Online Education 2.0: Where are we Headed? In conversation with Roger Delves

In an exclusive interview with Roger Delves, Associate Dean of Faculty at Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School

The nature and level of skills which employers look have been changing at an exponential rate, in such a situation it becomes critical to continuously learn those skills to stay relevant. The amalgamation of tools based on AI and gamification in executive education platforms, not only allows business leaders to get equipped with skills but also promote the idea of becoming a lifelong learner.

We interviewed Roger Delves, Associate Dean of Faculty at Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School to share his views on future and trends in online executive education.
(*This is an auto generated transcript)

Following are the few key highlights from the interview:


Can you tell us something about yourself and your role at Ashridge?

Well I’m Roger delves. I’m the associate dean at Ashridge and I’ve been there now for over eleven years. My first career was in advertising.

I came down from Oxford in 1979 and I joined an international advertising agency called Benjamin Bowles. And I was with them until the early 1990s. We went through a merger with Macy’s to form one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. And I worked with them on a variety of huge brands from people like Procter and Gamble General Foods Miles M. foods Sony Johnson Wax Sterling hills and many others. And I worked in London and in Dublin and was eventually the client services director of the DMB N.B. agency in Dublin. But at that stage I decided to make a change and I wanted to move into something which allowed me to work on my understanding of people but also to work more around how people got on together at work and to spend more time thinking about the working environment. So in 1996, I joined a small consultancy in Manchester. So I came back to the U.K. from Ireland and joined it consultancy which was then called that as Hayward changed its name while I was with them to Academy and we were one of the very first online learning consultancies and indeed in around about the year 2000 I was busy at Academy doing work building online programs for the Institute of Management and I worked then for a very very good instruction learning design called Luke Bennett and Luke has only recently within the last few months joined average. So what comes around goes around and all those years ago I worked with Luke at the academy and now I’m working with him again at Ashridge so I left that academy in 2002 and I then went into big business schools I went to Cranfield and I went to Cranfield from 2002 to 2008 where my biggest piece of work probably on Shell. I also worked on Henkel and on Bertelsmann and then I went to ask George in 2008. I’ve been at average ever since and I’m very happy to be there. It’s a wonderful place to work and I’m surrounded by not only wonderful buildings a lot of countryside but some tremendous companions as well.

What are your current responsibilities at Ashridge?

So what I do at Ashridge I have the title of Associate Dean. So I work with the Dean of Faculty dean the dominant Dean recently came to us from Oxford side and my job is to support her in running the academic affairs of Asterix. So when we think of average really as easy as perhaps speaking of us having three fundamental areas of business. One is to do degree programs. Another is to do open programs and a third is to do tailored or customized programs. And in addition to that we have virtual astronauts which are our virtual subscription service our learning service and faculty are involved in all of these areas of activity either in providing material or in teaching. And so we have a faculty of around about 35 full time faculty members and a large number of adjunct faculty. Well in excess of 75 adjunct faculty and of course everybody wants to work on different pieces of business. Everybody wants to do different things. We constantly want to refresh the offering. We constantly need to look at what other people are doing. We constantly want to be able to protect our reputation as a as a world class business school. And that fundamentally in the academic sphere is what it where I spend my time doing as a teacher as a faculty member. I work predominantly in degree programs. Ashridge, as many people know, has been part of Hult International Business School now for over four years with the executive education arm of Hult International Business School. And I teach on Hult undergraduate and postgraduate programs and I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to teach all over the world. It helps to have campuses not only in London but in Dubai in Boston in San Francisco and in Shanghai. And I’ve taught in all of those I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses and I teach an average degree program as well. We are the executive education arm of Hult International Business School. But we do teach degree programs but all the degree programs that we teach are to people who are in full-time work. So that’s why it is still part of executive education. So we think of executive education as being an education which is supplied to people who are studying once they are still at work. Hold off a full-time undergraduate and postgraduate programs. So all of their students with the one exception of their MBA course all of their other students are studying full time. And that’s really how we differentiate between the offerings of the two branded schools which are now together and have been mostly for the last four years. And of course, because we have these two schools and these many campuses there’s quite a lot of work that I do in terms of thinking about who wants to work well who would like to work at undergraduate or postgraduate. On a whole campus. Which of the help professors like to come and work on average. How can we share our knowledge? We share our best practice. And we recently had a health global faculty summit at Ashridge. At the start of January and it was wonderful to see faculty from all over the whole world getting together at Ashridge and talking about what they’re doing and what they’re working on what they’re writing what they’re reading what they’re teaching. And it was that it was a wonderful occasion.

What are some of your most important business priorities for the year 2019?

Well it’s a highly competitive world that we live in and of course we are a very competitive business school. So one of the priorities is to continue to be competitive. We are a registered provider within the Great apprenticeship world and we have a range of degree apprenticeship offerings at level 6 and that will seven. And we want to get those as well known and as well supported as we can. We have had a reputation as a preeminent business school for executive education for a very long time and we are constantly looking to bring that executive education offering to as many new clients as we can and to renew our relationship with our existing clients. We have an open portfolio of programs which we are constantly looking to improve and enhance which offer organizations opportunities and individuals opportunities. If they don’t want to have a fully tailored experience to send people to Ashridge on the open programs to learn alongside people from many other different industries and backgrounds and then, of course, there’s the virtual average subscription service and we’ll be doing lots of marvelous things with nano courses and using our ability to develop lots of new ideas around online learning which we’ve been doing now for eight or nine years and.

Showing our clients and our prospective clients that we are as we always have been at the leading edge of thinking around executive education around interventions that work interventions that are powerful that are relevant that are appropriate and that will help people to make changes in the workplace. One of the things that we talk about constantly is this VUCA environment this volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous environment and the challenges that the environment creates for leaders and for people working in teams people working in organizations which are going through huge changes or facing huge challenges and the role of management education in the executive education to help people to face those challenges better with more confidence with a greater sense of stability to help lead other people through change more successfully to deal with this with a good environment in an in a more positive way and help other people deal with it in a more positive way. We constantly think about the pressures that other people are working under and trying to help them to help other people. And particularly because we deal with the nature of leadership and the skills of leadership so much of that is set and so that’s a really important part of what we do.

How do you think executive education institutions can adapt to this rapidly changing landscape of online education?

Well I think, how we teach change is constantly changing itself. Nowadays we spend a lot of time talking to leaders about concepts like emotional intelligence and authenticity and helping leaders to explore themselves. We talk about things like developing a practice of reflection thinking about things and thinking about themselves and about how they act and how they are and how others experience them. About a practice of mindfulness and about how being mindful can help us to become more resilient. How mindfulness and self-awareness can help us to be more able to deal with all of these volatile circumstances that we’ve just been discussing. So the nature of what we talk about with leaders has changed significantly over the last decade or so. And the way in which we explore these things is changing as well. I think that it’s widely recognized now that experiential learning is the best method for people to learn things to learn by experiencing and the quality and the nature of that experience is really really important. So we spent a great deal of time working with organizations to try to find with them the best type of experience all learning the experience it is really going to cause the people on the program to take stock to think to reflect and to go away with a significantly different view of themselves or of their role or the nature of leadership or of how they can bring something of themselves to the nature of leadership. So we’re talking about interventions which really make a difference and which are powerful and memorable experience show and are about. Understanding ourselves and therefore understanding how we can best be as leaders and we don’t just talk about leadership but as you said yourself. Leadership and Change. And leading through change and helping organizations in many different ways cope with the pressures of change. It is a very significant part of what we’re doing.

How does Ashridge use virtual learning approaches in regular face to face classes? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for virtual learning in executive education?

I think with virtual learning we try to beat average very client-centric. So we try to introduce clients to the form of virtual learning which is going to be most appropriate for them in a lot of cases. What clients are saying is that time is really at a premium and they can’t spend as much time away from the workplace in management development training as they might have been able to do in the past. So it’s really important to them that the time that they spend away from work is very well spent. And for them often this concept of the flipped classroom can be very important. So in the flipped classroom the workaround offering different theories different models different ideas about the subject talking about whether its leadership will change or strategic thinking or innovation or entrepreneurship whatever it might be. All of that offering of the background understanding the theory is the models the thinking the development all of that takes place not in the classroom but in the virtual environment before people come to the actual face to face environment and that virtual environment. We use a learning management system called canvas for the vast majority of the work that we do in this area. In that learning management environment, people get the opportunity to read watch listen to take on board the material that they need to know and understand before they get into the face to face experiential part of the intervention. So we use the virtual learning in that instance in that flipped classroom example to make most efficient use of the individual’s time so that they take the theory and they understand the theory they explore the theory they think about the theory they get the theory grounded in their minds before they come to the practical experiential application they reach a practice which they do in the face to face environment. So it’s you thing the virtual learning flexibility the virtual learning ability to allow us to learn when and where we choose to give people control over where they learn the necessary theory the necessary modeling the necessary background information and then everybody comes to the face to face absolutely ready to do the experimental application of theory to practice. So that’s one example we have a degree program called the Executive Master’s in leadership and management which is entirely virtual where the whole program is virtual there’s no place to face whatsoever. So there we have a whole variety of different exercises and activities that people can do in the learning environment. And one of the things that we’ve done there is we’ve we said thinking about cold learning styles. People like to learn in different ways and so often we will take the same piece of information that is really important that people receive. And we’ll offer it in different ways. We’ll offer it is as an article for somebody to read for those who like to read and consider in that way will offer it as perhaps a PowerPoint slide deck with the voiceover for people who like to watch and listen. Will offer links to appropriate videos and background material which is audio-visual for people who like to watch it in that way. So the same material offered in different ways so that people can absorb the material in the way that they prefer. And we found that that’s been very effective. People like the fact that they get to choose not just the material but the way in which the materials consumed as well. So there’s a couple of examples of the way that we’re working with virtual. But one of the things with the virtual environment is it’s changing and developing and maturing very very quickly. So we are constantly working and looking at ways and saying how committed it’s better how can we do this differently. What’s the latest thinking on this. What’s another way of doing that. And I think we’re going to see ways in which people use the virtual environment increase many times over the next decade or so only using a lot of discussions on the online environment. Lots of discussion threads lots of interaction lots of chances for people to debate things and exchange views and challenge other people and have discussions about aspects of what they’ve been reading or listening or watching. And we find that that’s very good as well because particularly in a program which is entirely online. It creates a sense of community and belonging because you are having one to one interactions with people. Which creates a sense of. Belonging and being in this learning community together even though you never actually meet. And very often you never meet people at all because it’s an entirely virtual community.

What is the importance of synchronous interactions and how do students benefit from this?

Well I think one of the great advantages about synchronous versus asynchronous in the online environment is, of course, something need not be synchronous for everybody. So when we, for example, have online webinars which are interactive so people come onto the webinars expecting to be invited into breakout rooms expected to do exercise is expected to be asked to participate and not just to listen. They also know that the webinar will be recorded so they take advantage of it and experience it synchronicity. But if they can’t be there because their work schedule doesn’t permit or because the time zone they’re in makes it inconvenient then they can still take part asynchronously by listening to the recording because the recording is put into the learning zone within half an hour of the webinar finishing. But when we structure webinars we make sure that there is as much interaction as we can build into it. Now we don’t make it a requirement. We don’t force people to interact. We make it very easy for people to interact. We have exercises. We have games little breakouts to think about questions an opportunity to challenge opportunities to take parts of what we’re talking about and think about them in a side room for five minutes and then come back and talk in the bigger plenary session. A lot of these things are designed to give people a chance to get their voice in the room and give people the chance to feel that they’re contributing to and shaping the discussion rather than just listening to a sage on the stage. We want people to feel that online learning is altogether learning. It isn’t simply a one-way transmission from us to them. It’s actually everybody learning together and everybody learning from one another as much as if they were all in a room together. And we try very hard to create that environment.

What are the most important aspects of online executive education? How is Ashridge catering to them?

Yeah I think with Executive Education the. The absolutely critical thing is that in these tailored to the client and clients ask for. Taking solutions because they want something which is absolutely addressing their challenge. Their opportunity the things that they feel that they want to leverage all the things that they feel they want to address. So they don’t want to pay in those prices and then get on off the shelf solution. So it’s really important whether. The end solution offered is face to face or virtual or hybrid. Whether it’s modular whether it’s over a long period of time or a short period of time it has to be absolutely tailored to meet their specific needs. So the first part of that equation is understanding their needs which means you have to build in time to really sit and talk to the client and listen to the client. You need to be able to go into the organization and watch and learn and talk to people and listen to people so that when you present yours. Your design you presenting something which is built not just on the answer to a brief but you’ve explored that brief you’ve validated that brief you talk to people who are going to be participants people who have contributed to the thinking behind the brief and it’s that attention to detail that attention to getting the intervention right. That really causes tailored education to work. And if you don’t do that if you don’t actually make that effort then what you tend to do is you tend to produce something which is maybe shot through with references to the client’s name or the client’s field of operations but it isn’t truly tailored it hasn’t really got that benefit of really thoughtful pre-designed exploration a really thorough understanding of what the work is designed to achieve and therefore a really thorough design approach. That means that you really are addressing the right issue. And for me that’s that’s the critical thing about about executive education about tailored work that you do the work to make sure that you really are doing not only what the client asks but you’ve done some validation to make sure that what the client ask for is actually what the client needs and then you produce something which does that just as well as you possibly can do it. And then you deliver it in whatever medium you’re using as well as you human being can. And that’s how you deliver great tailored work and you keep your clients coming back again and again and again for more of the same because it is simply a hugely successful way of getting people to think about the management education challenges that they want to address.

What are the challenges of providing custom executive education online?

Oh I don’t think. I don’t think the challenges around online or face to face are. I mean there are different sets of challenges but there’s nothing particularly insurmountable about the online challenges. I think that. Once you’ve got a design well once you understand what you are trying to address with the intervention. In my view, if the solution has to be an online solution that shouldn’t be a problem because whatever it is you’re trying to do. You should be able to do it in the online environment with careful use of online design principles to address the issue that you’re trying to solve. I can’t offhand think of issues that would not be solvable if you tried to deal with them in an online environment versus a face to face environment. You can still have a discussion you can still have a debate you can still be experiential you can still do exercises you can still do gaming you can still do simulations you’ve got access to a whole vast range of tools techniques approaches in the online environment. So I don’t think that’s the challenge. I think the challenge is first making sure you’re addressing the right problems and then secondly making sure that you’ve got really good designers who understand the medium in which they’re designing. I think sometimes what’s happened where the design has been poor is you’ve had people who were really really good at delivering face to face designing for the online environment which is a different environment and needs different design skills. But nowadays there are so many more people who are utterly brilliant at designing in that online space. If you put those brilliant people together with people who are utterly brilliant at understanding and unearthing the problem the client is trying to solve and then you put them together with people who really understand the academic content the models the theories the background academic thinking then you’re going to produce. Work that is going to be successful in the online environment just as you would if you put brilliant people together his design skill was in face to face. So I don’t think the environment is the critical thing as long as you’ve got people who understand how to design for that space.


Well I’m Roger delves. I’m the associate dean at Ashridge and I’ve been there now for over eleven years. My first career was in advertising.

There are a number of different things that we do. I mean you can of course coach online just as well as you can coach face to face. We have a lot of experience in coaching virtually. So actually having an individual and coaching that individual through the medium of Zoom will Skype vs. coaching them face to face. We’ve had extremely good results in coaching people virtually. We also there are a number of different online tools that we could use to help people both give and get feedback. So getting feedback about themselves from colleagues and then reviewing that feedback and helping them to work through it and to match their their their feedback on themselves with other people’s feedback on them and at the classic 360 degree feedback that works really well because with the virtual environment with more and more people working in multinational organizations it is far easier to get feedback from people from all around the world with whom you have contacted by using a common internet available questionnaire to get them to fill it. And once you got your data you can then work with the individual. So you’re working with the individuals something says look we’ve worked with you and we’ve talked about different set competencies around leadership. And we’ve talked with you about new talk with us about where you think you need to improve and where you think your skills are where you think your weaknesses are. Well, now you’ve got this feedback from people from all around your network. Let’s have a look and see what that tells us about how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you and can be really full of insight for an individual because they begin to see that perhaps how they see themselves differs quite markedly from how other people see them. And you can see patterns in that feedback that they regularly undervalue themselves or they regularly overvalue themselves or they are regularly valued differently by people in a different function or in a different country. And that can be very enriching for somebody and all of that can be done and is done entirely virtually. So I think the opportunities that the virtual environments gives us for global connectivity can be really very very helpful when you think about the degree to which so many of us now work in a globally connected organization over in globally connected roles or particularly in stakeholder environments where the stakeholders are internationally connected in some way or another. And these diverse international stakeholder maps that so many of us have got to manage and control getting feedback from them about how they see and perceive us can be a very rewarding experience a very helpful career development experience as well personal experience.

What are the immediate changes in learners’ expectations and how has Ashridge coped up with that change?

I think there was a huge difference and not just five years back I mean unfortunately I now go back over a quarter of a century. So I have I have a lot of hindsight to look at. I think that people are far more willing now than they were 15 20 years ago to accept that. They can learn about themselves to their own benefit So nowadays we regularly go into organizations and they say to us we would very much like please to talk to you about emotional intelligence or authenticity or mindfulness or resilience or things which are about if you like and inside out. Feedback things about me managing myself. Me learning about myself 20 25 years ago. That was really not the case. And it was really quite difficult to get organizations to do anything in that area beyond perhaps doing an MBA indicator or something of that sort. So the degree to which organizations and individuals within organizations are hungry for increased self-understanding self-awareness self-knowledge and increased ways also to understand other people in order to work better in teams and in order to collaborate better. That has been a significant shift I think. And I think that the other thing. I mean I’m interested I when you watch young people playing on things like PlayStation and x box and you watch these hugely immersive games that they can play on these on consoles and you realize how the bar has raised in terms of what we will accept. And what we demand if we are to reward something by giving it our attention and you realize that we have to constantly find ways of providing immersive experiences for people whether it’s online or face to face. And the bar that is set is not the bar within our own industry but it is the bar with the world around us. Yes, cinema is huge. The immersive television is hugely immersive. The game the console industry is huge. The immersive. And that’s where people get their sense of what represents an immersive experience from. And that’s what we have to compete with. And we need to be able to create for people experiences which are as rewarding as immersive and which help them to explore these things which genuinely interests them. Which is part of what you might lose the core the human condition. Why am I the way I am. Why is he the way he is. Why do we not get along well why do we get along. How can we get along better? How can this team work better. How can this organization create and maintain a positive culture or whatever it might be. And I think I’ve seen significant strides in that direction but I think as technology continues to change and I’m thinking about artificial reality and immersive things of this sort. So our industry will continue to need to find new ways of taking these immersive possibilities and bending them towards the kind of expect kind of experience learning that people want. And I think that that’s what we have to do. We have to be real. Brave and courageous about trying out new ways to help people explore these things that they really want to find out about.

What are the 3 most important trends in online education?

I mean I certainly think that’s the thing I was I was touching on a moment ago about the importance of the experiential. I think that that is truly important. I think that experiential learning it is widely accepted to be the most compelling form of learning. How can we make more learning more experience so what can we learn from things like artificial reality? What can we learn from the gaming console industries. What can we learn from roleplaying? What can we transfer from the classroom to the online environment? But I think we have to keep at the front of our mind the entire time is if it is not experiential then it is not as good as it could be. I think another thing for me is interaction interactivity. Everything we do has got to be not telling but interacting. People learn from each other. People learn by doing. People learn by being in teams engaged in doing things. Peer to peer learning is often far more compelling than say to peer learning. So I think the experiential and interactive are two absolutely critical words for me and I think the other thing that I really think this is going to become more and more and more important is coaching. I think that coaching been around long enough now that we all know that it’s beneficial but I think that it’s going to become absolutely mainstream. It will be an oddity not to be coached not to have a coach it will be strange not to have somebody who is a catalyst helping you to explore things helping you to work things out helping you to find answers to knotty problems that you have. I think that that high-quality coaching within organizations which we know helps leaders and which we know helps organizations will become absolutely. The requirement rather than something that the very best have.

Do you think executive education has been slower to be disrupted by MOOCs and online degrees as compared to other parts of higher education?

Well I think there have been huge changes in executive education. I think that. Certainly addresses the vast majority of executive education now has a virtual element before during or after. And that was certainly not the case ten years ago even five years ago I think that the use of virtual learning in executive education is picking up dramatically fast. And I would agree with you that it was not the case a few years ago. But I think that in five years time there will be no difference between executive education and degree education for example. I think one of the reasons why executive education is slightly slow was simply because. With degree education, students get what you offer them. So if you choose to offer them online education as part of the package or is the whole of the package. That’s what they get. But we tailored education. You. Are providing a service to the client so the client needs come halfway to meet you. You can suggest online and online learning and the client to say well I’m not quite sure and perhaps not quite yet. And of course there are often issues and difficulties with things like client firewalls but I think the other thing that may be slowed down the adoption but which I think is now pretty much a barrier that’s being removed is this idea that so much of executive education is experiential experiential learning and for a while I think people felt that you could only really genuinely do experiential learning in a fast-paced environment. But I think that that belief is now not widely held. I think that people have now got lots and lots of examples of the experience of learning in the virtual environment. And I think that this combination of the feeling that we can do experiential learning in the virtual environment and the benefits of things like the flipped classroom that I was talking about earlier on where you use the virtual environment to do the heavy lifting of knowledge transfer the combination of those two things means that I do think that executive education in terms of uptake of virtual learning as a live option is is catching up very quickly with some degree education.

Do you think networking opportunities can be translated into an online environment? What are the ways to achieve that?

I think it can be. I think that for a lot of people particularly in the degree world if they studied together for a year or two years for a master’s degree an MBA whatever it might be and they spent the vast part of every working week in each other’s company for a protracted length of time. Then the quality of the relationship that was formed. Would last the rest of their lives. And we regularly tell people that the relationships they make as students were lost the rest of their lives. I think the. You can make high quality relationships in the virtual environment as well. They’re made in a slightly different way. I mean strangely there’s quite a lot of anecdotal and even researched evidence about how. Because you’re not actually going to meet somebody in the flesh and you’re exchanging you’re communicating with them over the aether as it were. People can sometimes be more open and more honest and more available to one another in that environment than they are in the face to face environment. So there are sometimes relationships with flourish more in the virtual environment than they would do in the face to face environment. But I think that for most of it’s. What happened will be we will get more and more used to. Blended relationships where we may very well spend quite a lot of time interacting with somebody in a virtual environment and very comfortably and then either before during or after that period of virtual interaction. We may meet them as part of a course or as part of an introduction to a course or as part of the one face to face element on a one year course or whatever it might be. And we will get used to this. This is hybrid this blend of a relationship which exists online and exists. Face to face and I think that we will. We are perfectly able to adjust to different balances. It may be that. Somebody you see once a quarter and the rest of the time is virtual somebody else you see once a year and the rest of the time is virtual somebody else you see once a week and the rest of the time it’s virtual. And I think the more competent we get at. Building and maintaining virtual relationships. The more competent we will be at holding these different sorts of virtual relationships some wholly virtual some blended to different degrees. And we will simply become more competent at it because that’s the way we will develop because that’s the way society will go. It will become a social skill that a social muscle that we develop because we use it more.

What are the things in terms of the student experience that you would add to the courses to make sure that relationships are being formed?

Well I think it’s really good to try to have as much informal interaction as you can. So it’s really good to try to have chat rooms discussion rooms places where people can go to. On the off chance of meeting somebody or places where people can go to and they can say hey look I’ve said well we were having this discussion online. The few things I wanted say I didn’t get a chance to say Can we meet in the chat room on Tuesday at 4:00. So the chance to have an informal place where people can go and each online a chance where people can go and post and leave messages a message board and a chat room. As many opportunities for people to interact in as many different ways as they can. I’m one of the things that we do from time to time is we encourage people to post some kind of blogs video diaries of how they’re getting on with their studies because then, of course, you get the opportunity to see somebody a little bit rather than these rather dreadful little local pictures which never bear any resemblance to the real person. But if people are going to be studying together it’s sometimes quite good to be able to say to them just take a little bit of footage on your phone. Show us where you live or show us your will where you work or you know 15 seconds of the view from Europe is window and just post it and you can get some nice interesting things that crop up out of that. And people can start having conversations about the view from different windows the different offices around the world and things like that can just cause us to begin to have conversations. On a more personal level. And that can often be the start of then creating a place of psychological safety where people can feel they can share with a bit more security.

Any advice for institutions to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship?

Well I mean I embrace it. Certainly. Yes I certainly think you should embrace it. I think we’ve got to. We’ve got to trust in the imagination and the creativity of the people who understand this environment and let them have their head. Let them play with it. Let them show us what they can do with it. And let’s not forget that there are two things here. There is the medium and there is the message and. There are the many many people in the world’s longstanding academics who understand domestic should know what we were trying to say. But who aren’t necessarily particularly familiar with the media. And there are many many people who are very very familiar with the medium that they may not be that familiar with the message. So let’s put these two sets of people together. Let’s put these really creative people who understand exactly what you couldn’t do in this extraordinarily exciting space. Together with the people who understand exactly what we should be saying in this learning opportunity. And they may be very different people with different backgrounds and very different levels of experience and very different ages. But each has got something that’s really important. One understands the medium one understands the message and if we can get them working together we going to create some magic. And then let’s be brave about it. You know we learn by doing things wrong not by doing things right. So let us be brave let us try things out. Let’s get lots and lots and lots of feedback loops so that we keep on learning by doing. And I think that. We’ve got to do it that way because no sooner did we learn how to do it then it changes. New technology new opportunity new ways of doing things and so we have to learn that and we have to keep on learning and keep on learning and keep on learning. So it’s it’s a constantly iterative process. And the sooner we get to grips with it the sooner we will be riding the wave rather than hurrying along trying to catch it up or get to the edge of the sea at least. And I think. Courage perseverance. Really. You there’s two things that we never have enough of either of them courage and perseverance.

How do you envision online executive education in 2030?

The first thing to say is it’s hard to imagine panic should be hard to imagine because I think that the changes are going to be so huge that if I could imagine what it was going to look like. That wouldn’t be right. I do. But I personally think that artificial reality augmented reality. Call it what you like is going to have a huge row both online and in other interactions. I mean I go back to this point about. Compellingly immersive experiences which are relevant. Are absolutely what we should be trying to create for people. And it seems to me that augmented reality artificial reality begins to offer us ways of doing that which could be highly tailored highly customized and give people the opportunity to. Try things out in a reality that reflects the reality they have to deal with where there is absolutely no risk attached to failure. Therefore there is nothing but a benefit to exploring experimenting doing things differently. And I think that that would be really exciting. I also think that the dissemination of good thinking will be much much easier in ten years time than it is now. And I think that. The ability to show the successful application of theory to practice will be much easier. That’s really for me. What good executive education is about it’s about saying look here is some really reliable thinking and here’s what happens when you apply that thinking to your practice. Now we need to be able to give people a chance to explore that. And then we need to be able to disseminate the thinking around that so that as many people as possible get to hear and experience that so they can explore it. So I think that the the the immersive experience and then the dissemination of the thinking. I think we will get far better at both of those things and what people will do in their management development experiences in 10 years time will be unimaginably more interesting than what they were doing 10 years ago or even what they are doing today and how we get those experiences shared and how we get mutual learning from those experiences will be much simpler much faster and much more effective. That’s why I hope for anyway.

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