Executive education – empowering senior professionals and entrepreneurs!

by Admin | Jul 24, 2020 | IITBOMBAY-WU

The need for leadership development, whether in an entrepreneurial set-up or an organization, has never been as significant as it is today. Organizations, business leaders and entrepreneurs have acknowledged the nature of today’s volatile, speculative and uncertain business environments and hence the need for nurturing talent that can help businesses sustain their relevance and eventually transition to the next generation of leadership. It is also being globally recognized that this education cannot be restricted to the top management alone given the emphasis on empowerment expected by employees at various geographies and levels throughout the organization.

A lot of research has been done to understand what participants are looking for from their respective executive MBA programs. Here are the top 5 that stand out:

  • Clearer strategic thinking and approach
  • Increased personal confidence at work
  • Improved leadership
  • Effective problem solving
  • Increased influence in their organization

But professionals and entrepreneurs frequently join executive MBA programs for reasons that go beyond the obvious ones of gaining additional knowledge and insights about the effective running of organizations. They often look for support or a push in order to make a change in their behaviour that allows them to be more effective at work and in life. In fact a lot of executive MBA programs deal with personal development and transformation.

Transformational programs come in handy at ‘natural’ transition points, such as setting up a business, moving to general management, expanding to a new market or being included in the succession plan. The transformational nature of executive MBA programs work towards allowing the participants to:

  • recognize new opportunities for self and the company
  • find renewed interest and motivation in one’s work
  • make changes in personal leadership style
  • build more effective relationships with colleagues
  • nurture the ability to mobilize employees towards common goals

While doing all these, executive MBA programs like ours, with immense learning from the past, contribute to our participant’s professional and personal lives in the following manner:

  • Gaining a global outlook: This includes helping with identifying, analysing and practicing how to best manage critical business variables when faced with economic, institutional and cultural differences across the globe.
  • Developing leadership skills: This involves helping with understanding the responsibilities of authority, developing alternate strategies to encourage, shape and steer a local or global team while taking into consideration inter and intra team dynamics especially during critical organizational transitions.
  • Sharpening unification skills: This involves aiding with thinking about issues from diverse and cross-functional points of view, changing perspectives to redefine problem statements and learning to take sound decisions based on intelligence and intuition.
  • Acknowledging organizational truths and working around them: This includes training to influence colleagues, team members or the top management to get things done despite hidden agendas, political coalitions, and competing perspectives.
  • Acting creatively and innovatively: This includes preparing to find problems or opportunities proactively; gathering market information through data & feedback and engaging in lateral thinking, experimentation and learning.
  • Thinking critically and communicating clearly:This includes developing the ability to articulate well, interpret intelligently and present persuasive arguments that help in distinguishing facts from feelings.
  • Understanding the ultimate purpose of business: This includes balancing financial, non-financial, tangible and intangible objectives while managing the demands of diverse stakeholders such as shareholders, employees, trade, customers, regulators and the society at large.
  • Understanding the limits of what is established:This includes asking tough questions about risk from all variables and assumptions and trying to understand what might go wrong. This includes market dynamics, competition, customer and the regulator.

In the past, executive education programs did not focus on ‘ROI’ for the participants or for the sponsoring organizations. But today one can measure skill acquisition and skill transfer at the participant and at organizational levels. One can see the direct impact of how participants make a significant difference to the way their respective organizations do business. Educational institutions understand the need to continuously realign objectives with that of their customer groups – whether an entrepreneur, a professional or an organization. As the needs change the nature of talent development will also evolve

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