RIYADH: As part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to nurture young talent, the London Business School has reaffirmed its commitment to support the Kingdom in achieving its Vision 2030 goals.
According to the dean of this leading institution, the school aims to develop high-quality management and leadership skills in young Saudis.
In an interview with Arabic NewsFrançois Ortalo-Magne said: “There are many young people and the country is growing, many young people need to be effective as workers.”
Ortalo-Magne, a frequent traveler to Saudi Arabia, said her business school’s partner companies are interested in training their respective members or employees “to properly recruit and train them.
“It’s a real mindset, we’ve noticed with our partners that we’re here for Vision 2030,” Dean added.
The London Business School dean described Aramco as one of his key clients and highlighted that many large Saudi companies benefit from the school’s expertise.
Ortalo-Magne highlighted a unique partnership where the London Business School collaborated with Saudi companies to design a 10-week training program designed to meet the immediate needs of young employees.
Regarding the training programs for girls, the Dean stressed the need to provide them with a healthy environment to nurture their growth and leadership skills.
“We have programs designed to help women not only in terms of training but also support and identify sponsors, and we are getting great results in this area,” she said.
Ortalo-Magne clarified that while men and women benefit from the same training in many fields, the emphasis is on exploiting female talent.
Highlighting the London Business School’s long-standing presence in Saudi Arabia, the Dean noted that his frequent visits to the country are primarily driven by the School’s commitment to engaging with alumni and engaging with corporate clients seeking support in their transformation journeys.
“I always come here for the same reason, to meet our alumni, what they are doing and how we can best support them, and to meet the corporate clients and organizations we support in their transition,” he noted.
The business school works with companies to identify their specific goals and then develops training programs for employees to achieve those goals. These programs cover various areas including strategy, finance, diversification, data-driven decision making and promoting women leadership.
He elaborated: “We support high-potential employees within organizations who can drive change. For example, we equip executives with strategic and financial skills, we help organizations diversify, become more consumer-centric and make data-driven decisions.
The school has two campuses in different cities with modern facilities in London and Dubai.
Ortalo-Magne highlighted the flexibility of the training approach, which can take different forms depending on the company’s needs.
For some programs, faculty members travel to Saudi Arabia for training. In other cases, it was a combination of interventions organized in both Riyadh and London, he said.
Ortalo-Magne continued: “Of course, especially after Covid-19, there is another important element, and that is the use of online technologies.”
While the school sees face-to-face interaction as an integral part of the transition, he said, it recommends enhancing its programs with an online component.
Regarding access to London Business School programs, Ortalo-Magne stressed, “When selecting candidates for a program, it depends on the partnership we have with the partner institution.”
Generally, companies have their own assessment of the skills required of their employees. “So they will decide with us the training and outcomes they are looking for and the prerequisite skills that people need,” he advised.
He added: “We do not train only the elite or leaders of an organization. Some companies have the ambition to train an entire layer of managers. It is up to us to develop learning methods that support this entire layer.
Ortalo-Magne emphasized the need to develop strategy, finance and leadership.
He also noted the growing interest in the concept of “training the trainers”.
He argued: “We see a need for ‘train-the-trainers’ who not only come to business school but also train employees who work in their companies, which will allow us to rapidly expand our training.”
The Dean emphasized the London Business School’s vision of being an engaged community on a journey of collaborative learning. He recalled the importance of trust and partnership in implementing effective training programs.
This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com
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