How is executive education changing due to Covid-19? With fewer clients right now, business schools are competing to offer quality virtual experiences suited to a period of disruption.
As schools expand their offerings and experiment with new formats, companies can benefit from excellent opportunities – often at a discount. Those willing to make use of online resources can easily and efficiently guide leaders in the right direction in a changing world.
An executive education goldmine at your fingertips
Here are some resources that you can share with your management team – or try out for yourself.
Many business schools are stepping in with video lessons that offer actionable takeaways for handling the crisis. Executives can use these in the flow of work.
Check out this valuable content that schools are offering for free:
- The series “Leadership in Extraordinary Times” from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (UK) gathers world leaders from government and business to share impactful advice. If you want to learn about rapid innovation resulting from the Kursk submarine rescue mission, or get tips on resilience from the leader of Japan’s USD 1.6 trillion pension fund, these intellectually stimulating discussions are for you.
- Esade Business School (Spain) is organising a webinar series, #StayConnectedEsade. Upcoming titles include “Leading in Times of Crisis”, “Nurturing Your Mental Health and Building Personal Resilience”, and “Ethics Beyond Black and White”. You can also watch dozens of past webinars.
- Research-based tips on organisational adaptation, the neuroscience of productivity, and leading culture during crisis come from the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley (US) in their weekly video series on “Leading Through Crisis”. At 10-20 minutes each, these sessions are a perfect way to feel more centred and inspired on a hectic day.
- Overwhelmed with video? IESE Business School has developed how-to leadership guides for those who prefer to learn by reading. Check out their publication “8 Decision-Making Pitfalls for Executives (And How to Avoid Them)” (PDF) to get advice supported with data and examples.
An unprecedented crisis has led to an unprecedented surge of free learning opportunities by the world’s top executive education providers. These resources can give leaders support and guidance in an uncertain time.
Virtual executive education
A webinar is not a substitute for a full learning experience. Leaders will also need structured programmes that spark self-reflection and create a space to experiment with peers. This kind of deeper learning can prepare them for a transformed world.
A number of business schools are adapting their programmes this year and offering online options. Some executives may have reservations about remote education, while others would welcome the opportunity to learn and grow when it is most needed.
- IE Business School (Spain) offers a wide range of online programmes geared towards different industries and management levels. IE has already proven itself as a digital pioneer, with technologies such as the “Wow Room” – an interactive, AI-powered lecture hall. In light of Covid-19, IE has announced that all executive programmes will proceed online. Face-to-face sessions are set to resume in September.
- HEC Paris has also polished its online offerings, adding six executive programmes. These range from short classes you can complete in a weekend to diploma courses. HEC’s speciality is innovation – a competency that can help your organisation adapt after Covid-19. For example, you can take courses on Innovation Management and Design Thinking.
- Hult Ashridge Executive Education (UK) is proving to be at the cutting edge of online learning. Hult has put together an executive course specifically for the time of the pandemic. It provides training in the skills needed to thrive at work now. Hult is also unique among business schools in offering a 1-month free trial for their learning platform. There, you can find a wide range of courses on leadership, coaching, mindfulness, and communication.
In a pandemic-stricken world, outstanding leadership and innovation are badly needed. These high-quality courses will give executives tools and strategies they can immediately put into practice, so that they can lead with clarity and insight.
What will executive education look like after the pandemic?
After Covid-19, leaders and managers will need to continually update their skills and competencies in a disrupted world. They will need resilience and flexibility, and they will have to plan for an uncertain future while leading with confidence and compassion.
What will executive education look like once the crisis abates? In-person learning will resume, as there is still no digital replacement for a deeply immersive experience. At the same time, schools are not likely to scale back online offerings once they have developed and implemented them. “Early adopters” of online programmes may come back for more, and inspire their peers to try virtual or blended learning.
In-person programmes will have to offer an extraordinary experience to stand out, while online learning will be more widely available. At the same time, schools may continue to offer much more content for free to engage those who are willing to learn. So, stay tuned – the future of executive education is bright.