Executive Development Blog

How Leaders Can Influence Others to Drive Change

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 9, 2017 2:16:40 PM

Imagine you are heading up a taskforce that consists of five of your peers from sales, marketing, research and development, operations, and human resources. The chief operating officer has asked the taskforce to come up with a solution to an organization-wide problem that has plagued the company for the past 48 months. The issue needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.

influence change.png

As a leader in the organization, you have consulted with dozens of people inside and outside of your organization. You’ve done more research on this than anyone else on the taskforce and have the knowledge, skills, and proven track record to effect change. How will you effectively communicate your proposed solution to the other taskforce members? What can you do to get them to see the value of your ideas?

Obtaining buy-in from managers at all levels is critical when proposing a change initiative because, while it may rapidly improve an organizational problem, there is also the risk of hitting the bottom line and lowering employee morale if the initiative fails.

To increase the likelihood of getting your recommendations taken seriously and implemented, you, as a leader, must have effective influence skills.

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Topics: leadership, change management, leadership development, change

How to Create an Organization that Embraces Older Workers

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 2, 2017 1:26:15 PM

Despite the advantages of older workers, many U.S. employers undervalue this segment of the population – and remain in denial about the need to engage these workers. The 2015 SHRM survey on the aging workforce found that U.S. employers are unprepared for the reality of their aging workforces. Only one-third of survey respondents said they had examined their policies and practices to address older workers, and 20 percent of survey respondents said they had examined their organizations and determined that no changes in policies were needed. Only half of survey respondents said they tracked the percentage of workers eligible to retire within the next one to two years, and only 17 percent of survey respondents said they had analyzed the impact of workers age 55 and older leaving their organizations in the next six to 10 years. About half of the survey respondents said they didn’t think the potential loss of talent would impact their organization or industry (SHRM staff, 2015).

aging.pngThe SHRM survey found that employers seem, on the whole, unconcerned and unprepared for the realities of an aging workforce. For those employers who had taken steps to prepare for the potential skill gaps that will inevitably occur when older workers leave the organization:

  • 42 percent had increased training and cross-training;
  • 33 percent had developed succession plans;
  • 17 percent had developed processes to capture organizational knowledge, and;
  • 15 percent had stepped up recruiting efforts to replace retiring employees (SHRM staff, 2015).

This lack of urgency and short-sightedness on employers’ parts will leave many organizations at risk. Employers must assess their workforces now to identify the knowledge and skills that they may lose as a result of retirement and develop strategies to fill critical roles and facilitate knowledge transfer. Organizations must become more proactive in embracing this massive demographic shift and create a more effective plan to recruit and retain older workers. HR and talent management professionals should consider the following steps:

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Topics: multigenerational workforces, change

Developing Leaders in a Competitive World

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jun 14, 2016 12:19:41 PM

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.

For over 60 years, UNC Executive Development has partnered with organizations to create customized executive development programs to answer their business challenges. As a part of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC Executive Development brings the School's experience, reputation and noted faculty to these challenging and impactful programs. Download this brochure for a brief summary of UNC Executive Development's custom and open-enrollment executive education capabilities. 

We're always updating and adding new programs to our calendar. Click here to see what's currently scheduled.

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Topics: leadership, talent development, change

Closing the Gaps in Leadership Development

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Sep 11, 2014 1:22:00 PM

The following is a summary on a white paper Brigitta Theleman wrote.

Closing the Gaps in Leadership Development

“Simply put, successful organizations have strong leaders,” says Brigitta Theleman, director for UNC’s OneMBA program. Organizations with strong leaders outperform other organizations in workforce retention, employee engagement, and organizational performance (including financial performance, customer satisfaction, service quality and productivity).

Unfortunately, identifying the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) needed in strong leaders and creating corporate cultures that encourage the development of these is a challenge for which many organizations struggle; only about two-fifths of respondents to a recent American Management Association survey agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that their “leadership development program is highly effective.”

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Topics: executive development, leadership, leadership development, change

How Leadership Can Build a Resilient Culture

Posted by Chad Vamos on Aug 21, 2014 11:01:31 AM

Below is a summary of a white paper written by Marion White

Building a Resilient Organizational Culture

A 2012 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. 

Stress lowers employee performance, productivity, morale, and strains workplace relationships. People experiencing excessive stress have difficulty managing emotions, focusing attention, making decisions, and thinking clearly. Stress can also result in heart disease, cancer, pain, and depression. Stressed employees are overwhelmed, tired, and disengaged. 

Resilient employees, on the other hand, are more engaged and productive, have improved communication, are better team players, and have lower health care costs. And a growing body of research shows that organizations that foster positive attitudes have employees who are more optimistic, creative, and experience lower turnover.    

Organizational Culture

Resilient organizational cultures give all employees—from the CEO down—permission to take care of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs with the understanding that when these needs are tended to, resilience occurs, and the entire organization benefits through increased productivity, job performance, retention, engagement, and physical well-being. It makes sense, then, that HR and talent management professionals should strive to shift their organizational cultures to one that embraces and fosters resilience.

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Topics: employee engagement, leadership, organizational culture, change