Chief Learning Officer

“Building Fourth Dimension Leaders” – July, 2013 In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison laid waste to Houston. That October, Ron Girotto, The Methodist Hospital System’s former COO and CFO, came out of retirement to serve as interim president and CEO, a post made permanent a year later. So began a 10-year journey to repair the Methodist Hospital System, an academic medical center and health system that now includes five facilities in four Houston-area communities with more than 13,000 employees. Girotto concentrated his reconstruction efforts on the Methodist culture and its underlying values. Known as “a hospital with a soul,” its mission statement is centered on serving people in a “spiritual environment of caring.” Girotto said focusing on the system’s core values would result in the workforce alignment and commitment necessary for success. This focus exemplifies a fourth dimension of...

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Three Corporate Words that Drive Me Bonkers

By Robyn Brown, Account Executive There are certain corporate words that just make my skin crawl. Some are corporate-speak and won’t be found in Webster’s dictionary. Others are used so much they start to lose their original meaning. Here’s my top three: Targeted as in targeted communications, targeted media list or targeted messaging. I am very guilty of this one. It’s a good example of including unnecessary filler words. Targeted is redundant, as if we’re saying the media list isn’t normally reaching a specific audience. Of course it is! Don’t use that word unless you want people thinking your communication is not always targeted. Drive as in “we will drive results from our PR campaign.” I laugh when I read this word. Several years ago, I sat in a client brainstorming meeting listening to overwhelming excitement for a campaign based on the word drive.  One participant, representing the branding team,...

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SMU Cox Business School Awarded Learning in Practice Award by CLO Magazine

SMU Cox Business School, a Brooks & Associates client, was recently honored with an Excellence in Academic Partnerships Bronze Award during the 2010 Chief Learning Officer Learning In Practice Awards, sponsored by CLO Magazine. The business school submitted an entry for its work with Pioneer Natural Resources, spearheading a series of multi-layered leadership development programs for Pioneer’s management and senior...

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Building Thought Leadership for a University Leadership Development Group

We developed a bi-monthly custom magazine, Leadership Excellence, to demonstrate thought leadership for SMU Cox’s staff and faculty. Messages from high-level corporate leaders complimented the business leadership skills displayed by the publication. The Story Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business has a solid reputation on a local, regional and national basis for offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate business programs. Cox Executive Education offers programs that provide relevant and dynamic learning experiences for working professionals, managers, and executives. These programs develop leadership capability, business acumen, strategic thinking and decision making skills that improve business performance. Both open enrollment and custom programs are offered on the SMU campus in the state-of-the-art James M. Collins Executive Education Center, as well as in-house for custom learning solutions for corporate clients.  Although SMU Cox is well known and regarded, the Executive Education division...

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What the Oil & Gas Industry Needs Now: A Focus on Leadership

By Robyn Brown As expected – one topic dominated conversations at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston recently. For many attendees, the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico several weeks ago brought home the risks and challenges associated with upstream oil & gas operations and led to questions about measures to stop the oil leak and even the future of increased offshore drilling in the U.S. BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been at the forefront of BP’s crisis communications response, throwing the company’s full weight of resources at the problem. The offshore spill is just one example in a series of challenges the oil & gas industry is currently tackling. The list also includes changing and highly debated energy policies, prolonged economic volatility and uncertainty, and a workforce in flux. How industry leaders respond to the...

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