Paul Griffith, Professor of Practice – Strategy and Innovation at Ashridge Executive Education, reflects on a year of innovation and shares the highlights below.

We have had an extremely busy year this year introducing a number of important new capabilities into the Ashridge portfolio including new courses, new content, new online and blended products and of course a lot of underlying research.There is way too much to list it all here, but to give a flavour I have split it into the 3 key areas of Pedagogy and Process, Program Design and Sessions and Content.

Pedagogy and Process

Through channelling our expertise in academia and research, we have developed a neuroscience-inspired pedagogy that delivers powerful and meaningful learning. Integrated with our global business experience and specialist bespoke service, this gives us an unrivalled edge in executive education. Fundamental to the learning journey of our clients is the underlying pedagogy that creates the unique Ashridge experience, learning ‘muscle memory’ and the capability to make a positive difference for themselves and their organisations. This is evidenced by the approach in our new Senior Executive Program which actively engages clients to ‘Learn, Try, Apply’ in a continuous learning cycle:

  • Learn– introduce concepts and tools that are applied and practised in a supportive environment, with feedback
  • Try– experiment and reflect on what you have learned in a safe space
  • Apply– apply your practised learning in your own organisation to deliver impact and better outcomes

We continually strive to be the most relevant business school in the world, because we believe that tangible ‘impact’ from the learning process is crucial. That’s why this year we launched the innovative ‘Certificate of Application’ for our Open course participants. They now have the opportunity to achieve their Ashridge certification, by applying specific tools and concepts from their program and demonstrating the impact on both themselves and their organisation.

We have also updated our new online feedback process, which is built on the insights of our own world-leading research into learning impact for executive education, to ensure that our clients are getting demonstrable results from our programs.

We are renowned for our pioneering, unique experiential learning capabilities and we continue to push those boundaries with the integration of new technologies, as well as more of our original research and experiences into our proprietary Ashridge portfolio. Recent innovations include new multi-media simulations for “leading in a VUCA world”, creating an online immersive leadership experience delivered entirely virtually, and a new digital change management app.

Program Design

We have a rigorous 10-step program design process that differentiates our approach to executive education and shapes our thinking and engagement with our clients. This helps ensure that innovation is the outcome for all clients. Driven by our clients’ requirements we create unique learning journeys that provide our clients with the capabilities to navigate disruption, transform behaviours and deliver on their goals.

At the core of the process, we ensure every program is underpinned by experiential learning, disruptive technologies and multimedia for an engaging learning process, designed to change behaviour and give every participant the Aha moment. Our findings of how leaders learn best has led us to shift away from conventional methods of teaching and instead innovate a new model of immersive learning.

Content and  Sessions

Our program content is informed and driven by the real world experiences of our clients, and the insights from our own faculty and applied research into leadership, strategy, change and organisational development, innovation, HR and talent, and coaching. To showcase just some of this innovation we recently hosted a TedX showcase event at Ashridge House. The talks from across our entire Hult/Ashridge faculty included a number of innovative and radical examples of exciting new program content that we are bringing to our clients, around such subjects as mastering disruption ­with new technologies, future digital processes, the impact of a multi-generational workforce, and leading organisational transformation in a VUCA world, to name just a few. With  17 separate keynotes, the event was incredible. Watch the playlist below:

Ashridge has always been intent on using our own research to inform program design and content. Our new and improved open programs, Transformational Senior Leadership and the Senior Executive Program include modules on Dr. Megan Reitz and John Higgins research on Speaking Truth to Power and a popular session on Mindfulness.

We redesigned our open program portfolio to reflect business needs and have had excellent feedback from our new cohorts. You can view our interactive brochure here.

Along we innovating our programs and delivery, we have created a new online feedback process that is built on the insights of our world-leading research into learning impact for executive education to ensure that our clients are getting demonstrable results from our programs.

We have been renown for our pioneering, unique experiential learning capabilities for over 30 years and we continue to push the boundaries with the integration of new technologies, our original research, and experiences into our proprietary Ashridge portfolio. Recent innovations include new multi-media simulations for leading in a VUCA world, creating an online immersive leadership experience delivered entirely virtually and a digital change management app.

We have many more exciting announcements to make in the new year, and looking forward to working with you in 2018!

If you’d like more information on our innovations, or how we can partner with your organisation, please email our business development team.