Yuri Romanenkov: SSE Riga Reinvents the Executive MBA
The two-year Executive MBA programme was launched in 2002. It prides itself as the programme of choice not only for many senior executives from the Baltics, but also for business minds across northern and eastern Europe.
The world – and the demands on business leaders – have changed considerably over these past two decades and SSE Riga is now relaunching the programme in 2020 with a few major developments to reflect this evolution.
Historically, business education was about knowledge – the acquiring of facts previously unknown to the learner. Today, the knowledge that sets a business leader apart is the knowledge one cannot google. Such a leader is truly FREE – a concept that the Stockholm School of Economics family puts at the very core of all of its programmes. FREE begins with a Fact and Science Mindset – a habit for critical thinking that helps graduates cut through the growing complexity of the world and information overload, helps tell real news from fake news, and helps make decisions on real facts, not alternative facts. The new EMBA programme will have even more debate in the classroom, challenging participants to critically assess each other’s arguments as they go through business cases from around the world.
Second, practising Reflection and growing greater Self-Awareness encourages continuous building of one’s leadership style. The new edition of the programme will include elements of coaching to help participants better understand what makes them tick, their behaviour in teams, and what major blind spots they may have.
Third, Empathy and Cultural Literacy are important underlying themes of the programme helping students develop the capabilities that will set humans apart from machines as AI and robots become a greater part of the labour force. One step in that direction is a joint module on Cross-Cultural Management, in which EMBA participants from across the Stockholm School of Economics family of programmes in Stockholm, Riga, and Saint Petersburg learn together with each other and about each other.
Finally, being Entrepreneurial and Responsible at the same time balances the pursuit of opportunity with the obligations that leaders have to their communities. From classroom modules in which participants practise ideation and design thinking to field projects in which they need to identify opportunities and create real change in organisations, the entrepreneurial approach becomes part of their leadership DNA.
The new edition of the programme also focuses more content on the megatrends that dominate the executive agenda across industries, including digitalisation, globalisation, and sustainability. From financial accounting to influencing and the science of human behaviour, most courses touch on some combination of these topics.
As EMBAs graduate, they join more than 2500 alumni of SSE Riga in what is one of the most influential leadership networks in the Baltics. Beyond that, the new SSE Riga EMBA is set to be more diverse than ever, with multiple new opportunities to connect with fellow participants and alumni of the sister programmes in Sweden and Russia through a joint core module and shared elective courses.
With all of the new developments in the programme, it will also retain the things that have made it great over the past 20 years. There will be no changes in the modular approach of the programme. The two-year accredited programme will be structured in a way that enables working professionals to combine their daily work with studies, meeting once a month for an intensive four-day module. It will continue to have the international immersion module in Asia, giving participants a very hands-on experience of rapidly developing economies.
The Executive MBA programme is a major commitment of time and energy that makes a big difference in one’s life and career. This year SSE Riga encourages prospective students to plan ahead and offers two admission deadlines: February 1 and June 1, 2020. Don’t miss the first round, because places in the Class of 2020, the inaugural class for the new edition, may fill up quickly.