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Analyzing the Competition
When assessing the market positioning of your company or your product there are many areas of research required. One of these is to review your competitors, examine what they are doing, how they are doing it, how they compete with you or differ from you. This module will introduce many investigative techniques. By the end of the module, students will be conversant with research techniques and associated exercises to enable such analysis.
Creativity and Problem Solving
Managers and business leaders need to constantly find ways of keeping ahead of problems and issues that impact on their day to day challenges. Solving problems is, of course, central to a managers role but how to solve problems is the real challenge. Creativity in a managers work is a great tool and if real creativity can be identified and developed it can be a vital tool in the manager's toolkit. This module explores the areas of problem-solving and the mindset that can be developed to assist a manager. By the end of the module, students will have learned different ways of thinking about problems and different approaches to solving problems both within and outside their job function.
Culture and Ethics
The culture of an organization is defined by the way they do things, the management ethos and the people that work within the organization. Organizations should always have an ethical underpinning of their culture. This defines how they are viewed in the world. This module looks at various aspects of culture and ethics. How it is defined, how it can be shaped and what it should say about the organization. By the end of the module, students will understand the nature and importance of culture and ethics and understand that it needs to be underwritten in the business strategy.
Customers and Their Needs
What and who exactly is a customer? How do you ensure they are recognized and valued? How do you know what they want? How do you know they are happy with your product and service? These are some of the aspects covered in this module. In this age of fierce competition, managers must understand their customers and respond quickly and effectively to any given feedback. By the end of this module, students will be able to put in place a customer service strategy for their company.
Developing High-Performance Teams
Teams generally define any organization. Whether it be a football team, a team of dancers, a military team or a team within a business they all depend on each other to maximize performance and the more skilled, cohesive and well molded a team is, the better they will perform. This module looks at different team types and the inherent skills required. It examines how skills and cohesion can be developed and nurtured. By the end of the module, students will be aware of the skills they can bring to any team, the importance of those skills and how they might be developed.
Developing Your Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills cover many aspects of human interaction. This module examines the variety of interactions that can occur and explores ways their effectiveness can be used to the benefit of the business and the benefit of the individual. By the end of the module, students will understand the impact of these skills and understand how they may improve their own interpersonal relationships.
Marketing is in a state of change like never before. The challenge is to get the right message to the market in the most cost-effective way. Electronic marketing is in a constant state of flux and it becomes more difficult than ever to judge and plan for the most effective marketing routes. This module examines some of the issues involved and explores ways in which the marketer can stay ahead of the game and ensure the message to the market is effective and competitive. By the end of the module, the student will have analyzed the pros and cons of different aspects of e-marketing and be able to put together a cohesive and effective strategy to incorporate them.
Exercises in Quantitative Techniques
Within a managers role, there are occasions when a knowledge and understanding of quantitative methods is needed whether it be statistical analysis, financial analysis or mathematical calculations. This area is often overlooked in the everyday business of managing but it is extremely useful to have the tools and ability, when needs arise, to undertake such calculations. This module looks at the areas where quantitative skills may be required and by the end of the module students will have been exposed to a range of exercises to develop their skills in those areas.
Governance and Directorships
A manager does not work in isolation in managing a business. There are many stakeholders to account for and the objectives reach beyond commercial objectives alone. At a corporate level, there are significant responsibilities and obligations to fulfill as an executive, owner or director of a business. This module outlines the legal, moral and ethical encumbrances on company stewardship. By the end of the module, students will understand the broader role of management within an organization and responsibilities to shareholders and other stakeholders.
Are great salesmen born or can they be trained and developed? This module will explore the various areas and aspects of sales and break down the mystique into practical areas that can be developed by an organization or by individuals. By the end of the module, students will understand and be able to apply some of the skills involved in successful selling.
Impact of Technology on Business
Technology. Threat or opportunity? Clearly, the response to this question will vary greatly from business to business but there is no doubt that the march of technology will have some impact almost continually, on a business. This module will explore a way of assessing the impact and planning for it and by the end of the module, students will understand the need to continually assess the changing profiling of technology against their business objectives.
Implementing and Managing Quality Systems
The management of systems within an organization goes of course alongside the design of the system. Implementation of any system and plan takes diligence, attention to detail and ensuring a strong feedback mechanism is in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the system. This module looks at the various issues involved in the implementation of systems and in particular as they relate to quality control and quality assurance. By the end of the module, students will be familiar with the issues around quality systems and will be competent to put such systems in place.
Innovation and R&D
Innovation grows from within an organization and is often part of the organization culture. Research and development encourage innovation and this can often produce uniqueness and competitive advantage for a company. This module explores these areas and quantifies the cost benefit to an organization and looks at possible structures that can harness innovation. By the end of the module, students will understand the role and importance of innovation and R&D.
Interpreting Business Accounts
It can be argued that the accounts are the most important measure of a business’s health and status. Producing and maintaining accounts is a statutory requirement and diligence in the maintenance and preparation of them is vital. This module will develop an understanding of the various parts of the balance sheet and profit and loss account to understand their relevance and by the end of the module, students will understand their importance and the key role that the accounts play.
Decision making is certainly one of the key areas upon which a managers success depends and therefore that which has the greatest potential impact on a business’s success or failure. A great decision can make a business. A poor decision can destroy a business. This module explores the various issues involved in making good decisions and implants various models that can be employed to ensure at least part of the risk is removed from decision making. By the end of the module, students will understand the complexity of decision making and be able to put in place a clear process in improving their own skills.
Managing Cash and Working Capital
Cash is the lifeblood of any business. It is possible for a healthy business to fail because it cannot or does not manage its cash and equally it is important to manage well whatever cash is within a business. This module will look at cash flow analysis and cash flow projections and show how managers should and must keep track and control of their cash. By the end of the module, students will understand this vital area of financial management.
Project management skills are a useful addition to any team and in particular in organizations that need clear processes either for development or for operations. There are many techniques, tools and skills that can and should be learned and this module visits many of these to illustrate their usefulness in certain situations. By the end of the module, students will have learned some of these skills and tactics and have a greater knowledge and understanding of how to manage projects effectively.
Getting your product or service into the market, to be recognized and to achieve market acceptance and penetration is a complex and detailed challenge. There are many options that can be tried and tested and many risks in implementation. This module explores all areas of marketing strategy, options available, how to test the market and assess the risks. By the end of the module, students will understand the different dimensions of marketing strategy and the choices and decisions that they will need to make.
Measuring and Rewarding Performance
What is fair reward within an organization? How do you measure the contribution of an individual or a team within an organization? This module examines all aspects of performance management in terms of measuring, comparing, setting standards and targets and rewarding exceptional performance. By the end of the module, students will understand the complexities that need to be managed.
Motivating and Influencing People
Managers as leaders of teams and people must be able to motivate and influence those around them. This module explores all the elements around these skills and explores the many and varied methods and approaches. By the end of the module, students will understand the impact of these skills on a business and use techniques learned to improve their own performance.
Qualities of Effective Leadership
Leadership within a business can be key to getting the best out of both the business and the team working within the business. This module examines the common traits of leadership and compares and contrasts different styles. By the end of the module, students will understand the common principles and be able to profile their own leadership style to improve their effectiveness.
Recruitment and CPD
The importance of recruitment in a business is often overlooked. Getting the best people and ensuring their skills are aligned with a company’s goals is vital. Managers must analyze the skills they need and the skill sets of the people they employ and continually plan to align those skills via continuing development. The managers themselves are of course also in need of the same analysis and development. This module explores these areas and by the end, students will understand the importance of training and development within an organization and will be able to construct relevant and targeted plans.
Strategic and Systems Management
Quality within an organization is top of the strategic pile. There must be a clear, concise, consistent culture and ethos throughout an organization that is dedicated to doing things well and producing the best goods and services. Nothing less will do. This module interrogates the various systems and structures that should be put in place to ensure this message runs throughout the organization. By the end of the module, students will understand the strategic role quality systems play within an organization.
Strategic Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management must play a central role in the strategy of any organization. It is concerned with people as an asset to the business. How you reward them, how to get the best out of them, how to develop them. This module examines the impact of human resources and how all the key elements can be factored together to help drive a business strategically. By the end of the module, students will understand the various nuances and how they can best be harnessed.
Strategic Planning Tools
The strategy of a business is that plan that tells us what the business is all about, where a business is going, how it is going to get there, what checks and balances we have along the way and how change is embraced. There are many tools and techniques that can assist in putting together a cohesive and coherent strategy and this module examines some of those. By the end of the module, students will have been exposed to planning techniques and tools and will be comfortable and confident in using them in their work.
Strategies for Growth
A business can have more than a single strategic plan. There can be separate strategies for different elements of a business. Many businesses are focused primarily on growth and need to have a clear roadmap as to how they will manage the various stages of growth of their business. There are both internal factors and less controllable external factors that will need to be considered in growing a business. This module explores the different ideas of growth and the various tools, measures and controls at a managers disposal in planning for growth. By the end of the module, students will be confident in putting together a plan for growth.
Studying and Using Management Theories
There are many theories that abound concerned with management and the various models developed from these theories. What are the various theories? How do they differ? How do we evaluate them? How do we describe a particular style to ourselves as managers? This model interrogates the various theories and assists students in evaluating their own style. By the end of the module, students will be able to assess their own preferred model and understand how they can apply that model to their work environment.
The Business Plan
The business plan is the roadmap for a business over a defined period of time. It tells you what you will do when you will do it, how you will do it and the results you will expect. Clearly, this is not a simple or superficial document. It is an ongoing reference point. This module defines the structure of the plan. What should and should not be in it and how it can be used as a reference point. By the end of the module, students will have a clear understanding of the structure of the plan and the background work required to develop it.
The External Operating Environment of Business
Business is not an isolated and independent function. It is affected and impacted by a range of external factors that might present both threat and opportunity but in any case, will require monitoring and managing. These may include political influences, legal influences, world events and the like. Business needs to be aware of such factors and plan for them by way of contingency and risk management and by planning for change. By the end of this module, students will be aware of the nature of external influences and how an organization might mitigate their exposures.
Tools of Financial Analysis
Business accounts tell more about the business than almost anything else and it is important to be able to analyze accounts of both your own organization and other organizations and use a variety of analytical tools to help articulate exactly what the accounts are telling you about the business. There are many of these most useful tools and this model will teach the student how to use them. By the end of the module, students will understand clearly how they can use these tools to interrogate the true state of a business.