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Executive Education (Exec.Ed) refers to academic programs at leading graduate-level business schools worldwide for executives, business leaders and functional managers. These programs are non-credit and non-degree granting.

KASAC: A New Paradigm for Executive Education

Executive White Paper

Executive Summary:

Most of the current global academic and accreditation systems of management education require a major update in content, delivery and evaluation methods. Although the need to establish a set of minimum educational standards is justified, in our experience the current accreditation systems are highly bureaucratic, outdated, anti-competitive and inhibit innovation and advancement. IIM research revealed that spending two to three years in a traditional MBA program is becoming more costly and less relevant. IIM proposes a new business and management education paradigm that is experiential, accelerated, and modular. It provides students with a better return on their investment in time, effort and money, at the same time providing the economy with more effective managers. The new education model is designed for professional and organization development as an alternative to pursing full-time academic MBA degrees.

IIM New Executive Education Paradigm

IIM Management Education Model

The main goal of IIM education paradigm is to bring the world of business education closer to the world of business management. This is achieved by providing new executive-driven education as opposed to the traditional teacher-driven education. This is a major departure from traditional academic offers in educational focus, content and delivery. IIM’s new executive education model makes the following critical shifts:

  • From theoretical education to experiential education
  • From passive (listening) to active (doing)
  • From teacher-driven learning to student-driven learning
  • From just in case (generic) to just in time (customized)
  • From a teaching process to an advisory process
  • From memorizing to brainstorming
  • From question-based exams to project-based assessment
  • From passing the tests to lifelong learning
  • From knowledge transfer to knowledge creation
  • From competitive learning to collaborative learning

IIM KASAC Development and Evaluation Model

IIM developed a five-dimensional model for executive education and evaluation called KASAC. KASAC is an acronym for Knowledge, Analysis, Synthesis, Application and Communication. This model is used as the basis for IIM executive education, coaching and evaluation process. IIM believes that for a CEO to succeed in today’s complex business environment s/he should demonstrate mastery in all five areas:

1. Knowledge:

  • Understanding of the subject-matter.
  • The quality of the managerial decision-making process.
  • Understanding of the context, text, subtext of business reports.

2. Analysis:

  • Ability to identify opportunities and diagnose challenges.
  • Ability to identify critical success factors and potential pitfalls.
  • Ability to design sound evaluation criteria for decision making
  • Ability to uncover driving forces, structure, relationships, dependencies, and situation variables

3. Synthesis:

  • Ability to design an effective strategy/solution, taking into consideration the alignment of external and internal forces
  • Solution innovativeness and “thinking outside the box”
  • Solution feasibility (practicability)

4. Application:

  • Ability to prioritize between strategic and tactical needs

  • Ability to design/use measurement and control systems
  • Maturity of the project management plan (including time, resources, budget, quality, risks, change, communication, procurement)

5. Communication:

  • Ability to communicate and present to the stakeholders at each level (articulation of management ideas, professional documentation, business case/report writing and presentation)
  • Leadership (ability to listen, learn, persuade, motivate and win the support of the stakeholders)

IIM Education Emphasis

What is important?

  • Critical thinking and understanding of case studies and applied management projects
  • Attention to details in analysis and recommendations
  • Ability to articulate ideas, create proposals and support adopted positions
  • Maintaining up to date knowledge on key industry changes

What is less important?

  • Memorizing theories for passing exams

How Does IIM Management Education Compare to Traditional MBA Programs?

Although the body-of-knowledge of IIM's management education program might be shared with leading MBA programs, all IIM courses and projects have a customized and experiential-learning orientation rather than generic and theoretical-learning orientation.
IIM management education programs vary substantially in learning content, delivery and evaluation methods. There are several leading institutes offering management course that are backed by well-respected resources, however, IIM's Executive Education programs differ from traditional academic MBA programs in the following aspects:

  • IIM pioneered the "Executive-driven" management education model as opposed to traditional "Teacher-driven" education model.
  • IIM management education content is success-oriented. IIM researchers study the works of the most successful companies, managers and influential management thinkers to identify their best practices, critical success factors and learned lessons. IIM consultants then incorporate research results into the management education program to provide students with the latest and most advanced thinking from the World’s Leading Management Gurus. Some of the names include Adams, Dell, Drucker, Gates, Hamel, Kanter, Maslow, McKenna, Moore, Ohmae, Peters, Porter, Nonaka, Negroponte, Shapiro, and Welch.
  • IIM education emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving and innovation far more than memorization.
  • Learning assessments are project-based vs. quiz-based
  • There is a “common” body of knowledge but there is no “fixed” body of knowledge this is because of the continuously changing business environment (technologies, markets and organizations). IIM courses and projects address up to date industry challenges and opportunities.
  • IIM advisors will save participant’s time and efforts by focusing on best practices and providing sample deliverables, checklists, decision models, templates and resources.

How Does The Course Delivery Work?

  • Each participant has an advisor as opposed to a teacher. The advisor's role is to help facilitate the participant's professional learning and development. In part, the advisor serves as a guide, coach or mentor. Sometimes the advisor will validate participants’ management thinking and sometimes s/he will act as an opposition party who will critique, question and debate their management decision making. In either case, this is done to help the participants test and develop their critical thinking, decision making methods and communication skills.
  • All courses are a combination of seminars and presentation materials. They provide a summary of the essential concepts, a selection of practical case-based readings, and project work with emphasis on critical thinking, decision making and managerial planning.
  • There are no Q&A tests. Instead, the participant is assigned a real-world application project such as developing a new strategy or a business plan for a company of participant's choice.

Course Delivery Method

  1. Customization Request: Agreeing with the advisor on the learning focus, course expectations, type of industry/company and assessment project

  2. Reading Assignment: Understanding essential concepts (Knowledge transfer)

  3. Case-study Assignment: Management issues analysis (Learn by example)

  4. Project Assignment: Real-world best practices application (Knowledge creation)

  5. Advisor Feedback: Reviewing participant's work and providing improvement advice (Development)

How Long Does It Take?

Each course takes 2-4 week to complete. A general management program takes 6-12 months. The time variation depends on the participant’s knowledge and experience.

Why Is There A Substantial Difference In Learning Time Between IIM's Executive Education Program And MBA Programs?

  • IIM Executive education is based on the action-learning (AL)* model. It is focused on management application rather than academic theory, therefore it is more efficient, and takes less time to deliver
  • Executive education is targeted toward professionals who already have professional business experience. Having a professional context makes learning faster and more effective
  • Executive education encourages the use of past work experience in course case studies and project assignments, thus utilizing past effort for better and quicker understanding of the subject
  • IIM advisors are seasoned management consultants who provide or guide the candidates to time-saving resources such as checklists, templates and specialized research/work portals

White Paper Notes:

  • Action Learning (AL) is a form of “learning by doing” pioneered by Professor Reg. Revans about 50 years ago. For more information visit IIM Management Hall of Fame at: Reg Revan
  • This paper does not address undergraduate management education, although several of its recommendations may also apply to undergraduate programs. The paper mainly addresses MBA and executive level education.
  • License to use IIM models is granted for educational and commercial purposes provided that the user clearly credits “International Institute of Management” and provides a reference to IIM website (www.iim-edu.org).

About the Author

Med Jones is the President of International Institute of Management (IIM). IIM is a management best practices research and education institute. IIM has 55 universities and research partners in 40 countries. Mr. Yones is an international expert specializing in the global digital economy, business strategy, and leadership development. For more information about IIM, please visit Executive Education

What are IIM White Papers?
IIM white papers provide businesses and government leaders with a list of questions, terminology and discussion points that can be used to address emerging challenges and opportunities. IIM white papers are not academic research papers, they are succinct work documents designed for problem solving and communication by the leadership team. Depending on the scope of the paper, the document structure may include three to five sections: 1). A statement of the problem or opportunity 2). Analysis of root causes and underlying forces 3). Proposed solutions and 4). A checklist of best practices for solution implementation and change management 5). Notes and resources.

Copyright License
Royalty-free license is granted for using or publishing for educational purposes provided that the user/publisher include a clear reference to the author(s) and International Institute of Management www.iim-edu.org (Please include the active hyperlink for electronic publishing)


Customized programs, which are tailored for and offered to executives of a single company, represent the fastest growing segment of the market. Customized programs help organizations increase management capability by combining the science of business and performance management into specialized programs that enable executives to develop new knowledge, skills and attitudes. Knowledge translates into the capability an organization applies to the products and services it brings to the marketplace.

University-based executive education programs, and customized programs in particular, include serious engagement among executives, senior business faculty and researchers who are on the leading edge of current business thought and management theory development. It has been noted that “executive education is the toughest classroom there is” because time-pressed and demanding executives challenge each other in the classroom as much or more as their professors. The programs are credited with offering unique networking and personal career development opportunities for participants, as well as opportunities for universities to build stronger alumni networks that also benefit younger, traditional MBA program graduates through networking, internships and job opportunities.

Not all observers of university-based executive education are positive. There is some debate about the nature of business school education as a form of professional development. Some believe that university-based executive education has caused some business schools to "lose track of their professional mission." This argument is made by Rakesh Khurana among others.

By the late 1970s nearly 20 business schools in the United States were offering some form of executive education. The science of business also was developing at a rapid pace as faculty, such as Harvard Professor Michael Porter and University of Michigan Professor C.K. Prahalad, published academic papers that changed the way people thought and acted within companies.

Professor Prahalad (6) is most notably remembered for developing the concepts of “core competencies” and “strategic intent.” These and other respected academic business thinkers -- Don Hambrick, Ram Charan, David Ulrich, Michael Hammer, Gary Hamel and many others -- are the true pioneers of executive education and the ongoing effort to facilitate wealth creation and other new concepts aimed at making stronger businesses while improving the welfare of the world.

Executive education further developed in the 1980s and ‘90s as the increasing pace and scope of global business demanded higher levels of education among employees. The dot-com boom further changed the scope of the business landscape by favoring employees and organizations that were quick to adapt to change. As longstanding business concepts became obsolete, continual training was necessary – but earning a degree was not.

Source Wikipedia


Executive Education: Executive Courses - Executive Training Courses

  • Executive Course # 1: How to Select and Evaluate a CEO?
    • The CEO's 3 top challenges. Board of Directors (BOD) and CEO performance evaluation. CEO strategy evaluation. CEO leadership evaluation. CEO performance evaluation
  • Executive Course # 2: How to Evaluate the Board of Directors
    • How to Evaluate the Board of Directors. Corporate Governance Best Practices
  • Executive Course # 3: Executive Compensation Best Practices
    • Executive Compensation Best Practices -  A guide to the Board of Directors. CEO compensation best practices. CEO performance metrics. Harvard Balanced Scorecard (BSC) and CEO compensation.
  • Executive Course # 4: CEO Succession Planning
    • Succession Planning Best Practices - A Guide to the Board of Directors
  • Executive Course # 5: Harvard Balanced Scorecard
    • Strategy formulation. Strategy execution. Causes of strategy failures.  Strategy alignment and performance measurement. Balanced scorecard implementation limitations and pitfalls.
  • Executive Course # 6: Top 6 CEO Strategy Questions
    • The top 6 questions every board must ask its CEO. The top 12 questions all CEOs must ask their CXOs.
  • Executive Course # 7: CEO Strategy Metrics
    • Insights. Management Model Best Practices. Key performance indicators (KPIs). Leading and lagging indicators. Financial metrics,  operational metrics and shareholder value. Closed-loop performance measurement. Alignment tree and performance metrics. Benchmarking resources
  • Executive Course # 8: Global Leadership Challenge - Nissan Case Study
    • Leading a global organization. The decline of Nissan Motors  - A case study. Nissan partnership with Renault and Carlos Ghosn as COO. The leadership challenges. The leadership and global cultural gap. the Japanese management style. Ghosn's turnaround and cost cutting strategy. Critical success factors. Ghosn's change management principles. IIM change management framework.
  • Executive Course # 9: Restructuring and Turnaround Best Practices
    • Top internal and external causes of performance decline. IIM Turnaround methodology. Turnaround performance metrics. 9 key turnaround areas. Turnaround plan and strategic options. Turnaround lessons
  • Executive Course # 10: CIO and Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) Compliance Project
    • Governance, Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOA), CEO & CFO. SOX Section 302 & 404. SOX Compliance Project: Discovery, assessment, remediation and testing. SOX and IT best practices COSO, COBIT and GCC. SOX compliance project methodology & timeline. SOX compliance project's deliverables.
  • Executive Course # 11: Executive Ethics & Social Responsibility
    • The social responsibility of business. Executive ethics and stakeholders relationship management. Do ethics pay?. Unethical/Illegal behavior. The problems of ethics. The solution to ethical problems. Ethical decision-making: The 5 ethical tests. Professional ethics best practices. IIM’s views on social responsibility. Corporate citizenship example. IIM standards of professional conduct.




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