(MENAFN Press) (Kuwait City) Over 100 companies are participating in a global forum on executive education held in Kuwait March 20-21, 2012, in an effort to boost corporate learning in the region.
The first event of its kind to arrive in the Gulf, the Evolving Corporate Universities forum will promote continued learning in the workplace during the two-day event at Kuwait's Gulf University for Science and Technology.
After Africa, the Middle East has the lowest number of corporate teaching programmes of any continent in the world, underlining the forum's importance for sharing best practices in the field, including the entire cycle of developing a corporate university.
The event will provide companies with the chance to benchmark and share knowledge with some of the region's leading organisations involved in corporate university development. Topics will include: governance and regulation, leadership and management development, branding and alignment.
Jane Rennie, Director of Delivery Effectiveness and Senior Consultant at leadership and management consultancy FranklinCovey Middle East, will take sessions during both days of the forum. She says: "Despite executive education gaining in popularity globally, when Manchester Business School published a survey last year of over 500 human resources professionals and senior managers from companies in a range of sectors across the six GCC countries, it found over 60 per cent of organisations in the region are yet to engage in such programmes. This figure is very low when you consider nearly all companies in the US and Europe have some sort of executive education programme in place - the gap is clear for all to see.
"We're delighted to travel from the UAE to play a key role in this important forum. FranklinCovey's ethos is that we should never stop learning, so there's real synergy between what we teach in our leadership solutions and what this forum is trying to achieve."
Event organiser, Martin Simpkins, agrees the region is falling behind in executive education, which he says has gathered pace worldwide - but not in Kuwait and the wider GCC. "So far we've held this forum in five countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, with a further four planned this year and it's always well-attended. However, the level of interest for the Kuwait event has been extraordinary, which is a great sign for the region - which has traditionally lagged in this area - as there's clearly some momentum gathering here in terms of organisations investing in their people."
ECU Kuwait features a series of workshops taken by executive education providers with delegates including: existing heads of corporate universities and programme directors alongside chief learning officers and senior training managers of companies considering the establishment of their own academy.
Mrs Rennie, adds: "There are certainly gaps in the area of continued learning in the Gulf, but activities like this will demonstrate to the right people what can be done and how it can impact upon organisations' bottom lines “ which is the crucial factor in most business decisions.
"Corporations need to remain competitive during these times of increased austerity, ensuring they are educating, developing and retaining their people better than competitors. This forum is for identifying the gaps, working towards solutions and recreating the way we're doing things in executive education."
Pictured: Session leader Jane Rennie from FranklinCovey Middle East and ECU forum organiser Martin Simpkins