Corporate Executive Education Program for SoftServe

Duration: November 2014 – November 2015 
Number of participants: 79 

Lviv Business School of UCU ran a corporate executive education program for SoftServe, Ukraine’s largest IT company.

The six-module Corporate Executive Education Program culminated with the presentation of 11 projects that the company’s top managers had been working on in groups during five months. The participants presented their projects to the company’s Board of Directors, CEO, and Executive Board.

SoftServe’s top managers who undertook the Corporate Executive Education Program were offered the following courses:

- Introduction into Business as a System from Mykhaylo Vynnytsky, Ph.D., Professor of Sales Management (Ukraine)
-  International Finance from Manmeet Singh, venture partner at New Access Capital, lecturer at EMLYON (Shanghai), and Mykhaylo Salo, CFO of LvBS (Ukraine)
- Business Communications from Anna and Daniel Lewis, Institute of Leadership and Management (London)
- Leading Change: From Strategy to Action from J.B. Kassarjian, Professor of Management at Babson College (USA)
- Customer and Non-Customer Centric Organization from Pavlo Sheremeta, Director of the UCU’s School of Public Management, Ukraine’s former Minister of Economic Development and Trade
- Strategy and Marketing from Joe Pons, President of AXIOMA Marketing Consultants, ex-Director of the МВА IESЕ Program (Barcelona)

Yaroslav Lyubinets, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SoftServe, told us about the program’s implications and outcomes for the company.

Mr. Lyubinets, how did the idea of launching the Corporate Executive Education Program for SoftServe emerge?

This idea occurred to us when we were discussing our business development strategy for the next year. Its action points included focus on providing our customers with higher value services and globalization, i.e. increasing SoftServe’s global presence. We realized that to that end we had to strengthen our management team by sharpening their managerial skills and increasing their management capability. Hence we came up with the idea of running a corporate executive education program for our key managers to help them improve their performance while implementing our business development strategy.

We decided to design this program in cooperation with Lviv Business School. SoftServe is one of the founders of LvBS. We are familiar with LvBS faculty. So we knew that together we would be able to create a program in line with our needs, that we would be heard and assisted in achieving the best result.  

What did you like most about this program?

One of its values for the company is that we brought together our managers from Ukraine, Europe, and the U.S. to study together and participate in joint discussions. SoftServe is a big global company, thus it was important for us to involve in the program managers from different levels and functional areas. We knew it would be a tall order, but LvBS rose to the challenge.

As a result, the Corporate Executive Education Program was not just a training program. It also became a team building tool. The participating managers received assignments and worked on them in groups. They applied practical tools and knowledge and integrated their solutions into the company’s daily operations. It was a mix of instructed learning and self-education. As I’ve mentioned before, the program aimed, among other things, to increase our management capability for the purpose of offering higher value services to our customers and thus building a genuine global business. I think we’ve succeeded in achieving this goal.    

Could you tell us about the final projects of the participants? How will they contribute to the development of your company?

I think the final projects were the highlight of the Corporate Executive Education Program from LvBS. The participants worked on their projects in several stages, and we saw the teams growing and improving their work in the process. It was a great way for them to translate the knowledge and skills gained during the program into real projects.    

The participating managers were asked to come up with a real innovative project that would be in line with the company’s development strategy and imply an improvement. In the end, the management teams presented and defended 11 projects. All of them were very interesting. We were eager to find out what our managers thought was important for the company, what areas they were interested in, and where they wanted to realize their potential. The presented projects were diverse in character ranging from very creative (for example, introducing gamification to the company) to more profound ones (like improving corporate governance or developing an internal investment appraisal system, etc.).

We selected 4 projects for financing and implementation. As for the other projects, we are not going to discard them as they are also interesting and might be useful for the company. We will definitely use some ideas from these projects and closely interact with their authors in the process. 

What is your big dream?

I want SoftServe to be known as a successful and innovative global company with Ukrainian roots. I want SoftServe to remain number one in terms of creating a stimulating work environment for IT professionals, developing their competencies and securing their career growth. I see SoftServe as a company that works for and together with the most successful customers to ensure their success, our corporate success, and the success of our entire country.