Michael Harrold (ILF2014)

Institution: Melbourne Business School
Course: General Management

The application process to apply for an ILF grant was very simple, comprising three stages.

A straight-forward application form from the ILF web-page, downloaded, completed and submitted: easy!

A second submission gave more information about myself, which also required a minimum of two references. I was surprised at the number of people I asked who were willing to be referees.  This showed a belief others had in my capabilities, which boosted my enthusiasm to complete the questionnaire and forward it on.

The third step was for an interview with representatives of the ILF Board of Management. This was interesting yet challenging, due to the presence of such eminent South Australian business leaders on the interview panel. I did not feel that the interview was intimidating or overwhelming; the panel made me feel comfortable.  The panel was ensuring they chose the right applicants to meet the required criteria on behalf of the Industry Leaders Fund.

I chose to attend the information evening where as many as ten institutions were available to discuss and present the courses and training they offered. I met with many of the presenters and chose the MBS-Mt Eliza General Management Program. This I felt provided the appropriate framework that I considered would fulfil the knowledge basis I required.

I found the course experience at Mt Eliza to be life changing. Six days dedicated to me, learning. twenty years since I had experienced anything similar! The majority of our group however were in exactly the same position.

I learnt many new skills but also gained reassurance that a lot of what I did already know was on the right track. The strongest point of learning for me was about myself, more so than just gaining text book knowledge. I did not realise prior to participating what were my stronger and weaker points in business management. By learning what my primary weaknesses were, I could focus on these and learn techniques to improve.  Areas I needed to focus on included improving my communication skills: communicating with staff, clients and people in general.

The participants I studied with were from diverse industries and functions.  I was one of the few within the study group who was part of a company ownership.  The course took a holistic look at the major business functions, delivered by impressive facilitators in a practically based environment.  Emphasis was on continually looking at and thinking about matters in new ways, and how to resolve and review problems from a different perspective.

The fellow participants in the Mt Eliza course, showed just how passionate they were about their respective roles and their commitment to their businesses all throughout the week.  The synergy created was remarkable and rewarding for us all.

My business, Glen Carron, and I have gained the following from the course:

  • It has given me the scope to be a more purposeful leader, and to implement effective organisational change.
  • Greater opportunities for business development/improvement through the people that work for us and with us.
  • The strategies learnt to successfully deal with issues/problems will serve me many times over.
  • The ability to make the smarter decision or take the smarter direction in business growth.
  • Strategy planning with improved risk assessment for the betterment of the business.
  • Deepen understanding of organisational structure and avoid destructive conflicts.
  • Develop knowledge in core areas of the business, including finance, marketing, management, and strategy, based on current research and best practice.
  • Present our business with improved communication with key clients, boosting such relationships.