5 routes to the top – education options for 2010

by 08 Dec 2009

HR is an ever-changing profession and practitioners need to keep their knowledge current and professional skills sharp. HR Leader looks at five interesting education options for HR professionals to help them keep up with the game in 2010

1. MGSM: Leadership Development Program

The Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) runs a three-day leadership development program for high- potential managers being groomed for larger roles and seek ing to enhance their strategic thinking, leadership and influencing skills.

The program does this by focusing on three key areas. First, leadership now has a greater focus on motivating and inspiring rather than simply commanding and controlling. Second, the emerging leader spends a lot of time influencing upwards, downwards, sideways and externally. And, finally, emerging leaders need to look at their market, customers and organisation through a different set of lenses.

John Edwards, director of executive education for MGSM, says there has been a lot of demand for the leadership devel opment program recently. “It is a very well rounded course,” he says. “It is targeted towards middle managers moving into senior management roles, and takes them through the process of self-leadership, leadership of teams as well as lead ership from an organisational perspective.”

The program consists of a number of sessions, beginning with self-leadership. This session starts by exploring emo tional intelligence and self-awareness. Identifying blind spots and creating a personal development plan are covered. The program then moves onto sessions on managing others, which explores some of the fundamentals of leadership, followed by leading a high-performing team, negotiation skills, power and influence, communicating with impact and solving unsolvable problems. The last session, leading change, looks at the underpinning reasons change is difficult and at per sonal strategies for leading change.

“The practical side of leadership is emphasised strongly in the program,” Edwards says. “There is also a compre hensive follow-up process and two months after the program every participant is contacted to see how they are progress ing and how well the learning is being put into action. We get a lot of positive feedback on this process.”

For more information call 02 9850 9016, email public-programs@mgsm.edu.au or visit www.mgsm.edu.au.

2. Chifley Business School: Project Management

Chifley Business School runs a two-day short course in proj ect management, which is designed to provide participants with the tools, techniques and tips to complete projects on time and within budget – to the quality expected by the pro ject’s client.

This course is the first step to becoming a capable proj ect manager and is designed to improve your understanding of the project management life cycle. Simon Christensen, general manager of Chifley Business School, says project management is one of the most popular and important courses being rolled out at present. “There are a lot of organ isations which have gone through major change over the past 12 to 18 months, such as downsizing or rightsizing,” he says.

“Everyone seems to be working on some type of project in their organisation, but now people might be working in tighter and smaller groups. Once there might have been five or six people working on a project, but now there might only be one or two people, so they need the skills to do that properly.”

The course covers a wide variety of project man agement content, including: terminology; project stakeholders and project life cycle; the role of the project manager and project team; project defini tions and scope; planning and schedule develop ment; management, communication, monitoring, handover and review; project management tools and techniques as well as the process of managing project risk.

Learning outcomes of the course include the ability to identify the critical success factors in achieving project outcomes, lead a project team and support team members to achieve project goals and use tools and techniques to support positive project outcomes and manage project risk.

“The course is very, very tailored towards an organisation’s requirements. We look at their sys tems and process, their needs and outcomes, and we can map the course to a particular project that’s happening in their workplace at that particular time. We don’t roll out generic programs. Our programs are tailored to the needs of the client. That’s one reason this program is in high demand,” Christensen says.

For more information call 1300 244 353 or visit www.chifley.edu.au.

3. Social media, HR and talent development

The Social Media Academy, which specialises in social relationship management in a business context, runs an executive education program on HR and human talent development. This 10-hour course examines the process of leveraging social media to find the best matching talents and create a better team spirit. The five themes explored in the course are: culture shift and workforce trends; new ways of creating an open business culture; HR challenges in a globally connected world; fusing the well developed young generation into a business; and developing a social media based recruiting strategy. For more information visit www.socialmedia-academy.com.au.

4. Finance for non-finance professionals

The Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) runs a number of programs for HR professionals, including finance for non-finance professionals. This two-day course guides participants through an analysis of the personal finance problems and solutions of a fictitious character and applies the same processes to a company's financial statements. AHRI also uses a computerised board game to reinforce learning in a way that makes it fun. The approach is to engage learners in finding out about concepts such as financial reporting, cash management and the key ratios for assessing business unit performance. For more information visit www.ahri.com.au.

5. Workforce planning for HR

Infohrm, a global leader in workforce planning, reporting, and analytics, runs a workforce planning intensive course for HR professionals. Accredited with the Queensland University of Technology, the course takes place over a six-month period and gives attendees practical project-based experience. This provides the techniques to implement all aspects of workforce planning processes at an organisational level. All workforce planning courses use case studies based on real workforce planning projects and demonstrate how varying techniques work in different organisational situations. Delegates leave with actionable ideas and a detailed reference manual to assist with immediate implementation. For more information visit www.infohrm.com.au.