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Percept Research Attends 2018 UNICON Team Development Conference

Posted by Brian Mahoney on Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019
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Bill Scheurer (UNICON Executive Director) and Peter Hirst (MIT Sloan, UNICON Board Chair)Brian Mahoney of Percept Research, attended the UNICON Team Development Conference held November 28–30, 2018 by the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

This year's theme was " Executive Education & Beyond: Growth through Unique Partnerships." UNICON hosted sessions focused on thinking radically about the services offered by university-based executive education providers and how to collaborate with each other and competitors to continue to add value to the customers served.

Presentations, panel discussions, exercises and break-out sessions facilitated an exploration of how to be innovative and adapt to the increasingly crowded and competitive executive education landscape.

We are excited to share some of our learnings and experiences from the conference…

Tom Rochefort (Ivey), Andrew Wright (Ivey), Melissa Welsh (Ivey), and Brian Mahoney (Percept Research) Tom Rochefort, Andrew Wright, and Melissa Welsh (Ivey) with Brian Mahoney (Percept)

The conference hosted several sessions such as “Changing the Landscape of Marketing,”, “Leveraging Industry Disruption for Innovative Partnerships”, “Partners in Prosperity Ideas Opportunities and Resources for Coopetition,” and “Leveraging the Lessons of Experience Through Deliberate Practice.”

Tom R. Robinson, President and CEO of AACSB, also led a plenary session called “Lifelong Learning & Executive Education: The Future for Business Education” in which he discussed the impact of shifting currents effecting business education and business schools around the world.

Time to Talk Research!

UNICON Benchmarking Survey Results                                                                  

Eric Bergemann (MIT Sloan) and Markus Frank (University of St. Gallen) led a plenary session on the second day to discuss major highlights from 2018 UNICON’s benchmarking research. Working with Percept Research, the consortium conducts an annual Membership Benchmarking Survey of members’ schools to identify trends and highlight changes in the executive education industry. 

Eric noted that the consortium met a record high response rate with 90.1% of member schools completing the UNICON Membership Benchmarking Survey. Eric also pointed out the objective the benchmarking initiative is to provide a ‘credible, comparative, and confidential assessment’ of the membership. Markus presented findings regarding market size along with methods and services offered by university-based educative education programs, including open enrollment programs and custom programs.

Eric Bergemann (MIT Sloan) discusses benchmarking and announces record response rate in 2018

Deeper Drive of Executive Education Benchmarking Results

Markus Frank (University of St. Gallen) and Eric Bergemann (MIT Sloan), representing the benchmarking committee, additionally led two concurrent sessions for a ‘deeper dive’ into the executive education insights derived from the Membership Benchmarking Survey. During the sessions, Markus and Eric asked the audience for topics to explore in future benchmarking or research projects. Here are some of the interesting topics of exploration we heard during the sessions:

  • How are schools balancing investments in business development, new offerings, and upgrading systems/operations?
  • How are schools deploying technology to support digitization of face-to-face executive education programs?
  • What are the most effective marketing tactics in a global market for executive education?
  • How do schools determine the optimal balance of open enrollment to custom programs?
  • How are schools attracting foreign students to their executive education programs?
  • What is the current usage of digital badges?
  • How many schools (and how are they) are tracking degree alumni attending executive education programs?
  • To what extent do executive education programs utilize faculty compared to practitioners?
  • How are schools measure return-on-investment (ROI) for clients with accurate data?

Get ready for enlightening insights into executive education!Get ready for enlightening insights into executive education

Percept Research serves as the research partner to UNICON, a global consortium of business‐school‐based executive education organizations. Its community of member organizations is engaged in accelerating the development of leaders and managers, thereby enhancing performance in public and private organizations globally, through executive development initiatives.

The primary activities of UNICON include conferences, research, benchmarking, sharing of best practices, staff development, recruitment/job postings, information‐sharing, and extensive networking among members, all centered around the business and practice of executive education.

Percept Research conducts business school market research and consulting for over 250 schools worldwide. Consulting engagements include new program feasibility studies, brand positioning, return on learning assessments, and messaging strategy.

Percept Research also manages Return on Learning (ROL) studies to help schools demonstrate learning outcomes for participants in open enrollment as well as custom programs.

Benchmarking Session led by Markus Frank (University of St. Gallen)Benchmarking Session led by Markus Frank (University of St. Gallen)

The 2019 Team Development Conference will be hosted at the Silicon Valley Executive Center by Santa Clara University from November 20–22.

Want to see more photos from the conference?

Please check out more photos and videos from the Team Development Conference on the Percept Research Facebook page (and ‘like’ our page!). We would love to hear about your experience at the annual conference.

Looking to access the presentations provided at the conference?

You will find copies of the presentations from the 2018 UNICON Team Development Conference here.

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Topics: Brian Mahoney, Conference, UNICON, executive education