Richard Bowyer

National Sales Manager, Triflex (UK) Limited

The Manchester Management Development Programme is a five- day high energy general management course. Over the week the emphasis is on building an individual’s confidence as a manager and gaining a wider appreciation of business.

How did you hear about the programme?

As I attended Manchester University (UMIST) for my degree course many years ago, I was aware of the reputation the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) enjoys worldwide.  I’d recommend attending a free taster session (mine was about Systematic Inventive Thinking) which gave a real flavour of what AMBS is about.

Why were you interested in the programme?

I am of the opinion that ‘every day’s a school day’ and that self-improvement is beneficial in both business and personal life. With a new role on the horizon, but very little direct management experience under my belt, I felt that some formal guidance would be useful. Being unable to dedicate the time to an MBA or similar, the Manchester Management Development Programme (MMDP) seemed an ideal starting point.

How did you feel at the end of day 1?

Exhausted, but exhilarated as my eyes had been opened to many aspects of business that I’d quite simply never considered. Whilst talking to my Director on the way home, I felt that even in that short space of time I was more confident to question at a deeper level.

What, if anything had changed, by the end of the week?

For me, the focus on each individual’s ‘Opportunity to Shine’ really did highlight what needed to be done and provided a framework of how to achieve it. The programme director’s phrase, “what’s really going on,” which was repeated throughout out the week, made a great deal of sense to me and I frequently use it in all kinds of situations.

What did you enjoy the most?

I felt that the learning environment was inclusive and encouraging, and as such, in a very short space of time, some meaningful relationships were forged between delegates and staff, and a team mentality was formed.  It may sound trite but discussing issues with likeminded people in a safe environment was for me, not a naturally open person, extremely positive.

Have you managed to put into practice what you learnt?

Almost immediately, I was able to draw comparisons between the learning and real life work situations. If I’m honest however, like most people I’m guilty of working too much ‘in’ the business and not enough ‘on’ the business. At least now I can see when I need to take a step back and view the bigger picture. It’s not given me all the answers, but the confidence to ask, “what’s really going on.”  If you answer this, then you’re well on the way to getting to the bottom of things.

Would you recommend the programme to others, and if so, why?

Absolutely, yes I would.  It’s given me a wider perspective and as such, my role is far more interesting than it would have been without attending.

What is your top tip for others coming on the programme?

Open your mind and prepare for it to be filled.  (You’ll also need the weekend to recover!)

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