Executives at the top of their careers must stay in step with the market’s most important currency-information. Whether it’s updating business knowledge, understanding the latest market trends, gaining perspectives on innovation, or implementing new ideas, executive training remains the best source of new and insightful information.
And today executive education has evolved to include an arsenal that reaches way ?beyond teaching processes. The hard nuts-and-bolts skills such as accounting and finance remain a prominent feature of most programs, but what sets schools apart today is how these skills are taught. Cultivating leadership, strengthening ethics, and developing acumen is fast becoming the new standard as more companies are focusing on the development of human capital.
“[We believe] core values such as integrity, the ability to lead people, to foster diversity, and to build confidence are vital to success as a leader and critical to success at Aetna,” says Leslie Ashford, head of executive education at Aetna Inc. “It’s answering the question: How do you engage people and lead them to ‘success’”
Today’s schools offer a wide range of concentrations-and flexibility featuring a mixture of open enrollment and customized programs. Open enrollment programs maintain the traditional classroom, requiring participants to be on-site for classes, while other schools create customized programs for companies that hire them to train ?employees in-house.
“In the last few years, the emphasis has been on teaching company managers how to deal with their specific issues and problems,” says Carol Newcomb, executive director of ?executive education for the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. “We focus on ?under-standing the companies’ markets, challenges, and opportunities first and then, based on this knowledge, design a program that will address the competencies [that] managers need to be successful.”
Our list presents 10 of the most exciting and innovative programs available.
Positioning Herself for Leadership
“There has been a shift, and anyone out in the job market sees it,” Machelle MacAdory says. “You need to be technically sound in any job. But leadership and ingenuity wrapped around the technical skills are now the price of entry.” MacAdory, a 20-year veteran of the auto industry, is the vice president of human resources and administrative services at Chrysler Financial in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Throughout her career, she has been diligent about keeping abreast of the changes in her industry.
When MacAdory attended the 10-day training program for HR executives at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Management, the field of human resources was undergoing considerable structural change. A field that had traditionally viewed its role as transactional, mediating between management and the talent it employs, was transforming into the role of a business-consulting partner, working to achieve the organization’s objectives.
“All my experience had been in the automotive industry, and I wanted to go [where] there was a true focus on the discipline of HR,” she explains. “U of M has a great relationship with the auto industry and I thought it would be a great tie-in to get some real practical experience.”
She adds that being an alum of