The next generation management (NGM) module has given me sufficient opportunity to develop my capabilities on different areas of self development. Through an exploration of various themes, I learned more about myself and identified areas for personal improvement to enable me to focus on the objective of improving my efficiency in different areas. Some themes have extensively built me in terms of self-esteem and leadership while others have been extremely useful in building my tactical competence in different areas. As a student, I have also learned a lot about the journey of education and how to better tackle my hurdles to ensure that I am constantly progressive towards my goals. I also identified some themes that I feel would be influential in my life moving forward, and I feel that sharing them in writing could also help me develop an accountability system for my self-development action plan.
For me, the most interesting theme to work on was the personal and career development theme. Through this theme, I gained great insights not only into my personality but also on the fact that my self-perception is different from whom I actually am (“Humanism”). I have always had an idea of where and who I would want to be in the future, but I have never put them down in writing. I feel the process of learning based on Bandura’s theory was effective in giving me the competence to conduct self evaluation (Bandura par. 4). I particularly identify with the concept of learning through modeling and I feel that without an analysis of where and who I am right now, it would be impossible to identify a practical mentor in leadership. Through the personal development theme, I was involved in documenting my future aspirations and working towards them. One of the key eye openers that I had in this particular module was the realization that I have always perceived myself as more of a leader than I actually am. The realization that I need mentorship and that there are many people out there who build their leadership skills was like an epiphany to me. I also noted the importance of transformational leadership on organizational productivity. Currently, I understand why organizations engage in leadership development practices as a way of promoting employee engagement and motivation.
Through this first theme, I also came to the knowledge that coaching, learning on the job, and mentorship are all essential towards developing management efficiency. This knowledge was gained through past literatures such as Guillen and Ibarra who point out that effective leadership requires the support of organizational top management in developing and effectively mentoring newer people (6). I decided to focus more on leadership through on-the-job learning than I thought I could do before. I appreciated the importance of self-evaluation in establishing strategies for personal development as recommended in Tubbs and Schulz (30). By studying the key concepts of leadership and how they are viewed in the organizational perspective, I developed a wider conceptualization of interpersonal relations in the workplace and how they are functions of individual skills and abilities. The concept of leadership through service was also well explored and I feel that it provides an opportunity for leaders to understand what they are capable of and to use their abilities to build capacity in the teams. A culture of servitude in leadership can only be created by proactive leaders who are willing to drive organizational change (Bies 106). I feel that as a leader, I have to emphasize the importance of servitude to my teams and to lead by example in order for that culture to find its roots.
Through the entire journey of the module, I was actively involved in a process of learning and relearning of various concepts. The second theme on research therefore extensively helped me to build my skills in different elements of research including the methodological framework in learning, writing research papers, experimental research methods, and publishing research papers in international journals. I feel that through the research theme, I understood the importance of research and also distinguished between my conventional perception of what research is and what it actually is. The most essential concept I learned was distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative research and how to use each type of research to solve problems using scientific methods as recommended by Adi (par. 2).
I also developed an understanding of the different tools that are used in research data collection and how these tools help in attaining data accuracy. Prior to the module, I had a very rough understanding of what the different research tools were and how they were conducted. However, Hill introduced me to the concept of strategic management, and how it was related to various stakeholders (par. 3). I realized that, at times, leadership presents the ability to bring together people with varying ideologies towards ensuring that set goals are achieved. In particular, I learned that reflective thinking, which most people take for granted, is an essential part of organizational management and research. Another part of the research theme which has boosted me significantly in knowledge management is the use of different software and mathematical programs as described by Kimberly (par. 6). The research theme of this module presented programs such as Excel, SPSS, and MATLAB as part of the essential elements of the course. I gained particular interest in the use of SPSS as I realized that the program is not only effective in a variety of statistical functions but is also flexible in application. I took the opportunity in this course to put together the various attributes that describe my current position thus coming up with a picture that reflects where I need to be.
The theme of marketing also enabled me to explore multiple concepts, which I was not aware were part of the module. Nevertheless, I was unaware of the course content. The depth with which each of the concepts in the theme of marketing was presented made it an awesome experience. Through the topic, the specific concepts that I found useful in the marketing theme included the use of different media tools in marketing and search engine optimization for products. I understood the importance of understanding the industry in which I am operating, particularly remaining updated in the application of marketing theories as recommended by Tiago and Verissimo (705). Marketing is applicable when dealing with products and when my personality. Personal presentation requires the application of certain marketing principles such as effective packaging, product design, and promotional activities. I need to ensure that I create the impression that I would want people to have of me without necessarily going overboard with verbal descriptions of self. Through studying the concept of marketing, I realized that one of the biggest obstacles that one can face is the inability to understand technological innovations and how they apply to the product sector. Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick posited that one of the most difficult challenges in marketing is that there are several experts in different professional areas (116). This makes the market uncomfortable for non experts such as myself.
The theme of business and society also opened up new knowledge in the relationship between businesses and the communities within which they exist. In this theme, my understanding of how the different businesses operate, the factors affecting their performance, and other environmental interactions has shown me that every business needs to put in place measures that promote mutual understanding between the business owners and the community at large. I found the lessons on how to start a business quite enlightening as it is not conventional to find a course that provides this knowledge. Often, courses give principles on interactions between businesses and society. They tend to forget that some individuals would like to be entrepreneurs rather than employees in organizations. When writing about the relationship between businesses and the society, I realized that the interaction patterns between the two are quite intricate and that the community itself defines business progress through aspects such as religious beliefs, communication, and cultures. Business decisions are therefore greatly influenced by the communities in which we influence. The societal demands specifically shape the sustainability of businesses, as well as the behavior patterns of businesses. Other factors such as gender issues, labor laws, and quality of work regulations have extensive impacts on businesses. The concept of Internet of Things (IoT) has also extensively been explored in modern businesses enhancing visibility and improving security.
I also learned about how businesses shape the society. From this perspective, I gained an understanding that the relationship between a business and the community is a symbiotic one. Businesses create opportunities for the society through various characteristics including provision of employment, engagement in corporate social responsibility, and promoting the well being of the community in general. From my initial understanding of the relationship between business and society, I had the belief that the relationship was unidirectional in the sense that a business took more from the community than it gave back. However, the module has helped me understand that people’s perceptions about business and its role in the society differ. Also, these perceptions are developed as a result of circumstantial evidence.
Having gained significantly through the module, I made decisions that will enable me attain personal development over the next few years. The biggest change I have experienced as a learner is in my attitudes towards some of the concepts that are considered conventional. For instance, my attitude regarding marketing has changed significantly through the module. Similarly, I hold a newer perception of the self that not only helps me understand where I am coming from but also enables me to forge a strategy towards a future in marketing. Some of the concepts shared through the module may be challenging to obtain from anywhere else and I feel that the module has been an exceptional point of contact with the inner self. I have made a conscious decision to continuously use a similar method to evaluate personal progress moving forward.
Adi, Bhat. “What is research- definition, types, methods & examples?” QuestionPro, 2018. www.questionpro.com/blog/what-is-research/. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Bandura, Albert. “Social learning theory.” Learning Theories, 2018. www.learning-theories.com/social-learning-theory-bandura.html. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Bies, Robert J. “Down and out” in DC: How Georgetown MBA students learn about leadership through service to others. Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 103-110. www.slideshare.net/RobertBies/bies-cv-2017-71934685. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Chaffey, Dave and Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona. Digital marketing: Strategy, implementation, and practice. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2016. Print.
Guillen, Laura Ramo and Ibarra, Herminia. “Seasons of a leader’s development; beyond a one-size fits all approach to designing interventions.” In Academy of management proceedings, no. 1, 2009, pp. 1-6. Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management. eprints.usq.edu.au/5388/2/2009_Academy_of_Management_Annual_Meeting_Program.pdf. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Hill, Brian. “Why Is Strategic Thinking Important to the Success of Business?” Hearst Newspapers LLC, 2017. smallbusiness.chron.com/strategic-thinking-important-success-business-4661.html/. Accessed 21 November 2018.
“Humanism.” Learning Theories, 2018. www.learning-theories.com/humanism.html. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Kimberly, Moffitt. “Research Methodology: Approaches & Techniques.” 2018. study.com/academy/lesson/research-methodology-approaches-techniques-quiz.html#transcriptHeader. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Tiago, Maria Teresa P.M.B. and Veríssimo, Jose M.C. “Digital marketing and social media: why bother?” Business Horizons, vol. 57, no. 6, 2014, pp. 703-708. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681314000949. Accessed 21 November 2018.
Tubbs, Stewart L., & Schulz, Eric. “Exploring a taxonomy of global leadership competencies and meta-competencies.” Journal of American Academy of Business, vol. 8, no. 2, 2006, pp. 29-34. pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f582/11ebf5f811a1d60ae44ad88f495c22caa413.pdf. Accessed 21 November 2018.