My professional experience in Instructional Design has provided countless opportunities for me to engage with learners from every background and in all sorts of settings. Still, a particular subset that is near and dear to the heart of this Chief Learning Officer and current PhD student is Executive Education.
Executive Education is generally offered to a cross section of employees ranging from new hires (which may or may not include recent college graduates) all the way up the corporate ladder to the “C” Suite. It is usually provided by universities who can present both the theory supported by their institution’s research and additional consulting services. Any given classroom (virtual or in-person) might hold learners from the freshly minted Millenials to the good ol’ Baby Boomers like yours truly.
Oh what a dialogue it creates.
The course material includes a myriad of subjects but, from my experience, it generally suggest a concentration on whatever the “hot” topic is for the decade. Note: Corporate Education often follows the “shiny” ball. Generally, the demand is for customized content, which is most relevant to the enterprise customer.
Part of my interest in Executive Education stems from my consulting work as a Learning Analyst with a company called Volute. Volute curates a Community Marketplace of tools created by business and academic thought leaders. Each Volute member organization (both the developers and the users of Executive Education content) has unlimited access to the Community Marketplace, plus a branded Private Marketplace to develop and deploy specialized Executive Education programs. Key members of this marketplace include the universities and institutions offering these programs.
While many of these institutions provide limited-length learning programs, they’ve come to recognize that, in order to provide value to their corporate clients, they must grant environments that offer continuous learning — and technology is the only solution for multi-national companies.
Yet regardless of the technological solutions a company like TCP or Volute can offer, the critical component of motivating busy executives and maintaining their focus is, ultimately, the only way to make positive changes in their professional experience.
We can design a thousand tools and use every learning strategy and theory in the text book, but if institutions of education and their consultants can’t hold their focus and enhance their ability to find the application of learning in their fast-paced day-to-day lives, executives will not absorb the value that is needed to experience continuous learning.
That’s just the way I see it. As Learning Designers, we need to provide the kinds of solutions that universities and consultants can use to continuously engage learners.
Stay tuned for my next blog about what some of those solutions are.
These pressing issues can be solved!