Successful 15th edition of CEEMAN's Program Management Seminar
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Thirty-eight participants from 25 institutions and 12 countries came to Bled this week to attend the Program Management Seminar organized by CEEMAN.

Being part of CEEMAN’s program portfolio since 2005, the Seminar is an intensive and highly interactive three-day program designed to make program and project managers working at universities and business schools more effective in handling their increasingly demanding and complex responsibilities. Class sessions included briefings by experts, group discussions, and case analyses as well as lots of experience sharing and exchange of ideas among the participants.

Program faculty included a high-profile team of experienced practitioners of business education and guest speakers:

  • Paul Matthyssens, academic Director of the Master in Global Management at Antwerp Management School, Belgium
  • Rudy Martens, Chairman of the Department of Management at University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Danica Purg, President of CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia
  • Andrew Crisp, Founder of CarringtonCrisp, UK
  • Alenka Braček Lalić, CEEMAN IQA Director and Vice-Dean for Research, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia
  • Nenad Filipović, Director of Executive Education, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia
  • Iztok Seljak, President of the Management Board, Hidria d.o.o., Slovenia

After the welcome by Danica Purg and CEEMAN Director Olga Veligurska, the participants immediately deep-dived into work with Paul Matthyssens and Rudy Martens leading the interactive ice-breaker workshop. The participants were asked to list the professional and personal traits of a perfect program manager, exchanging ideas and experience on day-to-day challenges of program design and delivery, the importance of an organization’s mission and vision and making an impact outside of their institutions. Paul and Rudy also talked about the current challenges and gaps in management development, highlighting the ever-growing requirement of relevance and excellence, described also in the CEEMAN Manifesto “Changing the Course of Management Development: Combining Excellence with Relevance”. The perfect balance between theory and practice was established with an impressive line-up of world-renowned lecturers. Andrew Crisp addressed the topic of building international reputation through marketing and communications. He stressed the importance of a brand, how to build one and how to stand out from the crowd. Prof. Nenad Filipović of IEDC-Bled School of Management presented his view on the role of the Program Manager together with the challenges lying ahead of this profession.

The second day of the seminar was also packed with lots of experience sharing among the participants and lecturers, with Danica Purg and Andrew Crisp leading the way in the first half of the day and discussing networking and alumni relations. Danica Purg then engaged the participants in a heated debate over some real cases of ethical dilemmas, and the workshop concluded by presenting solutions and exchanging ideas and experiences with interesting insights.

The third and final day began with Alenka Braček Lalić and Iztok Seljak representing two different stakeholders in the world of management development: the academic world and the business sector. Alenka Braček Lalić presented insights from recent CEEMAN-coordinated research projects and her experience from various IQA accreditation visits, highlighting the top three skills that will be in high demand by businesses: agility, leading people and cognitive flexibility/willingness to change. Dr. Seljak added that both the academic and the business side have a shared responsibility of developing a new set of skills, competences and mindsets, where closer collaboration between business and education providers is crucial. Participants were then tasked with designing different programs for Hidria that would help it to be ahead of the competitors in the rapidly changing automotive industry. The closing panel with program faculty addressed the issues of relevance, excellence, engagement, impact, and sustainability.

During their stay, participants also got to visit some of Bled’s tourist attractions and had a lovely dinner at nearby town Radovljica getting a taste of traditional Slovenian cuisine, music, and hospitality.

With this year’s Program Management Seminar successfully concluded, the CEEMAN team is already looking forward to the next program they are organizing. With preparations for IMTA-International Management Teachers Academy in full swing and new applications coming in steadily, you are cordially invited to take this opportunity and take your teaching skills to a new level. Registrations are also open for the 27th CEEMAN Annual Conference, which will be taking place in Wrocław, Poland later this year.

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