The executive development program has become an important part of career-building for executives who constantly strive to take on new challenges. Focus on this kind of learning program has shifted to two important areas as the global business environment becomes increasingly complex.

  • Relevant outcomes as a result of the executive development program
  • Research and innovation in designing executive training programs

Despite these definitions, a question still remains.

  • What are the best ways to select an executive development program?

In this article, this question will be addressed and you will know more about the 5 effective ways of choosing an executive development program.


5 Effective Ways of Choosing Executive Development Programs

1st Way: Look at the executive education rankings

Executive Development Programs

One good way of knowing where to enroll for an executive development program is by looking at the executive education rankings. There are magazines and non-profit organizations that yearly assess the quality of education you can get from different business schools around the world.

The executive education rankings compare the flexibility of the course designs, class size, quality of the teaching faculty and staff, relevance of new skills acquired as well as the degree to which the executive training program addresses the needs of every business organization.

It’s clear that the top management training programs come from the top business management schools in the world. Executive education rankings can help you identify these business schools.

At IMD, our 100% focus on executive education motivates us to constantly innovate and ensure a great fit and real outcomes in all our business development courses and leadership training programs. This consistently earns us top position in international rankings in respected publications like the Financial Times.

2nd Way: Search for a flexible design

Executive Development ProgramsExecutive development programs must have a flexible design. No matter how good your management training program is, if it is not flexible to the needs of business executives, then it will not be effective. True learning takes time, but busy careers mean time spent on an executive education program needs to be used effectively.

Some management training programs mix on-campus modules with distance learning. Other leadership training programs and business training courses are short, intense experiences designed to boost specific business or leadership skills. Both formats minimize time away from the office while providing maximum benefits which suit you best depending on your schedule and needs.

3rd Way: Choose the right leadership development program for the current stage of your career

There will be different professional development needs for every stage of your career.

The training needs of an entry level supervisor are quite different from the needs of a mid-level executive. The same is true for top level business executives. This is the reason why you need to choose an executive development program that has the right focus and will satisfy your needs in your current stage of your career growth and development.

Executive Development Programs

Managers at different career stages don’t need the same things from an executive development program. The best leadership development programs are designed to build specific knowledge and skills appropriate for a particular stage. When choosing a program, it’s important to assess which one addresses your particular goals, challenges and ambition.

Young managers, for example, may benefit most from management training programs that focus on building business skills. Functional managers need a different kind of leadership program to move into general management. And top managers may benefit from strategic management training.

4th Way: Seek out executive development programs that encourages engaging learning

Executive Development Programs

An effective executive development program helps you learn better by “doing” rather than just by “seeing”. Classroom teaching and case studies have their place, but the best leadership training programs also use innovative, hands-on learning experiences. These can include:

  • Job-specific project work
  • Leadership and executive coaching
  • Highly interactive simulations
  • Discovery expeditions – hands-on experience of critical global issues in exciting markets
  • The development of action plans and/or a personal leadership development plans

5th Way: Select an executive training program that will give you immediate and ongoing value

Executive Development Programs

Select executive development programs that will give you immediate results. Benefits must be seen immediately right after finishing the executive development course.

You should be able to apply your new skills and knowledge straight away. The program should also help you become a stronger leader with a greater capacity for finding new approaches and leading change. These are qualities and skills that will serve you well throughout your career. Look too for business schools and programs that provide ongoing learning opportunities to alumni which is a useful added value from any executive development program.

Still looking for an Executive Development Program?

  • The Financial Times acknowledged IMD as one of the best institutions in the world for executive education and open programs.
  • Our Program for Executive Development is 100% committed to developing global leaders through high-impact executive education.
  • Take your career to the next level today by strengthening your existing skills and acquiring the skills you are missing.

Discover how the IMD Program for Executive Development can help you with this critical career move. Download the (NEW) program brochure now. 

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