Neeley Executive MBA Program Puts Latest Korn Ferry Research to Use

Along with our recent ranking by The Economist as number 12 in the world, there’s something else drawing global attention to the Executive MBA program at Neeley.

The TCU Neeley School of Business is now one of only 13 business schools in the world to partner with Korn/Ferry International. Neeley is using the organization’s leadership development and talent management expertise to take our Executive MBA program to the next level.

“The business world is constantly changing,” said Dr. Suzanne M. Carter, executive director of the Executive MBA program. “Business leaders can’t just rely on what worked 10 years ago. This partnership allows us access to the latest research on leadership competencies to continue helping our students develop the skills today’s companies need.”

That research includes three of the largest leadership effectiveness studies ever conducted: Korn/Ferry assessed more than one million executives across the world, and identified the leadership styles of the top 20 percent of performers.

Working with universities was a new venture for Korn/Ferry when we decided to partner: they normally work with businesses. But that’s precisely why Korn/Ferry is a gold mine for Executive MBA students – and their employers.

We find the company to be a perfect fit – after all, we’ve made personal leadership development a priority since the beginning. Our program starts with a 360° assessment, which collects and analyzes feedback from each student’s manager, peers, direct reports and clients. Then throughout the 18-month program, each student works one-on-one with a leadership coach to further develop his or her skills based on that analysis.

Neeley adopted Korn/Ferry’s version of the 360° survey in 2014, and incorporated Korn/Ferry leadership research into our curriculum. We had our staff, faculty, alumni and corporate partners identify 25 core competencies out of Korn/Ferry’s list of 67 competencies that were most relevant to Neeley students. These skills are grouped under three categories: leading self, leading others and leading the organization.

The upshot?

“Our leadership development program is about becoming the type of person who inspires your team, who makes good decisions quickly, who learns constantly,” Carter said. “We’re building leaders who are more than relevant: they are vital, especially in a world as volatile as ours is now.”

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