Management Executive Programs Reach Out to the Region

Posted: March 5, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

“Fundamental research is important, but it is also important to translate and transmit that research to those in the business community who can benefit from the knowledge we create,” says Roy Hinton, associate dean of Executive Programs.

So far, the Executive Programs team has developed three kinds of educational offerings they are preparing to roll out in the 2008–09 academic year.

According to Hinton, demographics indicate that the large number of baby boomers retiring could lead to a significant shortage of experienced leaders ready to step forward and fill the vacancies. The normal reaction to such a deficit is to develop new leaders more quickly.

“We know from experience and research that moving too fast is the biggest cause of leader failure,” he says.

To get ahead of this trend, one of the programs being developed is called Leading through the Turns, a four-month noncredit leader development program designed for the working professional who is ready to make a change. Targeted to each position in the leader hierarchy, or leader turns, this program will efficiently deliver the most critical business knowledge and develop the most-needed leadership skills to get an executive to maximum effectiveness in the shortest time possible.

For business leaders looking for some specific short-term professional development, the Executive Programs team is developing a program called On the Leading Edge. This program features one- or two-day executive seminars that focus on timely issues or emergent topics in business or the region. They focus on helping those already in leadership roles keep their skills sharp and stay a step ahead of their competitors.

Hinton and his team have two such seminars planned for spring 2008: “Managing across the Generations” and “Capitalizing on Spatial Business Intelligence.” Working with Hinton on these short courses is Sergei Andronikov, the former director of Mason’s Geographic Information Science (GIS) Center of Excellence and a recent EMBA graduate.

“Sergei’s knowledge regarding how to make better decisions across various functional areas of business using GIS is an example of an emerging, leading-edge school of thought that can help leaders stay fresh and possibly get ahead of their competitors,” Hinton says.

Members of Hinton’s Executive Education group are also working with each department within the School of Management to design specific programs for working professionals. These programs will translate the latest research from Mason’s business scholars into practical advice for those in the field. For example, one seminar currently in the works with the management faculty develops a more rigorous approach to building teams in the workplace.

“[These programs should] really enhance the connectivity between our faculty and the regional business community…and help bridge the knowledge gap,” says Hinton.

The Executive Program team is located at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, Va., where many of the classes will be held.

“We are working hard to understand the needs of our regional business partners, and we are translating that into best-in-class educational offerings,” Hinton says.

This article appeared in a slightly different form in the winter 2008 issue of the SOM Times.

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