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Business schools upended

New IMD president Jean-Francois Manzoni finds the sea changes in executive education invigorating

Published Fri, Feb 17, 2017 · 09:50 PM
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LISTENING to IMD president Jean-Francois Manzoni talk about the dramatic changes that have swept the field of executive education over the years, it's apparent that business schools themselves make a great subject for case studies. People are still pursuing MBAs, but just about every facet of the paper chase - from competition and curriculum to mode of learning and needs of "clients" - has been upended. Indeed, disruption has hit B-schools big time, not least Lausanne-based IMD which, unlike most other top-ranked schools, is not affiliated to any university and is focused on, as one of its taglines says, "developing executives, transforming organisations".

IMD and the likes of Harvard, Wharton and Insead have seen over the last decade the rise of local business schools, particularly in Europe, that "have really ramped up, have become increasingly effective, and are now much stronger competitors than they used to be", says the leadership professor, who has been at the helm of IMD since Jan 1, returning to Switzerland after five years teaching at Insead's Singapore campus. But that's "not the most dramatic evolution for us", he adds.

The change with possibly the biggest impact, he says, is "the rise of integrated providers and of non-academic providers of executive and organisational development efforts".

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