Executive Development Blog

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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Accelerating Leadership Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 16, 2015 11:53:28 AM

A 2014 survey conducted by the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Human Capital Institute shed light on the current trends in business leadership as well as on expected leadership statistics in the coming years. In addition to these findings, the research gave a context useful to understanding leadership development and ways that organizations are attempting to accelerate this development. 

Generational Leadership Changes

The Problem at Hand

The research report indicated that the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation will greatly affect leadership capacities within organizations. Many Baby Boomers hold current senior leadership positions in their respective organizations, and as these individuals begin to retire at a more rapid pace, it will become difficult to fill their positions with qualified talent. Research findings indicate that over a quarter of respondents reported that 20 percent of senior leaders will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. The remaining employees who are younger than the Baby Boomer generation lack the years of experience and knowledge that the current leaders hold.  A dramatic shift in the workplace will occur as Baby Boomers retire and as more Generation Yers enter the workplace. 

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Located in the Heart of Chapel Hill

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 14, 2015 2:31:41 PM



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How to Build Trust in an Organization

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 9, 2015 11:02:55 AM

Organizations with high levels of trust have more productive workforces, better employee morale, lower employee turnover, and better financial performance than their industry peers. It is important for organizations to build trust not only with stakeholders and the public, but also internally with employees. UNC Executive Development takes a look at the benefits of high trust levels within an organization and recommends ways to help build or rebuild trust.

High-Trust OrganizationsHigh-Trust Organizations
Organizations with high levels of trust have three distinguishing characteristics: credibility, respect, and fair treatment. In high-trust organizations, employees see others, particularly those in management, as credible. Co-workers believe that individuals mean what they say and believe what they say to be true. They also believe that their co-workers are ethical in their business practices. 

In addition to credibility, high-trust organizations embody respect. Employers support professional growth and consider other employees points of view in their decision-making processes. 

Finally, employees in high-trust organizations believe they are treated fairly regardless of their position within an organization. 

The Benefits of Trust
Aside from identifying the three distinguishing characteristics present in high-trust organizations, a recent study found that greater trust within organizations also creates: 

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Mindfulness Techniques to Become a Better Leader

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 7, 2015 1:06:00 PM

Can practicing mindfulness really help you be come a better leader?  Or, is this just a recent fad and will pass once something new and exciting comes along?

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Topics: mindfulness

Building a Resilient Organizational Culture

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Apr 2, 2015 9:04:00 AM

Today’s business world is one that is turbulent and full of change. In order to succeed in this environment, organizations must be more adaptive and agile than ever before – they must be resilient. Organizations that lack resilience, that ability to bounce back after setbacks, are often stressful places to work, a situation in which far too many employers and employees are well versed. The good news is that resilience can be taught.

UNC Executive Development -Resilience

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The New L&D Executive: Chief Happiness Officer

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Mar 31, 2015 6:52:12 PM

Organizations with happier employees often show higher productivity, more open communication, and higher employee retention rates than those organizations with less-satisfied employees. Because of this inherent power that happiness seems to hold, some organizations are adopting a new executive position: Chief Happiness Officer. Organizations with a more open employee culture have shown interest in creating a position to help boost employee morale. Several companies, especially technology companies and startups, have already created the Chief Happiness Officer position. The position is designed for an individual who works to keep employees satisfied and improve the work environment. The ultimate goal of the executive is to create a sense of happiness among employees, which will then inspire better employee engagement, productivity, and retention.Chief Happiness Officer

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Lead the Way in Developing Your People

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Mar 26, 2015 9:49:00 AM

Developing talent is a long-term investment that must be executed by line leaders in an organization. HR organizations can help pave the way and increase the probability of accelerating development in an organization, but ultimately, line leaders are the talent builders of an organization. Three of the world's most accomplished Talent Management Practictioners, Jim Shanley, Corey Seitz, and Marc Effron, have found that there are about a dozen critical actions that all talent builders must take to ensure the development of their people. The following steps will benefit all leaders who are serious about managing talent effectively in their organization.


Below is an action plan that all talent builders should follow to build the best team:

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Professional Development Needed for Success

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Mar 24, 2015 12:05:40 PM

“C-suite-level executives see corporate learning as a primary driver for global business success. But that doesn’t mean learning leaders can go light on strategy, delivery and metrics,” reports Steve Fiehl of Chief Learning Officer magazine. Here is a summary of Fiehl's recent CLO article in which he summarizes a survey on that topic and makes the case that learning leaders should make creating a development-centric culture within their workforce one of their main objectives in order to lay the groundwork for success at a company wide level. 

Organizations Prioritize Professional Development 

The business environment today functions in a global, constantly changing climate, and for organizations to stay ahead of the game, they must invest in the development of their employees. In June 2014, C-level executives from top companies across the world were surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit to gain more knowledge on the correlation between workforce development and business outcomes. The survey included 295 executives from across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America in a variety of industries and top-level positions. The results of the survey found a few commonalities and one main trend: workforce leadership development remains a priority in today’s economic climate.Photo Credit: Chief Learning Officer

What L&D Will Incorporate in the Coming Years

The survey revealed that in the next three years, there will be a decrease in the emphasis placed on traditional leadership and communications skills while innovation, global mindset, social media literacy, and virtual team management will increase in importance. Developing a global mindset experienced the most significant increase for the next three years. Companies also reported that they will explore incorporating social training, TED talks, and MOOC’s as modern methods of delivery development.

Obstacles to Workforce Development

No surprise here  - insufficient resources tops the list of learning obstacles, tied with insufficient learning management systems. Something to take note of here, though - the third obstacle listed was insufficient engagement by HR and talent management professionals.

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