University of Michigan to offer 20-week leadership development program

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Dive Brief

  • Planned for delivery through the school’s CorpU online platform, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is rolling out a 20-week program designed to provide managers with needed tools to execute “high-impact leadership principles,” including positive leadership, talent management and follow-through.
  • The new program focuses on short-bursts of knowledge, according to the announcement. Designed at five minutes per week for a 20-week period, the online courses give busy executives the opportunity to practice new strategies on a consistent basis, which should increase long-term effectiveness of the learning.
  • The program is designed around research that suggests the majority of traditional learning does not result in a permanent change in behavior. Only 15% of learners who go through traditional training will actually succeed in enabling permanent change, research cited by U of M said. The remainder either never act upon the knowledge or try and fail to apply the learning.

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Dive Insight

This new program adds to the suite of material offered to employers through universities, much of it designed to provide leaders and learners with job-critical skills that range from executive-level leadership to supply chain management and more. The push to personalize learning and make it job-relevant immediately seeks to resolve the long-term knowledge retention problem. Allowing workers to access knowledge on-demand and as needed also aims to boost learning and application — and many of these new platforms offered by universities hope to serve as the medium for employers looking to do this type of training.

As businesses recognize the need for soft skills (leadership, communication and innovation), more are looking to train for these highly valued proficiencies. Traditional training, like classroom learning, is giving way to continuous learning as the marketplace shifts rapidly, putting more demands on workers and business. But generally upskilling employees to meet the skill demands of today’s market — and finding the right tools to do so — is more necessary than ever to keep pace with the constantly evolving landscape.