Ethical in focus, global in orientation
Dr. Charla Griffy-Brown is an accomplished professor, board member and consultant who leads transformational change in the digital innovation and information technology area. She works with organisations to leverage new opportunities through analytics, risk evaluation and emerging technology deployment and with executives in the area of information security. She brings global insights to engage with C-level executives and boards for public and private companies across different areas including manufacturing and services industries.
What is your programme’s and school’s approach to leadership development?
Our core mission is to transform lives for service, purpose and leadership. At the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, we see this as developing leaders that are best “for” the complex, interconnected business world of the 21st century. To achieve this, our MBA and MSML programmes focus on equipping our students with the leadership skills required to effectively empower individuals and teams you manage while implementing meaningful change across large-scale corporations, not-for-profit institutions, and cutting-edge start-ups. In addition to understanding and applying contemporary management and leadership theories, students in our programmes might create a personal development plan, receive individual leadership coaching, connect with mentors, be a mentor, complete a service-leadership project in the community or work with executives and teams on specific projects.
What does your MBA programme prioritise when it comes to training managers for today’s complex business environment in which an understanding of digitalisation, big data, data analytics, mastery of soft skills, and responsible leadership is essential?
Our programmes include opportunities in digital innovation, business analytics, leadership, and the opportunity to get a certificate in Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible (SEER) business practice. We design our programme so that students can customise and prioritise it on the basis of their preferences and opportunities within their companies and the marketplace.
How would you describe the learning environment (academic, extracurricular, services) at the SFU Beedie School of Business?
The Pepperdine Graziadio School is student-centred and we have an acronym to describe our approach to teaching: keeping it REAL. “REAL” stands for relational, experiential, applied and learner-focused. Our students build solid life-long professional relationships with their faculty and work in teams with their fellow students, as together we work to create a learning community. In addition, the curriculum, instructional design, and client-based learning ensure that there are experiential learning and applied learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Finally, our learning environment is learner-focused, as we provide students with flexibility in terms of modality (online, hybrid, face-to-face) and customisation so students can create their own ability to pivot into a new career arc, seek new job opportunities or be identified for promotion.
How does your programme accommodate and respond to the fast-paced technological developments in different industries?
The client-based learning and our E2B (education to business) model infused throughout our programmes ensure the programme is connected to fast-paced technological developments across different industries. In our classes, different companies across different vertical segments work together with students to solve real-world business problems that executives in these companies face. This provides students with hands-on experience in the dynamically changing global business environment.
What are some of the unique experiences and expertise of your MBA students and faculty?
Our mission of developing Best for the World Leaders requires faculty members that are thought leaders and exceptional teachers who lead by example in the business world. Our renowned faculty members come from a variety of different academic backgrounds including Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities, and universities from around the world. They also have real-world business experience on corporate boards, as executives and as consultants. They bring a robust portfolio of industry expertise and business insights to the classroom to help our students bridge the gap between theory and practice. Our faculty are personally invested in the success of every student, playing a hand in the development of our programme curricula and offering first-hand perspectives on the future of the industries and sectors they oversee. Our students bring diverse perspectives from across industries and industry verticals as well as extensive business experience. Students in some of our programmes are CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs and oversee large corporations or start-ups. Other students come from verticals within different industries. Our goal for each class is to create a unique learning experience where the students and faculty work together as a diverse collaborative learning community. This learning community is important because we believe that diversity in design and decision-making is critical for top- and bottom-line growth as well as addressing the major challenges we continue to face, balancing risk and agility in a volatile business world.