Professional Services for Higher Education Executives


Higher Education Executives at leading centers of excellence such as Duke Corporate Education and Cornell University School of ILR, are responsible for assessing needs, and designing custom training programs for corporate executives focused on the specific requirements of their corporate sponsors and training directors. They understand they are required to make their decisions based on the same common-sense business principles as everyone else in the business world and our faculty advisors are retained as part of the team that helps them. We understand that if the HR Director wants the CEO to authorize an investment of between 50 thousand and a quarter-million dollars for an Emotional Intelligence or Creative Thinking and Innovation Development Program, especially if focused on their senior executive team, then they need to have a significant level of certainty that it will work. The corporate client must have confidence that they are not throwing their money away on a university training program that will have no positive impact on leadership development, team effectiveness, or the bottom line.

Higher Education Executives that retain Patricia Harmon & Associates for their corporate engagements know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that their training and executive coaching development projects will produce a return for corporate clients that more than justifies their investment of time and money. Duke Corporate Education and Cornell University School of ILR have been clients for more than 10 years each.

Leadership Development (Emotional Intelligence)

To support higher education executives, our faculty advisors and consultants may engage in emotional intelligence curriculum design or with the process of preparing a pre-and post- program assessment. Typical engagements include two full-day, one day or two half-day workshops, and eight or more individual one-on-one coaching sessions, for a minimum of 34 hours of time invested per individual over a three month program. We have the consultative expertise to analyze the before and after scores on the assessments, and interpret any group reports, and provide 360-degree feedback from peer executives to each individual.  

After we complete the leadership development training program, as an executive coach, we prefer to work with the same rater population to complete a customized leadership evaluation designed to assess their managers' improvements in those leadership qualities that often are the original corporate objectives for the program.  

We would like to quantify if there was a measurable increase in emotional intelligence, creativity or innovation in the organization, and to ascertain what does that really mean for the individual and company. Can this engagement translate into a recognizable ROI? Should the program be repeated or expanded within the enterprise?

When retained by the university, we feel our mission is to help their client define those kinds of improvements and what the incremental result may mean to their bottom line.  For example, is there an impact on the company's absenteeism rate, or retention rate? What effect has the engagement had on workplace satisfaction and contentment for all your staff? 

Cultural Change, Team and Leadership Development  (Creativity and Innovation)

Another example of how faculty advisors at Patricia Harmon & Associates might work with higher education executives relates to cultural change, team and leadership development related to creative thinking and innovation.   For creative thinking and innovation programs, we require individuals to complete the Innovation Leadership Assessment, our advisors prepare PDFs of each report and review the results individually within an executive coaching session.  Group reports are often generated for the client to understand the dynamics and interpersonal relationships within the organization, and current state of creative thinking and innovation, before any custom training commences.  During the training, new skills are taught, new ideas are generated, harvested, prioritized and developed into breakthrough innovation processes or new products or services.  

To illustrate the benefits, consider the recent example where 30 senior executives participated in a custom creativity and innovation program where the core objectives were cultural change, team and leadership development. There were pre-and post-assessments, several group sessions and in this case, 30 one-on-one coaching sessions that included:

  • Self-awareness about their scores for the 15 scales of creative thinking and innovation
  • Discussion about effective communication within their workgroups
  • Awareness and understanding of others involved in the Innovation Initiative
  • Emotionally Intelligent decision-making related to creativity and innovation
  • Managing emotions (both self and others)
  • Influencing others Emotional Intelligence

As an executive coach to the higher education client, when approved by the corporate client, we can complete a post-project, EI assessment defining results by the rater population for each member of this group. Generally, the rater report will show significant improvements in emotionally intelligent behaviors across the board and this translates positively in terms of the company's goals and objectives for the project.