Grant Schroeder (ILF2014)


Institution: IESE Business School
Course: Global CEO Program

It is with pleasure that I forward my report on my training made possible through the Industry leaders fund.

I am the MD of a family manufacturing business producing patented constant flow valves for water. We have 12 staff and enjoy a unique market with around 50% of production being exported through a chain of global distributors.

I applied to undertake management and CEO training over three by one week blocks at prestigious business schools in three different countries over six months. The business schools were in Sao Paulo, Philadelphia and Shanghai.

I am sincerely grateful to Phil Ransom of the AI Group for recommending the training to me, and also to Geoff Vogt for encouraging me to apply. One thing our business had lacked was training across all levels of staff, including myself. So it was time to drag myself out of my comfort zone! Wow, what a journey and privilege it has been.

Studying in a room full of CEO’s with hardly anyone else from the southern hemisphere, and with most of them managing thousands to tens of thousands of staff was initially somewhat daunting. We quickly became friends and I soon realised that they had very similar day to day issues as me, just with a few more zero’s at the end of the figures they dealt with!

Many of the subjects covered were different from anything I had undertaken prior. As a direct result of my learning outcomes, I am now equipped with a number of new skills, and new knowledge that will serve me well in the future. It had me returning to my own manufacturing business with an unanticipated new sense of enthusiasm and confidence for business growth.
(This is quite a statement for an MD of a manufacturing business in Australia.)

Applying for the training grant was straight forward;
Step 1 was an online form asking about you, your employment and qualifications, what you are involved in and the purpose of the grant.
Step 2 again online asks about your chosen course and how it would benefit you, your employer and the SA community.
Step 3 was a face to face interview with several laid back and good humoured ILF committee members.
Three steps might sound arduous, but it was a refreshingly easy process.

I look forward to maintaining contact with the ILF and its members and would certainly consider applying for further management training in the future.