Executive training


By Camelia Ilie, Executive Education Director, ESADE Madrid

Executive Training
Executive Training

Executive training. The best training for executives is that which affords them hands-on experience, as up to 70% of their learning is acquired in this way. Next comes “coaching,” the methodology with the second greatest impact. Finally, there is more traditional education, consisting of lecture classes, case studies and lectures (10%).


In our programs for executives we are working to implement these percentages in learning methodology combinations, dedicating a large share to experiential approaches (action learning projects, simulators, role playing, outdoors), another share to leadership development and executive coaching programs, and a final part to knowledge updating.


Given the much shorter economic cycles and market turbulence, case studies are ceasing to represent a central tool in executive education, to be gradually replaced by the aforementioned methods.


In addition, the programs will cease to feature a lecture focus, taking place entirely in the classroom, as they will be transformed into an experience consisting of three phases, a system we have been using in ESADE Executive Education for some years now:

  • The pre-program – the phase prior to the program, during which initial contact is established with the executive and, through various diagnostic tools, we help him to define an Individual Development Plan.
  • The program – the central phase, during which we incorporate all the aforementioned methodologies in order to help the executive to get up to date and develop on an intellectual, emotional and experiential level; and
  • The post-program, through which we carry out a follow-up on the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and the Action Learning Project (ALP) and their application to one’s job


The trends in in-company programs are very much attuned to the aforementioned concepts. Companies and schools currently work together on a strategic partnership model which combines education with consulting techniques in order to support executives not only during the learning phase, but also in the on-the-job application of their knowledge.


In this regard tailor-made programs for companies feature Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and Action Learning Projects (ALPs) in order to help executives not only during the learning phase, but also in the application of what they have learned to their positions.


Another important characteristic is the participation of up to 25% of businesses’ executives in the training, as well as the administration of projects by the companies themselves, and their management by an internal Bank sponsor, who is generally a high-ranking executive directly involved in the project.


Finally, due to the globalization of companies through mergers and acquisitions in recent years, leadership development programs focused on the implementation of strategies and the unification of leadership styles and corporate cultures are the programs which are on the rise in the area of specially-tailored education, and will continue to be for several more years.