Zarpana Kabir is the Head of Northern Europe, Advertising for Adobe in the US. She studied on the 5 day intensive Strategic Decision Making for Management course.
A team approach
For me, enrolling on LSE’s Strategic Decision Making for Management programme was about developing a stronger, more rounded business perspective. I don’t have an MBA, so I wanted a practical executive course that would allow me to couple what I learned with my existing career experience. LSE has a great brand and exactly the kind of premium reputation I was looking for. It’s also condensed into a 5-day format which fit in well with my hugely frenetic work schedule.
There are three professors who contribute to the Strategic Decision Making for Management programme – Barbara Fasolo, Valentina Ferretti and Paul Willman - all of whom are energetic, offer a different perspective and showcase a clear passion for their subject. A lot of their teaching was highly interactive, exploring the psychology behind team behaviours and executive decision-making and examining the use of different models and frameworks.
“I found the project work particularly valuable, collaborating in groups and then sharing our findings across multiple teams. It was fascinating to see how others had translated the same material based on their own different approaches. A couple of classmates really added to my personal learning experience – individuals who were naturally inclined to think more deeply about various aspects of our group work. In my current role at Adobe, success often means doing as much as possible, as quickly as possible, so I valued this more methodical approach. It encouraged me to ask ‘Why?’ more often and do a deep dive, as opposed to simply taking things and running with them.
Theory into practice
Back in the office I was initially unsure how I could put what I learned into practice, simply because the pace at work is so fast. Now I realise that some of the principles I learned are already coming into the framework of my day-to-day – I’ve started to stop and think during my decision-making process, balancing strong solutions with strategic objectives.
As I move forward in my career, I’m going to have to make increasingly complicated and strategically challenging decisions. Up to now I’ve relied on my experience and my gut; now I know that this can lead to cognitive bias. I’ve learned that there are multiple ways of approaching problems to come up with the right solution and in recognising this, I’ve become much more objective in my outlook.
I finished the Strategic Decision Making for Management programme wanting more and wishing I had more time. With lectures, reading and group projects it provided a great taster of what executive education can offer. It was a fantastic experience – in fact I loved it so much that I’ve already recommended it to colleagues!