Vo-Tech Starts Executive Development Program

Article excerpt

Keeping business doors open through the last decade of this century likely will pose some management challenges never before encountered by business executives.

Developing the leadership skills necessary to take businesses through the '90s into the 21st century is the key focal point of a new leadership and executive development program planned to begin Jan. 14 by the Business and Industry Services Department of Francis Tuttle Vo-Tech Center.

A Leadership and Executive Development Center has been established in the vocational school to offer the program on a continuing basis. The first session of the program series, "Leadership Focus for Tomorrow's Opportunities," is scheduled to run 11 weeks and conclude March 25. It will be presented in four-hour segments one day each week.

"Business leaders came to us with the need for a leadership and executive development course," said Kurt Loeffelholz.

Loeffelholz is a management development specialist at the center who coordinated development of the program.

"We had some people say, `I am going to be retiring in about five years and I need some people to take over the top management ranks of the company and be a little bit more of a well-balanced leader.' These are some things we have been hearing," he said.

"This program has been on our minds for a couple of years. We talk about a leadership shortage and it is not so much a shortage of top people as it is a shortage of leadership through all ranks of the company. This program hinges on the fact that as leaders of companies, we have got to develop leadership in all levels."

The Leadership and Executive Development Center program will be presented in eight sequential segments that could cover a two-year period. It is not expected that all businessmen who enter the program will complete all of the segments, although they could at their option, Loeffelholz said.

"We pulled out eight essential areas in which development needs to take place to have a well-rounded upper management," he said. "Our advisory board has helped us in determining the priorities.

"One of the things that sets us apart from some of the other leadership development programs is that we want this to be a very practical experiential approach, rather than a lecture approach. This is something that we felt was very needed.

"It has been proven that we forget 98 percent of what we hear in 30 days, but we only forget 15 percent of what we do in 30 days. On that assumption, we want this to be a real hands-on approach. We will be working with different examples. We will have different exercises in real life situations. They will actually be doing some of the exercises involving their own companies.

"Another thing that sets us apart is that the sessions will be facilitated by experts in business in each of these areas. We are going to have different people that have expertise in the different subjects."

Noted professional people from both inside and outside Oklahoma are planned to be used in the program. Francis Tuttle instructors will present some parts of the program, but will spend more of their efforts in coordinating the presentations of the working professionals, he said.

"Emphasis is on the quality of learning, not just completing the programs," Loeffelholz said.

The eight areas of the program, in order of presentation, are: Individual and Organizational Development _ Outline of this course includes: Creating a dynamic learning organization, breaking paradigms which limit goals and success, business values and ethics, corporate culture and organizational change, strategic management, and corporate innovation and agility. Leadership _ This course deals with teamwork, interpersonal communications, priority management, problem solving decision making, presenting, organizational goals and visions, meeting facilitation, and leadership assessment. …