WIP Stephen Bailey

Using technology to democratize how employers find leaders and grow careers

A conversation with Stephen Bailey, co-founder & CEO, ExecOnline

Last month, I attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show, CES in Las Vegas, and there I met innovators with tech solutions for workforce challenges, including Stephen Bailey. He’s the co-founder and CEO of ExecOnline and my guest on this week’s Work in Progress podcast.

ExecOnline is a leadership development platform that uses technology to democratize how companies build their talent and grow careers. Forbes magazine named the company as “a tech company to watch.”

Bailey starts by explaining how clients use their technology to broaden the talent pool when it comes to recruiting talent for leadership roles.

“We work with large organizations that have typically thought about leadership development as something that is metered resource. It’s a limited number of folks. It has to be done in person. And, therefore we have to figure out who are the privileged few that get access to this really valuable resource.”

Bailey says the ExecOnline platform allows the companies to connect with candidates that might not normally have access to the leadership development tract. Once chosen, those candidates get tailored coaching from many of the world’s top coaches for the needs that they have in the organization.

Here is some of what he tells me.

“Our mission is to connect all leaders to their future potential. When we started the company, what we were really focused on is providing much more inclusive and representative leadership in organizations, those mobility pathways. ExecOnline has democratized that access and says you can provide that to everyone and if you provide it to everyone, it’s not only the right thing to do in terms of providing much more equitable leadership, to your point around mobility, but it’s also good for business because it significantly increases the pool of talent that organizations are tapping into.”

“The way I like to frame it to other CEOs is to say, ‘Look, it used to be okay to only tap into 30% of the leadership potential in an organization. But, now that we’re in a world where organizations are starting to recognize the value of diversity, those organizations are tapping into 100% – women, underrepresented minorities represent 70% of the population. If you’re not doing that, you can’t compete in this new economy.'”

“I think it’s partly culture. It’s also partly where you invest and the access you provide. Organizations are now saying we need much more diversity in our leadership and in our organizations more broadly. They’re also saying we need to think about virtual work in different ways and be able to engage employees globally in ways that maybe didn’t exist before COVID. The convergence of those two things is really why ExecOnline is helping organizations fundamentally rethink how they provide development to their leaders.”

Bailey and I also delve into how technology is helping the classroom intersect even further with workforce development.

You can listen to the podcast here, or look for it wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 263: Stephen Bailey, co-founder & CEO, ExecOnline
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0
Download the transcript for this podcast here.
You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts