Business environments are now frequently described as VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The COVID–19 pandemic breaking out and spreading globally in 2020 serves as a case in point. Strategies, business models, tactics and plans set for the year were challenged. In this situation, executives around the world did not suffer from insufficient general knowledge about strategizing, business modelling or planning. This book posits that what practitioners and their organizations needed to survive and thrive is practical wisdom. Executive education institutions play a key role in supporting an executive’s learning.
Embarking on exploratory research and journey of discovery, this study addresses the crucial questions of how do build practical wisdom in executive education and how do executive education course participants perceive the process of developing practical wisdom in business schools? The research adopts a constructivist grounded theory design and relies on in-depth interviews as the foundation for an emerging substantive theory. It portrays a three–act process and six concrete steps within them to explain how study participants grew their practical wisdom. The book and the presented research contribute to both the academic body of knowledge on how to learn better as well as how to add more value in executive education. Regarding practice, business school leaders and faculty members benefit from this research by critically comparing their approaches to the proposed model in order to trigger improvements. Finally, the individual program participant can gain a better understanding on how to learn faster and in more directions, which contributes to a better return on investment (ROI) and return on education (ROE). It also prepares the learner more adequately for this VUCA world.