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Exec Ed Trends: Customization, Experiential and More Leadership (Workforce Management)

wf_logo Workforce Management published a special report titled Executive Education: Behaving Like a Leader which looks at some the latest trends in executive education.

Business schools are finely customizing their executive offerings to craft the behaviors required to steer global corporations through the financial crisis, reflecting a broader shift toward creating programs that confront individual companies’ immediate business challenges.

Business schools across the globe are becoming more responsive to their customers needs in designing and delivering executive education. Fewer cookie cutter offerings and more custom designed programs seem to be the order of the day. The current turbulent international business environment is also causing schools to adjust their curriculum to prepare future leaders for new challenges ahead. 

The new customization now reaches well beyond designing executive education programs for specific corporate clients. It is now transforming open-enrollment classes and executive MBA curriculums and spurring new consortium and coaching programs. It is also fueling focused programs for small groups of executives based on their position in the corporate hierarchy. In every case, the curriculums mirror the new global environment and the demand for leadership skills on every continent.

“Companies are increasingly sophisticated in evaluating their own development needs and want to be involved in the education programs designed to create the behavior changes required,” says Narayan Pant, INSEAD’s dean of executive education. “In the customized programs, we realized years ago that the ready-made plug-and-play model was over. Now we start with basic questions for the client about the most granular behavior changes necessary to move the company in the direction that it wants to go.”

Programs are focusing more on experiential learning because that’s how adults learn most effectively and they are devoting more attention to behavioral change and leadership skills. One on one coaching opportunities are embedded in the programs with continued services offered to executives long after they’ve graduated from the formal program.

Interestingly, none of the leaders interviewed from INSEAD, Wharton and Tuck business schools anticipate a drop off in demand for executive education programs despite the current financial crisis and the business challenges anticipated around the globe in 2009.

“In our programs, we teach that the business of good management becomes all the more important during times of crisis,” Pant says. “In a world where everyone has to focus on value and where resources will be very scarce for the next three to five years, executive education has to focus on value and how behaviors must change to create value in this environment.”

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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Posted in Education + Youth, General Leadership, Learning.

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