Article: How to design custom executive programs

A Brand Reachout InitiativeTalent Management

How to design custom executive programs

FutureReadyHR Read similar articles


Designing effective custom executive programs require a methodical, collaborative approach between L&D professionals and educationists
How to design custom executive programs

There is a fundamental shift in the way organizational learning is delivered. 

Employees and employers are moving towards an ‘anytime, anywhere, any- device’ learning environment. And learning is becoming a powerful engagement tool, and organizations are increasingly showcasing their learning opportunities as part of their employer value proposition (EVP) to ensure they attract top talent. 

The focus on learning at the ‘moment of need’ is determining the type of learning channels and content.  A contemporary executive education program cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach. Every organization operates differently its business environment and has a unique talent pool. Professional development priorities and training needs are changing with changing business situations. 

Executive education must develop capabilities needed to drive the organization in the right strategic direction, not only for present needs but also for the future. To make an executive education program relevant for the long-term, there’s a need to customize the program extensively—in terms of content, design, delivery channels, support, etc., 

How can organizations respond to these shifts?

To answer these questions and make executive education business-relevant and people-centric, L&D leaders need to focus on developing a systematic process flow for conceptualization, curation, and delivery. They must start with a deep dive into understanding the client-organization i.e., it's business and people. 

Collaboration and engagement should be a critical part of curating a custom, proprietary program to skill talent. Throughout the delivery stage, all the components of the program must be carefully analyzed, monitored and adapted to ensure the objectives of both the organization and participants are achieved.

The ideal design process of custom executive programs

The ideal outcomes can be achieved by the following the step-by-step process: 

1.    Discover and decipher:

    Exploratory meeting: Education experts meet with company representatives and a detailed discussion for understanding the company’s needs help determine the business priorities.

    Initial assessment: An in-depth analysis of the company’s requirements and goals and the executives to undergo training. Discussions in this stage can typically focus on understanding the target group profile, to help curate the best-customized learning intervention for those executives. 

    Assessment proposal: Based on the initial assessments, a suggested structure and topics of the program, in brief, are proposed and discussed. 

 2.    Diagnose and design: 

    Explore & diagnose: Once the assessment proposal is approved, L&D professionals should work with education experts to conduct a detailed analysis with the stakeholders and the participants to have a solid understanding of their development needs. 

The holistic diagnosis should define the desired learning outcomes, learning styles of the target audience, resources available, etc., 

    Diagnostic proposal: A diagnostic proposal that includes the results of the diagnostic exercise and suggestive themes of the topics that have emerged.

    Design: This step involves putting together the structure and content of the program that is aligned to the executive’s needs 

3.    Deliver and debrief: 

    Deliver: In collaboration with education experts at Universities, L&D experts need to identify the preferred teaching method, and also look at blended learning which includes a mix of classroom sessions, simulations, role-plays, case studies, etc. 

    Feedback: Timely feedback is a powerful tool to enhance learning-retention and learning-application on the job. Post the completion of every program, the feedback of the participants must be captured.

    Debrief: It is important to provide a debriefing session at the end of the program, this step aligns the learners to goals of the program and their own career roadmap. 

    Impact measurement: This is perhaps the single biggest necessary step to help build a strong case for companies to invest in executive education. L&D experts must work with education experts to measure both the qualitative and quantitative impact of the programs on employees and their businesses.

L&D leaders and education experts must collaborate continuously to design the best executive education intervention for employees and organizations. High-quality executive education demands great investment and leadership attention. 

The return on investment in executive programs is often long drawn—so creating a strong business case and aligning learning-effectiveness metrics into their program offerings are critical. This collaborative approach between organizations and educators can help make a big leap towards effective upskilling of employees and help create high-performing organizations.  

Click here to find out how FLAME University can work with your L&D team to help design effective executive education programs.


Read full story

Topics: Talent Management, Learning & Development, #FutureReadyHR

Did you find this story helpful?