HEC Paris has set up a bespoke training program, in association with the Canal Plus Group media company and other branches of the Vivendi Group .
Within this context, 22 young talents from the group’s French, German, British, South African and American subsidiaries are following a program that takes them to three different countries: France, Germany and the Ivory Coast. The course is headed by Hélène Musikas, Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris. At the end of a seminar held at the HEC Paris campus on Friday October 5, she stated that all companies (including media companies) are today subject to social and technologicalchanges and that they have no option but to change themselves.
The four-day training program in Abidjan included courses in both business strategy and leadership. The training was designed to be hands-on: the HEC Paris Africa Office and La Maison de l’Entreprise in the Abidjan Plateau gave theoretical and interactive courses and organized visits to leading companies currently undergoing strategic change. The participants also had the opportunity to discover the Treichville district where they were able to meet stakeholders/players in their own social and economic landscape and get a real sense of how HEC Paris’ online programs are received in Ivory Coast.
Héléne Musikas stated: “Those taking part in the Executive Education Program are young managers who must contribute to changing business strategies”. The role of HEC Paris is therefore “to make them aware of the degree of urgency for change, to help them understand what changing a company’s business plan consists of and to enable them to understand what it means to change a team.”
TAKE ON CHALLENGES, INNOVATE AND BE CREATIVE
Most of the young managers, who were unfamiliar with Africa, were able to understand what the continent (namely Ivory Coast) has to offer. They met “people who are seeking to instigate change and improve daily lives with numerous initiatives”. It was the case for Thibaut Arthaud, who works for the advertising and communications agency Havas Sport & Entertainment. What he retains from the trip is the dynamism of the city of Abidjan and its naturally cheerful, hospitable and exceptionally kind inhabitants.
“Sometimes, we need to leave our comfort zone, to meet people who do not do the same jobs as we do – in their own environment. This leads us to question ourselves and review our practices, to innovate and be creative. That’s what everyone needs to be able to do in order to move forward in their career,” said Pauline Mouline. She is currently working on the Vivendi Village Africa project (formerly the Bolloré Group’s BlueZones) located in Niger, Guinea, Togo and Benin.
Both the participants and Marion Gondeau from the Havas Advertising Group (or more specifically BETC), where she is the account manager in charge of the communications and advertising budgets of major brands, were convinced that the training program was hugely beneficial. All the participants went home feeling motivated and ready to share many of the things they had seen in Abidjan, such as the way of working, expressing a vision, leading a team and interacting with other people - all of which could be implemented easily in their respective environments at Canal Plus or Vivendi.