I see two key trends in the business environment that are driving changes in Executive Education. The downturn over the last 3 years and the prevailing global economic uncertainty is driving organizations to be clearer around strategy and business priorities than ever before. This, in turn, is driving Executive Education to embed itself more into the business needs of companies by providing flexible and customized curriculums in comparison to more traditional off-the-shelf programs.
The second driver is that organizations today are looking for capability development in a more broad-based manner than before which is impacting Executive Education in two ways:
i. Scalability of Executive Education programs and the ability to engage larger audiences in an impactful manner. Executive Education is today using blended methods of learning to achieve scale and impact i.e. self-paced classroom simulations, field exercises, reflection based and other innovative ways of action learning.
ii. In addition to the traditional focus on senior management/ executive levels, Executive Education is now increasingly catering to middle management audiences as well. This audience has traditionally received less than required attention on development and is increasingly being acknowledged as a critical link for business success, particularly, when it comes to strategy execution, people management, innovation and change.
Further, while companies continue to invest in such programs, it is interesting that, in addition to the traditional models of measuring ROI, blended learning in Executive Education is opening newer ways of measuring outcomes. For example, action learning methods are being measured through real outcomes achieved during learning projects and outcomes observed during simulation exercises. The realm of measurement is undergoing rapid changes as the methods of are evolving.