Executive Development Blog

Firms lack strategy to develop globally competent leaders

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 21, 2015 1:57:00 PM

The importance of globally competent leaders is recognized by the vast majority of organizations, but few have a strategy to provide the training needed to compete globally, according to a new study by the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Human Capital Institute.

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Their findings are reported in “Compete and Connect: Developing Globally Competent Leaders,” which examines how organizations develop global competence in their workforce. It is based on a survey of more than 300 HR and training and development professionals.

“A globally competent individual has the right attitude, knowledge, skills and functional business expertise to effectively work within and across cultures,” said David Roberts, a UNC Kenan-Flagler professor who teaches about effecting organizational change to achieve strategic goals for UNC Executive Development.

When asked about the qualities most important for leaders to work effectively in a global business environment, the top answers are:

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UNC Ranked Among Top 10 in the World by Financial Times

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 18, 2015 2:42:20 PM

Custom executive education programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School are among the very best in the world, according to a new Financial Times ranking.download-3

The Financial Times ranked UNC Kenan-Flagler No. 9 in the world and No. 3 in the United States for its customized leadership development and business education programs.

“We are dedicated to the partnerships we develop with companies to help them solve business challenges and develop the knowledge, skills and experience they need,” said Susan Cates, president of UNC Executive Development. “To receive this positive feedback from the clients we serve is truly gratifying and inspires us as we continue to collaborate with them to develop their future business leaders.”

UNC Kenan-Flagler also ranked highly in several individual categories, including:

    •          No. 1 for value for money
    •          No. 2 for faculty
    •          No. 3 for aims achieved
    •          No. 3 for new skills and learning
    •          No. 4 for program design
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Topics: executive development, leadership, UNC, Kenan-Flagler, executive education, leadership development

New Research and Webcast! Leading with Global Competence

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 14, 2015 3:43:00 PM

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and Human Capital Institute (HCI) have teamed together to research and understand the importance of global competence for local to transnational companies and how organizations are developing this ability in their leaders and in the entire workforce.

Join us for a webcast as we reveal results from the study and take questions from the audience. Registrants will receive a copy of the research report.

LIVE WEBCAST

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 2:00pm EDT
Register for Webcast
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Toxic Work Environments: What They Are and the Actions You Should Take

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 12, 2015 11:51:52 AM

The Environment You Observe

You work in HR for a company where the complaints are filing in. Every day a new employee brings up an issue regarding something or someone that negatively impacts the workplace. Letters enter the office detailing harassment from superiors, aggressive attitudes from co-workers, unfairness in the distribution of tasks, and a lack of integrity.It seems as though there are endless complaints, and it is clear that employees are becoming run-down because of the continuous issues. Daily observation of the working environment has led you to see the stress placed on employees and the drop that this causes in both the well-being of the individuals and the productivity of the company. From the compilation of complaints and personal observations, it is determined that you  work in a toxic work environment.

detoxify-the-environmentAcknowledging a Toxic Work Environment

A toxic work environment is one that is not conducive to a successful business. Toxic work environments can lead to extreme hostility and can even cause physical and mental illness in the employees subjected to this kind of environment daily. If there are signs of increasing discomfort and incivility in the workplace, it is important to recognize the dangers that these impose. 

As a human resources professional, it is essential to acknowledge when a toxic work environment is present. Both employees and employers look to you to maintain a stable and positive workplace. In order for a business to be as efficient and successful as possible, the work environment must favor the employees. It is known that productivity increases when employees are satisfied and happy. Surrounding negativity will discourage workers and cause less progress to be made. If signs indicate that your work environment is toxic, or is even on the road to becoming toxic, immediate acknowledgement of the problem is crucial.

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The Neuroscience of Leadership

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 7, 2015 10:35:20 AM

Leaders and HR professionals are continuously searching for better ways to engage, connect, and lead others. New advances in the field of neuroscience may help us unravel the physiology of leadership and effectiveness.  Although this emerging field is still in its infancy, new technologies have allowed scientists to develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the brain and behavior.

Understanding Leadership Through the Use of Neuroscience

The conventional definition of an effective leader is one who gets results, boosts the bottom line, and generally forces productivity out of his or her employees. Much of these results come from management practices that lower morale and decrease employee trust and motivation. With a window into neuroscience, today we have more insight into how to improve leadership behaviors at a lower cost to employees, and in turn, at a lower cost to an organization. Neuroscience has indicated that there is a link between effective leaders and resonant relationships with others. Additionally, neuroscience has identified a physical connection in the brain associated with trust, an emotion that is increasingly cited as a critical leadership trait to exhibit.Neuroscience Practical Applications

Applying Neuroscience Findings to Leadership Development

  1. Educate leaders about the link between the brain and the importance of building positive relationships with employees. Neuroscience shows us that resonant leaders open pathways in their employees’ brains that encourage engagement and positive working relationships.
  2. HR and talent managers can emphasize trust development in leadership development activities, and highlight the neuroscience behind why trust is so important.
  3. Encourage leaders to not dismiss their gut feelings. HR and talent management can share the science behind gut feelings and emphasize that while they are certainly not foolproof, they are worth paying attention to.

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Warren Baunach - a True Leader in Executive Education

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 5, 2015 9:20:40 AM

UNC Kenan-Flagler lost a leader in business education when Warren Baunach died last year.

Recognized as one of the world’s best in the executive education field, Baunach served as associate dean of executive education at UNC Kenan-Flagler from 1992 to 1999. He continued to teach in the UNC Executive Development and Executive MBA (EMBA) Programs through 2010.UNC Kenan-Flagler's Warren Baunach

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Does Your Organization Have a Total Rewards Strategy?

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 30, 2015 10:48:17 AM

Check out our newest white paper written by UNC's Horace McCormick

Rethinking Total Rewards

There is a perfect storm brewing in workplaces. The economy is recovering, business is picking up, and employers are hiring. At the same time, baby boomers are preparing to leave the workforce which will lead to leadership, skills, and knowledge gaps that could threaten an organization’s future. For the first time since the Great Recession, employers will be working harder than ever to retain and attract the best workers. These retention and recruiting activities have been traditionally housed with HR business partners and in the compensation domain of HR, but it is time to rethink these activities as part of a broader total rewards strategy.

total_rewards2 

Total rewards are the comprehensive monetary and non-monetary return employers provide employees in exchange for their time, talents, efforts, and results. These returns include health care services such as medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage, wellness offerings such as assessment and screenings, retirement benefits such as pensions, 401(k)s, retiree medical and life insurance, work-life programs such as paid and unpaid time off, dependent care, short-term and long-term disability, and flexible work schedules (Kwon and Hein, 2013). They also include base salary, bonus, stock options, variable pay, executive salary, and perks like company cars.

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Succession Planning Challenges

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 28, 2015 2:11:13 PM

As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, new generations will need to fill the leadership gaps left by these individuals; however, company leaders are finding that filling these spots may not be easy. 

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Issues Facing Succession Planning

In a 4/6/15 blog post, Bill Leonard of SHRM points out that employees in recent generations have different expectations for career paths and workplace structure than Baby Boomers - leading to an organizational struggle to fill senior positions. He cites a recent survey, the Global Workforce Leadership Survey which included over 1,000 HR professionals and over 1,000 employees, and reports that less than 11 percent of employees have hopes to hold a senior-level job at some point in their career. Other recent studies confirm this finding noting that a large majority of employees show little-to-no interest in taking on a senior management position. This lack of interest and enthusiasm for these positions has many organizations worried.  Leonard states that  “Approximately 60 percent of the HR leaders participating in the survey said succession planning has become a top organizational development challenge.” HR professionals feel that the future of organizations will be at stake if new methods in developing leaders are not defined.

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Making the Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 23, 2015 12:04:47 PM

Learning and development (L&D) initiatives provide a great return on investment now more than ever. With the proper focus and understanding of how L&D programs contribute to corporate profits, spending on training and development should be viewed as an investment with the potential for strong returns rather than as a disposable business expense. In the white paper Making the Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success, UNC Executive Development provides what steps are needed to make an organization’s L&D initiatives an essential business move.Learning and Development

Step One: Know Your Organization’s Strategic Priorities

Make it your business to know and understand your organization’s strategic priorities and keep these priorities in mind when developing your L&D programs:

  1. Read about your industry and organization on the Internet.
  2. Learn about your competition.
  3. Understand how your organization is rewarding its executives and how this compares to others in your industry.
  4. Learn how your company is viewed externally and what your customers are saying about you – both positive and negative. 

Gathering this knowledge will help you understand and anticipate where your organization needs to be in three to five years as well as help you communicate better with your top management professionals. Long-term goals are just as essential as short-term goals.

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Closing the Gender Gap in Executive Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 21, 2015 3:42:45 PM

The presence of women in leadership roles is trending upwards, but a clear gender gap remains. There is currently a balance of women and men in the workplace and in higher education, but there is a much lower percentage of women holding C-suite positions and participating in executive education. Business schools nationwide are addressing this gender gap.

The Gender Gap in Executive EducationGender Gap

A recent article in Forbes magazine, What’s Missing from Executive Education: Women, noted the low representation of women in many of the nation’s top executive education programs. This observation was sparked by a recent ad that was published for one of Harvard Business School’s executive education programs. The ad showed a professor teaching a classroom of well-dressed executives, and every person in the ad was male. While Harvard Business School does circulate additional ads with better gender representation, the all-male ad paints a picture of an actual problem that exists in the world of executive education.  The article reported that Harvard’s executive education programs consist of about 24 percent women and that MIT's programs have only about 17 percent women. The author surmised that this gender imbalance stems from the fact that there is a small pool of female executives to choose from and substantiated this conclusion with the fact that women hold less than 15 percent of Fortune 500 executive officer positions. Business schools have recognized the issue and are working to close the gap. Some business schools are even reaching out to CEO’s and encouraging them to send high-potential women to their programs. 

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