23 December 2019

It was the main takeaway of one of the participants of the special program for the Senior Officers of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a joint project of the MIM-Kyiv and the “Come back alive” Fund. The class of 30 graduated on December 20th. The three-month program featured the courses in operational management, managerial psychology, leadership, strategic thinking, and organizational communications.

Oleksiy Vynpgradov, MIM-Kyiv VP welcomed the program participants and thanked all those who made the program possible. “Our alumni work in different areas. Some of them are leaders of the volunteers’ movement in Ukraine. Vitaliy Deynega, our MBA and founder of the “Come Back Alive” Fund made the program possible. I appreciate his and his team efforts. I am proud that we accomplished the program,” Oleksiy Vynogradov said. 

From the very beginning, Vitaliy Deynega explained why business education is so important for the military. “My experience proved that military officers lack managerial skills. For too long coercion was the only motivation tool available in the army. NATO armies developed the whole range of motivation and communications tools. Business education is probably the best for mastering those skills because there is no competitive, sustainable business build on coercion,” Vitaliy explained. 

All the participants mentioned that thinking outside the box when even dealing with the most routine issues was the most efficient way of finding solutions and seeing new opportunities. 

“Internal guidelines over-regulate task setting that’s why many of us don’t even think that things could be done differently. Due to the MIM-Kyiv program, I changed my view. We, army officers, are managers of a kind. We work with people, organize, administer, do budgets, make decisions, etc. Handling all that in a business-like manner is very effective because I saw how all that could be done differently,” Vadym Artamoshchenko, deputy director of the Military Education, Science, Social and Humanitarian Policy Department at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine told us. The value of “otherness” was also stressed by Oleksandr Bohush, head of the logistics at the air force command.

The new alumni also talked about their expectations and the reality of the studies at MIM-Kyiv. All of them paid special attention to the practicality of the program. 

“I was expecting to learn about new approaches and techniques,” Vadym explained. “The whole curriculum is very applicable to real-life situations. We are working with cadets, faculty of the military institutions, and personnel. People are rather reserved in the military. I learned some techniques for establishing contact with people which is very useful in any area of my activities.”

“I wanted to see the bigger picture. I was especially interested in courses in conflictology, macroeconomics, finance, cross-cultural management, and leadership. Those knowledge and skills are critical for the contemporary armies. Courses covering those areas are not sufficient enough in military universities. I will apply most of the things I learned here,” Oleksandr Bohush said. 

Oleksiy Vynogradov wished the participants to start practicing the new skills and knowledge immediately. “We are used to business people. When we started developing the curriculum we gave a lot of attention to the skills and knowledge necessary for everyday work. We now see that we made correct decisions. Everything you’ve mastered here will help you improve your activities and thus make our army stronger.”

Networking is an important part of studies at MIM-Kyiv. The program participants mentioned that they’ve got acquainted with many people which will help them do their jobs better.