Filip Roelandt is Director Business Development at the Syntra West Group. In pre-coronavirus times, his organization was strategically preparing itself for the next wave of digitization. He himself was also ready to take the next strategic step in his personal growth journey. The Master Class Business Strategy & Leadership proved to be the ideal blend to reach the “next level” in a well-founded way, both for his organization and for himself.
Filip Roelandt has been working at Syntra West for fifteen years now. It is a fantastic, dynamic company, and he thoroughly enjoys working there. Still, he felt it was time to look for fresh inspiration outside of his own organization. He first thought about getting an MBA, but in the end, he was totally won over by the AMS Master Class Business Strategy & Leadership: "It was the perfect match for me and it came at exactly the right time. I was looking for new, strategic knowledge, as the next step in my personal growth journey. At the same time, at Syntra West, we had embarked on a strategy exercise to analyze the impact of digitization on our own and our clients’ business operations.
The AMS Master Class perfectly bridged the gap between self-development and organizational development. Had the program been limited to digital strategy, it wouldn’t have filled my needs. But now I got everything I was looking for, the whole package of digital transformation, business strategy and leadership, combined in one single master class.”
"If a training program can bring about something like this, then you are really triggered to get started with the feedback."
Those three dimensions were in themselves an eye-opener: "The first session was a training session in the NeuroTrainingLabTM. I was rather critical of the concept, I admit. I was wondering what they could possibly deduce from the registration of your brain activity, etc. It turned out to be a genuine aha moment. The session beautifully shows who you are and how you deal with certain situations. You also get personal feedback that you can apply in practice straight away. And, although you practically literally open your brain to the AMS people so that they can analyze you, you feel safe at all times. It is confrontational but in a good way. If a training program can bring about something like this, then you are really triggered to get started with the feedback."
"The theory is also ‘personalized’. Classes may start with Amazon, but they end up with the participants' own organizations."
The digital transformation dimension proved to be just as effective: "When it comes to digitization in an organization, everyone immediately thinks that it is up to the IT department. But that is not the case at all. Business and IT have to go hand in hand, AMS clearly demonstrated that. If you want your digital transformation to succeed, then business and IT have to team up and design and implement a strategy together.” The business strategy dimension also provided plenty of food for thought and action: "The sessions on business strategy were absolutely inspiring. You get an incredible amount of background knowledge in a short period of time. In the beginning, it all seems pretty chaotic, but soon you start noticing that everything is connected, and that you actually need all the elements you have been taught if you want to draw up a good strategy. The theory is also ‘personalized’. Classes may start with Amazon, but they end up with the participants' own organizations. When you leave the program, you thus feel a bit of an expert in pharma, insurance, etc. because of all the stories and the cases your fellow students share.”
"The faculty not only ‘push’ knowledge, the participants are 'pulling' knowledge as well."
Which brings us straight to dimensions number 4 and 5. For, not only the three parts of the Master Class made all the difference: the peer group and AMS as an organization too, provided an added value: "The faculty not only ‘push’ knowledge, the participants are 'pulling' knowledge as well. We had a fantastic group that very easily shared expertise. This means that you not only learn from the faculty, but also from each other. After all, participants in this type of master class are not your average 18-year-old student: every participant has an ambition, both a professional and a personal one. If you feel that there is trust within the group and that you can relax, then you get real added value, even apart from the program itself. AMS as an organization takes great care to facilitate that group feeling. AMS may seem like a traditional business school at first, but they are not at all distant. The AMS back office personally guides all of the participants and makes sure to bring about the group feeling that is so important."
"All of this combined, makes this Master Class a perfect fit. Even though it is quite an intensive program and it involves a lot of 'homework', you get so much in return afterwards. Not just for yourself as a person, but for your organization as well.”