At the heart of every good company is a great leader with excellent management skills and high levels of competency. Due to the importance of leadership in business an increasing number of companies are sending their mangers on executive education courses to ensure they have the attributes that will allow them to succeed. Executive education is purely an investment; it is an investment in employees in the hope that after achieving a skill set in leadership and management, the company will feel the benefits of having a well trained and highly motivated management structure. This demand has led to a relative 'boom time' for educational facilities offering courses, as companies seek to constantly increase the skills of their employees.
Part of this development has included a move towards creating bespoke executive education courses for specific corporations. By doing this, educational institutions have been able to secure more business while developing training that is targeted to a company's objectives. Around five years ago this was not the case, more generic courses were popular. Today however companies have realised that by giving managers specific skills they will in fact be better at their jobs. For instance, if a company wants to train sales managers, it makes more sense to put the trainees through an executive education course that focuses on financial analysis.
In addition to shorter, more specific courses, some education facilities have worked with businesses to create accredited award schemes. This can be anything from basic qualifications, right up to Masters level. This move comes as a result of company's wanting their managers to have certification for the training they have undertaken within the company structure, as well as in the public sphere.
If you are a business manager, contemplating sending your management away on executive education courses means a number of factors that will require careful consideration. One of these considerations is to understand exactly what results you will need from a training program. This can be difficult but with the help of an executive education professional it is possible to find a course structure that will cover the attributes needed and a suitable timescale.
Additionally, converse with the employees set to take the course is an essential consideration so they understand succinctly what they will be expected to learn. However, part of the selection process of who will undertake the course should also include an assessment of who is likely to gain the most from training. It is also advisable to continue the training after the course has been completed. This can be performed by holding discussion forums and meetings that will ultimately help employees understand what they have learnt and how to apply it to their specific job role.
Executive education should not be considered a short term fix for management problems. It is in fact a long term solution that requires planning on the part of the leadership. Enrolling many employees on a rolling basis is an attractive option as it will gradually improve the attributes of the entire workforce. In addition by having a large number of employees suitably educated, improvements to working processes will become a reality as more workers have the knowledge to increase efficiency and hence profitability.
Ultimately executive education should be used as a reward not a punishment. By using it positively it is a way to improve individual performance and functionality. In the wider sense by using it as a reward, company leadership can create loyalty amongst the employees as well as gaining a more knowledgeable workforce. The world of business is cutthroat and fiercely competitive; by educating management officials it is possible to have those leading a business with the essential skills for success. The business owner of today needs to consider whether they can really achieve success without an educated, skilled and well rounded management structure; effective executive education can help to achieve this goal.
Business expert Thomas Pretty looks into how executive education can be deemed an excellent way to improve management ability, company efficiency and hence profitability.