Management Centre Europe | MCE | Organizational and Management Development - Strategy Execution

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Participant's Experience in Operational Management Skills Workshop

22 March 2012

Arnoldo Heeren manages the Portuguese operations of Driscoll's, US-based breeders and distributors of fresh berries. In March Arnoldo participated on MCE's Operational Mangement Skills workshop. He took time out from a busy week to share his experience with us.


"I asked my HR manager for a workshop in operational management skills and she suggested this one. Since I have already attended a finance workshop by MCE, I was happy with her suggestion. MCE Senior Associate Alfons Ameel is sharing his experience with me. It is interesting to spot areas for improvement and the assessment before the workshop is very interesting in terms of reflecting on how you are doing and what can be improved.

I was able to ask Alfons to address particular issues that I face at work, and he is able to customize completely for me. It is always good to have an outside objective opinion on where we are doing well and where we might do better.


A great takeaway for me is focusing on improvements I can make in my company. It is good to have the experience of others. Why reinvent the wheel if somebody else has already developed some techniques you can use? This is good for my company. Also good for my career because I am adding to my skills and I can try things I never did before.

It is important to have a facilitator with a business background for this kind of course. Some academics are good and have some knowledge to share, but sometimes there is a gap between academics and business. I like to work with someone who knows how to deal with the boss.  Many academics are lacking experience in the kinds of things I face every day.

The MCE Senior Associate is a trusted source. I can share issues in a safe environment. And I benefit from a fresh perspective on the problem, somebody who knows the background but does not have any political or personal agenda. 

I like the participant mix you can get at MCE. In my last course we had a lot of diversity and I brought my own difference from the world of agriculture. You can share with others, learn something from their experience and adapt it to your own. 

My advice to others considering coming to a workshop like this: Really, you take out of it what you put into it. If you open yourself, you make it easier for the  facilitator to identify your gaps, know what you need, and provide it for you. You get more that way."

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