Executive Development Blog

The Benefits of Women in the Workplace

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Mar 14, 2017 1:57:47 PM

Nearly 50 years ago, The Personnel Administrator (the precursor to the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine) published the article, “Women at Work: One of the Most Controversial Issues of the Sixties,” by Dr. Daniel Kruger. The article examined the societal, labor and economic forces that were compelling women to join the workforce. As to why he wrote the article, Kruger noted that “our concern here is with the role of women in the labor force. We leave others to discuss the impact of working women on family life, mental health, juvenile delinquency, and on society as a whole.” (SHRM, 2008).

wib-1.jpgThe debate surrounding women in the workforce has shifted somewhat in 50 years, but it still continues. In 1964, women comprised nearly 40 percent of the U.S. labor force (up from 32 percent in 1948). Today, women make up 61 percent of the labor force and are attaining college-level degrees at a faster rate than their male counterparts [Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in U.S. Department of Commerce et al, 2011].

There are definite rewards for organizations that target women in their recruiting, development and retention efforts.  Take a look at our white paper on the topic titled The New Business Imperative: Recruiting, Developing and Retaining Women in the Workplace by clicking below.

Click to Download Full White Paper

UNC Executive Development offers a 3-day workshop on the above topics and much more for women in the workplace.  Click here to learn more about our Women in Business program.

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Topics: leadership, leadership development, learning and development

It Has Arrived! ideas@work Volume 12 Now Available.

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Jan 10, 2017 11:16:07 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 12 of our UNC Executive Development talent management journal is now available. 

ideas cover V 12.jpgideas@work - Volume 12 combines four of our most recent white papers as well as excerpts from a webinar with an industry leader. Here is a brief overview of each article:

  • Unlocking the Potential of Big Data: 10 Implications for Leaders
    Chris Hitch helps unlock the promise of big data analytics and details a 90-day action plan to help business leaders accelerate their strategic priorities by applying big data analytics.

  • Preparing Business Leaders for Digital Disruption
    Kip Kelly and Kimberly Schaufenbuel join forces to explore how digital disruption is forcing many companies to rethink their business models, and how as these companies adjust in response to digital disruption, they will need to think differently about talent management.
  • 7 Steps to Creating a Lasting Learning Culture
    In his paper, Horace McCormick examines the reality that employees at all levels and from all generations want and expect dynamic, self-directed, and continuous learning opportunities from their employers, and he offers 7 steps towards creating this learning culture.

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Topics: leadership, talent management, talent development, leadership development, learning and development

7 Steps to Creating a Lasting Learning Culture

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Oct 20, 2016 11:19:16 AM

Globalization, technological advances, demographic shifts, and rapid business changes make creating a learning culture in organizations more critical than ever. These shifts are also requiring more transformative approaches to learning as leaders struggle with ambiguity, uncertainty, and demands for greater transparency and knowledge. Organizations and individuals must be continuously learning, adapting, and improving or they risk professional obsolescence.

A learning culture is a systematic approach to establishing a personal and organizational growth mindset. It is a culture of inquiry. Organizations with learning cultures encourage employees to constantly add knowledge and develop competence. They encourage employees to have open minds and an independent quest for knowledge and shared learning because these qualities help achieve organizational goals.

learning.jpgTo create a learning culture consider taking the following steps:

1. Rethink the traditional learning and development approach.
It is time for leaders to realize that the way employees want to learn today—through mobile learning applications and other readily accessible online lectures, TEDTalks, webinars, and podcasts—has permanently changed the traditional learning and development process. Employees want more control of their own learning, making learning a continuous process, not one-time-only classroom style events. There is no substitute for the bonding and peer relationships that stimulate learning in formal classroom development, but organizations must integrate mobile learning applications and other learning-on-demand resources into their organizations.

2. Broaden your organization’s definition and understanding of intelligence.
A true learning culture must view intelligence as more than just cognitive skills. Leaders must expand their organizations’ intelligence perspective to include a deeper understanding of emotional and cultural intelligence. As organizations broaden their definition and understanding of intelligence, they must provide employees the necessary skills to manage and value differences in thinking, working, and problem-solving. Leaders must provide emotionally safe environments for people who are easily labeled as “different.” This is the most fundamental responsibility of an inclusive organization that wants to retain its talent.

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Topics: employee engagement, talent development, organizational culture, learning and development

Why Organizations Don't Learn - Webcast June 9th

Posted by UNC Executive Development on May 12, 2016 10:46:33 AM

While all organizations understand that continuous learning is instrumental to success, most would also agree that it is an ideal that is very difficult to achieve.  After ten years of research, Brad Staats of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, have concluded that there are four biases that stand in the way of continuous organizational learning.  In their HBR article “Why Organizations Don’t Learn,” Staats and Gino explain that organizations often don’t learn because people focus too heavily on success, are too quick to act, try too hard to fit in, and rely too much on experts.  In this webcast, Brad Staats will elaborate on these four biases as well as suggest tactics for overcoming each.

Join UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Bradley Staats for a live webcast discussing his research on:
“Why Organizations Don’t Learn” 

Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:00am (EDT)

Bradley Staats

Associate Professor of Operations, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business Schoolbrad.unc executive development.jpg

Brad Staats examines how organizations can improve their operational performance in order to build a generative competitive advantage. Dr. Staats integrates work in operations management and organizational behavior in order to understand how and under what conditions individuals, teams, and organizations can perform their best. His field-based research in such settings as healthcare and software services, consulting, call centers, and retail, uses archival data and field experiments to provide an interdisciplinary perspective. Prior to his academic career, he worked at a leading venture capital firm in the southeastern United States. He also worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and strategic planning at Dell Corporation. Dr. Staats received his DBA in technology and operations management and MBA from Harvard Business School. He received his BS with honors in electrical engineering and his BA with high honors in Plan II and Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin.

UNC Executive Development will be partnering with IEDP to deliver this webcast as part of their "Ideas for Leaders" series.


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Topics: talent development, leadership development, learning and development

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

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

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

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

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

Talent Management Webcast: How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program

Posted by Nancy Tannenbaum on Oct 2, 2014 9:49:15 AM

Join UNC Executive Development's Horace McCormick as he discusses how to launch a successful and sustainable mentoring program on an October 23rd 1PM (EST) webcast with Human Capital Institute. 

Horace and HCI will:

  • Discuss the benefits of effective mentoring programs and why more employers are embracing mentoring programs in their organizations;
  • Delineate the difference between coaching and mentoring;
  • Review various types of mentoring programs;
  • Offer steps HR and talent management professionals can use to launch successful and sustainable mentoring programs in their organizations, and;
  • Provide examples of mentoring programs being used in organizations today.

 Register for Webinar

The webcast will take place at 1:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, October 23, 2014.

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Topics: leadership, talent development, leadership development, learning and development, mentoring