offering from which individual executives or their companies can choose. And this, I believe, is the better path to take for business schools that are serious about developing business leaders.
What sort of unbundled options might such a school offer? These could include an index for executives to measure where they are on their development journey, as well as access to new knowledge about areas where they need to develop. Leaders wanting to understand and apply new content could take online programmes, while others might prefer face-to-face programmes with content that is connected to other aspects of business leadership. These programmes could be complemented by personalised executive coaching, either online or face-to-face. Finally, ‘unbundled’ schools can offer valuable networking tools for business leaders looking to develop networks with their peers. But only those business schools that put the development of the business leader, not the production of great research, as their core focus will be able to make this option a reality.
This ‘new normal’ presents the business school world with one of its toughest challenges so far. But there are opportunities too. Schools must decide whether or not to unbundle their real value they provide business leaders—and they should decide sooner rather than later.
The author is professor of Strategic Management at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland