A Step In The Right Direction; The Management Development Program

Aside from the strategic direction of an organization, the second factor that determines the effectiveness of organizations is staff quality. High-quality staff deliver great value. Successful organizations invest a lot in staff capacity development.

Anyado and Samson Abani serve GEANCO Nigeria on her different projects in the country. Late last year, they attended the Johnson & Johnson sponsored Management Development Program for Managers and Leaders of Health Care Organizations. The Management Development Program (MDP) was co-organized by the Management Development Institute (MDI) and Lagos Business School (LBS). The 7-day event was both insightful and fun. One participant while commenting on the liberal availability of food and drink said, ” It was belly bursting”. But it wasn’t just “belly bursting”, it was “brain bursting” and an efficient connection box for managers and leaders of health organizations.

The Itinerary

Every morning by 7:00 am, participants were commuted to the LBS campus, Victoria Island from their lodging at Protea Hotel on the same Island. What followed was an alternation of lectures/sessions and tea breaks & lunch. By evening, everybody is back to Protea, resting for the next day’s streak.

The Facilitators

Facilitators were drawn largely from Lagos Business School academia. Other facilitators were from Pan African University and from the industry. The facilitators included among others:

  •  Obinna Mugboh PhD, the MDI Academic Director
  • Ogechi Adeola PhD,  Associate Professor LBS
  • Akintola  Owolabi PhD, Department of Accounting, LBS,  and
  • Franklin N. Ngwu PhD, Strategy, Finance and Risk Management, LBS.

Others were:

  • Dr Omowumi Ogunyemi of the Pan African University, and
  • Clare Omatseye, President West African Private Health care Federation, President Health care federation of Nigeria, President LBS Alumni association, and  MD JNC International Limited (Medical Equipment Services).

Areas Covered

The technical sessions were quite packed. The areas covered included

  • Project Management Basics
  • Introduction to the CHIP
  • Leadership and HR Management
  • Organizational Planning
  • Operations Management
  • Economics and Health care Management
  • Governance and Ethics
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation,
  • Financial Management,
  • Social Marketing
  • Health Information System.

The cycle of lecture and interaction ensured that participants got a clear grasp of concepts and their application in their various contexts.

Lessons Learnt

The lessons learnt from the conference are not easily written on paper. But the effect on a subliminal level was profound. The atmosphere sufficiently engraved on the participants the need for detail, strategy and finesse in the operation of health care organizations.

For example, in talking about Social marketing, I was strongly impressed that hoping things go fine is not enough; there is a great need for proactivity and planning. A cliché arose from that – “Hope is not a strategy”. And to add to the fun, a jovial young lady participant had the name, Hope. The house got much laughter simply saying “Hope is not a strategy!” The Social marketing session was facilitated by the thoughtful, Ogechi Adeola PhD, Associate Professor at LBS 

 On Program Monitoring and Evaluation, it stood out clearly that it is needful to harmonize and navigate through the divergent interest of stakeholders. Trouble brews for any community-based health intervention in which the leaders failed to recognize how to manage the stakeholders.


The community health intervention program (CHIP) can be said to be the principal component of the management development program since the inception of the program. Participants are schooled on the strategy and dynamics of running CHIP and are then required to evaluate their own social contexts and come up with a CHIP.

CHIP is a well-crafted strategy for solving health care challenges in under-served communities. With the Management Development Program, several generations of participants have initiated and executed numerous community interventions. Veteran ‘Chipers’ visit each new year’s conference to give a report on their CHIPs and to encourage the new ‘Chipers’.

Going Forward

Paschaline and her team from GEANCO have initiated and planned a community health intervention program for supporting traditional birth attendants. The plans have been perfected and execution has begun.


Many thanks to Johnson & Johnson, Lagos Business School and the Management Development Institute. And to GEANCO Foundation. The comradeship of the participants was heart-warming and engaging. Thanks a million, people!

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