UNC Kenan-Flagler Blogs

Author Archives: Heather Harreld

Fours ways to bolster your onboarding program

“Just be yourself” may sound cliché, but for managers looking to train more effective employees, it’s a piece of advice worth incorporating into the orientation process. UNC Kenan-Flagler assistant professor Bradley Staats studies the onboarding process, the period of orientation and socialization that occurs during a new hire’s first few days on the job. During this time companies typically focus on skills training and building pride in the organization. However, Staats’ latest research has revealed that emphasizing self-expression and personal, rather than organizational, identities may create more beneficial outcomes for firms. Orientation programs with a more individualized approach result in lower turnover rates, greater job satisfaction and improved operational performance down the road. “By following these four principles of personal Read More

Insights Into Innovation: Why Organizations Must Innovate

Sridhar Balasubramanian – also known as “Dr. B.” – is associate dean of the MBA Program, the Roy & Alice H. Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar and professor of marketing at UNC Kenan-Flagler. He is a widely published and cited researcher. Below, read his insight into innovation, the first in a five-part series with UNC Kenan-Flagler professors. Why is it important for an organization to master innovation? There are multiple reasons why it is important for organizations to master innovation.  First of all, the world is becoming increasingly competitive.  Fifty years back you only talked about competition from your local region.  Today, you produce a product, you try to patent it, but within about six months somebody … some company in Read More

5 Tips for Doing Business in China

By UNC Kenan-Flagler writer Brooke Shaffer UNC Kenan-Flagler Associate Marketing Professor Nicholas Didow Jr., offers advice about what companies should consider before jumping on a plane to do business in China. Recognize the importance of relationships. Guanxi, which literally translates to “relationships,” refers to the networks of personal connections that are necessary for foreign firms to establish themselves and succeed in China. For example, when the Californian media and communications firm DMG decided to enter the Chinese market, it realized it would need these personal connections to foster citizens’ trust and support. By aligning itself with two well-respected and well-known figures, elite gymnast Bing Wu and political leader Peter Xiao, the company was able to prove its trustworthiness to consumers Read More

How leaders can succeed in an increasingly volatile, complex landscape

The below is an excerpt of a white paper by Kirk Lawrence, program director at UNC Executive Development. In The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman notes that the rate of change today is much different than in the past. “Whenever civilization has gone through one of these disruptive, dislocating technical revolutions—like Gutenberg’s introduction of the printing press—the whole world has changed in profound ways,” he writes. “But there is something different about the flattening of the world that is going to be qualitatively different from other such profound changes: the speed and breadth with which it is taking hold….This flattening process is happening at warp speed and directly or indirectly touching a lot more people on the planet at once. The Read More

Knowledge & Leadership: Alum launches burn center from business school plan

Scott Hultman (MD, FACS, MBA ’08) graduated from UNC Kenan-Flagler with a ready-to-implement business plan that served as the foundation for the new UNC Burn Reconstruction and Aesthetic Center. The center, which opened in the fall of 2012, has created a space for UNC Health Care to conduct cutting-edge burn reconstruction research and develop new burn scar treatments that are giving patients life-changing results. Hultman, who has been a practicing plastic surgeon at UNC for 13 years, said that there was a strong interest in creating an aesthetic surgery center at the university as early as 2001. However, an original marketing analysis for the project predicted a whopping $20-million price tag that neither the UNC School of Medicine nor UNC Read More

Alum: Successful consulting is about client leadership

By UNC Kenan-Flagler writer Brooke Shaffer As part of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s new Consulting Speaker Series, Stu Pearman (MBA ’94) shared his experiences as a partner at the ScottMadden management consulting firm with students. Pearman, who is also an adjunct professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler, teaches courses in consulting and leadership. Nineteen years in the industry have taught him that these disciplines are closely intertwined, and during his lecture on Jan. 30, Pearman said that successful consulting is more about client leadership than problem-solving. “Consulting is the process of helping clients think and act differently so that they’re more successful,” said Pearman. “Often their biggest problems are their biggest opportunities for change.” The biggest mistake young consultants make, said Pearman, is focusing Read More

Knowledge & Leadership:Inside look at our top-ranked leadership development program

When Bloomberg Businessweek asked MBAs from the Class of 2012 to rate their business school experiences, UNC Kenan-Flagler students praise their school’s pioneer leadership development program. Of the 82 U.S. and international business schools, their reviews landed UNC Kenan-Flagler the seventh highest score in leadership. The school is now expanding its commitment to shaping leaders beyond its own campus through a partnership with AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB). UNC Kenan-Flagler is using its years of experience in leadership development to serve as a valuable resource for peer business schools that are working to create and implement their own leadership programs. Inspired by organizations’ growing demands for employees with strong leadership skills, AACSB and Read More

7 Ways to Bring Learning Technology Into Your Business

The following is an excerpt from a UNC Executive Development white paper written by Program Director Donna Rhode. Mark Dollins, a partner at the research firm Future Workplace, forecasts that the 2020 workplace will be multigenerational, increasingly global and highly interconnected with social media. These trends will profoundly affect how learning and development (L&D) is delivered in organizations. To remain competitive, employers must think strategically, anticipate their organizations’ future talent needs, and design and deliver L&D opportunities in ways that will satisfy their employees’ desire for flexibility while still delivering quality programs cost effectively. New technologies like computer-supported collaborative learning, mobile learning and informal learning through social media will be incorporated into organizations’ L&D platforms and strategies. Business leaders should plan Read More

Using operations to benefit economic development & the bottom line

Operations management might seem like an unlikely candidate for economic development, but Brad Staats has found that changes in how work is performed and outsourced can aid economic development – and benefit a company’s bottom line. The work of Staats, an operations professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler, in “impact operations” extends from his research to his teaching – and opened the door to a dream job for a student. The way that work gets done has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, says Staats. Key among those changes is “work fragmentation” – the division of tasks into small, focused pieces – and the distribution of each piece to the best source of labor, wherever it is in the world. Three Read More

How to measure the ROI of Learning and Development

This post is an executive summary of a white paper by Keri Bennington and Tonny Laffoley from UNC Executive 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 go beyond asking for feedback (e.g., “smiley sheets”) from participants immediately after the event. 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 Read More