SEMA News - December 2009

A World-Class Learning Opportunity


SEMA has negotiated a special relationship with Harvard to allow even its smallest member companies to receive the same training provided to Fortune 500 firms.  

The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently finalized an agreement with Harvard Business School Publishing to offer a series of web-based business training courses for SEMA members. A well-trained and motivated management team is critical to your success. In tough times, however, maintaining an adequate training budget is sometimes impossible. For SEMA members, that has now changed. Through SEMA, you and your management staff can receive world-class training from Harvard—the premier source for management practices, programs and business content.

One of the first budget lines reduced in tough economic conditions is often employee training. The paradox is that your people need to be at their best during trying times—and the right training at the right time might just give your managers the edge it takes to stay on top. What do you do?

“Busy professionals need access to digestible, practical information to do their jobs better,” said Peter McAteer, managing director and vice president of corporate learning at Harvard Business School Publishing. “We have dramatically enhanced the interface and navigation to make it easier to absorb and retain information, drill down on topics or come back to a key tool. It’s like putting dozens of the most respected thinkers in business on every desktop in your organization.”

“Training is critical, especially now when business is down” said Bob Price, executive director of SEI. “Everyone needs to do more with less in these tough times, and many of the managers of our member companies are faced with responsibilities they may not have had before. The Harvard courses can help give you the basics to get the job done now.”

Harvard ManageMentor10


Harvard ManageMentor10 is an award-winning management resource that is ideal for SEMA-member employees at all experience levels who face a variety of challenges on a daily basis. 

Harvard ManageMentor10 is an award-winning management resource that is ideal for SEMA-member employees at all experience levels who face a variety of challenges on a daily basis. This resource provides access to action-orientated information on 42 key management topics that were developed under the guidance of world-renowned experts, practitioners and business leaders. Subject areas include:
  • Business Plan Development
  • Crisis Management
  • Finance Essentials
  • Hiring
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Strategic Planning
  • Performance Measurement
  • Leading and Motivating
  • Process Improvement

Developed with input from managers, senior executives and other learning leaders through extensive prototyping and user testing, Harvard ManageMentor10 presents new media-rich features that include:

  • 200 interactive learning activities that reinforce key learning points and offer managers the opportunity to apply what they learn
  • 350 video elements to engage learners
  • 125 compelling short video stories from leading global executives that offer real-world perspectives
  • Audio downloads for every topic, allowing users to listen to the content anywhere at any time
  • User tips, tools, downloadable forms, self tests and other materials

Module Structure

Each course module is one hour of training time, but can also be taken in a 20-minute accelerated format. The modules are organized by the following sections:

Get Started: Grabs the learner’s interest with a media-based scenario; provides a topic overview; offers multiple paths through the module content.

Learn: Presents the key ideas of the topic and reinforces with interactive activities. Many learning points are complemented by short video clips of relevant, compelling stories told by leading global business executives. Each “Learn” section includes approximately five Key Ideas, four Activities and three Personal Insights video clips.

Practice: Provides a real-world, interactive scenario and self test to check the learner’s understanding of the concepts. Managers hone new skills and receive instant feedback in a safe environment.

Apply: Offers practical steps, tips and tools for applying concepts on the job. Downloadable forms and worksheets are ideal for continuous use and flexible application.

Explore Further: Points listener to embedded online articles; recommends additional articles and books; provides module source notes.

Additional Features: Includes audio downloads for MP3 players and functionality to mark user’s favorite pages. Competency tests are also available.


The Impact of Management Training

Nobody doubts the value of well-trained managers and leaders, but how do you pay for the training? And how do you measure your return on investment? Here are some facts to consider:

  • Managers with expanded skills will be able to make more strategically aligned decisions within their departments or their teams—decisions that are less about “turf protection” and more about company success.
  • In tough times, one of the very first budget lines to go is training of employees. Well-informed and trained managers will be able to help their employees better understand company strategies and the subsequent actions and initiatives, curtailing confusion, fear, sadness or anger that accompanies change or bad news.
  • Managers and their teams are more likely to feel engaged and connected to the business when they “get” the numbers and when they better understand the actions and decisions of senior leadership. Engaged employees are more productive and more likely to accept accountability for their role in success.
  • When managers and employees better understand where the company is going and have confidence in strategies and decisions, they will be less likely to look around for other job opportunities. Retention of talent is critical to a company’s growth when the tough times are over.

In addition to greater productivity gains, when managers better understand the financial and strategic reasons for new initiatives around products, processes or people, they’ll have a higher level of commitment to these important changes. As we all know, change is difficult. Managerial commitment is often the key to the success of any change.

Learn More, Earn More

More than 1 million managers from major firms world-wide currently rely on Harvard ManageMentor10’s management content. The courses are not available to individuals; large companies invest tens of thousands of dollars to provide access for their managers. SEMA has negotiated a special relationship with Harvard to allow even its smallest member companies to receive the same training provided to Fortune 500 firms. The courses are valued at more than $600 for all 42 hours of training. The introductory price, available to SEMA members and, for a limited time, non-members, is $199. What’s more, the modules are priced to ensure that convenient and cost-effective options are available for SEMA members. Members also have the added benefit of having 12 months’ access to the series of modules from the date of purchase, providing the flexibility to complete each module at your convenience and as needed. You are in control of your learning.

View the full course catalog and to start learning online, select the Harvard Business Publishing modules option.

Is your company taking steps to improve the business skills of your management team in these tough times? Give your busy managers the resources they need to get the job done. SEMA is here to help.

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