Needs Assessment as a Learning Tool: Three Findings

Needs assessment can be used to determine what factors are causing a problem. Can it also be used to improve organizational learning? With my colleague, Dr. Denise Cumberland, I was involved in a project that sought to understand if needs assessment could be used as an organizational learning tool, in addition to identifying causes of a problem.  We worked with a Fortune 200 quick service restaurant chain and their “broken” new product development process.  Data were gathered from multiple stakeholder groups using interviews and a survey questionnaire. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design,… Read More

Organizational Change in Franchises through Advisory Boards

How do franchise organizations build momentum around change and an atmosphere of trust with their advisory boards? With my colleague and former doctoral student, Dr. Denise Cumberland, we published an article presenting a framework for these boards. Basically, the model considers the competing emphases affecting the franchisor–franchisee relationship and the roles for human resources and organization development (HROD) professionals.

Four Lessons from The Toughest Leadership Job(s)

Where is it hardest to be a leader?  A major company attempting a comeback… a huge conglomerate like General Electric…leading major government agencies?  In an article in Forbes, Rob Ashgar claims that the toughest leadership job isn’t being head of one of America’s major companies, but rather being the president of a major university. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and strategic planning, group… Read More

Coworking…Telecommuting 2.0?

As telecommuting has become a fixture in many workplaces, some have started to look for alternatives.  There’s a yearning for somewhat regular face-to-face interaction and a need for spaces that foster creativity and idea sharing. Traditionally, such sharing has been spawned through chance encounters at the “water cooler,” talking in the hall, or talking in the breakroom.  Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and… Read More

Does Lack of Professional Experience Discourage Participation in Online Learning Settings?

With online learning in professional settings for adults, instructors often wonder whether their less experienced students feel comfortable participating.  A study I conducted several years ago suggested that in online professional development courses, novices were actively observing online discussions but made few contributions.  In other words, novices “participated,” but were in the background. However, this new research I conducted Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy… Read More