The 2020 global pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation, as economic activities around the world have been severely impacted. Businesses must quickly adapt to the changing landscape, reevaluating how to manage supply chains and productions, engage customers, conduct sales and marketing, and pursue new growth opportunities.
To respond to these challenges, Stanford University faculty have created a corporate education program that provides executives and managers with innovative business and leadership skills to accelerate organizational transformation. The 12-week Leading Creative Transformation in Critical Times program, delivered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development, is being offered for the first time to 550+ Saudi industry leaders through the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) Academy. The virtual program, which combines self-paced materials with live virtual engagements, runs from May through August 2020, and covers a wide array of topics including innovation strategy, creativity, digital transformation, supply chain management, and team leadership.
In the self-paced courses Stanford faculty and industry experts provide foundational information, and the live virtual events provide an opportunity for faculty to address timely topics and specific goals of the organization and region. Live virtual cohort discussion sessions facilitated by SCPD instructors and local facilitators help participants apply insights to their jobs and build networks and learning communities among peers. An optional capstone project is also offered as well as content and discussions tailored specifically for C-suite leaders.
Saudi Arabia, a nation whose economy has been historically dependent on oil, aims to reduce its dependence on oil and diversify its economy. The SIDF Academy serves as a knowledge hub within the nation, building human capabilities in priority business sectors and contributing to the expansion and evolution of Saudi’s industrial ecosystem.
Seeing an immediate need to respond to the global pandemic and shifting economic environments, SIDF Academy reached out to SCPD. Together they worked quickly to create a customized program that would provide regional contextualization to the topics of innovation and digital transformation. SCPD’s ability to extend Stanford teaching and learning online allowed Saudi professionals to participate while quarantined at home.