How Stanford LEAD Program Disrupts Online Executive Education
Written by: Audrey Witters, Managing Director, Online & Entrepreneurship Programs & Marineh Lalikian, Director, Stanford LEAD
The Personal, Virtual Touch
If you think it is impossible to replicate the high-touch nature of a classroom virtually, think again. Traditionally, online education has not been embraced by executives, with many individuals and organizations opting instead for instructor-led training. Skepticism about the efficacy of teaching negotiation or leadership skills online was often due to the lack of effective social learning experiences. To truly learn skills such as corporate innovation and leadership, you need to experience it, try it out, and come back and reflect with other people. You can’t accomplish that with a typical online program.
Online Executive Education Programs with Stanford LEAD
Today’s leadership demands more than a quick online course. Enter Stanford LEAD, and its year-long online executive education programs offered via the NovoEd platform.
In three areas — skills taught, time required and networking opportunities — LEAD differentiates itself from other online programs, making it an ideal solution for senior leaders from around the globe.
As organizations focus on keeping high-performing leaders in-house, they’ll need to develop them, not only with the skills they need for their role, but also with the soft skills needed to manage their teams. The leader-employee relationship is critical to organizational success, especially as people leave managers, not companies. To this end, many organizations target leaders for development in emotional intelligence (e.g. empathy), situational leadership, communication, and collaboration. With nearly every industry facing disruption, leaders will also need innovation skills to push their organizations forward.
In Stanford LEAD, tenured Graduate School of Business faculty teach research-based frameworks and have worked with learning experience designers to design an online-first interactive approach — more than just a recording of a lecture. LEAD courses don’t simply transfer classroom learning to the computer, but instead think creatively about how classroom learning can be adapted virtually in a way that’s easily digestible and concise. Because the experience is virtual, learners are in their own work environment. They have a unique opportunity to incorporate assignments and activities that aren’t simply simulations but practical organizational applications.
To succeed in an online executive education program like LEAD, learners need to rethink what they know about online learning. While shorter online courses might quickly introduce skills, true knowledge transfer requires a more iterative learning process. In LEAD, participants can go deeper into the material because they first learn the concepts, then try the concept out at their jobs. Finally, they come back and discuss how that went with their peers and faculty and afterward go try again. Time spent on the course is time executives will eventually get back in increased productivity.
The value executive education brings to the organization is well established. Today’s leaders need a high degree of emotional intelligence as well as business acumen to connect with their employees and contribute to organizational strategic goals. Enrolling in an online education program like Stanford LEAD ensures they’ll learn in a high-touch environment that will offer real-world examples and solutions, giving them the knowledge to succeed.
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