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When investing your time and money into executive education it is important to be sure it will not only stimulate and inspire you, but also deliver positive returns to you and your organisation.

The key to achieving a return on investment (ROI) is to think systematically about your (and your employer’s) goals and motivations and how these will be fulfilled through executive education.

Assessing development needs

Firstly, take a step back and consider your development needs. If you benefit from a performance review process, your development needs may already be well defined.

It is also important to consider emerging leadership skills that you may not have considered, such as the ethics of AI, cyber security and innovation cultures. Professor Nelson Phillips gave a webinar that delves into more of these future leadership skills.

If you don’t have a formal personal review process, answering simple questions like the below can help you identify gaps and needs in your professional development:

9 questions for identifying professional skills and knowledge gaps

  1. What situations have frustrated you at work lately (can be the last few days, weeks or year)?

  2. Is this a single issue or recurring issues?

  3. Can you identify what has caused these frustrations?

  4. What excites you about the coming years?

  5. What are you fearful of?

  6. How do you feel your role will change in the next 1-5 years?

  7. What new skills or knowledge might you need?

  8. What areas do you feel comfortable in your knowledge?

  9. Which areas of your organisation/industry do you wish you knew more about?

The next step is to consider whether your organisation has the resources to fill these education gaps in-house or whether you need to look externally at providers of executive education.

All programmes in our open programme portfolio couple the latest technological thinking in leadership, strategy and innovation with sector-specific deep dives in topics such as cyber security, healthcare, risk management and entrepreneurship. We also often customise solutions for companies seeking a tailored solution.

How executive education can deliver ROI for your organisation

It will also be important to determine and demonstrate how executive education will benefit your organisation. Answering questions like the below can help you display ROI for your employer.

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation?

  2. What opportunities and threats does it face?

  3. What are your organisation’s goals for the coming years?

  4. What are your team’s goals for the coming years?

  5. Where are the connections between your company’s corporate goals and the executive education course learning outcomes?

  6. How do you expect your performance at work will be different after you have completed your executive education?

If the executive education course you have chosen is aligned to your personal development goals and your company’s goals then it is likely to deliver ROI.

I hope this article helps you to define your development needs and identify how executive education can be of benefit to you and your employer. Of course, please to contact me or my team if we can be of any assistance.

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Jose Rosario

About José Rosário

Programme Advisor
José introduces candidates and organisations to Imperial College Business School and its executive education programmes. He assists participants in identifying their key professional development objectives and ensures they select the programme that will help them meet their current and future learning needs.