Tag Archives: leadership development

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Innovator’s Accelerator Unveils Expanded Product Suite

Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) announced the expansion of its critically acclaimed Innovator’s Accelerator® leadership development experience. The learning experience is now available in two formats with several customizable features.

Innovator’s Accelerator is an online learning experience led by the world’s leading experts on business innovation: Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School, Jeff Dyer of Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and Hal Gregersen of INSEAD. The trio of thought leaders, who also co-authored “The Innovator’s DNA” and consult with businesses around the world on disruptive innovation, bring together research and tools that help business leaders transform into innovators, ready to be the catalyst for change in their organizations.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that employees continuously innovate for their organizations, despite the increasing time constraints. Innovator’s Accelerator is now available in a condensed 12-hour format, IA, as well as an immersive 30-hour version, IAx.

Launched in January 2013, Innovator’s Accelerator was the first product released by Apollo Lightspeed, a business unit of Apollo Education Group. Led by Rob Wrubel, president of Apollo Lightspeed, and George Lichter, head of innovation programming at Apollo Lightspeed, the team focuses on the development and delivery of innovative educational products, models and services for the non-credit and lifelong learner.

“Learners today expect more than video lectures with general knowledge. They want interesting, engaging and socially interactive educational content that ties directly to skills they can apply to their jobs,” Lichter said. “Employers want learning products that their managers can access 24/7 from multiple devices, and that help them solve the real-world challenges facing their organizations today. We are continually improving our products to provide highly engaging learning experiences, capable of being company-customized, to measure learners’ progress with data analytics tools, and to drive toward the foundational principle underneath IA: that any employee can become an innovator.”

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve to close early July

Fire danger prompts restrictions and increased patrols -

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, to reduce the threat of wild fires during the Independence Day holiday. Summer temperatures dry out vegetation and create an extreme fire threat that can endanger lives, property and the Valley’s fragile desert. The availability and popularity of fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday increases that threat.

All trailheads into the 27,800-acre-acre preserve will have “closed” signs posted. Scottsdale police, staff and volunteer stewards will patrol the area to advise visitors about the closure and fire threat. Violating the closure is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail and a $750 fine.

The use of fireworks is prohibited in Scottsdale, but sales are permitted. Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.

“While the legislature mandated that firework sales are permitted throughout the state, our local ordinance prohibits the use of any type of consumer fireworks within city limits,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ford. “Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.”

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains and large areas of the Sonoran Desert north of Dynamite Boulevard.

Visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire.

Arizona Technology Council Upcoming Events

Upcoming Arizona Technology Council Events

The Arizona Technology Council strives to connect all aspects of Arizona’s budding technological and business expansion. Producing over 100 events a year, the Arizona Technology Council is driven by its vicious ambition to network.

Arizona is exponentially getting bigger and better and by hosting a wide array of events all over the state, the Arizona Technology Council’s main goal is to work alongside this growth and connect the state with more opportunities. They offer a member-to-member discount program and assist in creating employee plans including health, dental, vision, disability, property/casualty and business liability.

Some of Arizona Technology Council’s upcoming events include:

Women in the Workforce Committee: The Economics of Sustainability from a Fresh Perspective, presented by Infusionsoft

The Women in the Workforce Committee are hosting this lecture, focusing specifically on the importance of being green in Arizona and how you can do it most effectively. Featured speakers include Kimber Lanning (Founder of LocalFirst Arizona), Vanessa Bechtol (Executive Director of Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance) and Greg Peterson (Founder of Urban Farm).

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/5/2011, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: Brand Your Business Like Your Favorite Restaurant, presented by Miss Details Design

Miss Details Design, the leading sensory design firm for service-related businesses with an emphasis in the hospitality industry, has assembled a panel of branding experts to share their secrets on how to create an engaging brand.

The lecture will feature panelists Paul Shashaty, marketing and brand manager of Desert Island Restaurants and Kate Unger, senior marketing VP of Kahala, the franchising company that owns Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, and more. Marketing directors, restaurant professionals and business owners looking to up their brand should attend this event.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/19/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Seasons 52
2502 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
How much: $25 for members; $45 for non-members[/stextbox]

VIP Networking Event: Presented by Microsoft Corporation

The Arizona Technology Council and the Microsoft Corperation are hosting the quarterly VIP Networking Event. The VIP Networking Reception will include opening remarks by AZTC President & CEO Steven Zylstra followed by a welcome from the Microsoft Corporation.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/20/11, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Microsoft Corporation
60 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., 12th Floor
Tempe, AZ 85281
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: How to Secure Your Mobile Devices, presented by Verizon Business

Learn about industry trends, followed by a personal perspective of mobile security as well as an enterprise perspective.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/25/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: ITT Technical Institute
5005 S. Wendler Dr.
Tempe, Arizona 85282
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: How to Use QR Codes and SMS to Increase Your Sales, presented by GottyCode

This event will teach you how to implement SMS messaging and QR codes into marketing tactics of your business.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/2/2011, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

2011 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation: Arizona Rising

The Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) is the Arizona Technology Council’s annual awards gala that honors technology leaders and innovators from across the state. The event attracts more than 1,000 attendees each year for a night of networking, food and entertainment. For 2011, the awards portion of the event will be a theater-style presentation, followed by a sit down and plated dinner.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/17/2011, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Convention Center, North Building, 100 Level
100 N. Third St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

1st Annual Requirements Conference for Arizona’s Aerospace, Aviation & Defense Community

AA&D industry primes to discuss requirements for their business success, collaboration between Arizona industry stakeholders, and advancing innovation and technology through the SBIR/STTR opportunities.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 1/25/12 (Networking/Exhibition) – 1/26/11 (Main Conference), Time TBD
How much: $35/75 for members; $45/100 for non-members[/stextbox]


Visit the Arizona Technology Council’s website
for more information. In order to attend an event, you must register.

 

[tubepress mode="tag" tagValue="Arizona Technology Council"]

 

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Winners – Leadership Excellence

The Leadership Excellence category recognizes that great companies have great leaders who share knowledge and inspire employees and the community.

Winner: Sundt Construction
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Tempe
Year Est.: 1890
No. of Employees in AZ: 850
Recent Award: Associated General Contractors of America’s Excellence in Education Award – 2009

www.sundt.com | Twitter


video by Sonoran Studios

The leadership of Sundt Construction is familiar and long standing. Sundt is 100 percent employee owned, its board has just three outside directors, and Chairman and CEO, J. Doug Pruitt, has been with the company since 1966.

Within the past decade, Sundt has developed two leadership development programs for employees. Started in 2000, LEAP, or Leadership Excellence Accelerates Performance, has graduated more than 150 employees. Most of the graduates of the LEAP program are now in middle- or senior-management positions at Sundt. START, or Sundt Talent Recognition and Training, began in 2004. Since then, it has provided leadership development for almost 80 “early career” employees.

Sundt’s Strategic Management Committee includes representatives from all operating divisions and support departments. This committee has several important tasks, including the annual development of a tactical plan for each department and operating unit, and quarterly progress reporting on each unit’s tactical plan. The committee involves employees from all over the company in the decision-making process for all units and departments.

Sundt has won the Association for Strategic Planning’s Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award for large, for-profit companies. The company won for its efforts in strengthening the importance and performance of strategic planning, and for fostering continuing excellence in the field.

In addition to its in-house leadership, Sundt employees give their time and energy to several local and national organizations, including the Associated Minority Contractors of America, the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Institute of Contractors.




SCF Arizona Tower

Finalist: SCF Arizona
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1925
No. of Employees in AZ: 531
Recent Award: Equality Arizona’s Corporate Citizen of the Year – 2008

www.scfaz.com | Facebook | Twitter

The leadership at SCF Arizona has stood up to the tough economic times, which has proven be a powerful asset to SCF’s employees. SCF has made budget cuts to ensure that the company wasn’t forced to lay off a single employee.

SCF’s President and CEO, Don Smith, is a major part of this leadership. Smith joined SCF Arizona 10 years ago, and has been the driving force behind changing SCF’s workplace culture for the better. Smith stresses to employees that SCF is a vital economic engine to Arizona, and its employees are vital contributors to the quality of customer service SCF provides. Smith tells employees that being active members of their community is important professionally — and he leads by example. Smith has served on the boards of several Valley organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross.




McMurry

Finalist: McMurry
Category: Leadership Excellence
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1984
No. of Employees in AZ: 103
Recent Award: Great Place to Work Institute and Society for Human Resource Management’s Best Small Company to Work for in America award – 2009

www.mcmurry.com | Facebook | Twitter

McMurry’s leadership excellence started with Preston McMurry Jr., founder of McMurry, but it hasn’t ended there. Preston McMurry’s dedication to the values he started the company with is evident in his position as “Corporate Values Shepherd.” He speaks to employees four times a year about the values-based system the company runs on, so all employees can understand the importance of McMurry’s values.

Preston’s son, Chris McMurry, is now CEO and takes his leadership role just as seriously as his father did. Chris has taken the company from custom publishing to a full-service marketing communications firm. He also makes sure that his employees are satisfied with the company. He surveys the staff with the Best/Worst and Teamwork surveys. He also solicits staff opinions through his blog, “Conversations with Chris.” Through McMurry’s leadership, employees are invited to be innovative and are rewarded for their efforts.



To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

hr_team

2009 HR Team Of The Year Finalists

American Express LogoCompany: American Express Service Center – Phoenix
Web: www.americanexpress.com

Company established: 1850 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,400
No. of employees in HR dept.: 17

The 17 professionals in the human resources department at American Express’ service center in Phoenix have had a busy year and met many challenges amidst difficult circumstances.

The team fulfills its responsibilities by following two philosophies. First, it approaches its work as a partner with the center’s 2,900 employees. Team members participate in business meetings, listen to customer calls with employees and keep in touch with everyone who works there. Second, it believes all team members are “in it together.” They share information, focus on the most important priorities and support each other as a cohesive group.

The year began with work force reductions at the center, but the human resources team was expected to ramp up in areas needing additional attention. As part of that effort, the team successfully convinced existing front-line employees to take a chance and move into different jobs, even as the recession ravaged the financial-services sector.

Significant attention also was devoted to leadership development within the center’s management ranks. The team developed a new team-new leader assimilation program that reduced the learning curve for new managers. Four team members who specialize in leadership development conducted focus groups to help managers understand the needs and expectations of the employees they lead.

In addition, American Express selected its Phoenix service center to pilot a global wellness strategy this year. More than 1,300 employees participated in a kick-off event and 90 percent of employees who took on a healthy-living challenge completed it. The HR team also hired a full-time wellness coach and nutritionist.


Arizona Public Service Co.Company: Arizona Public Service Co.
Web: www.aps.com

Company established: 1886 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,147
No. of employees in HR dept.: 85

To say that the human resources department at Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is busy is a vast understatement. This team of 85 professionals has its hands full.

APS faces a staffing challenge at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix. As operator of North America’s largest nuclear power plant, APS must deal with the fact that the majority of the employees there will near retirement age at the end of this decade. Human resources has launched an intense 18-month program to train college engineering recruits on the operation of highly technical aspects of the plant. Also, existing Palo Verde engineers are being groomed as mentors for the college graduates.

Human resources overhauled APS’ leadership development programs, as well. Few succession plans were in place for key leaders, and many emerging leaders were not receiving the breadth and depth of assignments they needed to progress to the next level. All existing leaders are given values-based training and new leaders receive basic training in supervisory skills. And, for the first time, APS’ middle managers have a program that enhances their skill sets and gives them feedback from peers. In addition, human resources is developing an emerging-leaders program.

Another duty for human resources was modernizing the company’s compensation model. It also has revamped compensation philosophy, moving APS away from cost-of-living pay increases to a performance-based merit system. Starting in 2010, APS will have an incentive program impacting 95 percent of its work force that will be tied directly to performance of the company and its employees.


St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical CenterCompany: St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Web: www.stjosephs-phx.org


Company established: 1895 | No. of employees in AZ: 5,000+
No. of employees in HR dept.: 26

The human resources team at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center played a significant role in helping the Phoenix hospital reach two milestones this year.

St. Joseph’s became the only hospital in Arizona to be recognized by BestCompaniesAZ as a best place to work for seven consecutive years. And for the first time, St. Joseph’s was named by Modern Healthcare as one of the industry’s top 100 best places to work nationally. BestCompaniesAZ administers best-places-to-work recognition programs in Arizona. Modern Healthcare is a national health care business news magazine.

Employee satisfaction may have something to do with St. Joseph’s open-door and two-way communication policies. Staff members have ample opportunities to ask questions and provide input. Each department holds daily employee meetings, with the hospital’s president hosting monthly employee forums. In addition, senior management conducts employee town halls throughout the year. To promote a work-life balance, the hospital offers telecommuting, flex hours, compressed work weeks, summer hours and job sharing.

The 25-member human resources team encourages diversity at St. Joseph’s. It partners with the Center for Transitional Rehab to integrate brain-injured patients into the hospital’s staff. The team partners with local and national job boards to reach out to ethnic groups and has developed programs to support a large Hispanic and Filipino work force. Disabled workers are encouraged to apply for employment or volunteer at the hospital.

Reaching out to the community, the human resources staff hosted five workshops this year to help the unemployed use alternative job-search tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. gement, and employee relations. Its clients include startup companies and Fortune 50 firms.

hr_director_lg_biz

2009 Large Business HR Director Of The Year Honoree

Anna HaugenName: Anna Haugen
Title: Manager of Human Capital
Company: Direct Alliance Corporation

Years with city: 6
Years in current position: 4
Year incorporated: 1993
Employees in AZ: 650
Employees in HR dept.: 9
www.directalliance.com

At Tempe-based Direct Alliance Corporation, talent acquisition and retention are more than just important — they are a top priority.

Manager of Human Capital Anna Haugen and her staff are responsible for attracting new employees to Direct Alliance, and helping to craft a corporate culture in which staff members want to work. Under her leadership, Haugen’s team has filled more than 400 sales positions while holding attrition levels to half the industry norm. Direct Alliance is a provider of outsourced sales and marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies.

Haugen relies on a variety of tools to recruit new employees — advertising, employee referrals, early-career college talent pools, internal and external networking, the Internet, and onsite and off-site job fairs. She also employs job-candidate assessment tools that evaluate skills critical to various roles within the company, as well as workplace behavior and motivation. Nearly three-quarters of job applicants pass the screening process, but only 18 percent are hired. Average employee tenure is three years, a direct result of hard work by Haugen and her team.

Leadership development is important to employee retention and it’s Haugen’s philosophy that this function should not stand alone. She integrates it into such talent-management practices as recruitment, selection, promotion and compensation. Working in concert with other departments, Haugen provides a variety of training and leadership-development programs that utilize real-time practices and real-life situations.

Numerous learning techniques are used to accommodate employees at all levels of the company and their learning styles, including classrooms, action-learning projects, rotational assignments and Web-based modules. Compensation is expanded beyond salary to include sales commissions, bonuses, retention bonuses, monetary and non-monetary sales contests, and incentive programs.
retention.

Employee relations also are important to Haugen. She believes strong employee relations can give staff members a feeling of ownership in the company. To Haugen, employee relations involve effective communication between managers and employees under fair and flexible rules that aim to get the job done efficiently and profitably. To that end, she helps develop programs that foster a productive and innovative culture, including a company Intranet to communicate information, e-mail, bulletin boards and posters, an open-door policy, resolution processes, and recognition programs.

Haugen supports diversity at Direct Alliance through strategies that include community relationships, diversity job fairs, an apprentice program with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and advertising with ethnic associations and clubs, colleges and universities, AARP, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and Arizona Workforce Connection.

At Direct Alliance, a balanced life is expected and supported. Haugen and employees from other departments work together to make the work-life balance easier through telecommuting, flexible work schedules, a wellness program, an employee assistance program and a concierge service that offers discounts at local businesses such as restaurants, dry cleaners and gymnasiums. There also is an employee activity committee that coordinates such employee events as holiday parties, company contests and a holiday shopping boutique. Haugen believes that a healthy work-life balance requires a daily effort to make time for family, friends, the community, personal growth and self-care. She tries to lead by example.

Jennifer Castro MPI

Jennifer Castro: Dual Market Sales Manager, Dave And Buster’s

Officially the dual market sales manager for Dave and Buster’s, Jennifer Castro prefers to call herself the Ambassador to Fun. With a title like that, you can expect passion, out-of-the-box thinking and positive energy. But there is even more to Castro than that.

Castro acts as the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International’s vice president of education, a role that allows her to manage the details related to the chapter’s monthly programs. She has been an MPI member for eight years and counting.

“I joined in 2001 in California, but became very active in August 2007 after I transitioned to Arizona and needed to create a networking foundation, since I was new to the area,” she says.

MPI provided that venue, and more, for Castro.

“MPI offers incredible professional and leadership development opportunities,” she says. “On a business level MPI was an incredible way for me to get acclimated to the Arizona hospitality market after moving here in late 2006. Over the past two years I have fostered strong networking connections and friendships, as well as generated strong brand awareness for Dave and Buster’s.”

Castro has been with Dave and Buster’s for more than 11 years, and she credits MPI for providing an avenue for her to professionally challenge herself in new ways, as well as allow her to continue her passion for ongoing education in her industry.

“I am responsible for selling events at both Arizona Dave and Buster’s locations at the Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace,” Castro says. “My membership with MPI has proven to be essential in a variety of ways. I can always count on MPI for vendor needs I have for my events.

Additionally, Arizona is a huge destination city for corporate events and conferences. MPI is a great way to build business relationships with the event professionals that make decisions on where to host their offsite events.”

While it seems no industry is immune to the current economic climate, Castro admits that the event and meeting industry has been particularly challenged this year with negative media exposure.

“Companies across the board have cancelled events nationwide, which has impacted Dave and Buster’s,” she adds. “Corporations are really scrutinizing the events they decide to move forward with.”

However, Castro manages to find the silver lining among the clouds of the economic storm.

“At Dave and Buster’s we have found that many companies are now focusing heavily on team building, which is great for us since that is our specialty,” she says. “MPI is an integral part of helping to re-educate the public on the importance of meetings and helping those in our industry navigate through the changes that are impacting everyone in our industry during these unfamiliar times.”

www.daveandbusters.com