Executive Education in 2021: Take advantage of the pandemic

Do you have a lot of experience but have been thinking for a long time that you need to refresh your skillset? Don’t put off your plans to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic. Executive education programs are always a great opportunity to refresh and reset professionally on a number of levels, but this year they could be crucial in preventing your company from going adrift.

Why is it necessary to continue your training as an executive?

We’re going to tell you why it’s necessary for you to continue training as a top manager, and, what’s more, the advantages that doing so during these times offers.

You need to “refresh” yourself in a fast-paced environment

COVID-19 has proven and accelerated the need for companies to reconsider and adapt to certain prevailing structural challenges such as digital disruption, automation and big data. When it comes to people management, matters such as teleworking, virtual team management, work-life balance policies and talent retention have come to the fore and require managers to offer the best possible response. All of these areas call for a significant amount of training that, due to the present crisis, must be approached from new angles which take into account the new reality companies are facing.

IESE’s Executive Programs have evolved to meet these new needs and to offer pertinent knowledge, while also instilling ethical and committed leadership skills, taking into account aspects such as corporate social responsibility and inclusion.

Develop flexibility and a disruptive mindset

Today’s top managers need to develop a more adaptable and collaborative profile, which allows them to respond quickly to change and innovation. Participating in a program designed for executives will help you identify new points of view that will cultivate your mental flexibility.

Sometimes, remaining within the same company and team prevents us from seeing different and more disruptive ways of doing things. Many of the problems you navigate through and manage likely occur in other organizations, but other managers approach them from different angles. Discussing real business situations with experienced professionals from other sectors and management positions cultivates your creativity and your ability to be disruptive, which, ultimately, will offer added value to your organization.

Another benefit of the learning process when the market is down is the added dose of motivation you’ll bring to the table. Perhaps you feel stuck or worry that the prospects for your growth within your company are bleak. The sense of progress and improvement that an executive education program provides from day one is an incentive that will boost your optimism and positive thinking.

Thanks to hybrid methodologies, you can grow as an executive whatever the COVID-19 context may be.

The pandemic has forced decisions to be made faster and under high levels of uncertainty. It’s time to acquire new skills.

Cultivate relationships: Aways important but now more important than ever

“If you want a year of prosperity, grow rice. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” So goes the Chinese proverb. And the fact is that being in contact with other people is one of the main sources for learning and business value.

Your progression within a company or a sector makes it difficult for you to forge new professional relationships. Sometimes, the fact that there are direct or indirect dependencies, or that you’re dealing with competitors, prevents these relationships from being truly fruitful for your network. Participating in a leadership program gives you an opportunity to expand your circle of peer-to-peer relationships. What’s more, sharing a learning experience creates a safe and transparent environment where everyone collaborates.

A clear example of the level of trust that’s created in top management development programs is that they’ve given way to numerous joint business projects and even joint investment initiatives. This was the case for Néstor Amela (PDG ’16) and Oriol Moltó (PDD ’17) who, as a result of their participation in IESE programs, founded the groups PDG Angels and PDDinvest, respectively. These two initiatives are not only investment vehicles but they also strengthen the relationships that these alumni made during their programs.

Advantages of doing a training program during a pandemic. Now is the time

Contrary to what you might think, 2021 could be an ideal year for you to do that program that you’ve been putting off for years to “refresh” professionally. Here, some reasons why.

Fewer trips, more availability

Today more than ever, executives need training solutions that offer flexibility both in time and space, and that guarantee the quality and personalization of this training, whatever the context may be. At IESE, we have adapted our programs. All of them have hybrid formats, which allows you to take advantage of them whatever the circumstances may be. In addition, you will find blended programs such as the PMD and Flexible PDD, which combine residential modules and live online training.

Further training as motivational salary

The pandemic has brought widespread salary freezes. For this reason, many companies are opting to offer training as an element to retain talent, including top managers. Experiencing a management development program can be a more powerful motivator than a larger paycheck.

Take advantage of the standstill caused by the pandemic to grow as an executive. Three skills necessary for 2021 are: mental flexibility, innovation and relationship management.

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