Return to management hard skills
We asked about what’s more challenging in the post graduate business education in Europe and worldwide. „As I observed in the last years, all new or experienced managers are more than willing to learn more, to continuously achieve knowledge and to build experience within excellence. I was honored to be the host of an ExMP Open Master Class by ESCP Europe here at CCIFER. Speaking from a personal point of view, being a teacher, part of a team that shares and develops great knowledge to the European and to the global ESCP students seems to be almost my second nature. In particular, the Romanian managers I’ve met as a teacher at my Management Control Class were equally interested and highly avid of new tools and methods to improve themselves and self- implicated in what I was preoccupied to share. They confirmed afterwards that for them it was a revealing experience and a good opportunity to find out insights through an interesting Management Control study case that showed why it is important for their companies to choose performance indicators which are consistent with the company’s strategic objectives and level of decentralization”, said Carla.
In a few words, the Executive Management Programme (ExMP) is the core of ESCP Europe’s prestigious EMBA. It is for the first time that an elite international business school, such as ESCP Europe, offers a programme in Romania and the South- Eastern Europe. ESCP Europe brings its European dimension which is essential for a country such as Romania – a great chance for Romanian managers to access executive education from such a highly ranked school.
Why do we need a profoundly approach of Management Control in the actual economic conditions? The experimented Professor answered to us: „Nowadays companies implement Management Control systems to ensure that they will achieve their objectives. Management Control Systems include planning tools such as Budgeting and tools to measure results. Drawing the line after implementing these tools and procedures allows taking corrective actions if needed. It is not a novelty that every company needs some kind of Management Control. Of course, small companies and entrepreneurs will use simple Management Control tools. For instance, they will only use a few indicators to follow-up their results. On the contrary, large companies will develop sophisticated cost accounting and management control systems.”
Another question that frequently came out during Mrs. Mendoza last teaching years is whether there is a secret regarding applying Management Control in real business life. „In my opinion implementing a successful Management Control system is not only a technical issue. A good Management Control system is one that is truly used by operational managers.
This is the reason why controllers must not only have technical skills but also communication skills to get operational managers involved in the Management Control process” clarified Mrs. Mendoza. This was the point of our discussion where we felt that it’s important to find out if there are some other hard skills that the ESCP Europe Professor considers to be equally important for an Executive that attends the ExMP in Bucharest. We find out from Mrs. Mendoza that the current training courses such as Marketing, Finance, Operation Management or Strategy seem quite relevant. On the same page, the ExMP aims to train the future general managers, so they need to have a comprehensive view of all the key dimensions and functions when managing a company. This is why, the Professor considered that there are some specific skills to be developed or improved:
- good knowledge of technical dimensions such as: cost accounting methods, variance analysis techniques, know-how to build relevant key performance indicators, etc.;
- being able to work with Information Systems Managers so as to ensure that the information produced will be reliable;
- relational skills/communication skills to ensure that operational managers get involved in the adaptation of the management control tools and that they really use the information provided to them to make better decisions.
Speaking about ExMP by CCIFER in Bucharest, Mrs. Carla Mendoza reinforced what Mrs. Adriana Record, Executive Director of CCIFER told to the Romanian managers at the beginning of the ExMP Open Master Class by ESCP Europe: „The purpose in our business school is to create a European Management model. We don’t tell managers how to do something but more likely how to work together knowing that we are all different. How we do that? We develop a specific kind of value that is less technical. Of course, they learn the basics in management, finance marketing but we insist on working together, being curious, respecting the others, listening to the others, growing from diversity and a whole range of values that are less tangible but that go beyond a managerial technique” – a new and prospective approach whereof we will find more in the future from the ExMP attending managers.
Carla Mendoza is a Professor of Management Accounting and Management Control at ESCP EUROPE and EMBA – CCIFER program in Romania. She graduated HEC and has a PhD in Management. Her researches are mostly on new Management Control tools including Activity-Based Costing, Activity-Based Management and Key Performance Indicators. Recent published contributions are: «Coûts et décisions» (Editions Gualino, 2009), „Tableaux de bord: donnez du sens à vos indicateurs” (Groupe RFC, 2011) and «The Art of Management Control – Issues and practices» (Pearson, 2011).