Bach details the research and methodology that helped Yale SOM’s top leadership make the decision to expand the school’s executive MBA program by adding two tracks—one in sustainability and one in asset management—to the existing healthcare focus. The new focus areas launched in fall 2014.
Bach, who oversees the executive MBA program as well as Yale SOM’s global initiatives, details today’s executive MBA landscape and the gaps that SOM’s new programs are filling.
We only needed to look at the schools featured in special issues of the Financial Times to get a clear sense of what was in vogue for EMBA program design: modular programs, global locations, and at least some digital delivery. But we took to heart these words from A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin in Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: “Some organizations define strategy as benchmarking against competition and then doing the same set of activities but more effectively,” they write. Yet sameness isn’t a strategy, they say; it’s “a recipe for mediocrity.
Therefore, we reviewed our options with these considerations in mind: our founding mission and strategic aspirations, an honest assessment of our existing program’s strengths and weaknesses, and a careful scan of the unmet needs in the current EMBA landscape. We sought input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our board of advisors about how we should revise our program.
The result? Our reinvigorated program launched with 52 students enrolled in the Class of 2016. We’ve identified a sustainable growth path and—most important—our program has become a highly visible part of the school’s portfolio and mission. And yet our program remains a single-school, single-campus weekend program.