Polaris Consulting and Oxford University teach executives how to survive in today’s digital world

By Nicole Miskelly | 12 March 2015

Financial technology consultancy company, Polaris Consulting today announced the launch of their new executive education programme in collaboration with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

The new programme, entitled the Oxford Polaris Digital Academy, will provide executives with the insights and skills to thrive in today’s digital world and aims to teach executives how to manage the ambiguities related to digital transformation and how to get ahead in this fast-moving environment.

Saïd Business School, which is currently University of Oxford's centre of learning for undergraduate and graduate students in business, management and finance, will help assess, discuss and debate key challenges facing leaders and the impact this will have on international business.

Along with Polaris experts, Saïd Business School will hold a series of two day sessions where executives will learn through a variety of methods including simulations, workshops, roundtables and peer-to-peer learning by sharing personal insights and experiences of operating in high-stakes, high-pressure solution-driven environments.

“This programme is highly innovative and visionary in its design. It will ultimately challenge, inspire and stimulate thinking of the highest order creating fresh ideas. The programme engages faculty from a range of disciplines within Oxford University. Executives who have been on similar programmes in the past have gained greater self-awareness of their leadership, creating the energy and emotional commitment to drive change and have brought new perspectives on the internal and external context in which they operate. We are delighted to be working with Polaris on this programme,” said Andrew White, Associate Dean for Executive Education at Saïd Business School.

The idea for such a programme has come about due to research showing the lack of understanding executives have about their digital strategies. Polaris highlights a recent study done by Altimeter Group reported in Forbes which found that while 88% of the companies surveyed said they were undergoing a digital transformation, only one-quarter of them had a clear understanding of what their strategy should be.

According to Polaris, the era of digital transformation is arguably as significant as the industrial revolution and is effecting enterprises in all industries, especially since the introduction of digital capabilities such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies. An MIT study also found that 78% of the executives they surveyed think that digital transformation is critical to their organisation, however, 63% believe their pace of change is too slow.

Jitin Goyal, CEO and Executive Director, Polaris Consulting & Services said: "Polaris is widely recognised as a digital transformation leader, particularly in the financial services industry. The Oxford Polaris Digital Academy is truly special because it will bring together the unique combination of the company's expertise and the university's thought leadership. Executives who participate in the Academy will benefit enormously from this amalgamation, and we are very excited about its potential."

The programme is operating on an invitation-only basis at the discretion of the two organisations and Polaris and Saïd Business School will also be holding a CIO summit in India to discuss similar themes.


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