MSc in HRM students present a Leadership Development Programme to Dragon’s Den style judging panel
The Masters in Human Resource Management students, as part of their module on Leadership and Career Development, designed a Leadership Development Programme for new managers in the present day context i.e. COVID circumstances ever-changing, remote working, online learning, the next normal.
The programme design had to be based around this context but also situated on the detailed organisational case study information provided. The case study was originally designed based on both company information and research data from a research project undertaken by Professor Claire Gubbins. Its original design was supported by the Teaching Enhancement Unit at Dublin City University. The case study was updated to challenge the students to design a programme based on the present day context, and had to include external and internal organisational analysis and the implications of same. In addition, in line with DCU Business School’s emphasis on developing evidence based managers, the design had to reflect the best available evidence in the learning and development field.
Each team was provided with a practitioner mentor and supported by Professor Gubbins during the programme design. However, for the most part this was very much a self-directed learning activity. The top three leadership development programme proposals were given the opportunity, as consultancy teams, to pitch their proposals to a practitioner judging panel of dragons. The panel was composed of 6 top ranking learning and development professionals and thus this was both an immense opportunity and a challenge for the student teams. The panel provided live feedback to the consulting teams post the pitches which was insightful as to their view of the proposals and provided an additional opportunity for students to learn about how their programmes and their pitches would be received in practice.
“This learning activity addresses calls to better integrate university and industry in university programme assessments. The students were academically challenged to engage with the best available scientific research to inform their design but also practically challenged to design it, present it and pitch it in a manner translated for industry. Positioning the organisational case study in the present day context of remote working and online learning really required students to think about the implications of this for delivering an organisational leadership development programme. While only 3 student teams got to present, the innovations and re-designs suggested to come up with activities which could encourage learning online and engage new managers in online programmes was extremely impressive. The depth of external and internal analysis conducted demonstrated a true awareness of how the context influenced programme design. Student teams also went beyond traditional competencies included in new manager leadership development programmes and considered competencies required by leaders now to navigate through and out of the consequences of COVID-19.” said Dr. Claire Gubbins.
The practitioner judges overall feedback and summative comments included: “energised”, “optimistic about the future of learning and development”, “inspired”, “interested in the variety of approaches taken across the proposals”, “delighted to hear the fresh ideas”, and “would be willing to hire any of the presenting teams to develop their proposals”