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Henley Business School responds to the way businesses want to learn


Henley Business School has launched its new Executive Education Portfolio which features 13 brand new programmes designed to meet the challenges of today’s economic uncertainty, in response to both the results of its recent Corporate Learning Priorities survey and to expert feedback from its own Faculty.

“The learning & development professionals who responded to the survey gave us a clear indication of their ’worry list’ for 2010.” explained Linda Irwin, Executive Director, Corporate Development. “They want to focus on leadership development - both of senior and middle managers, managing change and developing high potentials. For renewal, regeneration and recovery, continued investment in all talent is the only sustainable option and the big emphasis seems to be on continuing to develop leaders holistically to make the right choices; for themselves, their organisations and for the wider society. Skills that respond to the new business zeitgeist feature in this research - areas of such huge importance for global, 21st century responsible leadership; innovation, sustainability and rebuilding trust with all stakeholders. This reinforced the views of our Faculty and conversations with our existing corporate clients and our Alumni. We have designed this new Portfolio specifically to meet those needs.”

The survey also indicated what is important to businesses when choosing an executive education programme. 76% said reputation was extremely important, as was inclusion of recent, original research to 86% or respondents.

“This is not surprising,” reflected Linda Irwin, “Providing innovative and impactful programme design based upon relevant and rigorous research is the main differentiator between business school provision of L & D solutions and that of many other providers.”

Many respondents said that partnering where appropriate with external experts and guest speakers was significant for 88% or respondents. “Businesses expect that we stay close to our markets; both through our research, through practitioner Faculty and by collaborating with the best industry speakers and expert contributors where relevant”, suggested Irwin. The use of up to date case studies was key to 65% of respondents and use of experiential learning and a focus on soft skills to 57%. 71% also cited the environment where the training will take place as quite important to them.

With little time to spare away from the office 53% of respondents indicated that for open programmes 2-3 days are optimal while 18% stated ’the shorter the better’. However, 27% thought programmes ’should be as long as the learning objectives require’ - revealing scope for longer interventions where a case for them can be made.

Irwin commented, “Our new executive education portfolio reflects the respondents views; shorter, incisive, knowledge-led 2 day interventions on issues such as commercial insight for HR, systemic innovation and managing reputation and longer, more experiential management programmes on leadership and coaching for example, which offer opportunities to change behaviour at a deeper lever.”

Notes to Editors:
The survey was conducted online in November 2009 amongst 2,500 corporate client and non-client contacts of Henley Business School. A total of 119 responses were received of which 60% were from Directors, VP’s or Heads of HR or Learning & Development, 32% were HR Managers/Officers and 7% were non-HR Directors.

The Henley Executive Education Portfolio can be downloaded from the Henley Business School website.

About Henley Business School at the University of Reading
Henley Business School is one of Europe’s largest full-service business schools and offers a comprehensive range of management courses, from undergraduate business degrees to executive education. Its portfolio also encompasses the world-ranked Henley MBA, Executive MBA and Distance Learning MBA, The Henley Doctor of Business Administration, PhD opportunities, and postgraduate Masters courses in business. It is also one of the very few international business schools to hold triple accredited status (AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB).

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