Leaders, it’s time to learn. Here’s what USD’s executive education program is offering next

Jan. 11, 2018

This piece is presented by the USD executive education program at the Beacom School of Business.

A senior-living organization might not be the first to come to mind for an executive education program – which is why the experience of Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged is so important to share.

Five leaders, including lead administrator Deb Herrboldt, participated in the fall executive education program through the USD Beacom School of Business, and the effect has been significant.

“As a result of their attending continuing education sessions, I see more confident and proficient leaders who produce improved outcomes as individuals and in their ability to inspire greater team performance,” said Herrboldt, who considers herself a champion of ongoing education and leadership development.

“I find that providing these opportunities for our staff serves to strength them in their role as well as increases their overall satisfaction and commitment to their profession and to Bethany,” she said.

The USD program was “the perfect vehicle,” she added, calling it a “retreat-like experience” that left her team informed and inspired.

“I also knew that USD would provide an educational offering that could be trusted — one that would be well-researched and would equip our team with the necessary knowledge and skills for performance improvement and overall professional growth.”

The team from Bethany exemplifies the diverse interest in USD’s executive education programs. The fall session attracted managers and those preparing for management roles in manufacturing and distribution, government, marketing, health care and professional services.

“This proves that professional development is important no matter the industry being served,” said Linda Halliburton, director of graduate business and executive education programs at USD. “Participants valued faculty expertise, response to questions and use of examples. They also appreciated the opportunity to try out new concepts and skills, and leaving with an action plan for how they will take what they learned back to their organization.”

This spring brings another chance for leaders to build their skills, as the Beacom School of Business presents the following courses:

Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence

Feb. 22

Taught by Mark Yockey, chair of the innovation and entrepreneurship, management and marketing department in the Beacom School of Business, this course provides essential tools to help identify and manage emotions. Skills learned will help develop outstanding professional relationships, short-cut conflict and build sustainable success.

Negotiating for Added Value

March 22

This outstanding course by Tyler Custis guides participants through different approaches to negotiation, with hands-on practice and expertise. It will be especially helpful for those who manage supplier or vendor relationships, source products and services, hire new employees or negotiate salary.

Profitable Process Improvement

April 12 and 19

Companies at any stage of their “lean” journey will benefit from this course taught by Dan Tracy. Managers at any organizational level, process-improvement champions, continuous-improvement team leaders and small-business owners will learn how to initiate, manage and sustain a lean culture that results in highly profitable process improvement programs.

To register and learn more about early bird and group discounts, click here.

Herrboldt and her team plan to be back.

“Absolutely,” she said. “The topics are broad enough that leaders from most industries can find value in all of the sessions. All three of the spring sessions are applicable to our industry, and I believe our attendance will further develop our leadership team at Bethany.”

Here’s a sampling of other comments from the fall session:

“I actually really appreciated that this was taught at the university level and not by an organizational consultant. The handbook was very helpful, and it is written in such a way that I can quickly find tricks and tips to use in my daily work.”

“The content was fresher than I was expecting. It wasn’t just an opportunity to spend time thinking about things we should already know. I learned new material.”

 “The venue was great in every way. Comfortable classroom, practical materials, and they provided lunch and refreshments.”

“It was great to network with the other members from across the city. I was proud to be included in such an impressive group. I would recommend future opportunities to my peers.”

“It was excellent. Being off-site certainly helps keep us focused on learning and less distracted with work.”

“Lastly, it was engaging. When I attend educational opportunities, normally it is disappointing when we have to spend a lot of time in groups rather than learning from the expert.” 

Ongoing learning

Organizations today need to be learning organizations in order to thrive, Halliburton emphasized.

“Stepping away from the workplace and engaging with different people who are focused on learning is a critical success factor,” she said. “Through the offerings of the Beacom School of Business, our region can continue to achieve higher productivity and enhance its competitiveness. And for organizations that have a specific learning goal, we can come on-site and work with them to develop a learning solution that targets their objectives.”

That’s also happening at Bethany in another way. The organization is partnering with the USD MBA program so students can work on special projects. The students gain practical knowledge, and Bethany receives much-needed help from talented, well-educated individuals, Herrboldt said.

“Additionally, the students brought fresh perspectives and evidenced-based solutions as a result of their work on the projects,” she said.

USD graduate students tackled projects such as staff recruitment and retention, strategy plan enhancement, developing a business plan for expanded service delivery, developing a quality-improvement plan required by new government regulations and developing a plan to enhance electronic health record software for quality improvement.

Bethany department supervisors, nurse managers, the board president and administrative team sat in on the final project presentations.

“The success of this partnership has opened the door to an ongoing relationship with the MBA program,” Herrboldt said. “Thanks to this partnership, Bethany achieved important goals with excellence.”

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