Executive Development Blog

UNC Ranked Among Top 10 in the World by Financial Times

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 18, 2015 2:42:20 PM

Custom executive education programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School are among the very best in the world, according to a new Financial Times ranking.download-3

The Financial Times ranked UNC Kenan-Flagler No. 9 in the world and No. 3 in the United States for its customized leadership development and business education programs.

“We are dedicated to the partnerships we develop with companies to help them solve business challenges and develop the knowledge, skills and experience they need,” said Susan Cates, president of UNC Executive Development. “To receive this positive feedback from the clients we serve is truly gratifying and inspires us as we continue to collaborate with them to develop their future business leaders.”

UNC Kenan-Flagler also ranked highly in several individual categories, including:

    •          No. 1 for value for money
    •          No. 2 for faculty
    •          No. 3 for aims achieved
    •          No. 3 for new skills and learning
    •          No. 4 for program design
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Topics: executive development, leadership, UNC, Kenan-Flagler, executive education, leadership development

Leadership Tips for Women in Business

Posted by Nancy Tannenbaum on Jul 31, 2014 8:48:07 AM

Women business owners and working women face certain challenges and obstacles that men do not. This is not meant to be an inflammatory statement, just a factual one.  Women still encounter gender discrimination and stereotyping in business and on the job, and working women who have children experience unique demands on their time, energy, and resources.  And while women are certainly not the only ones facing challenges in the workplace, this blog post will offer five ways to help women succeed, despite their many challenges.


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Topics: leadership, UNC, executive education, talent development, leadership development, learning and development

Talent Management: How to Accelerate Leadership Development

Posted by Nancy Tannenbaum on May 15, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Check out this executive summary of our newest talent management white paper which summarizes findings from the UNC Leadership Survey 2014: How to Accelerate Leadership Development.

Accelerating Leadership Development Research

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an eye-opening statistic: by the year 2020, a quarter of the workforce will be over the age of 55. As large numbers of Baby Boomers retire, organizations are facing the difficult challenge of replacing senior talent with qualified incumbent employees. The remaining younger employees lack the years of experience and knowledge of their predecessors. According to recent research, 47 percent of survey respondents highlight gaps knowledge between current and future leaders as an important issue in their organizations. This shortage in qualified leaders in the midst of impending retirement places pressure on organizations to develop employees into qualified leaders and to do this at a faster rate. In addition, as the pace of change in our knowledge economy continues to increase and the global leadership learning curve becomes longer, there is a need to accelerate the development of leaders. How are organizations developing the knowledge, skills, and experiences of its future leaders to overcome this deficit?

In this signature research, conducted in partnership between the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Human Capital Institute, we investigate ways organizations are accelerating the development of their leaders. From a sample of HR professionals, we can understand the current climate of talent development, including budgets, leadership competencies and anticipated changes for the future. 

The following results were revealed:


  • Organizations are concerned about their leadership bench strength, as 85 percent agree that there is an urgent need to accelerate the development of their leaders.
  • Over a quarter of organizations report that 20 percent or more of their employers will reach the retirement age within the next five years.
  • Senior leaders are not satisfied with current bench strength and are concerned that their high-potentials are unable to meet future business needs. Only forty percent report that their high-potentials can meet future business needs.
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Topics: executive development, executive education, talent management, talent development, high-potential talent, 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

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

Leadership Development, Mindfulness & the Key to Happiness

Posted by Kip Kelly on Feb 27, 2014 9:30:00 AM

What is the secret to happiness?  Turns out, there's an app for that.

Five years ago, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, which prompts users to report their feelings in real time.  Here's how it works: users receive a text or email asking to record what they are doing and how they are feeling at that moment.  The app records these responses over time and creates a personalized "Happiness Report" which details what activities are associated with greater happiness.  In addition to providing the individual, personalized report, the app collects data that fuels Killingsworth's research at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  To date, over 35,000 people have participated in the study.

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Topics: executive education, emotional intelligence, burnout, mindfulness, stress

What Does Employee Engagement Sound Like?

Posted by Kip Kelly on Oct 11, 2013 3:06:00 PM

Earlier this year, Gallup released their 2103 report, State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide.  The report includes some troubling insights, prompting legitimate concerns about workplace productivity and employee retention - and encouraging many companies to look for solutions to improve employee engagement.

So what is employee engagement? Employee engagement measures whether you feel invested and committed to your job, and whether you're motivated to contribute to the success of your organization. Gallup identified three categories of employee engagement: Engaged, Not Engaged, and Actively Disengaged. "Engaged" employees feel inspired by their work, with a sense of passion and commitment to their company. Then you have those who are "Not Engaged" - they have checked out, putting in the time but not the energy or enthusiasm.  Finally, you have the "Actively Disengaged" - employees so unhappy that they are actively undermining the success of the organization. According to a recent Gallup study, only 30% of employees are Engaged, and the other 70% are Not Engaged (50%) or Actively Disengaged (20%).

Note that employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction focuses on whether you are content with your job and work environment. In contrast, employee engagement focuses on whether you feel committed to your work and your employer. Employee engagement is a measure of whether you feel inspired and passionate about your work; it is about feeling energized and enthusiastic about your contribution to the organization.

They say music is what feelings sound like - so what does feeling engaged sound like?  It's hard to say, but guaranteed it is a positive, feel good anthem.  Engaged employees may be singing James Brown's "I Feel Good" or maybe The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited".  Younger workers may relate more to U2's "Beautiful Day" or maybe the Owl City/Carly Rae Jepsen collaboration, "It's Always a Good Time".  You get the idea. Those who are Not Engaged may be feeling more like Dolly Parton's "(Working) 9 to 5" or maybe Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend."  Meanwhile, you're Actively Disengaged may be plotting to the tune of "Take This Job and Shove It."

It is important to recognize that every company is different and every employee is unique. What inspires and motivates one person may have no impact on the next. Extrinsic factors, like salary and bonus, can reward performance - but engagement is often driven by more intrinsic motivation. Employees will go above and beyond when they find the job to be personally rewarding.  This suggests that companies hoping to improve employee engagement should avoid a one-size-fits-all solution, and adopt a more dynamic approach that will be relevant to different employees in different ways.  For example, the Gallup report identifies a number of generational differences with regard to employee engagement.

According to Gallup’s research, the generations at the beginning and the end of their careers tend to be more engaged than those in the middle of their careers. That means Baby Boomers on the verge of retirement are more inclined to be sing along to the Turtles' "Happy Together" or the Beatles' "Getting Better" instead of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". Generation X on the other hand, in the middle of their careers, may be making a mixed tape featuring the Talking Heads' classic "Life During Wartime" or perhaps REM's "Its the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Actively Disengaged)."

Millenials, at the beginning of their careers, may have Taylor Swift's "Stay Stay Stay" blasting on their iPods, but the Gallup research says they are also the most likely of all generations to say they will leave their jobs in the next 12 months if the job market improves.  So, they may be changing their tune to "We are Never Ever Getting Back Together".

So, what does employee engagement sound like in your organization? Let us know.  #workanthem

You can also download one of our recent white papers on employee engagement if you want to read more:

Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement

Focusing on Employee Engagement: How to Measure and Improve It

Embracing Open–Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability

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Topics: employee engagement, actively disengaged, executive development, leadership, Gen Y, executive education, HR

Leadership Development Challenges for Gen Y

Posted by Kip Kelly on Sep 10, 2013 9:34:00 AM

A new research study from EY reveals a significant increase in Generation Y moving into management over the past 5 years.  87% of Gen Y managers moved into the role between 2008 and 2013, and dramatic increase over the previous 5 years. The increase is somewhat predictable as Gen Y (age 18-32) gains the knowledge and experience needed to fill the widening talent gap as Baby Boomers move into retirement.  However, the research reveals a number of challenges and opportunities for this generation of managers.

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Topics: EY research, leadership, Gen Y, UNC, Kenan-Flagler, executive education