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UCT business school programme develops new managers

To help address the shortage of skilled managers in the South Africa's private and public sectors, the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is offering a programme this September that will help organisations to accelerate the development of top-performing staff and new managers.

A dearth of competent managers is one of the hurdles to South Africa achieving higher levels of service delivery and business growth - a recent study by Productivity SA and the 2007 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook showed that overstretched staff, a lack of training and poor management have led to a productivity ratings plunge after a decade of sustained growth - last year SA fell from 38th to 50th out of 55 countries.

According to Jenny Carter, Director of the New Managers Programme at the UCT GSB's Executive Education unit, organisations can make a real difference to their productivity by actively developing the skills of high-potential, highly motivated staff and new managers.

“Organisations that systematically and continuously develop their best people are the ones likely to emerge as the most successful. Without this proactive approach, organisations run a real risk of not achieving targets,” she said.

The New Managers Programme, which runs from 28 September - 10 October at the UCT GSB, prepares high potential or newly promoted individuals for a career in management.

“Individuals in first line management positions must develop the confidence and capabilities to ensure highly efficient, cost-effective, service-orientated and profitable delivery. This programme develops the personal, intellectual, leadership and technical skills required to be successful in this context,” said Carter.

The learning takes place through a combination of the delivery of technical business content; exploring, debating, practising and learning through group work; and the presentation of real-world implementation plans.

Critical and analytical thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making as well as personal awareness are encouraged throughout the programme and attention is placed on how to manage complex projects.

Carter added that the programme content is constantly assessed to ensure that current issues and concerns are addressed.

“For example, we have introduced a session on sustainability - we look at the current business environment, and particularly the impact of environmental issues on business, asking the question ‘what can you as a manager at your level do to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business?' On the marketing side, we have also incorporated sessions on the latest online and mobile marketing trends,” she said.

The New Managers Programme is offered by the UCT GSB Executive Education unit, which has a global top ten rating in 2005 and 2006 from the Economist Intelligence Unit, and in 2007 was listed by the International University Consortium for Executive Education (UNICON) - the leading global body for the advancement of executive education - as one of six leading business school innovators.

For more information on the programme, contact Junita Abrahams (021) 406 1323 or .

5 Sep 2008 13:32