12 Questions to Ask Your Next Leadership Development Provider

Finding the best leadership development provder is difficult. There are hundreds of companies, not all of which will help you achieve your organization’s goals. Below are common questions you should ask to ensure maximum return on your investment.

1) What programs do you provide?

The goal of every learning initiative should be to solve a specific business need. When evaluating a leadership development provider make sure they have a robust suite of programs that cover numerous business competencies. This is critical because it enables your organization to easily enroll participants in different programs as your business needs change over time. Common programs include strategy, leadership, operations, finance, inclusion and diversity, and innovation.

2) How do you develop your programs?

High-end providers start by identifying a common business trend and then partner with top business schools to develop programs that address industry needs. ExecOnline uses this method and partners with elite schools, including Berkeley, Columbia, IMD, MIT, Wharton, and Yale.

3) Who are the right leaders for your programs?

Leadership development solutions come in numerous flavors. Ensure your provider can deliver content that matches your target talent population. Programs that are designed for a general population are not beneficial to middle and senior management, as the content will be too rudimentary. Conversely, programs designed for higher level talent such as the C-suite will be too advanced for your general population.

ExecOnline’s programs are designed for traditionally underserved populations such as Middle Managers and Senior Managers, who make up the bulk of executives within every organization. We call this group the “Critical Middle.”

4) What organizations have your worked with?

Ask for specific client examples. More importantly, request examples of organizations that utilized your potential provider to achieve a similar business objective to the one you want to achieve. ExecOnline has partnered with 200+ global organizations, which have sent 10,000+ leaders through our programs. We’ve helped organizations tackle both common business problems such as delivering sustained growth and more challenging strategies such as complicated mergers and acquisitions.

5) How rapidly can you deploy your solution?

On average, organizations go through 5 major strategic changes in a 3-year period. This is why it’s necessary to partner with a provider that can rapidly deploy its solution. ExecOnline offers 10 university-certified, online leadership development programs during each of our 5 yearly sessions.

6) How do you measure business impact?

Traditional leadership development companies cannot do this effectively. If they claim they can, ask for specific details. This is necessary because today’s L&D professionals are under pressure to prove the business impact of their initiatives. ExecOnline found that on average each of its program participants deliver $179,000 in financial impact and that organizations see a 76X ROI.

7) What is your program application rate?

Application rate measures whether a program participant applied what they learned. The higher the application rate, the more confident you can be of a provider’s solution. We’ve found that 97% of ExecOnline participants apply learnings to their jobs.

8) How engaging are your programs?

High-quality programs are designed to generate maximum participant engagement. One way to do this is by including diverse content throughout the experience such as short learning videos and live virtual sessions with peers. Engagement is typically measured by whether a participant enjoyed their experience. On average, 97% of ExecOnline participants rated their experience positively.

9) What is your completion rate?

High-impact virtual programs achieve an 85% completion rate or higher. Concerns about completion rates stem from MOOCs, which have a completion rate of below 7%. Reputable providers achieve greater completion rates through rigorous program development, a focus on virtual interactions with peers and faculty, and other engagement methods. ExecOnline’s program completion rate is 92%.

10) What is the cost per program?

There are numerous ways in which providers structure the cost of their programs. Depending on your organization’s goals, pricing structure might impact your decision. The most common pay structure is by individual participant. Enterprises can enroll 6X the number of leaders in ExecOnline programs compared to traditional, in-person experiences offered by universities.

11) How do your programs accommodate international participants?

In general, providers should offer multiple ways in which international participants can engage with content. If you are considering a virtual partner, they should offer early morning and late night offerings to accommodate for time differences. Executives in 85 countries have had a seamless experience with ExecOnline programs.

12) How many hours a week do participants need to invest in your program?

Your leaders are busy. We recommend leaders spend no more than 5 hour per week on leadership development programs. This includes lectures, peer interactions, and homework assignments. We also recommend that online programs be accessible offline and on numerous devices, which makes it easier for participants to complete the program.

Whether you’re considering a new online leadership development provider or evaluating your current partner, these questions will ensure your organization is getting the most out of your investment.

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