Five things you need to know about training for executives

Training for executives is more important for businesses than ever. The notion that training for executives is a luxury that companies can do without has never carried much weight. Even less so in today's complex, globalized business world, where training for executives has taken on even greater importance for organizations battling to succeed.

The right training for executives can provide you with the knowledge and leadership skills to make a positive difference for your company. It can allow you to step back from your day-to day activities and gain fresh insights that would otherwise be hard to come by. If you are taking on new responsibilities, effective training for executives can give you the tools to manage what can seem at first like an overwhelming challenge.

Fair enough, but what constitutes good training for executives? Obviously, there should be more to leadership and management training than sessions away from the office with flipcharts, coffee and donuts. Let's examine what you need to know about the best executive education:

1) Start with one of the top business schools in the world. There are many business schools out there offering training for executives, but many of them may fall short of your expectations. Not surprisingly, you can count on the best results from a top-ranked business school. Rankings from reputable sources such as The Economist and the Financial Times can help you identify good business schools and those with the best management training programs. To stay at the top of executive education rankings business schools have to constantly innovate and update their management training programs to meet evolving demands.

2) Expect more from business schools exclusively focused on executive education. After checking the rankings, you can further narrow your management training search by seeking out business schools that focus 100% on executive education. Unlike universities, such schools are entirely devoted to the training of executives. Typically, they collaborate with companies to develop corporate training programs that address challenges in the real business world — rather than erudite academic management theories. Business schools focused on executive education also offer customized training for executives and personalized leadership coaching.

3) Look for business management training from experts at the forefront of management thought and research who remain strongly involved in the business world.They can provide you with knowledge and the latest world business trends that may hard to acquire from your job, particularly if you have been with the same company for many years. Top international business schools that are run like businesses engage faculty on a competitive basis, with teachers having to prove themselves year in, year out without recourse to faculty tenure.

4) Count on better returns from management training offered by good business schools with a global perspective. With globalization the dominant force shaping your company's future, having a global perspective is more important than ever. The best training for executives now comes from business schools with a multicultural faculty with deep experience in the global marketplace. Some leadership courses offer trips to different parts of the world to study developing markets. And you should expect the best international business schools to attract participants from around the world.

5) Benefit from flexible management training programs. Top business schools recognize that you have a life to live — as well as a business to run. Flexible executive education means designing high-impact programs that allow you to gain new knowledge while spending minimal time away from the office. Distance learning means lengthy classroom time no longer applies for the best-designed training for executives.

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