Unlocking Professional Development Excellence: Transformational Leadership Certificate Success

Professional development is vital for industry experts of all levels as it equips them with updated knowledge, skills, and insights to stay competitive in their industries. Continuous learning fosters innovation, adaptability, and career advancement, ultimately driving organizational growth and success. Here at Crummer, we offer a variety of tools for professional development and lifelong learning including our certification programs. One of our recent offerings, a Transformational Leadership Certification in partnership with Fortune, was a resounding success for the participants.  

This learning sprint was an eight-week online program developed by Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of Siemens, along with Crummer’s Dr. Keenan Yoho, professor of operations management, and Fortune’s Peter Vanham. Participants learned how to create inspiring dreams, choose drivers of change, unleash human potential of their teams, and develop a platform for innovation—all through using the meticulous model set up in Snabe’s book Dreams and Details. The program included live Zoom sessions, bite-sized online lessons, and peer engagement, with a time commitment of around 1 – 3 hours per week.  

The participants in the course were executives and decision-makers in top industries including AdventHealth, KPMG, The Walt Disney Company, Orlando Health, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Lockheed Martin, Universal Orlando Resort, Cisco, Orlando Economic partnership, Darden Restaurants, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and more. Attendees were able to network with other business professionals at similar levels to themselves.  

The participants all came for different reasons and had a variety of takeaways from the course. Next, we’ll hear from a few of them as they share their insights from the learning sprint: 

Austin Montgomery ‘17MBA: Success Architect, Global Readiness for Salesforce  

Lindsay Mitchum ‘18MBA: Business Analysis Manager at Cisco 

Evergreen Life Services Team: Dr. Sue Buchholz ‘99MBA ‘21EDBA, CEO, Yvone Smith, Chief of Staff, and Dave Parker, Chief of Innovation and Strategy Officer 

Why was this Transformational Leadership program important to you? 

Austin: I was eager to learn from experts about driving transformational change and unlocking the human potential of teams. With the pace and magnitude of change only increasing in the future, learning a new framework to navigate the business landscape is tremendously important.  

Lindsay: This transformational leadership program is important to me because I had been feeling stuck in my thinking of how to improve the existing business, create growth opportunities, and increase the use of digitalization in our teams’ daily responsibilities. As days, weeks and even months went by trying to identify my next step to help me get unstuck, Austin Montgomery reached out about the program and wondered if I had an interest. After reading the details about the program, the authors and the book, I knew participating in this program was something I needed to do. 

Evergreen Team: One of Evergreen’s core values is doing the right things for the right reasons. Hearing from the authors and in the readings from their book, our team of attendees agree that even though doing the right things for the right reasons seems simple, it is a good platform for leaders to apply as we work with our numerous teams and employees in inspiring them with our “dream.” The ability to not just balance continuity and change but to also ensure there is constant productive tension between the two is no longer a luxury in our society and across industries. 

Participants had optional “office hours” every other week with Dr. Yoho where they could ask questions and discuss pressing matters.  

What value did the office hours with Dr. Yoho bring to you? 

Austin: Joining the office hours with Dr. Yoho brought back many fond memories from Crummer classrooms and team projects. These sessions were tremendously valuable to go deeper into complex topics and learn more from colleagues in our cohort. These sessions were a great example of the intimate and experiential learning opportunities Crummer is known for delivering.  

Lindsay: The office hours with Dr. Yoho were incredible. He has a fabulous ability to extract tangible and relevant elements of the program and deep dive into how these concepts can be applied to ensure a successful outcome. I have been able to immediately apply these learnings as I am currently working on multiple programs that will reinvent how our company evaluates our transition into a new season and improves the existing season. The office hours also provided us the opportunity to ask any follow-up questions or questions of clarity on previous material or discussions. 

Evergreen Team: Tremendous value was realized by our team. Dr. Yoho’s insights and “teachings” were excellent and most immediately applicable in helping to improve our company’s processes and meetings. Gaining the insights of our classmates who are top leaders representing many fields of work and all with tremendous expertise was also appreciated and of great value. Our favorite session was one where the focus was on the business cadence. The insights, sharing of related materials, and better processes introduced have helped me to already implement in our not-for-profit organization with leadership, with meetings, and across our national executive and senior management teams. Dr. Yoho emphasized how “Nothing gets done well that is not planned,” and the importance of a scoreboard as “Good organizations do what good leaders measure.” 

How do you like the format of this learning sprint? 

Austin: I appreciated the mix of live sessions which brought the group together and asynchronous work to apply the lessons to projects at work. As a Crummer alum living in Atlanta, this virtual program was a great opportunity for me to reconnect to a Crummer classroom experience. Additionally, I’m fortunate to have education reimbursement support from my employer for this executive education program so I could easily integrate live sessions into my schedule each week.  

Lindsay: The format of the learning sprint was great. We spent a week or two diving into the information on our own, then we came together to review with the creators and founders of the model. Lastly, we had the office hours with Dr. Yoho, which basically wrapped the material of the past two weeks into a beautifully wrapped present of information. I have also enjoyed the breakout sessions during the live sessions. These allowed us to get to know our cohort and understand what they are thinking about within their respective industries and roles. 

Evergreen team: Our team rates our experience and the format very highly. The learning sprint had the right mix of in person virtual interactive and asynchronous which is no easy task. 

What has been your biggest takeaway from the program? 

Austin: Like many, I pursued a graduate degree because I aspire to be a lifelong learner. Since graduating, I’ve continued that pursuit in various ways and this program was a terrific reminder that Crummer has so much to offer alumni who want to keep learning and growing. I’m excited to have the Dreams & Details framework for unlocking human potential to drive innovation as another tool in my toolbelt as I progress in my career.  

Lindsay: My biggest takeaway from the program is the absolute need of transforming how we approach leadership. Leadership can no longer be solely based on the development and execution of business plans. When a dream, along with details and a platform are well defined, the ability to unleash human potential to make this dream a reality is where the art of leadership is at play. In our world today, the rate of digitalization is moving at a pace where we cannot seem to catch up; however, I believe an element of the argument is how often do our leaders create a dream that enables each human to play a part that will push them into new depths of their potential—potential they may not have realized they were capable of achieving. We must bring the “human” back into our strategies, our plans, and our dreams, and in doing so, we will continue making the world a better place for us today and those tomorrow. 

Evergreen Team: We share the following 7 summary comments from one of the key authors of Dreams and Details as these 7 statements were key to us and summarize our biggest takeaways, with 7 being a statement we fully believe is accurate for such times we are leading in:  

  1. Crucial to the dream is the platform for change. 
  2. When it comes to transformation, remember it always comes down to people! And not their human resources, their human potential. 
  3. In order to transform an organization, you must make sure your metrics and incentive structures include transformational change, not just end results. 
  4. A leader should incentivize optimization in the current season to create resources for transformation in the next season. 
  5. At the same time, they must incentivize transformation for new seasons even when it interferes with optimization for the current season. 
  6. If you find this balance, you can achieve transformation for your entire organization, as well as the role your organization plays within the world. 
  7. We are lucky to be leaders in times of radical changewe have the opportunity to be huge contributors to society. 

This gave our team a useful and adaptable framework (it’s almost a mental mode) that we can apply and share within our sprawling organization. 

These participants are just a sample of the success from the Transformational Leadership Certification program, and they will be sharing their new skills with their organizations straight away since the lessons were all applicable. Dr. Keenan Yoho reflected on the course engagement: “In live sessions, the participants were asking thoughtful questions, and the breakout room discussions were lively, interesting, and forthcoming. The discussion threads were related not only to the content they were learning, but also included real, concrete examples from their own work lives.” And there is one big takeaway Dr. Yoho noticed: “The inspiration and confidence is the biggest thing to come out of this group.” The participants are ready to be change-makers in their industries.  

In a world characterized by constant change and evolving industries, the significance of professional development cannot be overstated. It serves as the cornerstone of success for individuals and organizations alike, providing the tools and knowledge needed to navigate complexities, innovate, and thrive in dynamic environments. As the team at Evergreen says, “Continuous learning is no longer a luxury; it’s an imperative,” and Crummer can help meet that need. We have two other certificate  programs in business analytics and entrepreneurship, as well as training for nonprofit roles available through the Edyth Bush Institute. We also can create custom programming for strategic business partners. Stay connected with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or X to keep up to date with all of our offerings.