Alf Ianniello (ILF2011)

Institution: IESE Business School
Course: Global CEO Program

Why I chose to apply for the grant

The ILF grant is a great initiative, as it allows professionals from small to medium organisations to access courses that are in the top tier globally.

The application process
The application process was extremely straightforward. What was evident from the start of the process was that the ILF is clearly targeting people that can assist in pushing along the SA economy.

What I enjoyed the most was the constructive discussions at the interview stage of the process, as it is not often you can discuss your candid opinion on subjects with other senior professionals.

How did I choose the course?
The course needed to have a global context, a strong case study learning style, a selection of participants that would challenge me and the general status quo, lecturers with links to industry, and most importantly, the course needed to be delivered by a top tier global learning organisation: hence, the Wharton Global CEO Program. Of parallel importance was its fit to the Detmold Group and its future stated initiatives.

What I learned from the course
The course broadened my approach on many business issues. Many of the frameworks/principles taught throughout the course took a varied approach to business issues, but when I was able to combine them, the solution seemed robust, clear, concise and achievable.

As always, when discussing global trends, it does become apparent that the ability to think globally and not locally would benefit not only myself, but many business people in South Australia.

The greatest learning for me was that as a senior professional, we must continue to learn and remain abreast of many leading edge thinking frameworks. The frameworks could be from many disciplines, such as HR, Finance, Engineering, Manufacturing etc.

The value of the contacts I made
The participants in the course varied in their ethnicity and backgrounds but had common DNA.

  • Smart
  • Challenging
  • Humble in their personal achievements
  • Generally good people with good values

Over the last year, the group had explored beneficial business opportunities, robust discussions on personal/business issues, and most importantly, views and opinions on their respective markets.

I would sum it up by saying that I have 80 global contacts that will serve as consultants on many business issues in the future.

The benefits to me personally
Apart from the above-mentioned points, I would say that the primary benefits for me were:

  • The reinforcement that some things that have been undertaken at Detmold are the correct things to do and at the forefront.
  • The ability to have a senior group of professionals, with no vested interests in Detmold, robustly challenging my views.
  • It kick-started many great initiatives that are currently not within my reach but will be over the next 3-5 years.

Detmold benefit
The fundamental benefit for Detmold is that it has a leader who will use learning and frameworks that will ensure that its Australian and global operations excel in the following categories:

  • Brand leadership
  • People
  • Sustainability
  • Competitiveness

Also, the benefit of all of this is that it will promote other Detmold employees to expand their educational horizons.

The true benefit is that Detmold will always be an organisation that will be managed in a truly challenging fashion. Everything is do able.

Plans to share knowledge
It would be great to communicate the benefits of the ILF and Wharton to other potential ILF candidates, and at the same time, assist the ILF through engagements they deem beneficial.

As there are many challenges ahead for manufacturing in South Australia, being involved with fellow industry peers and small to medium enterprises would be a great avenue to share what knowledge was gained at Wharton.