Boeing-wide across Europe, with the aim to develop participants’ business and innovation management competences to support the ongoing transformation across Boeing. The Programme was prototyped over late 2018 and the first half of 2019, with all 20 participants successfully completing their studies.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Jens Schiefele, Managing Director and Director of Research and Rapid Development, Boeing Global Services, said: “The Business School and Boeing started their relationship by Boeing sending employees through the Durham-EBS EMBA programme. Over the years the relationship has expanded to strategy consulting, as well as, the development of this joint programme.

“For Boeing, the training programme is a key enabler to transform engineers into entrepreneurs. Durham University Business School is a key partner in our transformation.”

On Wednesday 20 November, the new Durham University Business School and Boeing Tailored Management Development Programme launched in Frankfurt, Germany. The induction day included a tour of the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator at Frankfurt Airport. Some of the experiments onboard include projects led by Boeing’s Digital Aviation and Analytics Lab, with one of these experiments drawing on research undertaken by two Durham students from the Data Intensive Sciences Centre for Doctoral Training.

Consisting of six modules, the programme will be delivered through three and four-day workshops at selected locations across Europe, involving both Durham academics and senior Boeing executives. On successful completion of the programme, candidates will receive a Post Graduate Certificate in Management and will also be eligible to progress to the School’s EMBA or Online MBA Programmes, with Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) granted for selected modules.

Commenting on the partnership and the new programme, Peter Allen said: “Whilst the academic structure is based on modules drawn from the School’s Online and EMBA programmes, the detailed content is a result of the close partnership between Durham’s academics and Boeing’s executives built up over the last few years. We think this collaborative approach couples academic rigour and assessment with direct and immediate business relevance.”

The first module, Entrepreneurship, was delivered by the School’s Dr Joanna Berry, Associate Professor Entrepreneurship, alongside Boeing Director, Marc Launer, at Boeing’s Digital Solutions and Analytics Lab in Frankfurt. This module explored driving entrepreneurial management and putting corporate entrepreneurship into practice.

One of the programme participants, Spyros Sakkis said: “The Entrepreneurship module was delivered in a very clear and structured manner, with a wealth of content directly related to our day-to-day activities. Dr Joanna Berry is a compelling trainer and presenter. I’m looking forward to the rest of the programme.”

Other modules include Strategic Management, which also takes place in Frankfurt, led by Peter Allen. Then the programme moves on to Gothenburg (Sweden) for Technology and Innovation, Madrid (Spain) for Operations and Technology, Gdansk (Poland) for Leading Change and then Crawley (UK) for Marketing.

The final activity is a Strategic Innovation Simulation ‘Shark Tank’ event in Durham, which is where participants, in small groups, will present their strategic projects to a panel of senior Boeing executives and Business School academics. The panel will consider offers and listen to pitches from the groups as they seek backing for their sustainable business, product, or service developments.

To celebrate the completion of their programme, there will be a dinner at Stephenson College, one of 16 colleges and societies of Durham University. All participates will be a Business School alumnus and will also be members of the College for life, both will continue to support their careers through networking and further educational activities.

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