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Leading Concepts urges new approach to executive education

Aman Merchant believes his tieups with US business schools give executives a better, more fulfilling way to grow their skills.

Leading Concepts is looking to redefine the concept of executive education in the region through a number of tieups with heavyweight US business schools.

The company's MD, Aman Merchant, says he plans to do around six to eight programmes in the next year in conjunction with Stanford, Michigan and Colombia.

Merchant promises hands-on, interactive courses that will challenge their participants. He contrasts that with what he sees as the "bum-on-seats" and active speaker/passive audience approach of existing efforts to offer executive education.

"With a good executive education programme, the key benefit is from the interaction," argues Merchant. "If I'm a senior manager and I'm sitting next to another senior manager, we can share ideas and challenge each other's thinking. Half the learning, I believe, takes place not only between the faculty and the participants, but between the participants."

Upcoming programmes include one on advanced negotiation skills in conjunction with Stanford. In light of the growing importance of the Internet, this programme will focus particularly on the area of 'cyber negotiation.'

In April, it will be Michigan's turn to offer a programme on global business strategies. In May, the relationship with Columbia Business School will be formally launched with a programme called Marketing Management in the New Economy.

Programme curricula are designed by the universities, and academics from those schools come to the region to present the courses themselves. Programmes last around three days and numbers are limited to around 50 people.