As one of Europe’s most dynamic young business schools, Dublin City University (DCU) Business School places innovation at the heart of learning. John McMackin, Assistant Professor with the Work, Psychology and Strategy Group at DCU Business School, and Chair of the School’s MSc in Talent, Leadership, and HR Strategy programme shares how Our Tandem helps to enhance Executive MBA students’ development journey of self-awareness.
Why Our Tandem – Summary
- Structured Support – Our Tandem is the enabler for change, giving students the toolkit to focus on their development and personal journey.
- Detailed analytical reports – understanding the importance of data, Our Tandem allows the DCU Executive MBA team to have a single view of their cohort, providing an understandable, clear analysis of the students’ survey results.
- Ongoing development and partnership approach – caring about the students’ ongoing development, Our Tandem has a unique partnership approach that ensures success.
- Partnership with WorkMatters – Our Tandem’s partnership with WorkMatters meant the surveys included a personal agility framework and assessment tool which guided the development journey. As well as dealing with the subject of strategic and organisational agility as part of the MBA programme, this approach enabled the DCU Executive MBA team to establish, in parallel, an exploration of the capabilities that individuals need to be personally agile – a good fit for work and career environment.
The Business Case – Overview
The DCU Executive MBA teaching team was looking for a way to give Executive MBA students structured support and help them to develop an understanding of their personal development and growth whilst on the course and beyond.
- They needed a solution that is so user-friendly, the students need no instruction on how to use it. Our Tandem empowers them to conduct their 360 processes and provides them with a framework for guidance.
- Required the generation of detailed reports for students to gauge their self-assessment of soft skills so they could use them as a proof point with their organisations.
The Business Case – Detailed
The DCU Executive MBA Programme is a two-year course that aims to help students develop an understanding of the range of foundation disciplines and their potential contribution to business leadership and organisational effectiveness. The programme also focuses specifically on the key strategic drivers of sustainable growth and operational excellence. DCU were in search of a provider who could provide a solution for them to effectively measure their Executive MBA students’ development of soft skills (such as their growth mindset). This was with the aim of providing unrivalled support on their personal journey, by setting short- and long-term development goals and facilitating the students with a platform to manage their development. When the students write their final 10,000-word development journey at the end of the course, Our Tandem provides them with a record of their assessment and progression.
The Executive MBA programme works towards four value pillars – Inspiring Future Leaders, Transforming Organisations, Engaging the Enterprise, and Influencing Business in Society. DCU chose Our Tandem to use 360 surveys to assess their development against the four pillars, to ensure the students could finish the course with a clear picture of their future leadership style, how they can transfer the new skills learned to transform their organisations, and how they can impact the future society.
“Our Tandem came along and had exactly the solution we needed. With their ability to support the conduct of the 360 process, generation of detailed reports and their true consideration for ongoing development of our students” – John McMackin, DCU.
The 360 survey is used to develop self-awareness of the student’s own personal and leadership agility, deepening their emotional intelligence and enhancing their leadership behaviours. As a core element of the programme is based around emotional intelligence and self-awareness, DCU wanted to enhance the understanding of these soft skills to carry into the future of their work.
John commented: “Prior to working with Our Tandem, the students were left to conduct their self-assessment and development journey themselves. They would be encouraged to use questions on a questionnaire, recording their answers on an excel spreadsheet, but the Our Tandem platform now enables us to provide structured support in the strongest sense.”
Our Tandem also has a strong link with WorkMatters, founded by People and Leadership Consultant and Coach, Kevin Empey. WorkMatters works to help establishments and leaders with their future of work strategies and organisational agility. WorkMatters worked alongside DCU and Our Tandem to develop the content for the 360 surveys using their personal agility framework and assessment tool – a fine example of their unique partnership approach. WorkMatters have identified the research-based capabilities individuals need to be personally agile, a key capability that is also important for the changing future of the work environment. The Tandem system was then easily configured to accommodate the assessment tool and 360 processes on their platform.
Our Tandem is therefore empowering students to develop a deeper understanding of their agility skillset and their potential contribution to future business leadership and organisational effectiveness.