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What Types of Organizations are Active in Executive Development?

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Fri Apr 24 2009

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Executive development is a multi-billion dollar business endeavor and a critical component to an organization's long term growth and survival. Organizations invest significant resources to develop today's leaders into tomorrow's executives, often with little information on what other organizations have found to be successful (or unsuccessful). A new study by ASTD, sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, examined how organizations handle executive development, how much they spend on the programs, who is involved, how are the participants selected, what makes these programs most effective, success stories and lessons learned.

\[more\]One of the key findings of this study was that the executive development "playground is dominated by the big kids." Most Larger organizations with substantial resources are much more likely to have an executive development program than smaller firms.

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Most organizations have one of two distinct approaches to executive development: either 'heavy' or 'light'. Executive development programs in firms with high revenue and multinational or global operations are more likely to be characterized as heavy programs. The study found that an organization with a heavy program likely:

  • spends more on each participant on learning

  • includes a higher percentage of the workforce in executive development

  • relies more on outsourcing for executive development

Companies with only a national reach often have light executive development programs. A company with a light program can be characterized by:

  • relatively low spending

  • low percentage of the workforce in executive development

  • more internal resources for their initiatives than external

Furthermore, organizations with heavy programs reported much better organizational performance than organizations with light programs. The full report, Executive Development: Strategic and Tactical Approaches, contains more in-depth and expanded findings, including best practices and actionable recommendations from ASTD and responding organizations.

Source: Executive Development: Strategic and Tactical Approaches (ASTD/Booz Allen Hamilton)

Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

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