MBAs: Flexibility, client-focus and innovation bring higher relevance to MBAs

MBAs of a new kind are developing at some of the best business schools in the world. They're more relevant to the changing demands of the global economy and of those who strive to succeed in that context. These MBAs focus on active leadership and management skills training taught through flexible, innovative educational delivery methods. Graduates can expect leadership skills to drive business results immediately and throughout their careers: this is the critical advantage of these high-value MBAs.

Skills – not tactics – taught in high-value MBAs
What is the difference between learning a tactic and learning a skill? A tactic will serve you when you encounter the precise situation it is designed to address. A skill, on the other hand, implies the capacity to excel in any situation that demands it. That's why high-value MBAs aim to develop strong core skills – here are some examples:

  • Leadership and management skills: Leading MBAs teach you to read the dynamics of human behavior – including your own behavior – in management interactions. Techniques borrowed from the human sciences, such as leadership exercises and leadership coaching, are used in executive leadership development to guide you to understanding so you can leverage your personal leadership style.
  • Critical thinking/analysis skills: MBAs that have you review experts' analysis of business concepts will only teach you to review. Instead, high-value MBAs challenge you to analyze and apply business concepts so you strengthen and develop your own critical thinking and analysis skills.
  • Negotiations and conflict management skills: Numerous finer skills including negotiations and conflict resolution skills must come together for leading business managers. Top MBAs teach dynamically – for example, learn from hostage negotiators not just business negotiators! You'll learn to drive the dialogue even in the most stressful situations.

Education delivery reflects real world in best MBAs
How do high-value MBAs help students develop these management and leadership skills in such a profound way? It's hardly about having a professor stand in front of a class and drone on! Informed by the very latest knowledge in executive education as well as on the global economy, top MBAs use flexible, dynamic educational delivery methods to ensure results. For example:

  • Action learning: When it comes to solid, long-term skills integration, action learning is a critical educational tool. The best MBAs use hands-on action like leadership coaching, team leadership exercises, simulation exercises, onsite team projects and consultancy projects.
  • Behavior-based learning: Behavior-based learning helps you embed skills and knowledge by practicing and analyzing your own behaviors. In top MBAs, you will often find behavior-based learning integrated with action learning, for example, working under the guidance of a psychologist or executive coaching consultant.
  • Learn to learn: In high-value MBAs, the process of learning itself becomes a key takeaway. When you “learn to learn”, everyday experiences become opportunities that further your management and leadership skills and prepare you for the next step. This goes beyond typical on-the-job learning in the sense that you understand the process better – and can therefore better leverage it.

The global economyis more complex than ever before. The markets are volatile, regulatory constraints are growing, new actors and new technologies regularly change the game… executive business managers must bring flexible, high-level leadership skills or they will plateau fast. Not every MBA degree will guarantee your skills. However, some leadership development institutes are responding to these new realities with innovative, flexible MBAs.


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