Jan Ginneberge analyses the results of an EFMD survey into the current and likely future state of executive education.
This article focuses on the trends and positioning of the three main stakeholder groups in executive education: learning and development organisations; consultancies and other alternative providers; and business schools as revealed by an EFMD survey.
Revenues and costs of executive education: confirming the difficult budgetary context
Not surprisingly, the survey confirms the reduction of learning and development (L&D) budgets and the pressure on perceived high prices of all provided solutions. In this debate, corporate L&D organisations are considered to be strong in working on solutions that reduce the time off the job while alternative providers are keen to stress the opportunity to provide efficient, low-cost solutions – low-cost solutions that are perceived to be a threat to business schools.
Evolution of executive education markets and clients: extended geographical reach and changing participant profile
All providers tend to see a trend for the executive education market to expand geographically (into emerging markets) while companies see their biggest future challenge being the global delivery of solutions. And in this respect, providers are not perceived as being as global as they would need to be to deliver effectively a one-stop service.
Providers also see much growth potential in the replacement of the baby-boom generation now giving up the helm of many companies. But corporate L&D organisations as well as business schools see the traditionally elitist approach of executive development as a risk.
So opportunities are perceived in extending development to a wider range of managers or to non-traditional audiences. In this respect, alternative providers are seen as the key beneficiaries of filling the gaps left by business schools.
The executive education value proposition: zooming in on human capital and business challenges
A significant trend in the executive development value proposition is the integration of leadership development and talent management practices. Alternative providers are seen to be strong in this area with their interest in co-evolving with their clients as effectively joint providers. The opportunity for corporate L&D organisations is to tap into the wider human capital dimension.
The biggest demand from corporate clients is a focus on business challenges. Corporate L&D organisations see this positioning of learning as a lever for transformation as a specific strength for them. This is boosted by a capacity to respond to explicit needs and a tendency to tread cautiously with regard to education fashions.
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