Excellence in Academic Partnerships recognizes accredited academic learning institutions that have partnered with an organization in the past year to develop skills, competency or knowledge in a general employee population.
Research conducted by direct sales business Amway in 2008 revealed a significant gap in development opportunities for midlevel and functional leaders who wanted to improve their leadership knowledge and skills. Amway identified five areas that servant leaders would need to master: difficult interactions, engagement and influence, global collaboration, innovation and creativity, and the ability to lead people. Then it searched for an outside team to serve as a partner in developing, organizing and implementing a leadership development certification program that could deliver these skillsets. Davenport University, with its Institute for Professional Excellence, was the answer.
Together, Davenport University and Amway designed the Amway Leadership Certification Program, which blends self-guided instruction, discussion-based learning and live engagement. An annual program, the ALCP lasts for seven months and requires about two to three hours of self-paced work per week. Instructors include members of Davenport University MBA faculty and Amway experts and leaders. Amway facilitates learning on key concepts of corporate leadership philosophy. Davenport faculty teaches the five key people-leadership topics using a four-week learning cycle for each, called the FLARE cycle — Fuel, Learn, Apply, Reflect, Evaluate.
Throughout the program’s 10 years, 665 participants have come from all regions in which Amway operates, with leaders joining the program from 21 countries. In 2017, of the 76 program participants, 92 percent passed the program and received academic credit and 83 percent passed with excellence and were on the program’s honor roll. Amway research shows 98 percent of participants report that the program has had a positive impact on their leadership performance.
Penn State Smeal College of Business / Penn State Executive Programs / CorpU
In 2015, Agilent Technologies Inc., a public company focused on life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets, spun off its electronic measurement business to focus exclusively on life science technologies. To ensure the success of this new direction, Agilent CEO Mike McMullen launched a massive restructuring to make the company more efficient, nimble and customer-focused.
Agilent supply chain teams that had been supporting individual product lines were consolidated into a global organization that required tight alignment of purpose, capabilities and best practices. Agilent engaged Penn State’s Smeal College of Business and CorpU, which partnered in 2015 to launch the Supply Chain Leadership Academy, a program that helps supply chain leaders of tomorrow apply leadership concepts and best practices in supply chain management.
The SCLA program for Agilent was renamed OFS Supply Chain Program and used a two-prong approach that involved strategy sprints for department heads and managers and secondary learning sprints for a broader range of employees.
As a result of the program, Agilent saw a reduced time for its strategy rollout for 150 leaders from four months to nine days. Ninety-two percent of manufacturing and supply chain employees confirmed understanding how their work contributed to strategy and how their organization contributed to company success, and 91 percent understood how the strategy supports customers’ needs, according to survey results.