Advice in demand

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 July, 2008, 12:00am

Staying ahead of the competition in a competitive business environment is a great challenge for professionals. According to the Poon Kam Kai Institute of Management (PKKI) at the University of Hong Kong, management consultancy has undergone remarkable change in Asia, driven by fierce competition and shifts in theory. As such, consultants are increasingly in demand and more companies are turning to them for advice.

Wendy Chan, a senior management consultant at PKKI, said organisations had increasingly had to tackle change in the environment from technology and changes in laws and regulations, to changes in consumer tastes or in the price of resources.

'The organisations may not have the right expertise or adequate resources to work on their change projects,' she said. 'Corporate managers nowadays are required to work more on improvement projects or ad hoc change projects other than working as functional managers. These executives actually act as their organisations' internal consultants or change agents.'

The PKKI Graduate Diploma in Management Consulting and Change (DMCC) was targeted at professionals who were new to consulting and, according to PKKI, the training provided matched that were available to consultants working for international consulting firms.

'Most of the training for consultants in international consulting firms is on-the-job training,' Ms Chan said. 'The training offered by [DMCC] is not only tailored for external consultants but also for internal consultants for corporations such as senior executives in human resources, finance and marketing.'

Course content focuses on the concepts and theories that management consultants and change agents require, develops their skills base and teaches them how to guide effective change processes. The 140-hour programme consists of five modules and workshops which incorporate role play, case studies and simulations of situations consultants may face in the workplace.

Topics of study include organisation analysis for implementing change, and business diagnosis using business research. The diploma also includes a module that teaches students how to set up a consultancy firm in Asia. The next intake is in September and a briefing session will be held on August13 at PKKI.

Also beginning in September is the PKKI's Graduate Diploma in Service Excellence & Leadership: Managing Strategy, Customers, Employees and Operations. Run jointly with the faculty of business & economics at the University of Hong Kong, the programme is targeted at senior managers and executives in the service industry.

Four modules will put the focus on the challenges, the customers, leadership management, and the delivery of service excellence. A briefing session will be held on August7. Call 25238878 for details on both the above seminars.