Executive Development Blog

Looking Back: UNC's ideas@work Volumes 7,8,9

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 9, 2016 10:13:40 AM

We've spent the past few weeks revisiting our previous volumes of our talent development journal ideas@work. This journal has been developed to share some of the ideas and experiences we've gained from working with our partners and to highlight best practices from other organizations. Today, we'll revisit our most recent volumes 7,8, and 9. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to download a copy of our just released, Volume 10.

Click to Download Volume 10  


Volume 7  

  • Retaining Women in the Workplace
  • The Neuroscience of Leadership:  Practical Applications
  • Managing the Multigenerational Workplace
  • UNC Leadership Survey 2014:  How to Accelerate Leadership Development
  • Delusions of Employee Development





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Transforming the Traditional Performance Review Process

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 4, 2016 10:11:00 AM

performance_review.png“I’m a four.” “I got a three, but she got a five. It was her turn this year, I guess.” How many times have you overheard this type of conversation? Performance reviews are a tool, not a being, and yet on performance review day, this is how many employees feel. Studies have found that performance reviews are the second-most disliked work activity by managers after firing employees, and 86 percent of employers report being unhappy with their performance management. Other research has found that only 8 percent of HR executives thought their performance management systems made a significant contribution to employee performance. Universal dissatisfaction with the traditional performance management process is causing more and more employers—like Accenture, GE, Microsoft, Adobe, and Deloitte, to name a few—to very publically retire their old performance management systems of rankings and ratings in favor of less formal and more frequent performance discussions.

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Revisiting Our Talent Development Journal ideas@work Volumes 4,5,6

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 2, 2016 11:43:00 AM

Last week we explored our first three issues of our talent development journal ideas@work which you can view here.  It's great to see how relevant the topics still are today and how they have evolved in organizations over the past few years.  Today, we'll revisit volumes 4,5, and 6.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to download a copy of our newest volume, Volume 10 for yourself and team.  


Volume 4  


  • Beyond Smiley Sheets: Measuring the ROI of Learning and Development
  • Leadership Agility: Using Improv to Build Critical Skills
  • Talent Builders: Lead the Way in Developing Your People
  • Wired to Learn: How New Technologies Are Changing L&D Delivery
  • Ready to Serve: How and Why You Should Recruit Veterans




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Does Your Organization Have a Leadership Gap on the Horizon?

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 28, 2016 10:52:00 AM

Businesses today face a number of challenges to operate efficiently and maintain competitive advantage and it is often incumbent upon company leadership to provide the proper direction to help their teams navigate these challenges and adapt appropriately. Without a steady pipeline of talented individuals with the knowledge, skills and experience to step into leadership roles, or an effective process to identify high-potential employees and give them the necessary training to be effective leaders, the company will be unprepared to handle the changes and challenges of the future.

accelerateA large portion of Baby Boomers, who constitute 31 percent of the workforce, are either approaching or reaching the average retirement age of 61 and the traditional retirement age of 65. To ensure that companies can operate sustainably, in terms of grooming top performers to assume the leadership gaps left by retiring Baby Boomers, leadership development must be a top priority for human capital management today. It is especially pressing given data from the U.S. Census, which shows that an even larger portion of the workforce (33 percent) is made up of Millennials who were born from 1978 to 1989. By 2020, there will be over 86 million Millennials, representing nearly 40 percent of the workforce. With the growing division between the knowledge and experience of current leaders and that of future leaders, more employers are recognizing the need to close those gaps as a high priority.

Given this influx of younger and less experienced workers, now is the time for organizations to adopt effective strategies that will elevate their leadership development processes and help reduce the impending leadership gaps. So, what can organizations do to address this challenge?

UNC Executive Development and the Human Capital Institute conducted extensive research on the topic which can be downloaded in full below. The first section examines the current leadership development landscape. The second identifies the latest trends in development programs and the third recognizes the best practices for accelerating leadership development. By highlighting the most effective strategies for overcoming the challenges companies face in delivering the appropriate training and development, employers can build a qualified workforce of leaders ready to take their business to the next level.

Click to Download Full White Paper

Don't wait until it's too late to invest in your organization's talent. UNC Executive Development has a packed calendar this year of 2, 3, and 5 day leadership programs to take advantage of. View our calendar here.

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5 Years of our Talent Development Journal ideas@work

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 26, 2016 12:52:00 PM

When we published the first volume of ideas@work five years ago, we wanted to create a platform to share some of the ideas and best practices that we have learned by working with companies all around the world. We wanted to share the knowledge and perspective of our incredible team, many of whom have tremendous experience working in talent development for global companies before joining UNC. Most of all, we wanted to open a dialogue with you, and others like you, interested in leadership development and talent management. The response was overwhelming, with valuable feedback and great suggestions for research topics to explore. Thank you for all of your support.

It’s hard to believe that we just released Volume 10 of ideas@work!  I hope you’ve had the opportunity to download a copy for yourself and team.  In a three part blog series, we’ll take a look back on issues 1-10 of ideas@work.


Volume 1  


  • Making the Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success
  • Ready, Aim Coach: How HR Can (and Should) Coach Managers on Employee Problem Behaviors
  • Putting Success Back in Succession Planning
  • Passing the Torch: 5 Steps for Turning the Baby Boomer Brain Drain into a Brain Trust
  • Unlocking the Potential of On-Demand Learning in the Workplace



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Forward-Thinking Leadership Programs

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 19, 2016 11:46:10 AM

In today’s work world, we face multiple stress inducing demands and pressures as well as constant connectivity through smart phones, social media, and tablet computers. We are managing numerous fluctuating priorities, working with increased expectations, balancing competing demands for our personal and professional goals, and handling ongoing conflict and ambiguity in complex environments.  HR and talent management professionals are increasingly looking for ways to reduce employee stress, and many employers—like Google, Aetna, Target, and General Mills, to name a few—have found that introducing mindfulness into their workplace not only lowers employee stress, but improves focus, clarity of thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and more.

UNC’s Kimberly Schaufenbuel has done extensive research on the topic of Mindfulness and recently published an article for Harvard Business Review titled, “Why Google, Target, and General Mills are Investing in Mindfulness”. Many view these organizations as forward-thinking and the article takes a dive into the programs which are currently being developed.

Mindfulness is the essence of engagement. Being fully present — and allowing your team to be fully in the moment — will reap rewards on a personal and professional level.

So what do you think?  Has a mindfulness program worked in your organization or do you think one would?

Click here to download a copy of UNC’s white paper titled, Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace”.

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Why You Need to Focus on Leadership Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 14, 2016 12:11:02 PM

Aging Baby Boomers about to retire and the skills gaps noted by executives both point to a real need to focus on leadership development. A 2014 study conducted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and found that:

  • roi_tdThe vast majority (85 percent) of survey respondents said there was an urgent need to step up leadership development;
  • Only 21 percent of senior leaders were satisfied with their organization’s bench strength;
  • Only 25 percent of senior leaders thought their high-potential employees currently were ready to meet their future business needs, and;
  • Less than one-third (30 percent) of senior leaders believed their organization had a strong leadership pipeline (Filipkowski, 2014).

These findings should concern HR and talent management professionals. Studies show that it takes an average of 20.3 months to get high-potential employees prepared to assume a mid-level leadership position and 38.11 months to prepare them for a senior leadership position (Filipkowski, 2014).

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How Mindfulness Can Impact Workplace Behaviors

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 12, 2016 1:45:58 PM

In follow up to a recent blog featuring UNC Kenan-Flagler's Mike Christian titled, Is Your Leadership Style in the Moment, Christian sits down again with Strategy+Business to discuss the impact of Mindfulness on workplace behaviors.

Why do good employees do bad things at work? Controlling your impulses at work can be tough for even the best employees. When something happens which urges an individual to respond out of impulse and in negative nature, it can have dire consequences. How do we stop the cycle of retaliation? Mindfulness can offer a potential solution. Being less reactive to adverse events can often times lead to a better outcome for all involved. A leader who practices mindfulness is more engaged and thus likely to understand the needs of their employees. 

Mike Christian can explain it best. Check out the short interview….. 

Mike Christian, PhD, is an assistant professor of organizational behavior who focuses on understanding how energy, engagement, self-control and other self-regulatory processes affect behavior at work and how these factors dynamically relate to unethical behavior as well as desirable work performance.

Mike Christian teaches in a number of the Executive Development programs offered at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Don't miss these upcoming opportunities to learn from him:

Resilient Leadership
Leading and Managing Change
Executive Development Institute

Click to Learn More about UNC's Leadership Programs

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ideas@work Volume 10 Now Available!

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 7, 2016 10:14:16 AM

UNC's ideas@work journal has been developed specifically for business leaders who have an interest in talent management. Each volume of the journal contains a number of talent development white papers that highlight experiences and insights gathered from partners, our fellow organizations, and the UNC Executive Development team. Volume 10 of our UNC Executive Development talent management journal is now available. 

ideas@work - Volume 10 combines four of our most recent white papers as well as research from ICEDR on millennial women. Here is a brief overview of each article:


  • The Aging Workforce:  Four Steps to Maximize Older Workers in Your Workforce – Examines the aging workforce and its implications for companies, explores the myths surrounding older workers, discusses the advantages older workers bring to the labor force, and offers steps HR professionals can take to capitalize on older workers.

  • Designing Talent Management to Meet an Organization's Strategic Needs - Explores why many executives underestimate the value of having a strategic talent management process in place, defines talent management and frames it as part of the natural forces within an organization's life cycle, identifies the business factors that support the creation of a formal talent management process, and discusses how to achieve senior leader buy-in.

  • The Real Effects of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace – Discusses what unconscious bias is and its evolutionary process, identifies some of the common biases found in the workplace and their impact, and provides steps HR professionals can take to uncover and minimize the effects of unconscious bias in the workplace. 

  • Return on Integrity (ROI): How Acting with Integrity Improves Business Results – Discusses what integrity means, examines some of the causes of organizational ethical breakdowns, highlights why companies with high levels of integrity outperform their peers, and offers suggestions about how HR and talent management professionals can reinforce their organizations' integrity levels.

  • What Executives Need to Know about Millennial Women - ICEDR Survey Results – The International Consortium for Executive Development (ICEDR) conducted research to better understand what drives millennial women and has created an actionable framework that highlights what motivated millennial women value most.

For more details on the white papers and research included in ideas@work Volume 10, download the full version:

Click to Download Volume 10

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New Year, New Leadership Development Opportunities at UNC

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 5, 2016 11:52:24 AM

For over sixty years, UNC Kenan-Flagler has offered leadership development and business education programs designed specifically to help individuals reach their full potential. Our programs prepare business professionals at all levels with the knowledge and skills they need to think more strategically, make better decisions, and lead more effectively.

UNC Executive Development has an exciting calendar planned for 2016 which features a variety of new and updated programs. Programs range 2-5 days and are designed to support business professionals throughout their career. From new managers to senior executives and everyone in between, our programs attract working professionals who want to strengthen their business acumen and become better leaders. Individuals can create a unique learning experience by attending multiple programs to earn a certificate from UNC Kenan-Flagler. Visit our website for more details on our certificate programs.


Open Enrollment programs are led by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School faculty. Our faculty excel in both teaching and research and are fully immersed in the challenges of the business world. Their expertise extends beyond the classroom through their work in corporate and entrepreneurial settings, service on company boards, and consulting with organizations around the world. By bringing their real-world experience and research into the classroom, they help to create truly exceptional learning experiences for working professionals - focusing on practical skills and tools that can be applied immediately to real-world challenges.

Download our 2016 brochure to learn more and see which program is right for you.

Click to Learn More about UNC's Leadership Programs

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