Monica Seghers Hayes, Director of Business and Programme Development, Executive Education, Stanford Graduate School of Business Talks On The School’s India Interest, Emerging Job Skills and The New Participants of Disruptors. Based on the sylvan Stanford University campus, her territory includes the Asia Pacific region. She works with individuals and organisations regarding programmes and researches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and within the larger Stanford community. Her specialties
include Custom Programme Development; Identifying and Developing Management Development Opportunities for Mid-Level and Senior-level executives; and Event and Programme Management. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with XEDGlobal: 

With respect to executive education, what are the most preferred courses by Indian executives at your school? What duration and fees do they carry?

The top five Stanford programmes attended by Indian executives are:
 1. Stanford Executive Programme: Be A Leader Who Matters [SEP], six weeks, general management, $73,000 (tuition includes course materials, private room and bath; and all meals)
Participants are exposed to the latest thinking regarding business excellence and leadership — from design thinking and big data to negotiation, financial engineering, and strategic management. Then, they put learning into action with weekly sessions designed to help them apply new insights to the specific challenges of their organisation.

2. LEAD: Corporate Innovation [LEAD], one-year virtual programme, $19,000 (Tuition fee includes tuition, access to course platforms, and all course materials.)
This eight-course programme is designed to be completed in one year, with a load of two courses per quarter. 

 3. Executive Programme for Growing Companies [EPGC], two weeks. $25,000 (Tuition includes course materials, private room and bath, and all meals).This comprehensive two-week general management programme is solely focused on the needs, challenges, and opportunities of growing companies.

4. Advanced Leadership Programme for Asian-American Executives [AALP], one week. $12,600 (Tuition includes course materials, private room and bath, and all meals).One of the first courses of its kind, participants learn how to lead cross-functional teams to compete for tomorrow’s global assignments. They develop personal strategies for building power and influence and recognize Asian and Western cultural biases and competencies.

 5. Executive Programme in Leadership: The Effective Use of Power [LEADER], one week. $13,500 (Tuition includes course materials, private room and bath, and all meals).This programme begins with a pre-programme questionnaire on leadership style sent to the participants’ teams and finishes with a personalized 100-day action plan each participant creates to keep him/her accountable and increase chances of success.

How has this preference for courses changed over the past few years and how does it marry into the new narrative (whatever is this change that you notice)?

The biggest change in the overall attendance in Stanford Executive Education Programmes is in the virtual program, LEAD: Corporate Innovation. We think that this format fits busy executives’ lives and allows the individuals to gain new skills and strategies, and immediately apply what they’ve learned to drive innovation in the organization.
The six-week programme, Stanford Executive Programme, has also increased its participation from Indian executives. 

Are there more individual executives who come for the courses or more firms sending their executives? Has this number moved up or gone down in past three years?

Stanford has seen a significant increase in the number of executives increasing attendance throughout the portfolio.
Some of the newer programs seem to be especially attractive, for example, The Innovative Technology Leader, one week, and $12,600. This programme explores the intersection of innovation, technology, and business, and participants learn to drive strategic change across their organisations. 

How do these executives benefit from the course? What are the key learnings that these executives share with you when they go back? Do they get promotions in their organisations, do they move verticals, do they change firms altogether?

Participants tell us they leave the programmes with new frameworks which they can then apply to their challenges when they go home. They also say the cases and guest lecturers in the programme help bring Silicon Valley and the innovation mindset to them, which then helps them better understand how to meet global challenges. Each programme has its own key learnings listed on its website. These learnings have been suggested by the feedback that the professors have received from their participants. 
Companies send executives to SEP (the six-week course) that they expect will take on new or emerging business challenges. These can be in the form of starting a new venture, of leading a global unit, and beyond.

How do the organizations benefit from these courses? Can you share some feedback that they have given you?

Executive’s return to their roles with a broader functional or general management perspective, a strong understanding of how to execute these new perspectives and ideas, and the excitement to do so. C-Suite executives comment on improving their understanding the importance of strategic alignment, how to improve their leadership mindset, and how to lead their organizations to face the challenges ahead. 
Many of the programme have develop specific skill sets (design thinking, leading change, growing companies, for example) and others have coaches available (ELD, SEP, ECFO), and still, others have business challenges and or 100-day plans. All these activities increase the program impact on the executive and the organization.

Growing number of Indian companies are globalizing and need a different mindset, what courses do you think you would recommend for such companies and why?

The Stanford Executive Education programmes attract global executives and the programme formats allow for participant and faculty exchanges of ideas not only in the classroom, but in experiential sessions, during meals, and during free time. Guest speakers, faculty insights, and participant changes help make the sessions engaging and productive.
Programmes like the Stanford Executive Programme; the LEAD: Corporate Innovation Programme; and the Executive Leadership Program: Analysis to Execution; focus on both mindset and gaining strategic insights perspectives.

What new skills do executives need to thrive in executive education?

In addition to general management functional expertise, Stanford GSB believes that to be a successful global manager, one must have critical analytical thinking skills, develop an innovative mindset, and gain personal insight into oneself and the organization, in order to be most successful. Stanford helps executives and organizations gain these skills through the extensive portfolio of programs.

 Why should an Indian executive/firm pick your executive education courses over the ones offered by others?

Stanford Executive Education offers programmes that are designed to enhance executives’ leadership skills, build a strong foundation in general management topics, and connect executives to a global network of peers. We do so with faculty members who also teach in the highly-rated Stanford MBA, MSx and Ph.D. programmes. 
During their time at Stanford GSB, participants have direct access to faculty expertise and insight. They form close-knit relationships with professors who will challenge and inspire them to expand their knowledge, follow their passion, and pursue opportunities that will create impact.

How often do you update your courses?

The programmes in the open enrollment portfolio are updated each year, with each programme relying on participant feedback to adjust and align topics to more closely fit the programme goals. Faculty members’ research also brings new content to the programmes each year.
 Global consulting companies are getting into the executive education space, how are organizations like yours taking on this challenge?

Careers change. Industries change. The world changes. Our faculty is recognized experts in the global business community. They’re knowledge creators who rigorously pursue research at the leading edge of their fields. And they’re passionate about developing the next generation of global business leaders.

Stanford GSB has a gifted set of faculty, including Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The focus is on the creation of new insights and fields, not on best practices. Stanford GSB faculty members serve the dual mission of rigorous disciplinary research and professional teaching. The programmes at Stanford Graduate School of Business help executives not only keep pace with that change — they drive it. 

And lastly, what are the most interesting industries, places that are now coming for executive education that have not done so in the past?

The Stanford Graduate School of Business is a research university and it is located in Silicon Valley. Many of the participants in our programmes tend to be innovators, disruptors, and entrepreneurs, whatever their size of organization or industry.

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