Executive Development Blog

UNC Executive Development Rizzo Center History and Expansion

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 25, 2014 9:52:04 AM

With the opening of the Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center at Meadowmont, the Kenan- Flagler Business School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill unveiled the ideal executive education center. The latest developments in conference technology have been brought together in one setting – a perfect blending of innovation in a pastoral setting conducive to reflection and thought.


The Rizzo Center is a conference center comprised of three separate buildings: The Dubose House, Loudermilk Hall, and McLean Hall. The Dubose House is the social gathering center, Loudermilk Hall is the main education building, and McLean Hall is the residence building equipped with guestrooms for those participating in UNC Executive Development programs.

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On-Demand Leadership Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 20, 2014 9:11:55 AM

Read below, a summary on Jessica Brack's white paper discussing the potential of on-demand learning.

Unlocking the Potential of On-Demand Learning in the Workplace

Employees and employers face the same dilemma these days when it comes to keeping skills sharp; neither has the time nor the money to spend on long-term learning and development opportunities.

“It’s a real challenge,” notes Jessica Brack, managing director for UNC’s Executive Development program.  “There is a direct, positive link between providing meaningful learning and development opportunities to employees and job satisfaction--when you train employees, job satisfaction increases, as does employee retention. With budgets being so tight these days, training is too often the first place employers look to cut.”

“On-demand e-learning may be the answer to meeting tight budgets while still offering employees the training and development they need and desire,” reports Brack. Today’s e-learning takes advantage of technological advances to allow all participants to interact and collaborate with each other without the costs (like time, travel and accommodation expenses, etc.) associated with traditional classroom-style instruction. E-learning can save employees valuable time by eliminating travel time and offers much-needed flexibility because it can happen at any time and anywhere.


E-learning has rapidly evolved over the past decade, growing from a traditional, transfer-of-learning approach to include new technologies such as discussion boards, blogs, wikis and other social interaction tools that allow participants to engage with each other and their instructors.

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Topics: leadership, high-potential talent, learning and development, e-learning

Mabel Miguel on Teamwork and Leadership- UNC Executive Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 18, 2014 9:13:51 AM

UNC Executive Development has an edge on the competition for a multitude of reasons, one of those being the highly successful faculty members that teach and perform research there. Mabel Miguel first took on a role at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School as a doctoral student, and now she is a professor teaching executives and graduate students leadership and management courses. We asked Mabel for insights into her career, accomplishments, and experiences working with UNC Kenan-Flagler.

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Beyond Smiley Sheets: Measuring the ROI of Learning and Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 13, 2014 9:55:37 AM

Here's a summary of one of our white papers by Keri Bennington and Tony Laffoley:

Measure the ROI of Learning and Development

A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development found that evaluation of learning and development (L&D) programs was a top priority in organizations. Despite this finding, calculating return on investment (ROI) on L&D programs is seldom done, and too often, it rarely involves going beyond asking for feedback (e.g., “smiley sheets”) from participants immediately after the event.

Beyond Smiley Sheets 

Calculating the effectiveness of L&D programs can be a challenge, particularly when the programs involve the development of softer skills such as improved collaboration, decision making, innovativeness and the ability to think strategically—common learning objectives in many leadership development programs and a critical development area in many organizations. It can be difficult to assign a hard-dollar value to such skills, or to show a correlation between the learning initiative and acquisition of the targeted skills.

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Topics: talent management, talent development, learning and development

Getting to Know Chapel Hill

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 11, 2014 1:28:00 PM

Chapel Hill, N.C. is a town full of activity and local flair. It is a town with historic roots surrounding the establishment of the University of North Carolina in 1795. Since the development of the University, the town has expanded into a center for arts, music, education, and American cuisine. UNC-Chapel HillVisiting this cultured spot is sure to provide you with a memorable experience that can be tailored to your individual interests. Just minutes from Franklin Street, which is the true heart of Chapel Hill, is the Rizzo Center where UNC Executive Development hosts its executive learning and development programs.  Franklin Street provides entertainment to students, locals and visitors of the community. Restaurants, museums, bars, bookstores, and souvenir shops line Franklin Street awaiting daily visitors. There is much to be seen and experienced in this university town. 

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Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 6, 2014 12:11:00 PM

Check out this summary from a white paper by Jessica Brack:

Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace

They are known as Millennials, Gen Y, Gen Next, Echo Boomers, the Baby-on-Board Generation, Screenagers, Facebookers and the MySpace Generation, to name just a few. They are the nearly 80 million young adults born between 1976 and 2001 who have already joined or are preparing to join the workforce. By 2014, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of this generation and by 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be Millennials. The sheer number of Millennials combined with the increasing retirement of Baby Boomers means that employers will be facing leadership gaps and they will be looking to Millennials to fill those gaps.

By all accounts, Millennials are unlike preceding generations. They are tech-savvy continuous learners, team players, collaborators, diverse, optimistic, achievement-oriented, socially conscious and highly educated. Employers wanting to groom this group to be their organization’s next generation of top-level leaders must keep these attributes in mind when designing leadership development programs.


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Topics: Gen Y, talent development, millennials

Top-Ranking UNC Executive Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Nov 4, 2014 9:02:00 AM

Executive Development at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has been ranked in the top 10 customized executive education programs in the world for two consecutive years. Rankings provided by the Financial Times show UNC Executive Development ranked at #9 in 2014. Financial Times Executive Education Rankings 2014

The Financial Times Rankings
Executive education is defined by the Financial Times as non-degree program offerings designed for corporations and working managers. Programs are either available to all or are tailored to an organization.

The Financial Times executive education rankings are in their 16th year and rank the top 80 customized programs and top 70 open enrollment programs. The rankings are developed based on certain criteria that reflect the views of the participants and clients, the diversity of the participants and faculty, as well as the school’s international exposure.

In order to be eligible for a spot in the rankings, participating schools must have executive education programs with revenues of at least $2 million, and they must be internationally accredited. For the customized rankings, the schools must nominate clients to complete a survey about the program they took part in and their satisfaction with it. At least five clients must complete the survey for a school to remain eligible.

The Power of Experience
UNC Executive Development places at the top of these customized executive education rankings due largely to its focus on providing unique learning experiences for all participants. UNC's program design and delivery uses the power of real-world experience gained by the faculty, mixed with the knowledge and challenges that each client brings to the classroom. The teaching and learning philosophy that surrounds these customized programs is called The Power of Experience.

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Leadership Agility: Using Improv to Build Critical Skills

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Oct 30, 2014 10:37:44 AM

Check out this summary of Kip Kelly's white paper, Leadership Agility: Using Improv to Build Critical Skills:

Improvisation Can Help Leaders Be Agile, Respond to Change

To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, the only constant in life—and in business—is change. It is constant, inevitable and rapidly increasing. Business leaders know that their organization’s success will depend on agile, adaptable and innovative leaders who can respond quickly, confidently and effectively to change, and who can inspire others to do the same.

Developing these unique capabilities often requires a different approach to leadership development and is prompting some senior executives to embrace less conventional approaches. This is where improvisation—the art of performing without a script—can help.

Improvisation can be funny—think Wayne Brady, Tina Fey or Amy Poehler—but that is not necessarily the goal. Improv is about working off the top of your head, being mindful and reacting to those around you, and being entirely in the moment. It is also about honesty. It teaches people how to react, adapt and communicate openly and honestly with each other, skills that readily translate into the workplace.

Improvisation may be unscripted, but that doesn’t mean that it is without rules. These rules serve as guidelines for participants, and while seemingly simple on the surface, are more challenging in actual practice.

Tina Fey, writer, actor, and alumni of Chicago’s famed Second City and Saturday Night Live,outlined her rules for improv in her book, Bossypants. Her rules can be readily applied toward building better leaders in the workplace.

tina fey improv

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Topics: talent management, talent development, change management, leadership development

The History of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Families

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Oct 28, 2014 11:48:00 AM

Meet the Kenans
The Kenan family came to North Carolina in 1730 with a keen interest in education. When the first public state university was being discussed, James Kenan immediately lent his support and became one of the founding trustees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1793, he donated the princely sum of $50. Since then, six generations of the Kenan family have attended Carolina. 

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Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace - A Task for Talent Management

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Oct 23, 2014 10:07:05 AM

The following is a summary of a talent management white paper written by Kimberly Schaufenbuel, UNC Executive Development Program Director.

In today’s work world, we face multiple stressors, demands, and pressures, not to mention constant connectivity through smart phones, social media, and tablet computers. Consulting firm AON Hewitt estimates that 35 percent of U.S. employers in 2013 offered employee stress-reduction programs, and that estimate is expected to grow (AON Hewitt, 2013). 

Business leaders 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.


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Topics: employee engagement, executive development, emotional intelligence, leadership development, learning and development