WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management was listed in the recently published Financial Times Executive Education Open and Custom Directory 2021. Due to the hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Times did not post classic official rankings of Executive Education programs of worldwide business schools this year.WHU was ranked #37 for the Open Programs in 2020. Instead, the data compilation of course directories on both open and customized online programs promotes the comparison and examination of several essential variables on any given business school, including location and revenue range.
Despite Covid-19, WHU has established a strong standing in the Executive Education market in Germany: In 2020, WHU conducted 33 Open Programs with 848 managers and executives participating in those online and on-site programs. Furthermore, 399 participants have been part of 34 Customized Programs (online and on-site).
According to Dr. Rebecca Winkelmann, Director Open Programs, “2020 was a difficult year for the Executive Education sector in terms of face-to-face events, but also led to many positive developments, e.g., faster digitalization and the introduction of a variety of online programs, such as the development of the new WHU flagship program ‘Leading beyond the crisis – An Online Advanced Management Program.’ In the current climate, demand for classic management topics among lower and middle management is very high.”
Online programs were well received by participants, particularly during the peak phase of the pandemic, especially considering that due to internal company travel restrictions, attendance would not have been possible. Short workshops in topics such as online negotiation were particularly appreciated and valued by participants.
Dr. Heike Brost-Steffens, Director Customized Programs, shares, “Many Companies often face a myriad of difficulties in the pandemic, balancing transparent communication, openness, and strategic communication to assuage employee concerns.” She believes that “leadership through and after the crisis is an important topic: companies are dependent on outside input at various levels due to the pandemic.”
During the crisis, teams suffered and continue to do so in terms of communication and motivation. Moreover, employees are personally affected by the crisis, which is often reflected in their quality of work. Therefore, executive development programs in leadership and coaching are even more critical today to rejuvenate teams, aid in the development of new ideas, and prepare for upcoming crises.