As a University, your core business is to recruit new students. One of the reasons graduate students are choosing the University of Coventry London Campus (CULC) right now for post-grad study is the High Flyers program. It differentiates CULC from other MBA programs and deals with the non-academic aspects of education (Vertical Growth) in preparation for the working environment, which other universities do not currently do. Read on to see how Gables has worked with CULC and how we could do it for you too.
The idea is to pick the top dozen students on the current intake of MBA students at CULC and develop their thinking capabilities over a three month period into what businesses would expect to see of Leaders with an MBA. This means that instead of filling their head with more facts (horizontal learning) I actively question their “Epistemological Stance” to understand how complexly they thought about complex problems.I begin by profiling the twelve students with an Identity Compass profile. This gives us a measure of how they prefer to think in the context of education and university, which brings up some very interesting habituated patterns, beliefs and behaviours, common to all post-grad students, allowing us to benchmark a “student thinking type”. From the Identity Compass profile, we then feed back the results to each student and work out a vertical developmental path from there, depending on their needs.The main benefit for the students is the level of awareness each gains from understanding their Thinking Quotient. This awareness is manifest in their approach to networking events, where each performed better than their profile suggested in order to develop and grow as a direct result of the awareness.
Proof of the Pudding
After the profile feedback, I run a number of sessions to demonstrate their thinking preferences and how specific combinations of these can help me to predict their behaviour. If you combine just two thinking preferences, and split the group up into the four combinations of those preferences, one is able predict the behaviour of the four smaller groups in a given exercise, including down to the type of language they will use in their presentation afterwards. This demonstrates specifically how our thinking affects our behaviour in a work (or student) context.Please see this link to a YouTube video created and edited by the latest High Flyers cohort at CULC as an example of their excellent work. I’m in there too!In organisations, it is important to surround yourself with people who compliment you, not just who imitate your thinking, as opposites are often more useful in decision-making. Someone who looks for details when you are unable to is a complimentary style. Two “big picture” people would not work well in an accounts team! Also, It’s always useful to have a Devil’s Advocate, but one who is intelligent in their objections and not a hindrance to growth.
The Value-Add Part
The proof of the programme’s efficacy is on the right in image form. The two images are snippets taken from a post-High Flyers survey. The top two activities on each are Gables activities, and it is clear the students value this experience the most. As a result of the profiles and development of their Thinking Quotient, the students are able to switch their thinking from a purely academic and horizontal approach to learning and problem solving, to a more Vertical approach and thus, cognitive development.
By virtue of the huge success of the High Flyers program, and testimony to its efficacy with the MBA students, the University of Coventry, London Campus is now rolling it out to under-grads.
If you are part of a University faculty, whether on the MBA staff or under-grad, and would like more information on just how important this Development is for the students, faculty and University, then get in touch today and we will happily chat with you about how we can implement a “High Flyers” program where you are.
Receiving an Award
Check out the video below. I receive a very nice bottle of wine for my efforts with the recent cohort of High Flyers, by far the most improved group.
BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
As each student and educational environment is different, we ensure you get the Vertical Development unique to your needs, your team or your individuals. Your starting point is going to be different from other establishments, not only due to your size and culture, but also on your educational direction. Here is what Coventry said:
“We developed the High Flyers Programme 18 months ago in order to give our most able students essential employability skills around self-awareness, self-promotion and general business awareness, so that they could take maximum advantage of the best internship opportunities and have the best possible start to their careers. The self-awareness piece which we have delivered through the Identity Compass with Darren Stevens has been fundamental to the students’ understanding of themselves and others. They have reflected on this being the part of the Programme to have the most impact on them; understanding how powerful this knowledge and understanding can be” – Gareth @ CULC