Executive Journal > Executive Education
Executive Action Learning
Executive Leadership Development
KASAC: A New Paradigm for
International Institute of Management
January 2, 2005
Most of the current
global academic and accreditation systems of management education
require a major update in content, delivery and evaluation methods.
Although the need to establish a set of minimum educational
standards is justified, in our experience the current accreditation
systems are highly bureaucratic, outdated, anti-competitive and
inhibit innovation and advancement.
The Institute's research
revealed that spending two to three years in a traditional MBA
program is becoming more costly and less relevant. The Institute
proposes a new business and management education paradigm that is
experiential, accelerated, and modular. It provides students with a
better return on their investment in time, effort and money, at the
same time providing the economy with more effective managers. The
new education model is designed for professional and organization
development as an alternative to full-time academic MBA
Management Education Model
The main goal of the Institute education paradigm
is to bring the world of business education closer to the world of
business management. This is achieved by providing new
executive-driven education as opposed to the traditional
teacher-driven education. This is a major departure from traditional
academic offers in educational focus, content and delivery. The new
executive education model makes the following critical shifts:
- From theoretical education to experiential education
- From passive (listening) to active (doing)
- From teacher-driven learning to student-driven learning
- From generic education to customized training
- From a teaching process to an advisory process
- From memorizing to brainstorming
- From question-based exams to project-based assessment
- From passing the tests to lifelong learning
- From knowledge transfer to knowledge creation
- From competitive learning to collaborative learning
KASAC Development and Evaluation Model
Institute developed a five-dimensional model for executive
education and evaluation called KASAC. KASAC is an acronym
Synthesis, Application and Communication.
This model is used as the basis for the Institute executive
education, coaching and evaluation process. For a CEO to succeed in
today’s complex business environment, s/he should demonstrate
mastery in all five areas:
- Understanding of the subject-matter.
- Understanding of the quality of the managerial decision-making process.
- Understanding of the context, text, subtext of business
- Ability to identify opportunities and
- Ability to identify critical success
factors and potential pitfalls.
- Ability to design sound evaluation
criteria for decision making
- Ability to uncover driving forces,
structure, relationships, dependencies, and situation variables
- Ability to design an effective
strategy/solution, taking into consideration the alignment of
external and internal forces
- Solution innovativeness and “thinking
outside the box”
- Solution feasibility (practicability)
- Ability to prioritize between strategic
and tactical needs
- Ability to design/use measurement and
- Maturity of the project management plan
(including time, resources, budget, quality, risks, change,
- Ability to communicate and present to
the stakeholders at each level (articulation of management
ideas, professional documentation, business case/report writing
- Leadership (ability to listen, learn,
persuade, motivate and win the support of the stakeholders)
What is Important?
- Critical thinking and understanding of case studies and
applied management projects
- Attention to details in analysis and recommendations
- Ability to articulate ideas, create proposals and support
- Maintaining up to date knowledge on key industry changes
What is Less Important?
- Memorizing theories to pass exams
How Executive Education Programs
Compare to MBA Programs?
Although some of the general
body-of-knowledge of the Institute's management education program
might be shared with leading MBA programs, all the courses and
projects have a customized and experiential-learning orientation
rather than generic and theoretical-learning orientation.
Management education programs vary substantially in learning
content, delivery and evaluation methods. There are several leading
Institutes offering management courses that are backed by
well-respected resources, however, the proposed Executive
Education programs differ from traditional academic MBA programs in
the following aspects:
management education model as opposed to the traditional
"Teacher-driven" education model.
The Institute's researchers have reviewed
thousands of practical ideas from the world's best management minds. Our
management education content is success-oriented. The Institute
researchers study the works of the most successful companies,
managers and influential management thinkers to identify their
best practices, critical success factors and learned lessons.
Researched CEOs include names such as
Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates.
The courses designed to provide experiential analysis from leading companies
such as AT&T, IBM, McDonald's,
Microsoft, Sony, Exxon Mobil, Boeing and Toyota.
The researchers also conduct a critical
analysis of the applications and limitations of popular management
practices, models and frameworks, including the works of the world’s
leading management gurus, such as Adams, Drucker,
Hamel, Kanter, and Maslow. The researchers then incorporate
findings into the
management education program to provide students with the latest
and most advanced thinking.
The education emphasizes critical thinking,
problem-solving and innovation far more than memorization.
Learning assessments are project-based vs.
There maybe a minor “common” body of knowledge but
there is no “fixed” body of knowledge due to the
continuously changing business environment (technologies,
markets and organizations). Courses and projects address up-to-date industry challenges and opportunities.
The Institute advisors will save
participant’s time and effort by focusing on best practices and
providing sample deliverables, checklists, decision models,
templates and resources.
How Does The Course
Participants have an advisor as opposed to
a teacher. The advisor's role is to help facilitate the
participant's professional learning and development. In part,
the advisor serves as a guide, coach or mentor. Sometimes the
advisor will validate participants’ management thinking and
sometimes s/he will act as an opposition party who will
critique, question and debate their management decisions.
In either case, this is done to help the participants test and
develop their critical thinking, decision-making methods and
All courses are a combination of seminars and
experiential workshops. They provide a quick summary of best
project work with emphasis on critical thinking, and managerial decision-making
There are no lecture notes, content to
memorize or Q&A tests. Instead, participants
are assigned a real-world application project such as
developing a new strategy or a business plan for a company of
participants' choice. They maybe assisted with templates
and decision-making checklists.
Course Delivery Method
Customization Request: Agreeing with
the advisor on the learning focus, course expectations, type of
industry/company and assessment project
Reading Assignment: Understanding essential concepts (Knowledge
Case-study Assignment: Management issues analysis (Learn by
Project Assignment: Real-world best practices application
Advisor Feedback: Reviewing participant's work and providing
improvement advice (Development)
How Long Does It Take?
Each course takes 1-4 weeks to complete. A General
Management program can take up to 6 months. The time variation depends on
the participant’s knowledge and experience.
Why is There a Substantial Difference in
Executive education is based on the executive action-learning
(EAL)* model. It is focused on management application rather
than academic theory; therefore, it is more efficient, and takes
less time to deliver.
Executive education is targeted towards
professionals who already have professional business experience.
Having a professional context makes learning faster and more
Executive education encourages the use of
past work experience in course case studies and project
assignments, thus utilizing past effort for better and quicker
understanding of the subject
The advisors are seasoned management
consultants who provide or guide the candidates to time-saving
resources such as checklists, templates and specialized
White Paper Notes:
Executive Action Learning (EAL) is a second generation model of
the famous "Action Learning" form of
“learning by doing” pioneered by Professor Reg. Revans about 50
This paper does not address undergraduate
management education, although several of its recommendations
may also apply to undergraduate programs, the paper mainly
addresses executive education.
About the Author
Med Jones is the president of the International Institute of Management, a best practices education and consulting organization. For more information about the Institute,
What are Executive White Papers?
Executive white papers provide
businesses and government leaders with a list of questions,
terminology and discussion points that can be used to address
emerging challenges and opportunities. Unlike academic papers, white papers are succinct
experiential work documents designed for problem solving and communication by the
leadership team. Depending on the scope of the paper, the document
structure may include three to five sections: 1). A statement of the
problem or opportunity 2). Analysis of root causes and underlying
forces 3). Proposed solutions and 4). A checklist of best practices
for solution implementation and change management 5). Notes and
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