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SMU-ExD Pedagogy

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SMU-ExD Pedagogy

Knowledge - Application - Empowerment

In line with the learning pedagogy of the University, SMU Executive Development (SMU-ExD) provides an integrated learning experience in order to achieve positive change in participants graduating from our programmes.


Knowledge at SMU

SMU faculty members are at the heart of the SMU-ExD's value proposition and are key players in all aspects of course design and delivery. Each programme uniquely draws from our community of over 300 faculty  across the six schools of SMU, plus over 100 external faculty, leadership coaches and project facilitators.

The programmes weave together those individual contributions to create high-impact integrated learning experiences which particularly emphasise real business experience; highlighting the insights from our practice-track faculty and affiliate-faculty industry practitioners with their deep personal experience of managing in Asia.


Application of Knowledge

Performance improvement of individuals and teams is the result of the application of the knowledge taught during the programmes. We offer our clients the option to design the learning journey of the participants as a blended experience of both knowledge learnng plus supported application to key business issues that the organisation is tackling.

  • Configure the learning process to directly address the business challenge
  • Interspaced short class-based learning modules with facilitated application to tackle relevant business issues
  • Facilitation support in addition to teaching modules and programme design


Business Impact Project
Application of Knowledge Directly to a Business Issue

The benefits of the Business Impact Project (BIP) can significantly increase the returns on investment.

  • Knowledge, skills and techniques are applied in practice thereby embedding understanding; facilitation further reinforces theories taught in class
  • Additional skills e.g. effective communications, management of cross-cultural and virtual teams, presentation skills and structured thinking are taught and practised
  • BIP delivers insights and recommendations for addressing real and critical business challenges
  • Motivation and engagement of the participants stay high as their outputs are directly relevant to a business issue


Empowered to Make a Difference

Value creation and personal fulfilment are amplified when teams and individuals are empowered to act and co-ordinate at new levels which set and exceed goals and are aligned with the vision of the organisation and their unit.

SMU-ExD offers an integrated suite of programmes to support the development of both the team and personal leadership and empowerment capabilities.


Leadership Assessment and Profiling
Identify individuals' leadership skills

Assessments are conducted at the beginning and periodically during the learning journey to chart personal development.


Personal Leadership Model
Increase personal influence and awareness of impact on others

SMU-ExD works wth individual participants to identify their personal model of leadership and supports them in becoming more effective.


Decision-making in Uncertainty and Ambiguity
Learn to make decisions in situation of uncertainty and ambiguity

Our case-based interactive programme (with simulations) teaches participants the need for adaptive reasoning and how a leader achieves long-term objectives while retaining short-term adaptability


Coaching and Mentoring
Build the next generation of leaders

Each participant is paired with a personal coach selected from SMU’s panel of qualified leadership mentors.


Effective Teams
Hone effective team-building skills

The SMU-Leadership Academy provides specific programmes for building and leading effective teams. In addition, an option for the Business Impact Projects is to include learning and practice of the skills and techniques of effective team building. Participants are taught, experiment with and apply skills for effective teams – learning to identify and understand the inter-dependence between roles, how to nurture trust, how to identify and influence the unwritten rules of the game, and how to listen and communicate effectively.


Cross-cultural and Virtual Teams
Create common tools, techiniques and language for collaboration

Participants learn techniques specific to situations of cross-cultural and virtual teams where there may not be common beliefs, experiences or contexts. Communication may be hampered by language and abbreviation, and body language is absent or confusing.


Peer Coaching
Reap the benfits of peer-to-peer coaching

A unique benefit of the learning journey is the incorporation of peer feedback. Online and in-person assessments chart the development of each individual throughout the programme, providing great insights for the participant and the development coach.