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Ships need strategy; strategy needs people

The global shipping industry is never short of a challenge. Shifting patterns of trade, new regulations, fast-changing technologies, infrastructural developments, the growing influence of China over global supply chains, geo-politics and the potential impact of three-D printing and BIG data characterize the competitive landscape as the industry continues to emerge from a deep and prolonged recession.

While some industry participants argue that shipping is a simple business, where success is really about anticipating the next mis-match between supply and demand, many more companies see the benefits of formulating and effectively implementing a strategy to deliver value to customers and to gain competitive advantage.

The fruits of strategic insight and formulation are manifested in various forms. In recent months, moves to consolidate markets through M&A initiatives have been increasingly evident, not just in the container shipping sector which has a long history of alliances, joint venturing and consolidation, but also in other sectors. These include the highly fragmented dry bulk and shipping services markets. Despite the difficulties and risks involved, the shipping industry is likely to see more consolidation and other M&A initiatives emerge in the coming months as companies strive to realize scale economies and stronger bargaining power.

In the face of an increasingly complex and challenging market place, a new 5-day programme developed by Henley Business School and Cambridge Academy of Transport has been designed to help industry executives to increase their strategic insight and leadership skills.

This programme, Strategic Leadership for Shipping, will provide participants with a strong grounding in the key models and methodologies of business strategy. It will enable them to 'test' their thinking with speakers from both academic faculty and industry peers and to work on case studies which show how strategic challenges have been addressed and lessons learnt.

You can read a sample of the work of programme speakers, Bernd Vogel and Tommy B Olofsen here now: Leading the human energy in your organisation – Vogel & Olofsen (pdf)

The inaugural programme will also include a pre- and post- engagement with co-programme directors, Dr Stephane Girod and Dr Malcolm Willingale. Participants will be able to work on a strategic question of relevance to themselves and their company culminating in a presentation to 'test' their skills in strategy formulation and implementation.

This programme is supported by Spinnaker Global. We are pleased to offer members of the Maritime HR Association a 10% reduction in fees for Strategic Leadership in Shipping and across Henley Business School Open Programmes.

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