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“New Trends & Developments in Executive Education”

was the topic for a meeting of the Human Resources Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo. Guest speaker Anna Pehar, founder of Calix Consulting, began by discussing the evolution of executive learning over the past 30 years, identifying four stages: knowledge transfer, skills development, leadership development and organizational development. “What’s next, is the question,” said Pehar, who believes that the development of executive learning tracks the development of society.

Social developments that have a direct impact on executive learning include globalization, faster turnaround, easy access to information, social media, corporate social responsibility and the only constant factor: change.

Pehar believes the world has fundamentally changed and so must the approach to learning. Executive Education needs to be an ongoing process that occurs all the time and everywhere: Today, the world is the classroom. She suggested that the next stage in the evolution of executive education will be “sustainable impact,” saying organizations are looking for leaders and programs that can make a lasting difference.

One thing that will never change is the importance of a creating an education environment, Pehar said. “A learning culture demands an organization-wide belief that the organization’s strategy, mission and operations can continuously be improved through an ongoing process of individual and organizational learning,” she said. “This includes a set of investments, programs and processes to study areas of weakness, explore causes and exploit opportunities to improve and learn at all times and at all levels.”

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“Integrating Responsible management and sustainability in Executive Education”

Was the title of the address Anna Pehar gave at the first PRME forum for the MENA Region. Ms Pehar, director of Calix Consulting and former business school director, spoke about the necessity to rethink the paradigm of business schools. As she put it: “Are we a school for Business or a school for Human Beings?” She argued that the current governance model of most (university based) business schools with its disciplinary silos is not conducive to integrating the Principles of Responsible Management into curricula.

She said responsibility can only be integrated successfully in programs when “used as an ingredient and not as a sauce” and if taught cross-disciplinary, breaking down the silos. This means integrating the concept of responsible management into each single subject area; teaching e.g. finance or marketing from the perspective of responsible management and sustainable business as opposed to ‘business as usual’ covered with a ‘sustainability sauce’.

Ms Pehar said that for business, CSR activities are no longer motivated by a sense of moral purpose but by pragmatic business considerations in order to retain competitive advantage. Business schools have been blamed for educating the leaders that caused the current economic crisis. It is time for business schools to educate a new generation of leaders. On the one hand it is what the market is demanding; on the other hand it is the academic responsibility of business schools themselves to innovate and to lead the way in both research and education.

PRME (Principles of Responsible Management Education) is an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact and seeks to establish a process of continuous improvement among institutions of management education in order to develop a new generation of business leaders.

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“What is the place of Executive Education in Business Schools”

Was the title of the workshop Anna Pehar conducted with the team of International Executive Education at AUC School of Business. In the workshop Anna treated definitions, markets and business models of executive education, giving an international benchmark based on her many years of experience in this area. The team worked enthusiastically on the different assignments as the pictures show!

“The American University in Cairo School of Business is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development. We were introduced to Anna Pehar through her work at EFMD and immediately recognized her vast knowledge of the executive education scene globally, especially with her background at Rotterdam School of Management. After her departure from EFMD, we worked with Anna as a facilitator in a regional meeting which she managed extremely professionally.

She also gave a training workshop for our executive education staff and gave a very interesting talk to the members of the human resources committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. Anna remains an extremely important resource for identifying partnerships and we have benefitted greatly from her knowledge network. She is also a dear friend of AUC School of Business.”

Ghada Howaidy, Director and Sherine Gad El Mawla, Associate Director International Executive Education Institute, School of Business, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.

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“Crises, globalization and governance – how to draw lessons”

Was the title of a symposium held at USEK University in Lebanon on April 2 – 3 2012 in cooperation with the Arab Society of Faculties of Business, Economic and Political Sciences (BEPS) and under the patronage of the His Excellency Mr Najib Mikati, President of the Lebanese Council of Ministers. The opening Round Table, “World Governance after the Crisis”, was chaired by Anna Pehar, director of Calix Consulting, and Ahmad Jammal, director general of the Ministry of Higher Education in Lebanon. The participants in the opening Round Table were deans and academics from universities in Morocco, Spain, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Kingdom. The discussion topics varied from ‘what governance model can manage the crisis’ to ‘the need for a new business paradigm’. The symposium was preceded by a call for papers that resulted in a large number of contributions, treating the topic from different perspectives. Business schools from over 20 countries in the region and internationally participated in the seminars and presented and discussed their views on this challenging topic.

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Lene Augusta Jørgensen
Director Executive Education, Aarhus University, Denmark

“I have known Anna for a number of years as a colleague in the EFMD steering committee for Executive Education. So when Aarhus University needed an international consultant to advice on Executive Education I suggested Anna as a very professional expert on exactly that subject. The group is very satisfied with the job Anna did for us and I would like to recommend Anna’s work to other institutions rethinking their Executive education strategy and organizational structure in order to benchmark it against other international Business Schools or Universities.” www.asb.dk/en


Hussam Kayyal
managing partner EXEED Institute, Beirut, Lebanon

“Anna has provided a spot on advisory for Exeed in areas of strategy, market segmentation, Go-to-Market approach , and program design and integrity. Her approach, down to earth attitude and wealth of experience in Executive Education provided us, and continues to do so, with a practical framework that we have moved on to quickly implement. I highly recommend her for strategic and operational advice and I am privileged that she has extended her knowledge and experience to help us out. Our business relationship will evolve as we continue to grow and we will be partnering with her on different fronts.” www.exeed.me


Rob Cook
HR Vice President, Astra Zeneca

“I have known Anna as Business Director Executive Education at Rotterdam School of Management for several years, working together in the design and delivery of Management Development programmes for AstraZeneca BV. Anna brings a wealth of learning & development expertise to the table, coupled with excellent relationship skills – essential to get the best learning from the business school blended with company perspectives and insights. Anna is clearly committed to ensuring her programmes meet customer needs, and you can count on her to maintain the highest standards to ensure top learning experiences.” www.astrazeneca.com


Mariska van IJzerloo
Sr Manager European Leadership Development and Talent management, DENSO Europe

“Anna is an inspiring manager, who combines great relational skills with a clear focus on results. I feel privileged to have worked with her. She is a pleasure to deal with, and she always follows through. Her truly global perspective and experiences, combined with a sense of humor make her unique and highly credible.” www.denso-europe.com


Sherif Kamel
Dean, School of Business, American University in Cairo, Egypt

“Anna Pehar is truly exceptional in the way she approaches, manages and follows-up her work. She is committed with unique leadership, management and communication skills that help her achieve her goals on time and with optimal efficiency and effectiveness while collaborating with different constituencies involved. As dean of The American University in Cairo (AUC) School of Business, I collaborated with Anna in different projects. She has consistently shown her extensive knowledge and regularly provided added value to different projects and conversations due to her vast and diversified experience. I have known Anna for a number of years and her contributions to the different activities she was part of has truly been invaluable. Her experience varies from executive education to project management and consultancy with a set of strategic, managerial and analytical skills coupled with a global flavor due to the numerous projects she handled over the years in different parts of the world. Anna remains a rich knowledgeable resource for AUC School of Business in different academic and executive education projects.” www.aucegypt.edu


Max M. Makhubalo
CEO, BankSeta, South Africa

“My name is Max Makhubalo I am the CEO of the BankSeta of South Africa, an agency of the Government charged with the training of bank employees in order to accelerate transformation and competitiveness of our banking sector. In that endeavour we have partnered with local and international service providers to assist us and it is in this context that I was introduced to Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. The Director of Corporate Programmes was Anna Pehar. From the word “Go” we met an academic who understood the nuances and dynamics of business. It was also obvious that she had an internationalist global view of business and an eclectic cognitive understanding of adult learning which made our course construction easy and value adding. Anna seemed to have the respect and support of her peers which made the migration between programmes seamless. In all my dealings with Anna I always felt I was respected as a customer and a fellow theoretician without having to justify my academic credentials. It was a pleasure to work with her and I recommend her to whomsoever wants or choose to engage her as a consultant or academic without reservation.” www.bankseta.org.za