A tour of the Detroit Veterans Housing Program

By College of Management1,010 Comments

by Amanda Falkenbury

Dr. Richard Bush, Director of eLearning Services, and I visited the Detroit Veterans Housing Program this week.  We were invited for a tour by Volunteers of America Michigan.  This program offers two-year transitional housing for homeless veterans.  The facility houses 60 beds and is currently filled to capacity – only six months after opening its doors (November 11, 2011).  In addition to housing, the program provides veterans with counseling, employment training, and job placement assistance.  Leading the tour was Emilie Rohrback, Director of Community Engagement for Volunteers of America (Southeast Michigan).  She showed us around the common areas as well as the living quarters.  Upon visiting the living quarters, Dr. Bush, an army veteran himself, commented on the neatly made beds and the perfectly aligned shoes (heel to heel) sitting under each bed.  “It never leaves you”, he said, referencing the neatness required of military personnel. 

The facility is located on the outskirts of Detroit’s New Center area.  The program is housed in a building on East Milwaukee and offers a spectacular mural of Detroit at first view when you walk through the entrance.  When leaving the building I took one last look at the mural; it reminded me that Detroit is home - even to those who are homeless. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Detroit Veterans Housing Program, here is their website:




Healthy Safety Net 2012: A Blues Symposium

By Anne Kohnke2,689 Comments

Jerry Lindman, Director of the Nonprofit Management Center at LTU, along with Mike Montgomery and I are in Michigan’s beautiful capitol of Lansing attending the Healthy Safety Net 2012 Symposium.  This symposium is hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield and is a highly interactive symposium for teams from Michigan’s free clinics, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, rural health centers, and other safety net health care organizations to learn about the changing health care environment and best practices for organizational sustainability.  Jerry is on the Planning Committee and moderating Day 2 on organizational sustainability.  Mike is speaking at the event and we are here to promote LTU’s academic programs to include the Nonprofit Management and Health IT Management programs.



True healthcare reform calls for transformation of leadership and management

By College of Management1,103 Comments

This article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review captures the current thinking on the transformation needed in the US healthcare “system” if we are serious about improving health outcomes and bending the cost curve. It calls a broader definition of what we consider “providing healthcare” to include consideration the environment and community we live in. It goes on to identify communities in the US which are making progress on such transformation and demonstrating valuable outcomes. All this has significant implications on the leadership and management at healthcare organizations.



Intellectual Property Law: Special Topics Course This Summer

By Karen Evans1,720 Comments

I am looking forward to teaching a special topics course this summer on the topic I personally find most special — intellectual property!

Here is the course description: Examination of foundations of intellectual property laws and types of intellectual property. Analysis of IP business strategies including enforcement, licensing and competitive strategy. Includes global protection and enforcement, and technology transfer in academia.

It’s not just lawyers who need to understand IP law. IP protection is a big part of a business’ strategy. We have witnessed instances where, even after a company folds, its IP remains a very valuable asset. For example, the Sharper Image trademark was purchased for $65  million even after the company itself ceased to exist. Understanding what IP is (and what it isn’t!), how it can be protected and its value to a business is a skillset valuable to all business professionals.

If you’re interested, some of the first readings (related to the background of IP law) are here and here.



Sir Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity

By Nadia Shuayto765 Comments

The keynote speaker at the ICAM conference was Sir Ken Robinson and quite possibly one of the best presenters I have ever heard.  He presented for two hours and had the entire audience captivated with his skillful presentatin and dry wit.  His British sense of humor was well received and presented a very powerful message about educating students on creativity, imagination, and innovation.

His presentation was focused on  his books, “The Element,” and “Out of Their Minds.” No! I don’t get commission on marketing his books:-)

The following are some of the quotes from his presentation:

“Diversity is the pulse of human achievement.”

“Life is not linear.”

“We need people who can think differently.”

“We live in a world that is culturally challenged.”

“Imagination is the root of innovation.”

“Anticipate the future: don’t predict it.”

“We are born with a capacity to be literate and creative.”

“If you’re serious about leading a culture of innovation, everyone and everyting need to be involved.”

“It’s not HOW creative you are, but how YOU are creative.”

“The role of a leader is not about control, it’s about climate control.”

Source: Sir Ken Robinson, 2012 ICAM Conference, San Diego, CA., May 2, 2012.


It’s worth taking a look at the following link for one of his presentations:




AACSB 2012 International Conference & Annual Meeting-San Diego

By Nadia Shuayto583 Comments

Al and I (Nadia) are currently attending the 2012 AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting in lovely San Diego, CA.  Although the weather hasn’t been that great, the conference has.  The conference is the largest gathering of deans, associate deans, department chairs, faculty, program directors, and business school teams.  The networking opportunity at the AACSB annual meetings is absolutely wonderful.  There are members from all over the world covering all continents sharing their thoughts and experiences on something common to all: management education.



Inspiring Creativity in Nonprofit Management – Josh Linkner

By College of Management1,926 Comments

Today in the Executive to Executive Speakers Series for Nonprofit Leaders at Lawrence Tech University, Josh Linkner, CEO of Detroit Ventures Partners/Founder of ePrize, provided very valuable insight on how to inspire creativity at nonprofit organizations. He presented his “Disciplined Dreaming” approach in a very engaging and relevant style. Though he is used to speaking to business audiences on creativity, he tailored his innovative ideas and strategies to speak directly to core nonprofit management issues (e.g. fundraising, volunteers, social innovation).

He summarized his Disciplined Dreaming approach by reviewing  5 steps to inspire creativity in your organization:
1.Get curious: ask why, what if, and why not?
2. Encourage courage: embrace the idea that mistakes are the portals of success
3.Challenge assumptions: do not let imaginary barriers impede progress
4.Think small: embrace risk, be nimble, generate a fire-in-the-belly culture
5.Stand out: allow yourself to be different from all others

For more about Josh Linkner and his Disciplined Dreaming approach to inspire creativity in organizations see this YouTube Video: Josh Linkner

Nonprofit Management

Ignite! A Platform for Ideas

By Karen Evans1,884 Comments

It is with words as with sunbeams.  The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.”  ~ Robert Southey

What if you only had 5 minutes, and 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, to put an idea out there into the world? 300 seconds to educate, intrigue or inspire. What would you say?

15  diverse folks took the stage at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board theater on May 25 to answer this call.  There were educational moments, love letters to Detroit, ideas for fixing Detroit, moments of laughter, and some eye-openers.  The audience was engaged and buzzing with discussion and ideas at the end of the night.

Of relevance to this audience, the talks included how Sherlock Holmes stories can apply to social media (brought to us by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle devotee and head of social media at Ford Motor Company, Scott Monty), how a car-free discount system can benefit Detroit and the region (from Spaulding Court project lead Jon Koller), why everyone should write a book (presented by up-and-coming author Andrew Heaton) and the phenomenon of genericide — what happens when a famous brand becomes a generic word (think Kleenex as a synonym for any brand of tissue)(this talk was from yours truly).

The night was an amazing experience. (Maybe second only to a week in Belgium) Those 15 seconds go fast (or really slow if you haven’t planned your slide deck properly!) and your audience is tweeting throughout, with their commentary showing up on a screen to your left that you can’t see until your time is up.

Watch here for a follow-up post in the works on 5 Lessons Learned from Ignite Detroit. I will also be posting the talk videos as they become available. For now, check out the full list below, and, if you’re a Twitter user, give @MotorCityCasino a follow for donating the venue and (delicious!) food so that all proceeds from the event could be used to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit.

Full Ignite Detroit 3 List:

1. The perils of imaginary lines (Charlie Wollborg)
2. Extra Pair of Underpants: Leadership Inside Out (Michelle Pallas)
3. Carfree Discounts – A Detroit Solution (Jon Koller)
4. Everyone Should Write a Book (Andrew Heaton)
5. Gurus are for people who drink wheatgrass or live in LA. (Jordan Miller)

6. Growing beards and finding new faces. (Jeff Chelf)
7. Raising Girls Stinks (Nathan Hughes)
8. What Sherlock Holmes Taught Me About Social Media (Scott Monty)
9. Producer/FIGMENT Detroit (Danielle Kaltz)
10. How Excellence Killed Detroit (Brian Mulloy)

11. Death by Branding: How Genericide Killed Aspirin, Why Kleenex is Hanging On, and Why Google is Invincible (Karen Evans)
12. Bromance: Understanding male homosocial relationships in the 21st century (Norm Witte III)
13. Control Freaks Need Not Apply (Aaron Petras)
14. Getting into Detroit (Lincoln Russell)
15. You Should Totally Make a Game (Bob Baffy)

If you only had 5 minutes, what idea would you put out into the universe?

Dr. Karen Evans, JD. Director of Undergraduate Management Programs, Intellectual Property Geek, Entrepreneurship Advocate, and Improv Participant.


Experiences Around Town

An Afternoon with Dr. Ken Gergen

By Anne Kohnke1,483 Comments

Thursday’s Keynote was Dr. Ken Gergen, whose work has been instrumental and deeply inspiring to many doctoral students in a variety of business disciplines.   I had the privilege of having Dr. Gergen on my doctoral dissertation committee and was delighted to reconnect with him.  Dr. Gergen is a senior research professor at Swarthmore College and President of the Taos Institute.  Dr. Gergen has been a major contributor to social constructionist theory and organizational change practices and shared the stage with Dr. Danielle Zandee, Professor of Sustainable Organizational Development at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in Breukelen, the Netherlands, to speak about how to interweave micro practices into daily conversation.

Conversation itself undergoes renewal–it is an in-between-emerging process, causing the language to develop, including the interpretations and meanings. Ken Gergen and Danielle Zandee highlighted their already enlightening dialogue with a little play about how conversations can degenerate, and how to prevent this – or even turn them into a generative alternative.  Danielle asked the audience to think about ways to ‘interweave’ or ‘interlock’ the micro practices into day to day conversations, and make them sustainable.  For example, they focused on the act of ‘listening’ in our everyday dialogue to create generative conversations.  They demonstrated the difference between an ‘active’ listener and an ‘inactive’ listener and how we chose to listen to each other.

How we chose to listen impacts the outcome of the next moment.





Reconnecting with Joep C. de Jong

By Anne Kohnke1,096 Comments

In May 2005, Joep C. de Jong, a senior executive from British Telecom, hosted LTU’s Doctoral students and family members at the World Headquarters in Amsterdam.  Both Dr. Steenkamp and Dr. Castelli were the Program Directors of the DMIT and DBA programs respectively  and the trip included visits to organizations and universities in England and The Netherlands.  He had fond memories of the visit and the first thing Mr. de Jong asked was “How is Dr. Steenkamp, Dr. Castelli, and Patty Riney?”

Mr. de Jong is now the CEO of Van Harte & Lingsma [www.h-l.nl] and presented his Leadership Value Chain Model and principles of Appreciative Leadership during our workshop.  We had an opportunity to share a lovely dinner with Joep and talk about the growth of the doctoral programs and the accomplishments of our students.

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