A World First: African MBA In Music, Creative Industries

A World First: African MBA In Music, Creative Industries

A new master’s degree in business administration tailored to the music and creative industries will be offered in South Africa in 2014 – the first MBA of its kind in the world, according to a report in AllAfrica.

Jon Foster-Pedley, dean of Henley Business School in Africa, said he’s is launching the MBA in March to strengthen the music and creative industries’ management and leadership capabilities and create better opportunities in these sectors.

Henley MBAs are globally respected, international MBAs and are among 1 percent of MBAs in the world to hold international triple accreditation, AllAfrica reported.

The music and creative MBA will allow all students at the school to study the core MBA together and then the music and creative industry sector will have additional time together to discuss current industry matters. The program is run similarly to Henley’s executive MBA by flexible learning, except that it has extra days built in. All the work of the MBA is applied to the students’ music or creative industry contexts.

The MBA for the music and creative industries will feature an executive team of business people providing mentoring and guest lectures. The Henley U.K. programme has 12 executives who will be available to the South African students as well.

Henley has brought on Gordon Torr to the South Africa management advisory team. Torr is former creative director of the advertising agency JWT South Africa. He served as chairman of the agency’s Worldwide Creative Council with a portfolio of multinationals that included De Beers, Diageo, Vodafone, Ford, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Kraft and Unilever. He left JWT to write “Managing Creative People,” (Wiley, 2008), and has since been advising corporations and creative sector companies on how best to optimize the talents of creative people.

The brains behind the music and creative MBA program is Helen Gammons, author of “The Art of Music Publishing: An Entrepreneurs Guide,” and successful owner of rotolight.com, a multi-award-winning lighting company based at Pinewood Film Studios in England. Recent movies include “Captain Philips” and “Skyfall.” She has worked in the music and creative industries for more than 30 years, and has seen first-hand the changes it has gone through.

“Ten years of decline in the music and creative industries as a whole have given us a rude wake-up call,” Gammons said. “If we’re to begin to grow again – and the signs are encouraging – then old habits and outdated thinking must be changed.

“Middle management and executives will have to acquire a much deeper, wider-ranging set of skills based around today’s business and, importantly, around business strategy. What has also become clear is the need to develop skills around creativity, innovation and digital in a much broader, customer-focused capacity. “