Five Discovery Skills that Lead to Great Innovations

Author: Manish Shah

Monday, September 01, 2014

Clayton Christensen and his coauthors in The Innovator’s DNA highlight five key skills that we can develop to become great innovators. The good news is that we do not have to be good at all five skills to be a good innovator. For example, Scott Cook of Intuit is strong in observational skills. Marc Benioff, founder of, is good at networking, Jeff Bezos’ strong suite is experimentation. Steve Jobs was strong at associating.

Research involving identical twins suggests that only about 20-25 per cent of our creativity ability is genetic. So close to 80% of our creative ability can be developed.


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Impact Your Business with Corporate Learning Solutions

Author: Dr. Neil Holman Ph.D.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In order to remain competitive in business, organizations must not only excel at recruiting talented employees, but they must also continue to provide regular professional development for their team.  It is important to foster behaviors and skills that will propel the organization forward.

Corporate Learning Solutions (CLS) at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management is tailored to the needs of businesses.  We work with companies to understand those needs, and deliver training and development solutions that will meet them.

Areas of expertise

We specialize in leadership: recognizing potential leaders; nurturing leadership skills; and working with senior leaders.  Some specific areas we deal with regularly include communication; finance; business acumen; change; influence; and career development.  Our greatest asset, the LFGSM faculty, has a wide range of experience and can bring that to bear on almost any business need.

Why CLS?

For more than 20 years, Corporate Learning Solutions has provided applied education services and award-winning workshops that prepare executives to innovate, manage change, exceed targets and deliver results.  We are small enough to work with a client directly to tailor a solution, and large enough to deliver it effectively in person or online.  We have a very high rate of satisfied clients, as proven by the number of repeat engagements they give us.

We can help advance an organization in three broad areas:

  • Building Talent
  • Developing Effective Leaders
  • Evolving the Organization

How we work with clients

Our solutions consist of four stages:

  • Needs analysis: The Corporate Learning Solutions team meets with an organization’s key stakeholders to gain a detailed understanding of the issues and the nature of any desired changes in behavior.
  • Proposed Learning Solution: Based on the experience of our academic team and practitioner faculty, the latest trends in instructional design, and knowledge of the intended audience, we propose a set of learning objectives and alternative methods of delivering the solution.  These alternatives may consist of face-to-face classes, online classes, E-learning modules, group or individual coaching sessions, or consulting.
  • Design and Delivery: Our programs are designed and delivered by faculty with experience in instructional design and working with adult learners. We follow a set of instructional principles used in our MBA program as well as in CLS that emphasize active learning.
  • Evaluation: We can measure the impact of our solutions on your participants, their leaders, and even the organization as a whole.  In this way, we can help deliver programs with clear benefits.

Business Impact

Impact is the measurable business result – such as gains in revenue, productivity and cost savings – which can be attributed all or in part to competencies participants learn or practice in our educational programs.  We are passionate about the impact our programs – which range from seminars to consulting to coaching – can have, and we will work with companies to define and measure this impact.

Credit-bearing programs

In addition to our training and development programs, CLS also has credit-bearing offerings.  Unlike other schools, Lake Forest can tailor a program aimed at employees from a single company.  Those employees take graduate credit courses that can culminate in a certificate or even a full MBA.  Companies can host these courses right on their own property, at a Lake Forest location, or online.  These courses provide maximum convenience and a tremendous value.

To discuss options, please call Corporate Learning Solutions at (847) 574-5322, or email us at Additional details may be found at


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The Leadership Value of International Business Experience

Author: Ellen McMahon, EdD

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The business world is constantly changing with the rapid development of new market possibilities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Australia.  This demonstrates the importance for organizations to recruit and retain leaders who have developed a portfolio of international business experience.

Why does exposure to global business practice benefit business leaders and the organizations they work for?  With the growth of the global middle class, export and manufacturing industries in the United States are more actively pursuing strategic expansion into new overseas markets, which invites ethnic diversity into the corporate culture and business process.   In order to successfully connect your products, sales or services to foreign buyers, an executive team with global business experience is essential.

Businesses are looking for executives with more than global business awareness, they are looking for leaders who have built intercultural competencies.

Developing Intercultural Competence

When business leaders seek out opportunities to meet and engage with organizations abroad, it opens the door to a deeper understanding of unique models and approaches.  Within the United States our business practices have small variations depending on the region, but in general they are fairly predictable and uniform.  In the many industrialized countries abroad, business methods are impacted significantly by sociocultural and economic influences which are very unique to the region.  They vary dramatically from American norms.


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