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Archive for May, 2011

Applying Leadership to Operations Management

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 27, 2011 NO COMMENTS

As most leaders know, management is a separate entity from leadership. Many organizational leaders have difficulty doing one and continuing to do the other. And management is sometimes still looked upon as an operational piece of the organization, so leaders believe that they should employ “managers” to manage and “leaders” to lead. There are a few basic leadership principles that you can use to look at the organization’s operations differently – and pass on to the other leaders and managers down the line.

First, you must take a different view of the organization’s operations. As people progress up the ladder, moving from line to management and then to more senior levels, they may begin to see operations as someone else’s responsibility. This is a leadership failure, so you should always see the understanding of operations as part of your job.

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Building a Corporate University: Planning for the Future

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 20, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Planning for the future takes much more than a University-centric view. You must go out into the world around you to see what’s going on – and create a proactive communication path that keeps you informed as things change.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make after successfully building the University is to become isolated. Even with the best assessments and surveys, you still have to keep your pulse on what’s going on within the organization and in the industry in general. If things are running smoothly, it’s easy to forget why the University exists – and all of the hard work you’ve put in to get it where it is.

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Building a Corporate University: Reinvention

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 13, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: Every business has to reinvent itself, even in small ways, over time to stay competitive. The Corporate University must take steps to reinvent, as well. Here are some things to look at when considering a fresh, new approach – even after a short period in business.

The reinvention of the Corporate University should occur, even in small measure, regardless of what you’ve discovered in an assessment or re-evaluation. You’re not looking to change the overall brand, because you want that to stay indelibly identified with the organization and its University. But you do want to make small changes and publicize the successes or coming successes of the University.

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Identify the Reason for Training

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 10, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Investing in employee training is not an activity that should be taken lightly.

Unfortunately, it often is. Every day, countless organizations send their employees to one of the thousands of seminars held throughout the country. And when the employee returns to work, no one asks, “So what did you learn and how are you going to use it?” What’s worse, those same organizations may bring a training provider onsite expecting a miracle, and then after the excitement of the day wears off (assuming it was a good session) nothing really changes back on the job. Mercifully, by doing a little work up front, you can save yourself a lot of money. First, identify the reason(s) why you believe your organization needs training.

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Building a Corporate University: Re-Evaluation

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 6, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Summary: After any maintenance phase for the Corporate University, you must take the time to re-evaluate all aspects of the program. This re-evaluation is bigger than an assessment, so let’s look at how to accomplish it.

First, you must take the information you’ve gained in the assessment and analyze it. Are courses being utilized, both online and in the classroom? Are additional resources, such as Quick Reference Guides, being accessed and used as well? From the course assessments, you should be able to determine if the course materials and content are useful and appropriate for the job functions, especially if you surveyed participants and their managers after thirty or forty-five days. You can also determine if the online course deployment strategy is working. In addition to the courses, you must determine if the staff is being used appropriately.

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