Last month, I accompanied Steven Currall, Dean of the UC Davis
Graduate School of Management on a trip to China. Our purpose was
to visit business schools and discuss collaboration opportunities
for students and faculty, as well as Executive Education
opportunities. We had the pleasure of meeting several industry
executives in technology, agribusiness, real estate and financial
services who provided a real “feet-on-the-street” experience
about doing business in China today.
Professor Kimberly Elsbach studies how people see each other as
well as their organizations as a whole. She shares the advantages
of studying at a nationally ranked business school within a
world-class research university. She says, “I hope that my
students learn as much from each other as they do from me. I try
and create an environment where we can have a discussion about a
topic and really explore the underlying questions about why.”
Let’s be honest: the term “Corporate America” doesn’t illicit
warm and fuzzy feelings. Scandals like Enron and Bernie
Madoff—not to mention the Wall Street crisis—have led many to
lose their trust in corporations. To be more specific, there is a
general distrust in the leaders who run those corporations. In
the 2012 Edelman
Trust Barometer, trust is now an essential line of business
to be developed and delivered.
When developing custom programs with a client, the question at the forefront of my mind is always: How do we measure the ROI for the client? When will we know if the education we present has made a true impact on the teams we work with?
To answer those questions, I turned to Dan Burton, Senior Manager of Training & Development at the Genentech Vacaville Plant, who has partnered with Executive Education at UC Davis Graduate School of Management to plan and deliver custom executive education programs for his company. Burton explained that Executive Education at UC Davis allowed his company to “spend less and receive four times the value for the investment made.” His perspective is based on the active partnership and continuing collaboration after the program ended between Genentech and UC Davis.
In Executive Education at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, we’ve noticed a heightened interest in custom programs on the topic of “innovation.” I use quotations for a reason: the deeper I delve into what our clients seek to resolve, the more I find that they are grappling with issues around risk taking, collaboration, or faster decision making–not the stereotypical Eureka!/light bulb image conjured by the term.