Are you hoping to expand your pool of successful executive education professors? If so, what kind of person should you recruit?
According to a recent study of successful customized executive education programs, you should look for people who respect the work that managers do and have a genuine interest in the problems that managers face.
In that study1, one hundred six executive education clients rated various elements of a customized exec ed program to indicate how important each one is for a program’s success.
Results showed that a) professors who respect executives’ knowledge and experience, and b) professors who design sessions that are driven by a problem the company is facing are both very important for success.2
How can you identify professors with this respectful and practical orientation?
Here are a few ideas.
· Look for professors who enjoy teaching in your MBA and Masters programs for working managers and professionals. Professors who choose these assignments are often interested in the challenges that managers and professionals face.
· Talk to professors about their research. When you ask about the practical application, look for professors who have a ready answer.
· Check the list of recent publications by your faculty. Get to know the professors who are writing for publications that managers read.
· Find out who has an active consulting practice and ask them how their experiences could contribute to executive education.
· Watch to see which faculty attend campus events that include managers and other professionals.
· Look at the readings professors assign in class. Do they assign articles from Harvard Business Review? McKinsey Quarterly? Other books and magazines focused on the practical problems that managers face?
· Visit professors in their offices and take a look at their bookshelves. Do they subscribe to Harvard Business Review? McKinsey Quarterly? Other books and magazines focused on the practical problems that managers face?
Once you identify professors with the right stuff, you can help them build the skills they need to succeed. I will explore that challenge in my next post.
1 Designing and Delivering Customized Programs with Impact: A UNICON research report, by Elizabeth Weldon, PhD. UNICON is the International Consortium of Business School Executive Education providers. The complete report is available at http://uniconexed.org/2014/research/UNICON_Research_Report-Customized_Programs_with_Impact-full.pdf
2 Ratings on the survey showed that these two program elements are very important to the success of a customized executive education program. The rating scale was: 1 = Not important; 2 = Somewhat important; 3 = Fairly important; 4 = Very important; 5 = Extremely important; 6 = Essential, should be in every program.
|How important is each one to the success of a customized program?||Average||sd|
|Professors who respect executives’ knowledge and experience.||4.82||1.21|
|Professors who design sessions that are driven by a problem the company is facing.||4.59||1.12|
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