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The Importance of Executive Development Programs

Executive Development Defined

A specific type of instruction aimed at developing the talents and skills of those who have or will possess executive level roles within an organization is what we refer to as Executive Development. While many organizations assign their own teams and individuals to provide this particular type of corporate training, there are those who do not.   However, a thorough and expansive executive development program is often a key factor in creating steadfast influential leaders.

Executive Development - Young executive

The description of the executive development program itself may vary according to the nature of the company, although there are certain constants which generally fall into two categories:

  • Assessment:  Learners offer input into the company’s strategic process by distinguishing which capabilities are required of executives, and then assessing and measuring the required capabilities against the existing ones.  Any gap existing between the completed assessment and the necessary requirements is then identified and evaluated, with a focus on how the disparity can be bridged through either development or hiring.
  • Development:   Learners organize or “segment” an executive group according to level and role; devise progress oriented workshops and experiences for each segment; work with partners to manage and provide growth experiences and implement programs for executive development; and lastly, arrange ROI (return on investment) activity while providing necessary revisions and a summary of results.

Program Background

While some companies organize internal development programs customized to their own particular needs, others opt for external development programs.  External programs provide the benefit of instructors with customized training expertise, including that which was obtained through providing executive development programs for a wide range of industries.

A remarkable example of an influential development program is General Electric’s Crontonville, a thriving 50-acre campus dedicated to leadership building.  It was the mid-1950s when Ralph Cordiner, president of GE, concluded that the largest hindrance to his company’s expansion was its register of managers and leaders.  Since GE was expanding to new locations, Cordiner realized he needed to prepare individuals for proper leadership in remote locations where he couldn’t personally train them according to the company’s cultural headquarters.  In 1956, he purchased a section of land just north of New York City, creating its famed Crotonville training center for management; one of, if not, the oldest corporate learning center in the U.S.  While the first leadership seminar lasted a tedious 13 weeks, fast forward to today when Crotonville’s success has given the training establishment a reputation as a center for future CEOs.

Executive Development - Businesswoman

The Need for Executive Development

Expanding the expertise and stretching the capacity of the average executive increases the likelihood that he or she will have the capacity to build upon their working experience and education and acquire the skills and proficiencies necessary to approach the essentials of business strategy, as well as other types of intelligence, such as teamwork, leadership, and communication.

It’s imperative that business leaders remain current with new business necessities and requirements so they are ready to act when challenges occur close to home.  An escalation in demands, both technological or social, warrant executives who are not only prepared but educated in the available options necessary to meet new requirements and challenges.


Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

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