Programmes provide the best environment to gain management knowledge from renowned faculty and motivate senior-level employees Senior executives and business owners are expected to learn by experience and benchmarking to face challenges and keen competition in the dynamic business environment. The latest business management knowledge and insights are crucial for career advancement and company success. HR specialists and business leaders consider executive education a powerful tool for talent development and a source of recognition and motivation. The resources put in to executive education represent a return on an investment that contributes to a company's continued growth and success, and is a bonus for high performers. Executive programmes provide the best environment to gain management knowledge from renowned faculty and subject experts and they give cutting-edge insights to broaden horizons. They offer a golden opportunity for busy executives and frequent travellers to network with participants from diversified industries and backgrounds. To share experience and best practices with each other is also a fruitful learning experience. Executive education is generally offered in two formats: open enrolment and customised. Open enrolment programmes are the off-the-shelf option open to all executives with the subjects ranging from leadership to strategic financial management to marketing. Customised programmes are developed and delivered in collaboration between a business school and a client company. Customised executive education is a booming and dynamic business. The business school must respond to changes in client needs. The process for a customised programme could be: initial company assessment; academic director assigned to design and lead the programme; programme design and course outline for a company's consideration; programme design and course outline revised and customised for a company's needs; on confirmation, logistics and programme co-ordination (to arrange accommodation, if applicable); deliver programme; post-programme evaluation; and follow up with clients. The University of Science and Technology's executive education programme focuses on these subjects. 'We are the company's business partner in the drive for excellence,' said Della Wong, acting director, executive programmes and external development, School of Business and Management. 'Our extensive experience working with corporate executives, our scholarly research accomplishments, our integrated approach that balances theory and real-life applications, and our passion for excellence give programme participants a world-class learning experience that will help the company grow and prosper,' Ms Wong said. 'We educate managers who make a difference in their organisations. Through the executive education programmes, we aim to help the participants look ahead, think seriously and act in an innovative way.' The university offers intensive two- to three-day short open enrolment programmes to fit the busy schedules of management and address the learning needs of senior executives from diversified industries. Ms Wong said executive education programmes provided a good learning opportunity, an environment for idea exchange and experience sharing, and a platform for networking with executives in various industries. 'More companies and decision makers are now paying more attention to talent development, retention and attraction, and they support their high performers who want to join executive programmes. 'How to keep talent is a big concern and challenge for companies. Good training and personal development is a kind of intrinsic reward that paves the way for sustainable and profitable business because having the right people is key to success.' She said the university's Business School Executive Education Office wanted to cultivate long-term relationships with partner clients. By working with companies and understanding their needs it developed programmes that offered the best fit, adding value to the organisation and contributing to positive growth.