A view from INSEAD Achieving Outstanding Performance past participant, Montserrat Barriga
Performance improvement is a structured approach to measuring and enhancing efficiency or effectiveness – both at an individual and organisational level. As one of the world’s leading business schools, INSEAD carries out a great deal of research and teaching in this area. Its classic Executive Education programme for performance improvement is Achieving Outstanding Performance. Here, recent participant, Montserrat Barriga, Director of Internal Control and Insurance, Pullmantur (part of Royal Caribbean Cruises), Spain, talks about her experiences…
Why did you choose this particular programme?
I was definitely inspired by the title. Achieving outstanding performance was exactly what I wanted to do! But I was also attracted by the integrated approach to people, processes and performance measurement. Plus it was a short programme of just one week and very international. Last but not least, both the programme and INSEAD had a great reputation.
What were your specific objectives with regards to performance improvement?
In my case, there was no specific project or issue. Basically I wanted to improve my personal performance and development, and to contribute more effectively to my team and the management team. I especially wanted to become better at engaging other people. And from a technical perspective, I was particularly interested in learning about the balanced scorecard framework.
You already had an MBA, so why undertake an Executive Education programme?
Achieving Outstanding Performance was certainly much more practical than my MBA. But more importantly, it was fully integrated. In an MBA programme, people, processes and measures would be in three different subject courses. Here the three axes were aligned – which is the key to effective performance improvement.
Why was the international diversity so important to you?
The mixture of people from different industries, cultures and disciplines was incredibly enriching. I work in a very diverse company, so I wanted to learn in that kind of environment as well. But I think people from a less diverse background may have learned even more, as they were exposed to completely new perspectives.
Were there any particular highlights?
The mixture of classroom sessions, group work, exercises and case studies was perfect. But a few in particular stood out. For example, I loved the case study about a specialist hernia hospital, which systematically removed all processes that didn’t add value to the patient. Although I work in the travel business and not healthcare, I could see parallels in my own industry.
What impact has the programme had on your work?
After just four months, I’m already seeing tangible benefits. The programme hasn’t just changed the way I do things but also the way I think. In particular, the sessions on Blue Ocean Strategy and innovating beyond the product were truly inspirational.
Finally, would you recommend the programme to others?
Definitely. I’d recommend it to any middle or senior manager in any role. That’s one of the great things about Achieving Outstanding Performance – the way it cuts across departmental and hierarchical divisions.
To find out more about Achieving Outstanding Performance click here.