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Wholesale launches executive education program for customers
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Wholesale launches executive education program for customers

Business Partnering Program - key image

Telstra Wholesale has embarked on a ground-breaking program with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales Business School. The collaboration provides Telstra Wholesale customers with unique opportunities to learn new skills that help them grow their businesses. We spoke to Max Theseira, adjunct faculty member of the AGSM and expert in executive education, and Cassandra Nugent, who led the development of the program from Telstra Wholesale’s side, to find out more.

A new kind of approach for a new business environment

The program is the first of its kind in Australia in which a telco and academic institution are joining forces to provide a tailored executive education program to help customers. It has been developed as a new way to help customers succeed in a fast-moving, challenging business environment.

“The telecommunications market is fiercely competitive and is only becoming more so,” Cassandra said. “We are constantly looking at how we can help our customers’ businesses grow by adding value beyond our products. That is why Telstra Wholesale and AGSM are working together: we want to give our customers the opportunity to enhance their business skills through access to AGSM’S best-in-class executive education and Telstra’s market knowledge,” Cassandra explained.

The first Telstra Wholesale customers to benefit from the program recently completed a course on social selling and customer insights through design thinking. “These were the first topics we covered because our customers have told us that understanding the customer journey – and how they engage with the business across all their touchpoints – helps them be a lot more competitive,” said Cassandra.

The course addresses the importance of creating differentiated experiences to drive commercial success. Attendees participate in practical exercises that teach them how to identify different business personas through customer journey and empathy mapping, and how to get to the heart of end customers’ pain points in order to design better solutions. Participants also learn about the importance of personal brand and social selling for long-term success.

Max Theseira, adjunct faculty member at AGSM and former Change Management Practice Lead at IBM led the course. He explained why Telstra Wholesale customers can benefit from this collaboration. “The way businesses operate today is very different from the past. Solving problems and achieving sustainable success requires a new set of skills and collaboration across multi-functional teams. Together with Telstra Wholesale, we are enabling businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their end-customers, establish a common language and toolset in order to co-create solutions to current pain points and ultimately deliver better results for their businesses,” said Max.

Business Partnering Program - empathy mapping

AGSM, Telstra Wholesale and our customers - a perfect fit

Telstra and the University of New South Wales have worked together on a range of research and innovation initiatives going back to the 1990s. AGSM also trained more than 400 Telstra staff as part of a Future Marketers course, but this is the first time Telstra Wholesale and the AGSM have collaborated to deliver programs to customers.

One of the standout features of AGSM’s approach is the combination of academic excellence and proven, practical insights. Max, who led the Organisational Change Practice at IBM ANZ for several years, says that management education should be academically sound, but practical too. “If courses are too theoretical executives have to devote more time to working out how to implement the learnings in their own business,” he said.

“We know that executives’ time is precious, so we focus on delivering practical programs with learnings that are easily applied,” Max explained.

Reaping the personal and professional rewards

“As someone who has participated in one of AGSM’s world-class programs, I can say it has completely changed the way I work. It has given our teams a shared understanding of how we can better meet our customers’ needs. In fact, the program itself is the result of us taking those lessons and considering how we can empower our customers in a much broader sense than we have previously,” Cassandra said. “I’m really excited to see how we - AGSM, our customers and Telstra Wholesale - will work together over time to keep adding value.”

About AGSM @ UNSW Business School

As Australia’s leading graduate school of management, AGSM @ UNSW Business School offers innovative, experiential, world-class programs designed to equip a new generation of leaders to thrive in an ever-changing world.

With more than 40 years of leadership in Australia, AGSM’s globally ranked MBA programs are taught by internationally recognised faculty with industry experience. AGSM students are immersed in active learning experiences and exposed to practical skills and tools they can immediately apply to real business problems. AGSM’s Executive Education courses are designed and facilitated by industry thought leaders and faculty to build individual and organisational capability, combining the latest thinking and best practice within an outcomes-focused problem-solving environment.

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