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This Too Shall Pass

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We are in a time of rapid change. The current climate has driven many people to seek new skills and develop renewed purpose and top business schools are innovating to meet these demands. Applications and interest remain high, but institutions must be resourceful and flexible to succeed.

At present, employees find their prospects to progress are reduced or entirely curtailed, and unemployment has already hit thousands more. Now is an ideal time to escape the job market. It is ideal, during this period of uncertainty, to re-invest in yourself – to build your skills, network, and credentials for a better future.

No matter how intense a recession or a global health crisis is, it will not continue indefinitely. Don’t let short-term circumstances control long-term choices.  Engaging in further education would not only offer necessary skills, qualities and experience to forge new career paths, but could give candidates shelter from the existing weak economy. Where there is challenge there is opportunity, and Henley Business School offers MBA and Executive Education Leadership Programmes that will help business leaders navigate and surpass the chaos of the past year and steer their corporations in the right direction.

“No matter how intense a recession or a global health crisis is, it will not continue indefinitely.”

It is vital to build skills that are not only needed now, but in three or five-years’ time.  Currently, job security is weak and so the opportunity costs for an MBA or further education investment are smaller. By the time this year’s incoming MBA or Executive Education students graduate, both COVID-19 and the economic slump will be a distant memory. The Class of 2023 and beyond should graduate into a recuperated economy, freshly qualified and better prepared to take full advantage of the expected growth.

There will be no return to the ‘old normal’ however, and even the most experienced business leaders do not have the answers to this long-term uncertainty and must continue to engage, learn and communicate. The core skills of leadership matter more than ever, and the Leadership Programme at Henley, available live-online or in-person, develops and refines personal leadership skills, including participants ability to handle difficult situations, influence others and build relationships. Courses like these are imperative to move forward into 2022 with power, strength and resolve.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 mandated a rapid shift to remote working and organisations have had to change how they operate, including how and where jobs are carried out, as well as planning for, or returning staff to work. Additionally, fast digital transformation means managers may soon be leading teams in which workers and AI interact to do higher-level work. Executives in a post-pandemic workplace will need new skills to effectively lead these teams.

Amidst chaos and insecurity, hasty short-term decisions may make sense, but they don’t fully account for long-term goals. During turbulent times eyes need to be fixed firmly on the future. An MBA or Executive Education is a long-term investment. They will help foster a culture of decisive and effective leadership, bearing leaders who can confidently deal with pressure and change. No business can fully escape  the impact of COVID-19 – but every business leader must rise to the occasion, alleviating the damage while implementing strategies that will lead their organisations back to prosperity.

Strong, self-assured leaders will be in demand in the post-pandemic global economy. Of all the graduate degrees, an MBA from a highly selective business school is a shrewd investment. According to the Economist Ranking, Henley Business School is rated among the top 30 in the world and is one of a selection of global business schools to hold triple-accredited status from UK, European and US awarding bodies.

The corporate impact of COVID-19 includes remote working, increasing instances of workplace burnout, health concerns, fear of job losses, an inevitable blurring of work/life balance, isolation and an over reliance on technology.  Leaders demonstrating traits such as empathy, understanding and agility will encourage and support employees, and workplaces will return to some sort of normal. To be exceptional, leaders must continuously learn and challenge themselves, and at Henley Business School, programmes encourage leaders to learn by ‘doing’ leadership.

MBA providers had a strong year last year, but it is not time to be complacent. Challenging times and unexpected obstacles will certainly return once this pandemic is controlled and the economy improves, but the capacity to calculate and take sensible risks will always be at the heart of business.  Post-pandemic, signing up to a business school like Henley, to learn valuable skills, cultivate one’s leadership potential and acquire a supportive network of connected professionals, is a risk worth taking.

Forging ahead, business schools are already formulating the next wave of programmes to help organisations navigate an altered world once the crisis subsides. The pandemic has been a lesson in leadership for all of us. How employers communicate with and support staff as they return to work, whether that’s in the workplace or working from home, will have an impact for years to come.