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Henley Business School. Picture: Henley Business School
Henley Business School. Picture: Henley Business School

Henley Business School Africa and Standard Bank have joined forces to win a talent development award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The award was for a customised leadership development programme called “Acceleration”, part of the bank’s transformation strategy to develop African leaders.

Standard Bank executive Mei-lene Els says that in the 14 African countries where the bank operates it has generally relied on expatriates or external candidates to fill senior management posts. Most have been men.  

Henley and Standard designed a programme to create a sustainable leadership pipeline, and programme director Puleng Makhoalibe says that of 40 people on the “Acceleration” programme, 13 were promoted into senior leadership roles. Of these, 40% were black women.

“The impact of what we discovered was greater than we could ever have imagined,” says Els.

The result was a silver award at this month’s EFMD’s awards for global excellence in practice.

The EFMD is the world’s largest management development network, with over 950 member organisations in 90 countries around the world. It also manages the European quality improvement system (Equis) accreditation programme for global business schools.

Four SA business schools are accredited at present: Henley Africa (through its UK parent school), Stellenbosch University Business School, the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.


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