Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007 - (Page 24)

Business Class Although the executive education industry is fragmented and poorly understood, there is a growing need for customized courses and bespoke training at senior management levels. Roderick Millar reports. A recent survey undertaken by amongst large corporations,1 which examined how and why such organizations source and use executive development courses, showed that the selection and management of executive programmes was a decentralized activity. It also showed that frequently organizations had no group-wide policy for management development, and certainly no grasp of the overall group expenditure on such activities. Each division may know its own management development expenditure but these figures are rarely drawn together centrally – and this lack of centralized influence or control is symptomatic of the approach to executive education across organizations: no clear topdown strategies typically exist, and each division is left to design its own procedures. Against this background of poor knowledge regarding the provision of such programmes, however, there continues to be an increasing interest in executive development. The industry continues to grow both in terms of the number of institutions, either business schools or commercial consultants providing programmes and the amount spent each year on these programmes. Development drivers The drivers for this demand come in two parts. Lucy Hughes, director of global talent at Novartis Pharma, 24 notes that the “talent agenda is front and centre” of the challenges the company faces in response to its rapid growth. She says that when she joined the business in 2000 “there was a perception that the whole pharmaceutical industry lacked enough talented individuals. It was not a problem specific to Novartis but to all the leading companies in the sector.” The provision of challenging and dynamic executive education programmes is certainly an element in engaging and retaining talent; although research recently commissioned by Oxford Said School of Business (UK) (“Strategic Tool or Just Nice to Have? The Role of Executive Education in the UK” — the full report can be found on the website) has suggested that the benefits gained from these programmes are often greater for the participant as an individual than for their sponsoring companies. The second factor driving the demand for executive development is clearly the acquisition of new skills. It is important to understand that the processes and methodologies for teaching executives are significantly different to those for undergraduates or even MBAs. The two major topic areas covered by executive education providers are leadership and strategy, followed by a range of functional area skills such as finance, sales and marketing and HR/organizational development topics. Leadership and strategy topics are relatively soft topics and are typically discussed in a APRIL 2007 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007

From the Editor
The Cycle of Success
Survival Tactics
Career Connections
Bringing Out the Best
Learning the Fast Way
Business Class
Simulation Training

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007