Henley Business School Inaugurates Henley Alumni Group Of Ghana (HAAG)

Mar 15, 2017 | Nana Yaw Baafi

Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK and the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) have formerly inaugurated the Ghana Chapter of its Alumni association, which has become known as the Henley Alumni Group of Ghana (HAAG).

The event was graced by Special Guest of Honour and visiting Professor Yishan Tang of the Henley Business School, University of Reading, who was in town to lead a special information session on the joint Henley/UGBS MSc (Management Information Systems) programme and to formally inaugurate the HAAG on behalf of the Global Henley Alumni Association in the UK.

The formation of the HAAG aims at boosting Alumni networking relationship with sister alumni groups all over the globe as well as the post-graduation alumni academic pursuits such as the regular Henley Global Master Classes held in the UK from time to time.

The Alumni Volunteer committee members inaugurated in line with the Alumni Terms of Reference include

i) Nii Adumansa-Baddoo - Chairman ii) Mr. Emmanuel Akoto - 1ST Vice- Chairman

iii) Mr. Kojo Ohene-Kyei - 2nd Vice-Chairman

iv) Mr. Amoako Bonti Asante - Secretary v) Joyce Bannerman –Wood (Mrs ) - Member

Speaking at the official inauguration in Accra, Nii Adumansa-Baddoo, Chairman of the HAAG, said the event was historic since this was the first time the group had come together as an alumni group in Ghana to be duly recognized by the global alumni community.

Though the association is in its infant stages, the Chairman was optimistic that this local alumni community, comprising the Ancient, who are the graduates of the Henley Executive MBA group and the Modern, who are largely the graduates of the Joint Henley/UGBS MSc (MIS) programme, will grow rapidly to be symbol of quality leadership and innovation in Ghana.

"Information available from the Henley website indicates that the Henley Business School (HBS) is the first to be established in the UK and has become famous for its excellent learning experience acquired through expert teaching, industry partnerships and cutting-edge research.

...It is also refreshing to mention that HBS is included in the top 1% of business schools with triple accreditation by the Association of MBA schools (AMBA) and the Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business ( AACSB). This enviable record, undoubtedly, reflects the high quality teaching, learning and research in Henley ( https://www.henley.imaste-ips.com )," Nii Adumansa-Baddoo stated.

He was hopeful that the HAAG would be a pace-setter in expanding the frontiers of knowledge and academic excellence within in our local environment.

For his part, the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ing. Simon Allotey, who also happens to be a Henley Alumnus, took advantage of the inaugural ceremony to share his personal experiences.

"I wish to thank the Executives of the Henley Business School Ghana Alumni Group for this opportunity to speak at the inauguration of our Alumni Group. Let me first congratulate the newly inducted Executives and the Henley Business School for the tremendous effort and collaboration to make this historic event possible. We should all feel proud of our Alumni status of the prestigious Henley Business School.

From my personal experience, it does not come easy to acquire a MBA or any other degree from Henley. I particularly remember the exigent emails from Moira Holloway & Sus Ilett when I was trailing badly in my deadline for submission of my Assignments. I read one of the emails:

Assignment Progress Moira Holloway <MoiraH@henleymc.ac.uk>

Mon 2000-07-10, 12:01 AM You're editing this Cancel Download Pending... Dear Simon, Hello, How are you? It was good to finally meet you last month, I enjoyed

my visit to Ghana - though I wish I could have stayed longer!

I am writing to see how you are progressing with your outstanding assignments

- Managing Markets, Managing Performance and Managing Financial Resources.

Please let me know if you would like to meet with any tutors during your

visit to Henley at the end of the month. I look forward to meeting you again soon. Best wishes, Moira After the submission and marking of my Dissertation, I was really relieved when I received a message from sue Illett which read “Congrats! Your hard work has paid off. You have completed the MBA program successfully and you are eligible for graduation”

We all deserve tonnes of congratulations for combining work with Henley’s Academic program. At GCAA there were a number of us on the programme between 1999 and 2000 and we often encouraged one another when the going got tough!

Recently I received through WhatsApp (Social media) a tirade by a Ghanaian who was complaining about the relevance of several formulas and tools we learn in school to improving the economic well-being of Ghanaians. He specifically queried “how does pir2h bring food to my table?” He clearly lacked appreciation of the application of theoretical concepts, tools and techniques in our daily lives at home or on the job. You obviously need to have knowledge of pir2 to calculate the area of a circle or pir2h to calculate the volume of the cylindrical canned drinks and food items he consumes. We thus have a challenge as MBA graduates to focus on the practical application of the various management theories models, tools, principles we have acquired in solving organisational issues.

On this historic occasion I wish to share my personal experience on the impact of the MBA program on my career and on my Organisational success. You will agree with me that the impact will not be the same for every graduate as several internal and external factors could influence the effective application of skills acquired during the programme to organisational success. For example, there are organisations in Ghana where the acquisition of a MBA degree does not excite the employer. It may not lead to higher responsibilities, higher pay or a promotion. There are a lot of people who clearly lack appreciation of the impact of management development on organisational performance.

I can speak only for myself and to some extent my colleagues at GCAA who were on the program.

I enrolled for the program in 1999 at a time when I was the Deputy Director of Engineering at GCAA. The very first assignment after doing the module on STRATEGY was on the “Strategic organisational review – a case study of the GCAA”. I must admit that my performance on this assignment was average as I was still set in my old ways. I did the strategic review mainly from my knowledge of the organisation with little application of the models and tools we have been taught. That was a wakeup call for me and the proper use of models has been part of my personal and working life up to date. Henley taught me to be critical and analytical. The uncountable models we reviewed and the exhaustive literature review we undertook confirmed diverse and sometimes divergent views on the same issue. I readily recall a few of these models including:

Porters 5 Forces ; McKenzie’s 7-s Framework; Force field Analysis; The BCG or Boston Consulting Group Matrix ; The Ansoff Matrix and the value Chain Analysis. Thus I soon learnt that organisational issues were not one-dimensional but were a complex matrix of interrelated causes and effects. Systems thinking became more relevant to me and issues were analysed from several perspectives.

I ceased to view issues from my perspective only and became more appreciative of the perspectives of other staff on various issues. This attitudinal change led to improved team work and collaboration. We would develop options based on the various perspectives and often come up with a solution which considered all the various views.

I was promoted to the position of Director of Engineering in 2000 when a vacancy arose and it would be preposterous to attribute that to the MBA program which was in progress.

Needless to say, I unconsciously applied the knowledge and skills gained in the management of the Engineering Department and I was chosen out of Four Technical heads to head the Technical Division of the Authority in 2004. The fairy tale continued in 2007 when the Government appointment me Ag. Director-General for the GCAA following the retirement of our DG who is now our Alumni Chairman.

Mrs Catherine Hoffman, Marketing Manager of the Authority eventually became the Director of Economic Regulations and Business Development; Mrs Joyce Bannerman-Wood also became the Director of Legal Services at the newly created Ghana Airports Company Ltd in 2007 whilst Mr Bernard Nyavor rose to become the Head of Airport Operations.

Other colleagues who were on the Executive MBA with me have also excelled.

To name just a few, Kojo Ohene Kyei who was a senior manager at the reputable Barclays Bank left to start his own company which today has become one of the leading non-banking financial services company in Ghana. Richard Allotey has a major construction company whilst Lawrence Armarfio is the Head of Corporate Planning at Ghana Post.

I believe we all feel more confident on the job with the knowledge of the availability of tools or weapons to deal with personal and organisational challenges. The MBA program definitely adds value to the work of the organisation. This is not to say that an organisation may not succeed without MBA graduates. In my view, the program improves on the quality of the work force leading to enhanced efficiencies and productivity. I recall that through Mr Baddoo’s leadership and management skills, the GCAA which could barely pay staff salaries at the time he took office as Director-General, became a transformed organisation by the time he left office in 2006 with positive balance sheets. Thanks to the transformational power of Henley’s management program!

One key benefit of the program has been the forging of close personal and business relationships and even after the program. The networking has facilitated the sharing of information and strengthened the cooperation with my peers at several levels. For example, the Ghana Post officials led by Mr Lawrence Armarfio casually visited the Authority recently to benchmark our Performance Management and Compensation management system with theirs with a view of adopting best industry practice. He did not need an appointment and the official discussions were held in a very relaxed climate.

The MBA program has definitely improved our confidence and the job and it is my hope and expectation that beyond the networking opportunities to be provided by out alumni, we will through our outstanding performance on the job contribute effectively to the rapid socio-economic transformation of Ghana’s economy. We as Alumni also have a responsibility to preach the good news about the Henley business programs to all and sundry.

We are willing, ready and available to assist the Henley Business School with Research and Teaching assistance as and when the need arises. I hope that our Alumni will be vibrant and keep to the event schedule drawn up for the rest of the year. We should also make an effort to reach to other Alumni who are on not or our WhatsApp or mailing list.

We look forward to enhanced collaboration with Henley, improved networking among the alumni and personal and corporate levels and the practical application of the tools and techniques learnt at Henley in improving the quality of our lives and families.

Once again, I congratulate Nii Adumansa Baddoo and his Executives for the hard work and wish the Alumni every success in its endeavours. "


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