Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Open Enrollment Executive Education Programs 2008

University-based executive education programs are often a once-in-a-lifetime developmental experience, and can enhance any resume.

These 1-4 week programs are an excellent way to develop leadership and management skills, as well as build external networks that can last forever.

They are a big investment, and there are a lot of choices. To get started, I’d recommend reading the article, “How to Select an Executive Education Program”.

Once you’ve done that, here’s a handy companion reference list to bookmark and save.

I cross-referenced the Financial Times 2008 Best Open Enrollment Executive Education programs with the BusinessWeek Best Open Enrollment Executive Education programs 2007 (2008 has not been published yet).

Keep in mind that these are the best non-credit executive education programs, not the best business schools for an MBA.

Here are the 14 schools, with links and locations, that appear in the top 20 on both lists. I’ve put asterisks next to the schools that I have experience with and can personally recommend.

Harvard *


Lausanne, Switzerland

Stanford *
Stanford, Calif.

Columbia *
New York

London Business School

Pennsylvania (Wharton) *

Chicago GSB *Chicago

Virginia (Darden) *Charlottesville, Va.

IESE Barcelona

MIT (Sloan) Cambridge, Mass.

Western Ontario (Ivey) London, Ont.

Instituto de Empresa Madrid

Northwestern (Kellogg) *Evanston, Ill.

Although they did not show up on the FT top 20, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the Center for Creative Leadership, with locations around the world.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd add a few specific programs I had the good fortune to participate in over the course of an 18 month period as a result of a generous fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation. Each was very different and all were amazing.

Wharton School's Leadership Journey -
A great theory and nuts and bolts program. Mostly corporate but good for all. One of the highlights is learning from Michael Useem, one of my favorite leadership authors.

Harvard's Kennedy School's The Art and Practice of Leadership Development -
This very intense/challenging week utilizes the case-in-point teaching method and will definitely take you out of your comfort zone. Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky lead this amazing program. Great program for leadership educators and consultants.

The Aspen Seminar - The Aspen Institute - Based on Mortimer Adler's Great Books courses, you will have the opportunity to learn with and from some of the smartest business, government and nonprofit leaders in the world. Great program for anybody looking for an intellectual challenge and wanting to meet amazing leaders.

If any Great Leadership readers want to discuss any of these programs, please feel free to email me at

Thanks for posting this and all of the other great info here!

Happy New Year!

Dan McCarthy said...

Peter -
Thanks for this information. I'd welcome comments from other readers who have experiences to share with exec ed programs.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to

say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Dan McCarthy said...

Sarah –
Thanks for the kind words, and for leaving your first comment. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!