2015 Fall Grand Valley Magazine - (Page 22)

SEIDMAN COLLEGE EXPANDING EMBA Employers investing in leadership by Dottie Barnes The aging baby boomers have dominated the work force since they entered it, and will now have a profound effect as they start to exit it. Demographics show a large number of people across the country will be retiring over the next five to 10 years, and retaining talent will be the biggest issue for companies over the next decade. "Many companies have been talking about this for at least a year or two: what to do when Generation X retires or when there is a gap after the last of the baby boomers retire," said Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business. "Employers are trying to figure out how to retain talented workers, and one way is to provide training to give them the skills they need to move up in the company." With that in mind, the Seidman College of Business is expanding its Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program. A new general EMBA is being designed to emphasize strategic thinking and leadership for sustainable growth, and structured to balance professional, family and community responsibilities. Grand Valley currently offers an Executive Health Care MBA created in 2013 through a partnership between Grand Valley and Spectrum Health. This EMBA is designed specifically for Spectrum Health leaders and 22 Fall '15 included 22 Spectrum employees in the first cohort. "There was so much change and turbulence in the health care environment, we thought it would be beneficial for students to learn about specific health care issues and concerns that wouldn't be addressed in a standard MBA class," said Roger Jansen, senior vice president for System Strategy at Spectrum Health. "Our employees in the program are some of the highest performing and highest potential people, and we want them to know we are investing in them." After two semesters, Jansen said students are already implementing what they are learning. "Students said much of what they've learned has made them look at how they approach their problems and their work differently, so there has been some immediate application," he said. "We've also received input and ideas from students on different directions we might want to consider as a health care system, both as a strategic direction as well as a product and services direction." The first cohort in the two-year EMBA program began in 2014, a second cohort started in August. It has become a successful model for a customized program for a specific organization and led to a discussion about meeting the needs of other West Michigan companies, including smalland medium-sized firms. "We have many area companies that may want to send one or two students," said Sridhar Sundaram, associate dean in the Seidman College of Business. "A general EMBA would help them develop the talent pool they need." Lawson said they found that employees who are sent to top-flight EMBA programs, like those offered at Northwestern University or the University of Chicago, will typically end up leaving their jobs. She said the hope is, by developing employees locally and integrating them into the community, they will want to stay. The general EMBA will be structured for people who have at least five years of relevant experience and each cohort will be kept small - up to 35 students. The program will incorporate team- and project-based learning, an international trip and leadership assessment with a coach for each student. "The cohort model has been very successful over many years," said Barry Van Dyck, director of Executive Education Programs in the Seidman College of Business. "Students get to know one another and become like a small family, even socializing outside of class. Students bring in their work challenges and the whole group offers solutions. Students will be exposed to many challenges that will help them become better leaders. They will

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2015 Fall Grand Valley Magazine

Campus News
Scientific symbiosis
Focal Point
Seidman College expanding EMBA
Sailing at 1/12th scale
Same song, different verse
Q&A Lynn 'Chick' Blue
Off the path
International Education

2015 Fall Grand Valley Magazine