The future is now: Redefining executive education for turbulent times

A Provocation Paper from the Chartered ABS Executive Education Committee

This paper argues that now, more than ever, we are in an era where the workplace itself drives the curriculum and business schools need to adapt their executive education provision to this. The authors of this paper aim to provoke thought and action among business school leaders to consider refreshing executive education to be more relevant in today’s context, exercising the competencies of dealing with ambiguity and conflict as well as capitalising on the positive opportunities presented by new technology and social change.

This paper is intended as a provocation and has been commissioned by the Executive Education Committee of the Chartered Association of Business Schools. As such, the views expressed are those of the authors and are published by the Committee in the spirit of a provocation to stimulate discussion.

Download the paper here

The size and scope of the executive education market is growing exponentially. Executive education in business schools now encapsulates a range of activities from undergraduate post-experience apprenticeship programmes to what might be seen as a more traditional set of activities around non-accredited senior leader and board development programmes and includes everything in between.

“Where there is full agreement is that market growth has encouraged new providers to challenge the traditional content, delivery channels and accreditation options. Competition from global businesses such as LinkedIn Learning, Ed-Techs such as EdX and global consultancies are creating new programmes, content and platforms that impact our markets and constitute a major threat to the sector. We have already seen massive innovation from business schools with digital delivery programme configuration and micro-credentials creating new products and new markets but clearly more is needed to capitalise on opportunities and defend our extant markets.”

 - Dr Phil Considine, Director of Executive Development at Strathclyde Business School, and Chair, Chartered ABS Executive Education Committee.

Given the provocative intention, the Paper has a wider audience - though primarily for those who lead in this area, it is also for all those with a vested interest in the future shape of executive education in response to the challenges and opportunities ahead. It is the authors’ hope that a ‘collective sense making’ may be encouraged within in a broader view of the stewardship of executive education in business schools.



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