Executive Development Program

Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

The Executive Development Program is designed for mid- to upper-level executives across disciplines and industries who lead a functional, country, or unit role. The program is ideal for executives who seek to further their leadership development because they are on the path to a broader role that requires leading outside their areas of education and expertise.

About the course

Over two weeks, top Columbia Business School faculty offer a curriculum inspired by the School's world-renowned MBA program, covering the full spectrum of critical business subjects with a specific focus on developing your leadership abilities.

Designed to equip you for success not only now but in the future, the Executive Development Program empowers you to take your management and leadership skills to the next level through the following key program benefits.

Accelerated Learning

New normals, new challenges, new opportunities – they all require new ways of approaching your leadership and management responsibilities. The Executive Development Program accelerates your learning to prepare you for immediate success. After completing the program, your new credo will be “challenge-ready.”

Leading Leaders

Mid- to upper-level executives face the unique challenge of leading talented individuals who are leaders in their own right. Creating conditions in which they succeed becomes the key to your and your organization’s growth. We’ll equip you with the tools and concepts required to successfully lead a team of leaders – combining just the right amount of direction, orchestration, and support.

Aligning with the Organization

Recognizing that your work now directly impacts the success of your organization, another primary goal of the program is to provide you with the perspective, knowledge base, and skills to lead strategically. The program sessions are designed to help you align the goals and activities of your unit with the mission and values of the overall enterprise.

Interactive sessions and small-group work stretch your abilities and test your assumptions. Case discussions, simulations, workshop activities, and exercises provide the opportunity to apply your learning to actual business challenges. Sophisticated assessment and feedback tools help you identify opportunities for improving your leadership capabilities as well as successfully manage individual and organizational performance.

Return to your organization equipped with actionable skills and ready to realize the return on your investment.


The Executive Development Program’s comprehensive curriculum, personal business case project, and world-class self-assessment tools deliver an unparalleled program experience with an immediate return on learning.

Summary of Benefits:

  • Develop immediate and lasting leadership skills for yourself and your organization. A 360-degree survey identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style, equipping you with the tools and insights to develop your personal Leadership Credo and to assume larger responsibilities in the future.
  • Gain proficiency in critical functional business areas, including leadership, strategy, accounting and finance, innovation, and marketing.
  • Create solutions to your actual business challenges. Participants work in teams on personal cases and develop a personal action plan to implement when they return to their organization, giving them the opportunity to apply and integrate their learnings in real time and receive actionable feedback from peers and faculty.
  • Learn from faculty who are experts on essential business topics. Faculty members who teach in the School's MBA program lead you through case discussions, focused leadership sessions, self-development exercises, and workshops in an intensive off-site format.
  • Build a network of executives from various industries and functions. Throughout the program, you will learn from and network with other high-potential executives from around the world, giving you varied perspectives for a deeper understanding of global business challenges.

We Bring Proof *

  • 97 percent of participants said they developed new skills in the Executive Development Program.
  • 96 percent of participants said the knowledge gained in the program was applicable to achieving their professional goals.
  • 100 percent of participants said the program helped them develop new ways of thinking.

  • Numbers in this section are based on program evaluations from Executive Development Program participants in 2015 and 2016


Upon completion, participants earn the Certificate in Management, granting the following Columbia Business School alumni benefits:

  • 15 percent tuition benefit on programs lasting up to seven days * , for you and up to two colleagues each year
  • Subscriptions to the School’s publications

Participants also earn 13 days towards a Certificate in Business Excellence. Participants may use their 15 percent tuition benefit toward the remaining five days of programming required to complete the certificate.

Program Structure

In only two weeks, you will take a deep dive into the full spectrum of critical business subjects with a specific focus on developing your leadership abilities. This fast-paced curriculum is inspired by Columbia Business School’s MBA program and structured around three major components – personal leadership growth, strategic leadership sessions, and business-critical skills.

Personal Leadership Growth

Constituting the foundation of the program, these critical tools will help you understand your current leadership strengths and weaknesses, identify your opportunities for growth, and develop your future leadership agenda.

  • Leadership Evaluation & Feedback. Before arriving at the program, participants complete a 360-degree feedback instrument. During the program, participants review their 360 report with experienced coaches who can help identify existing strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • Learning Styles. Participants begin the program by looking at how preferences for various learning styles impact the learning process. By evaluating their own preferences and those of their colleagues, participants begin to develop a cohesive and effective learning community.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Derailers. Participants explore and apply various elements of Emotional Intelligence as they develop a better awareness of self and a better understanding of the needs of others. Particular attention is given to “derailers,” those personal and professional attributes that start out as strengths but can become weaknesses if not properly managed.
  • Leadership Credo. The leadership credo exercise provides participants with an opportunity to inventory their personal beliefs about leadership and assess what will make their organization a success. Elective Leadership Communications sessions help participants develop their skills in public speaking and presentations.
  • Personal Cases. During the two-week program, participants work in teams on personal cases that provide an opportunity to apply and integrate their knowledge of strategy, leadership, marketing, operations, and finance. Plenary discussions and team presentations during the program showcase thought leadership in action. After receiving feedback about their case from peers and faculty, each participant develops a Personal Action Plan to implement these ideas when they return to their organization.
  • Individual Development Plans. During the second week of the program, after receiving their 360 feedback, each participant creates a personalized plan that will serve as a guide for his or her continued learning and development.
  • Tomorrow, Today. This capstone session at the end of the program explores what the world will look like in the not-so-distant future. Drawing on all of their learnings from the program, participants consider ideas and opportunities that can be accessed right now.

Strategic Leadership Sessions

Through a series of strategic leadership sessions, including those listed below, you will learn actionable skills so you can return to your organization ready to realize your return on your investment.

  • Systems Thinking. Your work and the work of others is embedded in an interconnected framework that constitutes a complex whole. Understanding how your activities influence others and impact the greater good becomes a key to your leadership success.
  • Networks and Social Capital. Program participants consider the power of personal and organizational networks as a tool for leading and managing in organizations. A self-assessment instrument permits each participant to evaluate the reach and magnitude of their own network. Strategies for creating, developing, and leveraging network ties are also explored.
  • Building Coalitions. Getting things done in organizations often requires working across boundaries or in an environment where lines of authority are blurred or non-existent. You’ll explore how to identify and evaluate various constituencies in your organization including their power and attitudes. You’ll leave the program able to build coalitions that ensure the success of your strategic initiatives that require cooperation across your organization.
  • Conflict, Negotiations, and Persuasion. Working effectively with others within and across organizations requires a cutting edge capacity to gain their support. We’ll consider various approaches to managing conflict, building consensus, and persuading others. Self-assessment instruments help you identify your current approach to conflict and consider how you can expand your repertoire to use other approaches when needed.
  • Essence of Decisions. We often think of decision making as rational and predictable. We’ll explore the politics and (sometimes irrational) process of making strategic decisions. Simulation exercises help participants understand how they can use these learnings to navigate through the complexity of decision-making in their own organizations.
  • Creating a Culture of Performance. Too often, an enterprise’s vision and values become empty slogans that do not inform in any way the daily activities of the organization. In this session, participants consider how to align individual performance goals, feedback, and evaluations with an organization's vision and mission to ensure everyone is moving forward together, successfully.
  • Global Perspectives and Challenges. With few exceptions, the continued success of your products or services will be directly impacted by developments around the world. As an experienced leader, you’ll be expected to understand and adapt to a constantly changing global environment. During the program, participants survey the business and political landscape over the next 25 years and explore how power shifts and other dynamics will impact their work.
  • Leading Change. In the contemporary business environment, the only thing constant is change. As a capstone to their learning, EDP participants consider the dynamics of change and how to lead individuals and organizations through a constructive and effective change process.

Business-Critical Skills

Critical for any leader is a sound understanding of cross-disciplinary functions. Inspired by Columbia Business School’s world-renowned MBA program, the following is a selection of the sessions during the program that will provide you with a greater understanding of the whole picture.

  • Strategy and Innovation. Program participants review the theory and practice of strategic thinking as they develop their capacity to analyze market and competitive forces to create winning propositions for their organizations. Application exercises help participants develop their own new ideas about next level strategic initiatives for their organizations.
  • Marketing and Advertising. Participants explore various frameworks and concepts in marketing and consider how advertising plays an integral role in an organization's overall brand management.
  • Finance and Accounting. Recognizing that sound financial analysis is critical to the success of any enterprise, participants develop their capacities to use financial data to assess business performance and ensure sufficient cash to meet the organization's needs.
  • Operations. Recognizing that a firm’s day-to-day activities must be aligned with its overall strategy, program participants learn about various aspects of operations, including logistics and supply chain management. Case studies illustrate how a firm can leverage its capacities across the organization and around the world to create innovative and cost-effective operations.


Grant Ackerman

Grant Ackerman is a Faculty of Executive Education at Columbia Business School. His teaching emphasis is on Executive Leadership, Collaborative Leadership Models and Cross-Cultural Issues in Management. His research focuses on Managing Conflict and Consensus Within and Between Firms, Cross-Cultur...

Doron Nissim

Biography Professor Nissim earned his PhD in Accounting at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined Columbia Business School in 1997. In 2014, he was reappointed as the Chair of the Accounting Division, after previously serving as the chair from 2006 to 2009. Professor Nissim’s researc...

Joel Brockner

Within the broader field of organizational behavior, Professor Brockner is well known for his work in several areas, including the effects of organizational downsizing on the productivity and morale of the "survivors," the management of organizational change, organizational justice, self processe...

Peter Meola

After over 25 years as a senior executive of multinational businesses, Peter is a member of the faculty at Columbia Business School in New York.  His primary areas of focus and passion are Leadership of Organizational Culture, as well as, Strategic Learning as a Leadership Process, which is uniqu...

Gita Johar

Biography Gita V. Johar (PhD NYU 1993; MBA Indian Institute of Management Calcutta 1985) has been on the faculty of Columbia Business School since 1992 and is currently the Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business. She served as the school’s Senior Vice Dean from 2011 to 2014, as the inaugural Vice D...

Silvia Bellezza

Silvia Bellezza is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Columbia Business School. Her research focuses on consumer behavior and symbolic consumption–how consumers use products and brands to express who they are and signal status. Professor Bellezza’s work uncovers the role of alternative signal...

Bob Bontempo

Professor Bontempo studies international comparative management, including international negotiations and cultural differences in decision making. His current research involves cultural factors in international negotiations and international differences in risk perception. The winner of the 1994 ...

Clifford Schorer

Following a successful business career as an entrepreneur in 2001 Cliff joined the Columbia Business School faculty as the Entrepreneur in Residence. In addition to teaching “Launching New Ventures,” he serves as faculty advisor to the Eugene M. Lang Investment Fund and in 1999 initiated the Gree...

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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