the essence of Acadustry®

Ts. Dr. Nadiir Bheekhun, Founder and Managing Director, AeroNAD Group, Mauritius

This article was first published in 2021 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 4 no 2

Ts. Dr. Nadiir Bheekhun is founder and Managing Director of the AeroNAD Group in Mauritius. In this article, he introduces Acadustry®, a deep partnership between academia and industry, which aims to enhance the quality of innovation and entrepreneurship through executive education.

The knowledge-driven economy continues to set new challenges for both academia and industry.  Over the years, academic institutions and corporations have forged a variety of partnerships including curricula design, hands-on training, real-life simulations, job prospects, sponsored research grants, technology transfer, philanthropic donations and two-way advisory panels. 

Although these modes of collaboration have existed for quite some time, novel models for Acadustry® collaboration are needed, ones which are relevant to 21st Century learning needs and which respond to new design philosophies, new user communities, shifts in the workforce structure, and ever-changing business conditions.

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Industries across the world are all experiencing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation industry has been fundamentally changed and consequently its executives are in need of innovative learning which meets their current and future development needs.

Today’s executives face a constant barrage of strategic challenges. The rapid pace of global innovation, driven by Industrial Revolution 4.0, requires executives not only to gain literacy in current technological trends, digital applications & platforms but also to be able to connect that technical knowledge to their daily job. This ability can also unlock the next step in career advancement. 

To successfully exploit these opportunities, future leaders must learn how to interpret shifting landscapes, be able to adjust course and strategy with high-level execution. One of the key issues which the concept of Acadustry® can resolve is the optimisation of these human resources, helping companies to deal with the many challenges they face.

Executives face a rapidly evolving marketplace in which problems do not directly fit into marketing, finance, or operations packages. Corporate leaders must adapt to the strategic challenges emerging from an interconnected world. 

Moreover, as the internet digitises job roles, processes, and even entire businesses, C-level executives must be able to manage employees from an increasingly diverse set of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Continuous learning is the key to maintaining a competitive edge. For many business leaders, this starts with executive education which is often delivered through either a complete course or distinct Masterclass, by professionals who are well versed into both academia and industry. Open executive development programmes can help high-performing professionals achieve their career goals by filling skill gaps, broadening perspectives, and connecting candidates with a strong network.

Strengthening skills and widening perspectives are two crucial developmental steps that mid-level managers need. An open executive education program will put the candidates in the same room with other strong executives from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Working on cases, debating collaboratively and developing new best practices is an excellent occasion for networking and opportunities that will create strong, valuable and lasting relationships. 

Executive Education can also be found as part of customised programmes for individual companies. Corporations are increasing their learning efforts, not only to provide managers with a personal development path within the organisation but also, to strengthen the organisational alignment between those managers and the company’s strategy. Because of this last point, customised executive programmes must be carefully designed according to the strategic needs of each company.

Ideally, there should exist a close link between the academia’s division and every particular company that comes in for a customised programme.  

The goal is to design training modules that genuinely respond to the strategic needs of each organisation. 

Academic programme coordinators should be working hand in hand with the company’s management to develop a learning path that is tailored both in content and delivery. 

Programmes and modules should practically teach core technological concepts, helping participants fill in the gaps in skill sets required by the modern workplace. 

Acadustry® will ensure that executive development is of the highest quality because of the strength of the partnership between academia and industry. ◼️