Aga Khan and Harvard universities have partnered to transform the management of top organisations in Africa by equipping senior executives with skills to help them adapt to the fast changing world.
The two universities have designed a pioneering suite of courses aimed at sharpening the leadership and communication skills of senior managers to deal with current complexities and accelerate change in the 21st Century.
The programme, Transforming Leadership for 21st Century Africa, will be hosted in Nairobi by the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) for senior leaders in business, government, civil society and media.
The Founding Dean of GSMC Mr Michael Meyer, who announced the partnership, said that the course would help senior executives exercise leadership amid uncertainty with skill, purpose and effectiveness.
“We live in an era of accelerating change and unprecedented complexity. Organisational strategies today will be obsolete if not self-defeating tomorrow. Success requires agile leadership and intelligent communication. That is why we are proud to offer an extraordinary opportunity to sharpen two of the most vital skills demanded by these challenging times,” said Meyer.
The courses include The Voice of Leadership: Inspiration, Influence and Impact to be delivered by GSMC to empower leaders to speak and act with clarity, vision and authenticity.
It is premised on the fact that in the 21st Century the success of any initiative or enterprise depends as never before on high-quality and maximum-impact communications.
The second course in the programme; Adaptive Leadership for Africa: Chaos, Complexity and Courage, would be delivered by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (HKS), Executive Education. The single-most popular course at the Kennedy School also aims to help executives exercise leadership amid uncertainty with skill, purpose and effectiveness.
Meyer said the programme would be useful in motivating leaders who were already committed to their future and that of Africa.
“The courses are designed to offer senior leaders a unique learning experience that will change the way they think about leadership and communication in their professional and personal lives,” he explained.
He said that the first week-long course begins in November, followed by a second week-long module in February.
“In between, participants work with AKU and HKS mentors on their own “adaptive challenge.” This may be a corporate issue to be tackled by a small team of so-called “agents of change,” or it may be an individual career challenge,” he added.
Executives wishing to enrol can apply by logging on to http://akumedia.aku.edu/programmes.
To qualify for the course, one needs to be a proven, or emerging senior leader with a minimum ten years’ experience, be in a position that involves leading others and making mission-critical decisions.
The programme also accepts those who have a personal leadership challenge they wished to address as well as those looking for the opportunity to reflect, to connect with oneself and to re-examine their leadership in a global context. Fluency in English is mandatory.
Upon successful completion of Transforming Leadership for 21 Century Africa, participants will be awarded the certificate for Adaptive Leadership for Africa: Chaos Complexity and Courage by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education, and the certificate for The Voice of Leadership: Inspiration, Influence and Impact by the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications.
Upon graduation, the leaders would become part of a global network of leaders from a professionally and geographically diverse class and faculty. The deadline for applications is October 6.