As the vice dean of the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania and the creator of its doctoral program for CLOs and top learning executives, Doug Lynch sits at the forefront of the executive education environment.
An enhanced focus on leadership development as a core learning discipline has more companies — large and small — demanding executive education programs, Lynch said.
Now more than ever corporations are tailoring customized programs taught by academic institutions to meet their leadership development needs as opposed to academics dictating the curriculum. Lynch said the results of this shift have been good and bad for the executive education space.
The good is more organizations are paying serious attention to leadership development as an academic discipline. The bad is academic institutions are providing customizable programs to satisfy large corporate clients even if they aren’t aligned with a company’s expressed leadership curriculum needs. “The clients have gotten much more demanding,” Lynch said.
He said corporate requirements have changed from the days when academia acted as the dominant force in executive education. Organizations are tapping more of their own leaders as faculty, and many large corporations have sidestepped the need to send employees back to school in favor of their own fully equipped executive education facilities.
Frank Kalman is an associate editor of Chief Learning Officer magazine. He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.