This week, I received my certificate of Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen delivered by Harvard Business School.
This journey was fraught with special circumstances such as lots of traveling across Africa in between the course. During the course, I was delivering a regional strategy for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), for a project funded by the African Development Bank and being implemented in 38 African countries. I recall trying to connect to the internet to study while waiting to catch my flights at the Blaise Diagne airport in Dakar, Senegal, Kenneth Kaunda airport in Lusaka, Zambia, Julius Nyerere airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi Kenya.
What did I learn? A lot more than I bargained for. I learned how to become fluent in disruption theory and gain confidence in articulating complex viewpoints, applying strategic frameworks to assess new opportunities and potential threats and techniques for executive-level strategy formulation and team management. I learned from some of the best and brightest from the worlds of technology, consumer products, finance, and more. These included: Bill Hambrecht, Founder and CEO of WR Hambrecht & Co, and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, on the Google IPO; Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO of EMC, on organizing for innovation; and Ryan Caldbeck, Founder and CEO of equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp, on disruption in the private equity marketplace; among others.
If you’re the personality looking to put some wind beneath your wings – you couldn’t be more at home or learn more than from being in the single most competitive, creative, mentally stimulating and challenging environment in the world – Harvard Business School. It’s everything it’s said to be and more.
I’m small, I’m growing and I’m once again, a work in progress and it feels good.