The managing director of the Washington-Fudan EMBA program in Shanghai says language skills and international experience are now par for the course for executives – even American executives.
Is now a good time to do an EMBA?
There are many good reasons to do an EMBA program right now. The economic downturn creates time for reflection and housekeeping if you will. For Executive MBAs, just like MBAs, it is a good time to pause and reflect.
The skills and benefits needed that come to the forefront right now are twofold: First of all, the downturn often requires a reformulation of strategy, whereas in the past steady growth meant less motivation for change. Downsizing, restructuring – these are more difficult to do in a boom, whereas now there is greater organization initiative to make changes. It is a good time to make really hard decisions. Returning now to a program like the Executive MBA allows these decisions to be done in the context of a deeper understanding of how to reformulate strategy, to find strategic clarity of how the functional pieces of an organization fit together. If you are working on these issues in your organization, it will make what you are learning in a classroom more relevant.
Leadership challenges are another reason that makes Executive MBAs an attractive option right now. It is a serious challenge to hold organizations together, to motivate people – these skills are highly useful in the context of a highly challenging leadership situation. Restructuring in industries is also another pressing concern. It is a good time to reach out across industries, to have strategic resources at hand, to network, get one’s name in circulation at a time when it is uncertain as to which industries will come through the economic downturn and what the business strategies will be. Continue reading