EY Academy of Business

Find out how the MBTI assisted leadership development

The EY Academy of Business has been a leader in providing professional education and training services in the CIS since 1993. Within this period of time, over 65,000 professionals from leading companies have taken part in Academy of Business training.

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EY has provided executive training for many years, focusing on such areas as internal control and audit, financial and managerial accounting, financial analysis, budgeting, and financial modelling. When the decision was made to provide more managerial training, the organisation was keen to include soft skills as well.

With this in mind, it was decided to offer clients a mini-MBA aimed at top and middle management, consisting of five ‘crash course’ modules over five days. Each day would be devoted to one of the key areas that successful managers need to address, such as people skills. Client feedback had suggested that participants would value the opportunity to reflect in detail on their own leadership styles.

“There was a growing awareness of this soft skills gap,” says Tatiana Timoshina, Senior Manager, EY. “MBA participants were asking, ‘How can I manage all the aspects and employees of a company without knowing how to manage myself as a leader and a team player?’”

The MBA programme was built to include a one-day session in which delegates were able to turn the spotlight on themselves and their leadership style. It was considered one of the most crucial days of the programme.

When it came to choosing a tool to underpin this part of the course, the MBTI® instrument was a natural choice, since it had been used successfully for many years in EY managerial training. The organisation was therefore keen to bring the MBTI process to a wider external audience.

EY consultants certified to use the MBTI developed the one-day session. Participants were introduced to the MBTI and given the opportunity to define their MBTI type. They then moved on to MBTI applications such as team effectiveness, flexing communication style, making balanced decisions and managing reactions to change.

The other four days of the mini-MBA created a complete management package, including strategy, risk management and finance. The soft skills element is what sets this programme apart from earlier EY training events.

The five-day course has proved extremely popular. Participants have developed a greater awareness of the needs and reactions of others. As one delegate said with alarming frankness, “I wish I had attended this training eight years ago – if I had, I wouldn’t be divorced!”

So popular was the MBTI element of the mini-MBA that a separate one-day module dealing with MBTI-related soft skills was launched for groups of 15-20. Several attendees treated this independent workshop as a refresher, having previously attended the mini-MBA. Others requested in-house mini-MBAs or standalone MBTI modules for their organisations after attending a scheduled mini-MBA programme; alternatively, some sent others from their organisation to attend the course.

The mini-MBA and one-day workshops are available across a wide range of industries. Attendees are a mixture of small/medium-sized business owners and heads of larger organisations. Many participants have highlighted the way in which the MBTI process makes people look at their business and its associated personalities in a completely different and enlightened way.

“There is a growing demand in the marketplace for soft skills,” commented Olga Beglova, Executive Director, EY. “MBTI is the starting point for this type of personal development work. There’s a growing awareness of the possibilities of this tool in the workplace, and its application in such areas as teams, stress management, coaching and others.”

The mini-MBA has now been held in Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, Kiev and Donetsk in Ukraine, and Almaty and Astana in Kazakhstan. In addition, the standalone MBTI workshop has also been held in Novosibirsk (Russia), and the first mini-MBA in Azerbaijan (Baku) is planned for 2014. There have been many in-house sessions in various other locations throughout the region as well.

Looking ahead, EY will continue to help embed the MBTI process in organisations seeking soft skills development. New standalone sessions and more MBTI workshops will be held in response to demand. The organisation is also looking into the possibilities of expanding the MBTI offering to cover specific areas such as leadership development, change management, communication, and decision-making. The MBTI process looks set to remain very much at the core of EY training for many years to come.

The MBTI is the starting point for soft skills development work. There’s a growing awareness of the possibilities of this tool in the workplace.

Olga BeglovaExecutive Director. EY Academy of Business