Tina Hørbye Christensen is the CFO of a top engineering consultancy, she says her Executive MBA helped her master sustainable leadership.
What makes a good leader? For Tina Hørbye Christensen, CFO and Executive Vice President of NIRAS (a value-driven, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy committed to sustainable progress and service delivery) she feels that it’s about achieving much more than financial results and being an innovative and ethical leader.
According to Deloitte, running sustainable as a business increases productivity and creates an inclusive culture, and this evident with a 27% higher profitability. Mckinsey & Company has also studied sustainability within businesses and organisations and shows operating costs are reduced by up to 60%.
“Embedding sustainability in strategy is essential to meet evolving investor pressure, consumer demand, and regulatory requirements.” – The World Economic Forum.
Here are three ways that the Copenhagen EMBA helped Tina Hørbye Christensen elevate her career and drive impactful change at NIRAS.
- Think like an Executive MBA
Executive MBA’s are taught to think and act like generalists. The CBS EMBA teaches participates to take a holistic view of a business. EMBA’s develop an understanding of all facets of their organisation so they are well-prepared to work across industries and multiple functions. This enables them to elevate their their current leadership roles or take on new projects that will innovate their businesses in the most ideal way.
To be a sustainable leader means that you must evaluate their management style and decisions with many factors in mind, whilst considering profit, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities.
Prior to Tina’s EMBA journey, she was a finance manager at WSP Danmark, an engineering consultancy. She enrolled in the EMBA programme to transition from a financial specialist to management generalist to reach a high level management position. The programme gives a thorough overview of the essential core functions fo a business which include marketing, finance, accounting – and essential topics for modern businesses like digitalisation, innovation, sustainability, and reflexive leadership.
Shortly after Tina graduated the programme she landed her current role at NIRAS – leading the team to meet the ambitious UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
NIRAS has piloted major projects globally which include, mobility and public transport projects in Scandinavia, built wind farms in Asia, designed sustainable food and beverage plants in Europe, and secured health, education, and clean drinking water in emerging markets.
Tina’s role is a dynamic role in which she is part of executive management and she has a specific responsibility within Finance, IT, HR, and Communication. Wearing many hats, she guides the organisation to make informed decisions that benefit the collective and stay on track to meet the company wide strategic goals.
2. Seek out and absorb diverse perspectives
For a business to success it must consider the diverse perspectives of different stakeholders. Since this is no easy feat, having a diverse and professional network to tap into is paramount. The CBS EMBA cohort studies across six cities spanning three continents in Copenhagen (the main campus), Frankfurt, London, Chicago, Mumbai, and Shanghai. Across the CBS MBA Programmes Alumni Society, more than 80 nationalities are represented and they work across 60 countries.
“One company cannot change the future alone and being forward-thinking means you can accumulate knowledge from a mix of diverse perspectives. The EMBA experience gave me an international perspective which is important for a sustainable future.”
Tina consults her diverse and global CBS EMBA network for advice, on innovation, and for ideas on recruiting talent. “Without my Executive MBA it would have been very difficult to establish this sort of reliable and unique network,” she says.
3. Digitalisation is key
Tina was introduced to how a sustainable leader can innovate through implementing digitalisation.
The CBS MBA programmes are designed and rooted in the Scandinavian leadership model, and place great emphasis on sustainable business practices, digital innovation, and the people matter more than profit.
For EMBA’s to dive deeper into a topic that will benefit them in their role and ultimately their attached business or organisation – they sign up for one of the EMBA concentrations. Four are offered which are: Digitalisation, Entrepreneurship, Governance & Sustainability, and Finance. These offerings were created after Tina’s graduation but she did study digitalisation, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Tina utilised these learnings cohesively and digitalised NIRA’s processes, leveraging business intelligence and analytical dashboards, and she’s now able to make precise data-driven decisions to report back to stakeholders across various sustainability-focused metrics.
Through her Executive MBA journey, Tina is focused on being a sustainable leader so that she can use business as a force for good.