Mount Mary

    Creative Leadership to Empower Women and Spur Business Innovation

    Mount Mary University equips graduates with skills for an innovation-driven workforce and partners with Wisconsin corporations and a global leadership development provider to educate the next generation of creative leaders who will transform the world

    Educating an Innovative Workforce

    According to the Conference Board’s CEO Challenge 2013 report, innovation is one of companies’ top three global challenges. Strategies for innovation differ, but many companies increasingly are relying on human capital—current employees and the next generation of workers—to make innovation happen.

    “Creative teaching and learning will better prepare our students to meet the changing needs of society and work to transform the world. Employers are looking for creative thinkers with innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. Mount Mary is excited to be in this critical thinking and creative learning environment as well as developing tools to measure and assess outcomes,” said Dr. Eileen Schwalbach, President of Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. A new Creative Campus Initiative at Mount Mary addresses the need

    of employers to find employees who can help them innovate. The initiative infuses creative approaches throughout all undergraduate and graduate programs in Mount Mary’s curriculum and with the student experience. “Students graduating from Mount Mary will possess demonstrated creative leadership attributes that employers have identified as vital for Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s economy,” said Dr. Karen Friedlen, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

    The Center for Creative Leadership

    To further integrate creative leadership education into the curriculum, Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute is partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership , a global provider of leadership development to co-create outcome-driven educational experiences. The partnership brings Fortune 500 leadership research and programming expertise into the classroom to accelerate students’ development of creative leadership skills. The creative leadership programs will teach students agility, experimentation, imagination, open-mindedness and complexity (AEIOC), the five measureable outcomes defined by the university as the core competencies of the Creative Campus Initiative. “Mount Mary graduates will enter the workforce and their communities prepared to make an impact through the mastery of these creative leadership skills,” said Beth Wnuk, Executive Vice President for Administrative Services and Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

    Core Competencies of the Creative Campus Initiative:

    • Agility
    • Experimentation
    • Imagination
    • Open-Mindedness
    • Complexity

    Creative Leadership in Action

    Mount Mary’s efforts to develop creative leadership skills reach beyond the classroom and into businesses in the community. Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute recently launched the

    “Art of the Creative Leader,” a pilot program with Milwaukee-based Brady Corporation, through the Brady Foundation, and with the help of Christine Harris, a creativity expert and CEO of Christine Harris Connections. The workshop series connects businesses with local artists. “It builds a bridge between the creative process artists go through and translates that process into ways that can help anybody in a corporation learn how to be more creative in leadership,” said Harris. The first workshop, which focuses on agility, uses dance to help professionals look at their individual creative capacity and learn how their strengths and abilities can adapt to changing circumstances. The second workshop focuses on musical ensemble to foster closer collaboration and experimentation in a team environment. The third workshop uses improvisation to stretch risk taking and experimentation to become innovative. “The [Art of the] Creative Leader program has a clear alignment to Brady’s drive for innovation and the program design addressed skills that we as an organization also look to develop in our talent,” said Erickajoy Daniels, Talent and Organization Development Leader at Brady Corporation. In addition, Daniels said it is encouraging to see higher education identify and service the needs of companies and prepare talent for the future.

    Alumnae Making an Impact

    More than 11,000 Mount Mary University graduates call Wisconsin home and are leading and transforming their workplaces and their communities.

    “Creativity is the essence of business. Business is about finding new ways of solving problems. We put a premium on employees who question the status quo and find new and better ways of doing things.”

    -Cynthia (Dohmen) LaConte

    Cynthia (Dohmen) LaConte ’84 is CEO of Dohmen, Dohmen Life Science Services, and President of the Dohmen Company Foundation. Dohmen is a family of companies that creates efficiencies within the healthcare supply system. Family-owned and privately-held for more than 150 years, Dohmen employs more than 650 people across the U.S., has contributed more than $10 million through its foundation and has touched more than 100 million lives.

    “Mount Mary’s emphasis on creative leadership, technical excellence and teamwork prepared me for success in my industry and helped build Enterforce into a company that has facilitated thousands of jobs in Wisconsin since 2001.”

    -Marie O’Brien

    Marie O’Brien ’08 is founder and CEO of Enterforce, Inc., a Wisconsin based Workforce management firm that helps Fortune 1000 companies more efficiently acquire contingent labor and services. Enterforce received an Honorable Mention/2014 Small Business of the Year by the SBA. It was also previously recognized as one of the top 50 fastest growing women-led companies in North America by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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