Embracing change and uncertainty with learning – Insights for Executive Education development

Embracing change and uncertainty with learning – Insights for Executive Education development

COVID-19 accelerating the pace of change

This pandemic happened as we entered what often has been described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). As COVID-19 takes the public centre-stage, 4IR has started to gather speed and is dramatically reshaping businesses and our lives. Recent data show that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks. Banks have transitioned to remote sales and service teams and launched digital outreach, propelling fundamental questions of the necessity of physical outlets. Grocery stores have shifted to online ordering and delivery, creating an entirely new operating model and shopping experience. Manufacturers are actively developing plans for “lights out” factories and supply chains, pushing for reconfiguration of the value chain from production to logistics.

In post-COVID-19, we will see pace of change accelerating and impact of change amplifying across all industries and sectors. Organisations that are slow in the speed of transformation for the new digital world are doomed to fail.

Lifelong learning and self-renewal

The exponential change in such unprecedented time calls for the need to create more resilient businesses – companies that are able to make efficient decisions on pivot directions and innovate quickly to get results without consuming excessive time or resources. This puts a premium on the capability and agility of executives to learn, unlearn and relearn.

To this end, business education will become an ongoing process of lifelong learning, and executive education will function as hubs executives can turn to for the latest business and management thinking and evidence-based insights.

 Embracing change and uncertainty with learning

*Professor Haipeng SHEN giving a lecture in the HKU-Ivey Executive Leadership Programme in Data Analytics and Big Data (DABD)

To address the challenges confronting executives, HKU Business School Executive Education has evolved apace with trends to help companies and executives stay relevant, informed, and ahead of the curve.

From Courses to Journeys

The accelerating pace of change demands executives of more than just an occasional period of learning events. It requires a commitment to continuous learning and development – a fundamental change in mindset.

HKU Business School Executive Education today works alongside with companies and executives by interjecting periodically substantive modules that are relevant to the specific needs and acts as ‘stepping stones’ to reinforce learning that is matched to on-the-job experience. The deliberate design of intervals and learning activities between modules is critical to the learning journey of executives, allowing them the opportunity to practice, explore and understand what they have learnt in an on-going process.

Embracing change and uncertainty with learning

*Data Scientist Program

With this new model, the challenge of instilling behavioural change in executives to unlock previously untapped management acuity can be overcome, allowing executives to learn, internalise, and get to the next level within a shorter timeframe.

Integrated Support and Development Experience

The learning experience at HKU Business School Executive Education is bolstered by a robust ecosystem of integrated support that draws on academic insights, practical facilitation, coaching support, and business practice.

We leverage on over 130 residential faculty members across six academic areas and the prominence of HKU Business School as a converging point for Western practice and Asian thought leadership. The academic knowledge and expertise are made practical by integrating real-life case studies, hands-on projects, simulations, role-plays, supplemented by coaching and mentoring support and the involvement of prominent industry leaders as facilitators.

Embracing change and uncertainty with learning

*Students of Women’s Directorship Programme

The diverse and integrated support network give executives a wealth of expertise and experience to draw on, preparing them to deal with real-life business issues of mounting uncertainty and complexity.

Multiple Contexts Beyond the Classroom

HKU Business School Executive Education has also made considerable development beyond the traditional classroom into multiple contexts, adding significant depth to the learning experience.

The digital front, through interactions like web conferences, video lectures and interactive digital content, facilitates greater learning opportunities and interactions amongst peers and instructors. The experiential context takes executives out for activities that push them out of their comfort zone, on both physical and psychological journeys that lead them to discover more about themselves. The multi-location context, where modules take place in several worldwide locations, provides contextualised content in each location that comes together in an integrated manner to develop and galvanize a common corporate culture.

*Corporate visit in Singapore for Business Leadership Programme

These different contexts, taken separately or together, enrich the learning experience of executives, their understanding of themselves and the companies they work for.

Empowering businesses, executives, and the alumni community

From grappling with the evolving COVID-19 situation to building a resilient business to weather the storm of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, executives have a lot on their plate. HKU Business School Executive Education is committed to serve the dynamic needs of businesses, executives and the alumni community.

In 2021, we will invest more resources in developing new learning solutions that help executives better cope with unforeseen circumstances, develop problem solving capabilities, and empower creativity and innovation – enabling high-impact learning journeys backed up by integrated support that engage executives in multiple contexts.


Mr. Paul Li, Director of Executive Education

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