Irish software bosses go back to college

11 Oct 2006

Some 31 chief executives of Irish software, services and technology firms have signed up for the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business in California as part of an ambitious Enterprise Ireland programme to build an Irish software industry of significant scale.

The Leadership 4 Growth Programme has been developed by Enterprise Ireland in association with the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

It aims to achieve tangible business improvemen6ts through the enhancement of leadership and strategic capabilities at CEO level.

“Leadership 4 Growth is a unique programme,” said Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan. “It provides an excellent opportunity for ambitious Irish CEOs to benefit from Stanford’s world-class business faculty, engagement with highly successful entrepreneurs, specialist coaching and mentoring, as well as practical knowledge and strategy execution supports.”

Running from October 2006 to September 2007, the programme consists of one six-day and two five-day residential modules at Stanford’s campus in Palo Alto, plus a final two days in Dublin.

Professor George Foster, programme faculty director at Stanford Graduate School of Business, said: “This is a landmark venture. It brings together key players from the business world and academia to fast-track the growth of Irish software companies.We at Stanford are excited to be a part of such an important initiative for the Irish economy and for the software industry”.

The three modules in the programme are: dynamic business strategy, high-performance leadership and market-focussed execution and growth. A range of other interventions, such as action learning, leadership coaching and mentoring support, are also provided to embed and enhance the learning experience. Participants for the programme were selected on the basis of a highly competitive process.

“This programme represents the most significant opportunity to develop our leadership capabilities to drive the software industry,” said Bernie Cullinan, chairman of the Irish Software Association.

“It is a testament to the confidence of the industry and the commitment of Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Software Association to building an Irish software industry of significant scale,” added Cullinan.

At the event Tony McGuire, CEO of System Dynamics, a participant on the programme, said: “Leadership 4 Growth is an intensive leadership programme. The modules, particularly the execution section, will challenge participants and expand their leadership capabilities, thereby enabling them to build companies of international scale.”

By John Kennedy