Executive Development Blog

Kip Kelly

Kip Kelly is Director of Marketing and Business Development for UNC Executive Development. He is also responsible for the portfolio of non-degree programs available through UNC Kenan-Flagler, including the Executive Development Institute.
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Recent Posts

New Research Project Explores Diversity, Inclusion & Culture

Posted by Kip Kelly on Feb 25, 2016 11:38:33 AM

2016 Diversity Competencies for Leadership Development Survey

How are organizations redefining the competencies their leaders need to manage a more diverse, globally distributed workforce? What qualities are they focusing on? How are leaders asked to support diversity and inclusion goals, and how is success measured?logo.png

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, in partnership with Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management and Workforce magazines are very pleased to invite you to participate in a survey that strives to answer these questions.

We appreciate any and all information you share with us. As a token of our appreciation, every respondent who completes the survey will receive a white paper summarizing the results of this unique research report.

Launch Survey

Thanks in advance for helping us to understand how organizations are preparing their leaders to meet the challenges of a more diverse workplace.

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Topics: leadership, leadership development, learning and development, diversity

Putting the "Fun" in Fundraising, One Pie at a Time

Posted by Kip Kelly on Nov 3, 2015 11:28:00 AM

unc chili cook offIf you've attended one of the leadership development programs here at UNC Executive Development, you know that we take our work very seriously.  You also know that we like to have fun, because if we're not having a good time, chances are good that you're not having a good time either.  We've been ranked among the best in the world for our faculty, program design, new skills and learning...but what you don't see in our rankings is the team behind the scenes.unc executive development pie toss 

I think we have one of the best teams in the business, and it is events like the latest SECC fund raising effort that make me proud to be a part of this team.  We've had a bake sale, a chili cook off, a penny drive and now a pie throw raffle.  It is great to see everyone involved, supporting the team, and supporting some worthwhile causes.unc bake sale

If you haven't attended one of our leadership development programs then I encourage you to explore the program portfolio on our website to find the program that is right for you. You can experience one of the best business schools in the world - with the best team in the business.

Hope to see you. 

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Topics: executive development, UNC, Kenan-Flagler, leadership development

Accelerating Diversity for a Better Bottom Line

Posted by Kip Kelly on Dec 9, 2014 10:43:00 AM

Below is an excerpt from a recent white paper written by Horace McCormick, a program director here at UNC Executive Development.  The paper explores the value of diversity and offers tips to help organizations leverage diversity to boost the bottom line.


Organizations rich in ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity are more innovative, creative, and demonstrate better decision making and problem solving, all of which leads to an improved bottom line (Philips, 2014). Josh Greenberg from The Multicultural Advantage website also notes that diversity boosts an organization’s adaptability because it helps employees generate a better variety of solutions to problems and allocation of resources than more homogeneous workforces. Diversity also helps employers more effectively offer a broader range of services because they retain employees with a deeper set of skills and experiences (like language and cultural understanding) that can give their organizations a competitive advantage by providing more effective services on a global basis (Greenberg, n.d.). Diverse organizations also foster a variety of viewpoints, and when CEOs and leaders really take heed, can generate better ideas that lead to improved creativity and innovation (Blanchard, 2014).

There have been a number of studies that demonstrate the benefits of workforce diversity. A 2012 study by business professors Cristian Deszo from the University of Maryland and David Ross from Columbia University found that having women at the top management levels led to an increase of $42 million in firm value. The study also examined “innovation intensity” and found that organizations which promoted innovation intensity experienced more financial gains when women were part of the top leadership team (Philips, 2014).

Diversity white paper from UNC Executive Development

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Topics: leadership, Gen Y, UNC, talent management, talent development, high-potential talent, leadership development, multigenerational workforces, learning and development, diversity

5 Leadership Lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted by Kip Kelly on Aug 7, 2014 11:18:22 AM

GuardiansoftheGalaxyTheatricalPosterGuardians of the Galaxy is the latest adaptation from Marvel Studios. Following in the footsteps of recent blockbusters including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers - Guardians is the tenth installment in Marvel's ever-expanding movie universe. Unlike these other films which feature some of the most well-known and revered superheroes, Guardians of the Galaxy introduces a relatively unknown intergalactic team. These misfits include an assassin, a warrior, a genetically engineered raccoon, and a talking tree. Their leader is a human named Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, who was abducted from Earth and raised by a group of thieves and smugglers.  They are an unlikely team - with more than a few rough edges - but somehow they come together to save the galaxy... offering several great leadership lessons along the way.

First, good leaders rise to the challenge. Peter Quill is not your typical hero. He's a liar, a thief, and sometimes he's kind of a jerk. He's sloppy and irresponsible. Overall - not a great role model. He is selfish, but he puts aside his own interests when duty calls. He rises to the challenge and finds a higher purpose. Many organizations look for star performers to fit a certain mold - and overlook those who don't. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes (though rarely talking trees or raccoons), and sometimes people will surprise you. Organizations need to provide an opportunity for these stars to shine. High-potential employees can learn and grow from experiences which require them to stretch. If you don't give them that chance, they will find it somewhere else.

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Topics: leadership, leadership development

UNC Executive Development Ranked Among Top 10 in the World

Posted by Kip Kelly on May 12, 2014 12:09:00 PM

Financial Times Executive Education RankingCustom executive education programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School are among the best in the world, according to a new ranking by the Financial Times.

The Financial Times ranked UNC Kenan-Flagler No. 9 in the world and No. 4 in the United States for its customized leadership development and business education programs that help organizations address business challenges.

UNC Kenan-Flagler also ranked highly in many individual categories, notably as No. 3 in the world for value, No. 4 for both faculty and program design, No. 5 for new skills and learning and No. 6 for aims achieved.

“The new Financial Times ranking of our work in leadership development and executive education is a confirmation of our commitment to the companies with which we collaborate,” said Susan Cates, president of UNC Executive Development. “We recently celebrated 60 years of executive education at UNC Kenan-Flagler, and these rankings reflect our legacy of excellence. The Financial Times methodology focuses heavily on the feedback from the clients we serve and we are honored that they have ranked UNC Kenan-Flagler among the best in the world for the value we bring to their organizations. We are privileged to work with so many great organizations to help them to develop their future business leaders.”

UNC Kenan-Flagler partners with a wide variety of organizations from all over the world, said David Leonard, executive director at UNC Executive Development. “We collaborate with their business leaders to help solve business challenges and develop the knowledge, skills and experience they need to succeed and knowing that they value our work together is extremely gratifying.”

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Topics: executive development, leadership, executive education, leadership development

Leadership Exercises to Build a Resilient Organizational Culture

Posted by Kip Kelly on Apr 16, 2014 10:10:00 AM

Below is an executive summary from a white paper written by Marion White, an Account Director here at UNC. To download the entire paper, click here.

A recent Towers Watson study found that in most organizations, only 35 percent of employees said they were engaged. In other words, 65 percent of employees have mentally checked out, causing productivity, innovation, and creativity to plummet. 

While this is never good news for employers, the timing could not be more critical as organizations across the globe continue to struggle to survive. Thought leaders are increasingly calling today’s turbulent business world a “VUCA” environment—one that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 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. 

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Topics: VUCA, UNC, talent management, burnout, leadership development, organizational culture

Leadership Development Research - Live Webcast May 15th

Posted by Kip Kelly on Apr 3, 2014 9:00:00 AM

We recently partnered with the Human Capital Institute (HCI) to explore how companies accelerate leadership development.  This research project sought to understand the current climate of leadership development including budgets, leadership competencies and anticipated changes for the future. The survey was completed by 378 HR and L&D professionals in February of 2014.
Join us May 15 at 1:00 pm EST as we share results from the study and take questions. 

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Topics: leadership, talent management, talent development, high-potential talent, leadership development

The Recipe for Long-Term Career Success

Posted by Kip Kelly on Mar 25, 2014 3:11:32 PM

There’s a simple recipe for long-term career success, with three main ingredients: knowledge, experience, and reflection.  On the surface, this sounds pretty simple.  You’re constantly collecting new knowledge and experience throughout your career. Don’t be fooled.  There’s a big difference between hoping you will gain the knowledge and skills you need and proactively pursuing the development opportunities that will ensure long term success.  You need to take control of your future, and that means developing a strategy that will enable you to reach your career goals.

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Topics: executive development, leadership, executive education, talent development

The Neuroscience of Leadership: Practical Applications

Posted by Kip Kelly on Mar 20, 2014 1:55:00 PM

Check out the summary of our new white paper by Kimberly Schaufenbuel:

The Neuroscience of Leadership

Management practices such as the open-book management approach encourage employers to practice open communication and transparency with employees to improve trust, teamwork, employee motivation, and performance. Studies evaluating the effectiveness of these methods show that they can also improve a company’s bottom line. Until recently, though, we did not understand the science behind these practices. Thanks to the field of neuroscience, technological advances in functional magnetic imaging (fMRI), and a 2013 commitment by President Obama to support a brain-mapping initiative to help us understand the workings of the brain, we are beginning to see the physical link these and other management practices have to the brain.

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Topics: leadership

Meet UNC's Al Segars

Posted by Kip Kelly on Mar 18, 2014 1:02:00 PM

segars_portraitI often receive questions about which UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School faculty members will be leading our flagship program, the Executive Development Institute (EDI). This Spring, we are excited to start the 2 week program off with UNC's Dr. Al Segars, RBC Centura Distinguished Professor and Chair of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Take a look at this profile and video of Dr. Segars for some insight into his engaging personality, diverse interests, and passion for teaching about the strategic changes organizations and individuals can make through technology and business innovation.

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