University opens free leadership program

University opens free leadership program

La Trobe University is offering a free online leadership development program designed to provide business owners and individuals new skills and professional growth during the COVID-19 crisis.

The La Trobe Business School Leadership Professional Development Program – delivered through the highly regarded La Trobe MBA – consists of three modules running a total of 12 hours.

Leading business academics and alumni from the University’s MBA program have volunteered to facilitate course, which is open to everyone.

MBA Program Director Dr Geraldine Kennett sees the benefits the program brings to business leaders and individuals at the height of the global pandemic.

“These are challenging times for any organisation, and as a community leader La Trobe wants to do what we can to help our communities and leaders adapt to meet the demands they are now facing,” she said.

Dr Kennett added that by connecting participants “with peers from other organisations to share thoughts, experiences and develop ongoing mutually beneficial relationships”, they will gain the knowledge, skills and capabilities required to lead an organisation or team in these uncertain times.

“We want participants to understand their personal leadership style, strengths and gaps. We want them to understand their team’s dynamics and identify forthcoming challenges. But most of all we want them to be able to apply creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to the situations they’re facing right now,” she said.

Dr. Susan Inglis, La Trobe Business School Honorary Associate and former Professor of Practice, is among the alumni who stepped forward to help run the program. She currently teaches on the MBA.

“I had some free time and was wanting to give back to others who may be doing it tough,” she said.

“It’s been a privilege to volunteer my skills to help design this program. As a La Trobe alumni and staff member, I feel a close connection with the University’s values of assisting our community – this is such a practical way to do so.”

Navigating the COVID-19 disruption

The La Trobe Business School has invited some of the University’s key partners, including The Australian Ballet, NORTH Link and the Northern Football Netball League (NFNL), to participate in the program.

Chris James, director of NORTH Link, the economic development network in Melbourne’s North, and La Trobe MBA Experiential Learning Partner, commended the initiative.

“La Trobe University is demonstrating strong community leadership during this crisis by sharing its intellectual capital with the Melbourne's North community, including affected businesses,” he said.

"The Leadership Professional Development Program will be of great benefit to business in navigating the disruption caused by COVID-19."

Peter McDougall, chief executive of the NFNL, which is located at the La Trobe Sport Park, emphasised the importance of strong leadership skills in the field of sports. He enrolled in the course with his staff.

“As a leading community sporting organisation, it is important that the NFNL and our staff are leaders in all areas,” McDougall said.

“It makes sense for myself and all NFNL staff to participate in this program which will certainly help my staff to upskill their leadership qualities to assist our clubs during difficult times now, and into the future.”

Australian Ballet Executive Director Libby Christie expressed gratitude to La Trobe University for creating the new program.

“This thoughtful and generous offer makes it possible for our people at The Australian Ballet to make productive use of this difficult time thanks to a really valuable professional development opportunity. Thank you to our great partners at LTU,” she said.