Tailor-made executives

 Business schools can always collaborate with corporates and facilitate career preparedness among their students.

Digital transformation and automation are fundamentally changing the nature of work across diverse industries with their ability to make business processes more efficient and help organisations achieve outcomes that were not possible earlier. Consequently, business leaders around the world are increasingly seeking management professionals who are well-placed to lead organisations through their digital transformation and leverage new-age technologies to stay ahead of the competition. 

Organisations today want managers who can efficiently work with technology to find quick solutions to complex business problems. But what this also means is that knowledge gained through a traditional management education is likely to become redundant in view of a modern, technology-driven business landscape. In such a scenario, the nature of management education must be updated to emphasise on technical skill development and prepare executives, functional managers, and business leaders to take on futuristic job roles that will be driven by technology.

It is up to business schools, then, to take a different approach to provide executive management education based on relevant customisation and to give students the opportunity to target career growth by acquiring skills and expert knowledge needed for the jobs of the future. 

Need to customise

Today, students and professionals are far more open to taking risks and seek rapid career growth. A growing millennial workforce across the world no longer views work as a mere source of earning an income but as a means of expressing one’s creativity, forming meaningful relationships, and making a real impact. Employees are thus quick to switch organisations and their life cycle is getting shorter within any one organisation. These rapid shifts in employee orientation have made it hard for organisations to stay profitable and relevant, due to the difficulties in balancing the needs and expectations of both employees and customers in an ever evolving world of uncertainties. 

The huge opportunities in today’s business world come with a new set of challenges that must be addressed, such as that of finding skilled and future-ready talent. Executive education, therefore, is no longer a choice but a necessity for preparedness. As a result, aspiring management professionals today need to consider the extent of the coverage of a particular executive programme’s curriculum, as well as the extent to which their training and expertise can be applied to meet the requirements of the organisations. Top-tier business schools around the world are thus designing courses with curricula that are highly targeted at specific modifications for company-specific requirements.

By adopting online learning technologies, business schools are making it easier for students and professionals such as managers, executives and senior-level professionals alike to access these training opportunities from anywhere and anytime. Further, the popularity of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms has also consolidated the facilitation of personal development through free web-based learning programmes.

Collaborate and learn

Globally, business schools are undertaking international collaborations to facilitate career preparedness for students and professionals in a globalised business economy. This helps connect learners with a global ecosystem of peers and trainers for the exchange of ideas and knowledge. Around 230 institutions representing 50 different countries emerged as ‘partners’ in collaborative agreements, as per a global collaboration survey conducted by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). With the escalation of commitment to qualitative executive education, learners can benefit from the right programme with an increasing level of customisation, a suitable mode of delivery and the rise of international business perspective.

Additionally, more and more business schools are collaborating with corporates to design innovative contemporary courses which are aligned with future technologies such as business analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), etc. The alignment with futuristic trends and technologies equips one with the skills, practices, strategies and creativity for the resolution of increasingly complex and sophisticated business-related problems.

The domain of executive education has immense potential to lead the way for a new-age of management education, wherein programme curricula are aligned with both the career objectives of students as well as the business objectives of enterprises.

At the same time, learners must also take the right measures to ensure they are equipped to effectively apply their skills to identify the challenges within their respective fields, leverage technology to the maximum in their job roles, and thus, contribute towards their future or current organisation’s long-term growth. 

 

(The author is with IMI, New Delhi)

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Tailor-made executives

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