The FIDI MiM2: a masterclass in management

FIDI’s Master’s in Moving and Mobility (MiM2) seminars put new and established international managers through an intensive programme of learning, allowing them to acquire new skills and develop new capabilities, while broadening their network and making industry friends for life. FIDI Focus talks to three people who have taken part about the benefits of FIDI’s ‘mini MBA’

IDI Affiliates who have completed Master’s in Moving and Mobility (MiM) training say they had clear reasons for taking part in this intensive programme. ‘Lifelong learner’ Cristina Mesonero, International Corporate Manager at DLF Spain, says: ‘I knew that the professionals teaching this course belong to some of the most reputable companies in the moving business; I wanted to learn from them and from the 18 colleagues that attended from well-known companies around the world.’

For Jessica Deutschmann, Partner Relations Manager at Gosselin, moving on to a MiM 10 years after she completed FIDI’s EiM training, ‘made sense’. ‘The seminar not only gives great learning possibilities, it is also the best place for networking and connecting with peers in similar positions, and making valuable connections,’ she says.

Meanwhile, Christiaan van der Ent, CEO at Van der Ent Group, wanted to challenge himself with a MiM. He says: ‘One of my main goals was to get more insights and background information in the global moving industry’.

‘The MiM is a programme designed and developed by experienced professionals from our industry,’ says Mesonero. ‘So the modules provide you with theoretical and practical innovative tools that help you understand your company as a whole and work in groups to look at real challenges that we have to tackle in our everyday work lives.’

Van der Ent says: ‘We had a very diverse and inspiring programme every day, handling topics like management strategy, financials, FAIM compliance and communication.’

Deutschmann adds that the MiM programme is very broad with a ‘tough schedule’ covering vital topics. ‘I liked the fact that it connected theoretical segments with a lot of interaction and teambuilding,’ she says.

Although a typical MiM group of delegates already comes armed with lots of experience, she says, there is an incredible amount everyone still had to learn. ‘Being a manager does not necessarily mean that you know all the details of the daily business, but you need to create an environment for your team to do the best job they can,’ she says. ‘The seminar helped us to understand how to do this.’

Mesonero says her MiM course helped her appreciate how companies can have unique personalities and ‘what company culture means, why we need corporate values and how those values define our behaviours and differentiate our companies’. ‘Usually, this culture is invisible for most of us, but company norms, symbols, values, attitudes and so on guide what we are doing and how we succeed.

‘Understanding the culture of my company has helped me to run successful projects, avoid risks and to have a better work environment and better co-worker relationships,’ she says, adding that she learned the importance of people management and the consequences of recruiting badly and quickly.

Deutschmann agrees. MiM showed how understanding different personalities – ‘your own and your colleagues’ – is essential for a strong team. ‘It helps to put together the perfect team starting with the hiring process,’ she says.

Jessica Deutschmann steps out of her comfort zone during a section of the MiM seminar

Beyond recruitment, the MiM programme gives delegates the tools to improve many other aspects of their business performance, ‘improving quality and reducing corporate risk’, says Mesonero. ‘And we saw the benefits of innovation in business, creating and implementing a new idea for which customers will pay… and we continued with modules on skills in leading, planning and supervising projects.’

‘MiM definitely opened my eyes and changed my view,’ says Van der Ent. ‘Sometimes, the daily operational challenges lead us in how we run our business. This is always a short-term action, normally generating less revenue. With MiM, I learned more to focus on the mid- to long-term goals. With the knowledge and tips of the topics covered, I am able to follow our strategy better.’

Mesonero says completing the MiM gave her a great sense of confidence and understanding – and practical know-how in areas from writing and presenting, to delivering a company strategy plan and measuring outcomes. ‘It is really focused on our industry and all the examples, needs and challenges were mutual,’ she says. ‘We all have to deal with the same problems: how to retain talent, how to manage staff and clients, how to innovate, differentiate ourselves, and so on.’

Deutschmann says: ‘I definitely learnt to be more aware of my time management – and I’m still trying to perfect it! I really enjoyed making use of all the things we went through in the final business case every attendee had to put together.

‘Since I finished the MIM, my career has progressed, and I am still very happy to have taken the steps I have. My business case, as well as everything that came after, definitely taught me to think big and dare to step outside of my comfort zone.’

Mesonero says the MiM has increased her value as an employee. ‘I am more focused in my abilities, am a better problem-solver and able to fulfil more complex projects,’ she says. ‘The MiM helped me to identify my skills and mistakes to succeed at work. Now, I plan better, I am more patient and the goals I set up are realistic and can be measured. Now, I take more time to hire and try to fire quickly.

‘I made great connections with the teachers, who are industry leaders, and the colleagues who also attended.’

Van der Ent says: ‘Before the MiM, I always listened to my intuition when making decisions. I now take more time to evaluate and analyse some topics. Combining data and intuition helps me to make better and considered choices.’

Deutschmann adds:  ‘I would recommend the MiM as it gives those just starting out as a manager the right tools and guidelines to get a better idea of what is actually important for the job. For those who are already managers, it gives the opportunity to reflect on what they have been doing so far and find out where there is room to improve.’

The course gave Van der Ent a reality check and a good assessment of his own performance. ‘If you aim for the best service and quality, you need to constantly train and update your skills and knowledge. The long and intensive days are more than worth it,’ he says. ‘You also expand your network, connecting with great colleagues from all over the world. It’s always a great pleasure to see them again at conventions, knowing that you’ve shared the same course.’

‘I made great connections with the teachers, who are industry leaders, and the colleagues who also attended.’

Van der Ent says: ‘Before the MiM, I always listened to my intuition when making decisions. I now take more time to evaluate and analyse some topics. Combining data and intuition helps me to make better and considered choices.’

Deutschmann adds:  ‘I would recommend the MiM as it gives those just starting out as a manager the right tools and guidelines to get a better idea of what is actually important for the job. For those who are already managers, it gives the opportunity to reflect on what they have been doing so far and find out where there is room to improve.’

The course gave Van der Ent a reality check and a good assessment of his own performance. ‘If you aim for the best service and quality, you need to constantly train and update your skills and knowledge. The long and intensive days are more than worth it,’ he says. ‘You also expand your network, connecting with great colleagues from all over the world. It’s always a great pleasure to see them again at conventions, knowing that you’ve shared the same course.’

‘I strongly recommend it,’ adds Mesonero. ‘This is a wonderful experience, very intensive and at 12 hours a day, hard work – but it is a great challenge and the friends you make last forever. We had some incredible moments working together, preparing projects, doing presentations and roleplay, as well as eating, drinking and having fun.

‘Anybody who loves this industry and wants to make a difference in their work life should do a MiM.’