INSEAD Participant Interview
A Unique Opportunity
Tanja Eigenmann explains how bringing her own, real-world business dilemma into the Building Digital Partnerships and Ecosystems programme not only helped her take ownership of her learning and maximise her impact. It will help her drive real growth at her organisation.
Tanja Eigenmann has a personal passion for innovation, diversity and collaboration.
And as Head Global Ultra High Net Worth Marketing Programs at Credit Suisse, she has the opportunity to put that passion to effective use, leading the bank’s efforts to build platforms that bring investors together with game-changing startups.
It is an exciting and dynamic field, she says, built on the triple pillars of innovation, thought leadership and partnership. But it’s not without its challenges.
“When you’re working at the cutting edge of new platforms in an industry that is being continuously disrupted, there’s a real imperative to keep your skills not only up to date, but to develop new capabilities. To be more successful in my role, I knew I would need to deepen my understanding of how to design digital platforms, how to build the right partner portfolio to make that happen, and how to integrate digital business models into my organisation’s strategy.”
These core needs were behind her decision to take the online INSEAD Building Digital Partnerships and Ecosystems programme in 2019.
“I really wanted to understand better how digital technology was disrupting the financial sector. I felt that this was the programme with the integrity and quality of content to help me really figure out the key factors in building a robust and agile digital ecosystem.”
Core to the appeal of the programme, says Tanja, was the Action Learning Project (ALP): a progressive, weekly assignment schedule tightly focused on real-world challenges, and designed to embed learning while simultaneously helping participants design and implement solutions at the workplace.
“The ALP was a stand-out feature of the programme. Not only does the ALP challenge you to synthesise all the learning and practical takeaways every week, it gives you a chance to take real ownership of your own project or challenge and design the solution. You’re working on a something real and it’s a unique way of bringing all the learning into action. Each week it gave me a framework to take the lead in discussions with my line manager around how to design platforms, create alliances, build out our ecosystem and drive our digital transformation.”
Another major advantage of the programme was the personal coaching – a “wonderful” opportunity to review her ALP week by week, by providing significant input and constant “food for thought.”
“My coach was amazing and ensured that I felt supported at all times in my ALP and across the whole learning experience. We looked at the different aspects of project together from a breadth of perspectives, exploring new approaches and opportunities to innovate.”
Tanja also appreciated the flexibility of the online format – an anytime, anywhere approach to learning that meant she could integrate work and travel while keeping pace with her personal responsibilities.
“You really feel like you’re right there in the classroom with the professor. The online format doesn’t compromise quality in any way. You get everything you would expect from INSEAD in terms of theory, relevant business cases and practical takeaways, with all the flexibility to juggle a tight agenda. I could watch videos and work on my ALP when it best suited me to do so.”
Thanks to the BDPE, Tanja has a greatly enhanced understanding of digital transformation and the technologies she works with within her role. She has come away, she says, with a keen sense of the “do’s and don’ts” in working with partners, and is implementing what she calls a win-win strategy in the development of her department’s digital ecosystem.
She urges anyone thinking of taking the programme to ensure their Action Learning Project is focused on a real project or business challenge. “I’d recommend the BDPE to anyone in any sector looking to successfully build digital partnerships. To reap the maximum benefit of the programme, I think it’s very key to bring your own real-life project in with you. If you focus your ALP on a real project that is important in your business life, you are able to learn and to move that project forward in parallel. The result is that you take more ownership of your learning, you broaden your personal impact. And you apply all of that to truly help your business grow. It’s a unique opportunity.”