Why Executives Need Continuous Learning

Dean Maryam Alavi of the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Institute of Technology shares why business professionals, even those at executive levels, need continuous learning to keep up with evolving practices.


Maryam Alavi: [00:00] Executive education, actually, I believe, is a growing area as far as business schools are concerned. Executives are constantly in a position of having to learn more, what is new, what is next so that they can come up with best decision making and best value creation for their businesses.

[00:31] That's a real opportunity for business schools because this continuous learning and this need for constantly keeping up with what is going on in the world from the standpoint of changes and industries' changes in technology.

[00:44] This is the kind of learning that is different from the kind of learning that involves only transfer of knowledge.

[00:50] Let me give you an example of what we are doing at Scheller College, at Georgia Tech. We have created a weeklong executive education that focuses on innovation management.

[01:02] Now, every industry, every business, in order to thrive and survive, they have to innovate. If they don't want to be disrupted, they have to be innovating, in most cases, on a sustained basis.

[01:14] Innovation projects are brought into the business school by corporations, a team of five to seven individuals that are tasked with the idea of coming up with an innovation, a new product development, a new process design.

[01:28] We have a group of interdisciplinary group of faculty from business school, faculty from College of Design at Georgia Tech, faculty from College of Engineering. We also draw on our existing business partners to teach in this one week long program.

[01:48] The idea is to really push the project and go from idea to action. We bring in some of the best state of the art thinking in innovation coupled with technological capabilities and design.

[02:02] We help the executives really apply that to an existing life project. It's a real opportunity to help businesses to continuously innovate.

[02:16] This continuous learning is really important. Learning never stops anymore. It's really important to teach executives how to learn and how to learn in a continuous way.

Filmed February 2017 on site at AACSB's Deans Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.