Professional development in a changing world

Ivana Marinkovic, Associate Director, EFMD Global Network Central and Eastern Europe
Eric Cornuel, CEO and Director General, EFMD.

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Today management education and development is about fostering purpose-led organisations that are driven by innovative, agile and responsible leaders ready to face the challenges of an uncertain and ever-changing future. Shaping the leaders of tomorrow is an immense responsibility for business schools, even though schools themselves are in a state of constant change where market pressures and performance indicators are in balance with corporate relevance and societal impact.

That is why higher education institutions need faculty and senior managers who are empowered to take on broader and more strategic responsibilities to enhance their professional skills. But they also need leaders who develop and grow personally.

As a global organisation, EFMD has always striven to develop innovative ways to fulfil its mission as a catalyst for enhancing the quality of management education and development globally. Since its establishment, professional development and leadership programmes have been a critical part of the EFMD portfolio of services. The expansion and development of this area of activities are where our strategic efforts will concentrate now and in the future.

The diversity of the EFMD network allows business school peers to discuss, share and benchmark their experiences and knowledge of executive development opportunities in a truly international context.

Internationalisation has always been one of the core values of EFMD and its accreditations, learning and networking services. Through international benchmarking, we want to provide an environment that challenges established assumptions and encourages business school executives to exchange ideas, co-create and innovate.

We are also privileged to have a dedicated and experienced team and a well-established pool of leading international experts in personal, institutional and strategic development, who devote their knowledge, time and efforts to help all of us grow.

Through structured alumni communities, we want to make sure that the learning process does not stop on the last day of a programme and that the intellectual exchange and established professional links have a long-lasting impact on the development and careers of individuals.

To reference Carol Dweck’s concept of “growth mindset”, talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and input from others. Our professional development programmes aimed at providing participants with this integrated and holistic experience, offering personal insight, organisational relevance and long-lasting societal impact.

We already run several professional development programmes on a regular basis, which, together with their more targeted spin-offs, provide building blocks for a varied portfolio of leadership programmes.

Strategic Leadership Programme for Deans

The annual Strategic Leadership Programme for Deans is a dynamic knowledge-sharing programme that is aimed at exploring the multiple aspects of the role of a dean as a leader of his/her institution. Participants have the opportunity to interact with highly experienced deans, gaining insight into their views and experience in taking their school into major new developments. The programme covers a variety of themes, from the role of the leader in managing strategic directions across the institution; through transversal themes such as cost and revenue generation, fundraising, student and staffing; to potential challenges such as mergers, crisis management and reputation issues.

EFMD – EURAM Research Leadership Programme

In order to strengthen their members’ capability to develop high-quality and relevant research, EFMD and EURAM have joined forces to launch another professional development programme – the EFMD / EURAM Research Leadership Programme. With two components focusing on the context as well as on the content of management research, it helps integrate a community of research leaders in business and management schools. Direct advice from experienced directors, access to the gatekeepers of research funding institutions and the back-up from a network of programme alumni across the continent are at the heart of this programme.

Admissions Institute for New Professionals

Another professional development programme, the Admissions Institute for New Professionals, is designed as a cohort-learning executive education experience. This comprehensive programme utilises a combined learning methodology that includes lectures, cases, group discussions, workshops and individual contributions to help participants master the admissions profession. We organise it in collaboration with our strategic partner – the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

EFMD – HUMANE Schools

EFMD also goes beyond higher education in business and management. Despite apparent differences between national systems, senior managers in higher-education institutions have to deal with very similar issues. The EFMD – HUMANE Schools, run three times a year in Europe and Asia, are four-day training programmes that develop the leadership potential of these managers. These highly intensive programmes, including plenary sessions and practical work in small groups, make them fully aware of the concepts and practices of strategic management, and the importance of integrating academic matters, finances, human resources, governance, leadership and communication strategy in the development of a university strategy.

Executive Academy for Teaching and Learning Professionals

Being the “actor of change” within EFMD, in February 2017 the Professional Development Team launched the “The Executive Academy for Teaching & Learning Professionals”, a blueprint for the development of further offerings in the professional development space. The Executive Academy has celebrated one year of continued success. After three completed streams in Prague (May 2017), Miami (September 2017) and Singapore in April 2018, the Executive Academy attracted 55 top-level candidates from more than 30 countries around the globe. The next edition took place in Prague in November 2018 with 21 participants. The EFMD team has capitalised on the Executive Academy to offer new activities to continuously improve and enrich the programme portfolio and to support excellence and dynamism in the EFMD network. The two most recent initiatives are described next.

Targeted spin-offs

Both programmes were delivered in autumn 2018 and due to their success, they will have possible repeat editions in the future. The first programme targeted the Russian academic community and together with SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, EFMD offered “The Leadership Accelerator Academy” for business schools and university executives. Focus areas reflected pressing issues for Russian higher-education managers, in particular leading the transformation processes related to the prioritisation of impact and engagement, internationalisation and digitalisation. The second offering, “The Programme Management Accelerator Workshop”, was implemented in October 2018 in Estonia in co-operation with Tallinn University of Technology. The two-day workshop offered a comprehensive training opportunity for programme directors and managers representing a very good example of covering the key ingredients of delivering high-quality degree education successfully.

Conclusion

The perspective of a 100-year life span, the majority of that time spent studying and working, means that lifelong learning and professional development will be a lot more important, and different, for future generations. Future business school leaders expect to be taken on a participative learning journey that is rich in content, fun and flexible, creating a sustainable network of international peers and providing long-lasting personal impact. New technologies and experiential learning will open up new opportunities in these areas. Broad and customised professional development programmes will help EFMD cater to the strategic needs of our members. You can count on all of us at EFMD to continue to run and continuously enrich this unique and unparalleled strategic portfolio of professional development services.

Ivana Marinkovic

Associate Director, EFMD Global Network Central and Eastern Europe

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Eric Cornuel

Director General and CEO, EFMD

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