How the Corona crisis can be turned into an opportunity for digitalization and executive education programs.
In the wake of the lockdown caused by the coronavirus epidemic the attempts to work digitally from home and with each other in times of (physical) #socialdistancing have rocketed, turned into a sudden tsunami of all types of online activities around the globe, to the point of digital platforms melting down under the vehement impact. Also in the education sector, tardy or sleepy institutions and teaching staff have been forced to leap into the digital age with a head dive, with or without adequate training and equipment. This may be the tidal boost the world of education needs.
Of course, digital education formats are particularly required and a natural option in executive education, where the participants of executive programs are used to working in virtual teams and through digital communication channels on an everyday routine basis and where the need to meet in a particular place in the physical world can be a hindrance for people to engage in such education. They simply cannot travel so often, given the timeframes and the high consumption of resources, also due to the fact that they simply cannot be absent from their daily business on a regular basis.
But especially when it comes to cross-cultural education formats, rubbing shoulders with people from different continents and learning from and with each other, exchanging methods, views, strategies and sharing cooperation schemes is a real asset. The subsequently required travelling for meetings in the same location is a huge obstacle, but using digital learning forms can make it possible to rub shoulders in virtual spaces and ways, while at the same time training people in and for the utilization of such communication channels. So in a way, it engages in two things at once: training and actually using digitization in real-life situations – applied learning in executive mode. Of course, the art also consists in finding the right mix and striking the right balance between digital proximity with physical remoteness and teaching and learning together in the same room and physical location.
And while learning and working together as well as communicating around the world, understanding the most distant mentalities (in the physical world), new ideas of cooperation opportunities in the respective markets through sharing can emerge – sharing ideas, concepts, different cultural skills and chances. These can lead to international business models and successful new ventures, benefitting from human diversity in virtual touch. With the help of experts in executive education, the uncoordinated tsunami can be turned into a powerful and directed surge like in a Wagner opera.