Biz-Community (Cape Town)

South Africa: Henley Launches MBA for Music and Creative Industries

Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Business School in Africa, is launching an MBA tailored for the music and creative industries starting in March 2014.

"Established by Henley UK in 2011, this is the first MBA of its kind in the world," said Foster-Pedley. "It is aimed at strengthening the music and creative industries' management and leadership capabilities and at creating better opportunities for all in these sectors."

The Henley MBA is a globally respected, international MBA, and is one of only 1% of MBAs in the world to hold international triple accreditation.

The MBA allows all students to study the core MBA together and then the music and creative industry sector have additional time together to contextualise that information and discuss current industry matters. The programme is run similarly to Henley's executive MBA by flexible learning, except that it has extra days built into the end of each module. All the work of the MBA is applied to the students' music or creative industry contexts.

Special evening launch event

Henley will officially launch the MBA for the music and creative industries during a special evening event to be attended by international music industry legends Ralph Simon and Simon Napier Bell, who will talk at the event.

Mentoring and guest lectures

The MBA for the music and creative industries will also feature an executive team of business people who will assist in providing mentoring and guest lectures at Henley. Currently, the UK programme has 12 such executives who will be available to the SA students as well. However, Henley is pleased to welcome Gordon Torr to the SA management advisory team.

Torr is the former creative director of JWT South Africa, then went on to become the chairman of the agency's Worldwide Creative Council with a portfolio of multinationals that included De Beers, Diageo, Vodafone, Ford, Kellogg's, Nestle, Kraft and Unilever. He left JWT to write Managing Creative People, (Wiley, 2008), and has since been advising corporates and creative sector companies on how best to optimise the talents of creative people.

Foster-Pedley added: "The creative and music industries are critical to the growth of our economies as we seek to build and manage new forms of value and competitiveness. This is a fantastic opportunity to grow skills and knowledge in the sector with Henley. Other short programmes and one-day workshops will be developed to help provide support for the growth of the local industry."

Helen Gammons is the brains behind the programme, author of The Art of Music Publishing: An Entrepreneurs Guide, and successful owner of rotolight.com a multi-award-winning lighting company (with patent and IP) based at the world-renown Pinewood Film Studios in England. Recent movies include Captain Philips and Skyfall. Having worked in the music and creative industries for more than 30 years, she had seen first-hand the changes it has gone through.

She explained: "Ten years of decline in the music and creative industries as a whole have given us a rude wake-up call. If we're to begin to grow again - and the signs are encouraging - then old habits and outdated thinking must be changed. Middle management and executives will have to acquire a much deeper, wider ranging set of skills based around today's business and, importantly, around business strategy. What has also become clear is the need to develop skills around creativity, innovation and digital in a much broader, customer-focused capacity. "

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