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20 years of excellence in managerial education

05 Martie 2013

Ionut Mihailescu (in picture), General Manager, told Business Review about the success story behind CODECS and the company’s main achievements since its establishment.

By Anda Sebesi

What lies behind CODECS’s attainments?

Our success story is the result of a synergy of several factors. First, there was a huge need for managerial education at international standards back in the 1990s. Second, there was private initiative, which brought dynamism, flexibility and adaptation to the market – the resources needed to start the project. Back in 1993 the first 25 students of the Open University Business School in Romania set up CODECS, the Centre for Open Distance Education for a Civil Society, in order to promote, implement and develop distance learning in Romania. Third was our British partner, Open University Business School, one of the most prestigious business school in Europe. It brought its creative capacity and know-how to the Romanian partner, and earned CODECS its trust and respect.

What are the company’s main achievements since its establishment, and how has CODECS adapted to the market realities in Romania?

The diversification of our business through new products that the market demanded has had several significant steps. In 1998, CODECS set up its training and consultancy division and signed an exclusive partnership with 360 Solutions, one of the most influential suppliers of training services worldwide. In the same year we founded the CODECS publishing house, specialized in publishing business books. Its mission is to boost Romanian managerial culture and improve the performance of managers, by offering a great selection of books written by well-known Romanian and foreign authors specialized in general management, economy, business, sales, marketing, project management, leadership, human resources, education, training and coaching.

Another step was taken in 2000 when CODECS introduced the first project management program in Romania. Over 9,000 managers have graduated from these courses to match that of Western cultures. In 2001, we set up the CODECS for Leadership Foundation. Its most well-known educational program is Leaders of the Third Millennium, introduced in schools and high schools nationwide. The main goal of this program is to develop the leadership skills among scholars, students and teachers, and to promte values such as: trustworthiness, honesty, competence, performance and the courage to initiate civic action. More than 9,000 people have graduated from the foundation’s Leaders of the Third Millennium educational program. The program is supported by top business profesionals and has become a highly reputed business education source. Aside from seting the foundation for a future career and offering great networking opportunities, it has also inspired students to start getting involved as volunteers or trainers. The launch of the Business Operations and Supply Chain Innovation, Strategy and Management in 2008-2009 was another significant step, followed by the introduction of the Management: Perspectives and Practice course back in 2010, within the MBA program’s first stage.

Last year, Prospectiuni, in partnership with CODECS, founded the Center of Professional Development, a program that helps young geologists and geophysicists enter the professional sphere easily and efficiently. Courses include a comprehensive curriculum of specialized presentations and are taught by experts within the company, who coordinate students’ professional development. With a focus on the exploration sector of the oil and gas and minerals industry.

This January the first class of graduates of the Center of Professional Development concluded their courses, and 15 young professionals joined the international community of explorers for the development of our planet’s resources.

CODECS has also been involved in many educational projects, organizing conferences and workshops, such as: Project Management Forum (2004) and A New Thinking for a New World management conference (2007) held by Dr. Charles Handy.

Dr. Handy is a specialist in business philosophy, an expert in organizational development and the foundation of modern principles of organizational culture and leadership. CODECS also organized Leadership 2011, a conference dedicated to leadership in business.

You have been pioneers in many education-related areas. For example, in 2000 you introduced the Project Management program in Romania. What is it like to be a pioneer in a market you are developing?

Now more than ever, the business world needs pioneers capable of moving beyond the uncertainty and fear that control the market. Being a pioneer means having a vision about the future evolution of demand for personal and managerial development. It means having the capacity to inspire people in their desire for personal and professional development. It means courage in accepting challenges and taking chances. Since 1993 CODECS has been following its mission to inspire people, because through their own personal and professional to contribute to the advancement of our professional society.

The CODECS slogan is “the power of knowledge”. What does this mean in the 21st century? And what does it mean in the current technology-dominated economic and social context?

We all witnessed the effects of the international financial crisis and know how hard the labor market was hit. That’s why we believe that those who choose to sacrifice their spare time and invest in their personal and professional development are the real winners during this crisis. We hope that these people will have the same aplomb and thirst for knowledge, as we must not forget that knowledge is power! With each generation of graduates we enhance the level of managerial education in Romania, to match that of Western countries. Excellence in managerial education is the core value CODECS promoted in 20 years of hard work.

Number of graduates in areas of business

  • 18,000 - students nationwide, top managers in some of the most important companies in Romania;
  • 5,200 – graduates in Professional Certificate in Management;
  • 2,400 - graduates in Professional Diploma in Management;
  • 363 - MBA graduates;
  • 9,000 - managers have specialized in project management, business operations and supply chain innovation, strategy and management.