Simon Bracher


Diploma in Organisational Leadership







By Simon Bracher

Once again a thoroughly enjoyable, immersive and “all too soon over” week at Oxford

The second residential week of the Diploma in Organisational Leadership at Oxford kicked off with our first two hour examination. “Gowning up” in Sub Fusc for the examination, as is traditional at Oxford, added to the excitement and somewhat nervousness for most of us for whom it had been a while since we had last sat for an exam, let alone in full academic dress! We were then bussed en masse to the magnificent Oxford Examination Schools in the centre of town. This impressive building oozes history and tradition, and yet again one feels utterly immersed in a learning experience that few other, if any, learning institutions could offer.

A personal highlight for me has been the bond that was very quickly forged between us as a group, and the weeks preceding our return trip to Oxford had included numerous calls and webinars to discuss the case study (which is provided in advance of the examination). This gave us the opportunity to have a view of other’s application of the theory relative to the case, and to challenge and support each other in the process, in preparation for the exam.

Much relief was expressed post the exam, and we returned immediately to the business school to kick-off the Strategy Module. Any doubts concerning post-exam attention span were duly vanquished by Pegram Harrison’s energising style, filled with engaging wit and captivating insights. Chris McKenna, our second Academic, was equally engaging and insightful, and I particularly enjoyed his approach to getting us to question “what is really going on here” based on applying textbook strategic concepts and principles to real-life examples and case studies – something I would say is a standout feature of the program.

As is customary in each residential week we enjoy dinner at a historic Oxford college or venue. This week we enjoyed a very special dinner in the Old Library room in the University Church, and this special experience was made sublime through the attendance and speaking engagement of the renowned John Lennox. For those who are not familiar with him, John embodies a rare combination of approachability and friendliness, enormous knowledge and experience, and the ability to pose deeply fundamental questions that leave you questioning your views of yourself and the world. Heady stuff indeed!

Once again a thoroughly enjoyable, immersive and “all too soon over” week at Oxford – I am counting down the days to our next session in June.

DipOL group

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