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The changing face of executive education

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Why is executive education more important than ever in business?

Understanding your priorities for the future

During times of market uncertainty or disruption, employees are expected to adapt to changing markets and increasing pressures, however employers cannot ignore their role in ensuring that their teams are adequately up-skilled to adapt to their changing responsibilities effectively.  Unfortunately, economic uncertainty often prompts companies to prioritise ways to reduce overhead costs over their learning and development schemes.

The recent result of the EU referendum is likely to cause great uncertainty and unrest among British workers. Organisations should be sensitive of this and ensure that they are engaging and motivating their employees by not neglecting investment to professional development. 

New incentives emerging

This type of investment has often proven successful in managing unrest within organisations. For example, after the financial crisis, banks were no longer in a position to offer bonuses as a means of incentivise and motivating employees and had to find other ways to reward loyalty. This resulted in a number of banks investing in executive education programmes to ensure that their high flyers were engaged and wanted to be part of a company’s future.

Disruption within the economy brings an increasing uncertainty over budgets and finance within organisations. Future forecasting is one of the tools which employers can be developed in executive education programmes. This approach enables managers to become familiar with adapting their forecasting and to have the confidence to implement new approaches. By forecasting and planning effectively, employees can take a reactive and pragmatic manner towards business issues.

To become agile, internal business processes should be regularly examined and adapted when needed; as employees need to be able to keep up with global business changes and demands to drive the business forward. At Alliance Manchester Business School we have found that companies enrolled in executive education are interested in how they can increase innovative thinking within the workforce and this can be addressed by encouraging employees to think about how things can be done differently.  

Through our executive education programmes, we advocate systematic innovative thinking: ‘thinking in the box’ training inspires participants to be able to design new processes and systems without increasing overhead costs. Businesses are beginning to understand the importance of evaluating the resources that they already have within their organisation and our executive education programme provides managers with the tools to do this.

Education should be ongoing and an important part of life in the workplace and professionals should be prepared to view themselves as mentors to junior staff, providing coaching and insights based on their own experiences. This approach will empower managers in the changing economic landscape and will safeguard the future of an organisation - inspiring the teams on the ground to drive the business forward. 

Dil Sidhu

By Dil Sidhu

Dil is the chief external officer, Alliance Manchester Business School

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