Workshops

For executives seeking an efficient way to achieve an effective understanding of selected areas or to learn specific skills, the Howe School Alliance for Technology Management offers one- and two-day workshops on a variety of management topics.  Brief descriptions of current offerings are given below. Workshops can be readily customized to meet specific organizational needs. For further information, please contact Lawrence Gastwirt at 212-794-3637 or lawrence.gastwirt@stevens.edu

For further information, please contact Dr. Lawrence Gastwirt, Director, at 212-794-3637 or lawrence.gastwirt@stevens.edu  

Expert Decision-Making

Managers with substantial experience tend to make decisions intuitively. For better or worse, they do not engage in a rational decision-making process. How might we make better intuitive decisions? How might we expand the decision maker’s “field of vision” in order to pick up informative clues? This workshop will focus on the (surprising) nature of intuition and two important phenomena that every manager needs to be aware of: weak signals and predictable surprises.

The Challenge of Change

Leadership at all levels, almost by definition, is about change. Yet over 70% of change initiatives fail. This workshop deals with the strategy and tactics of change leadership. We look at what has to be undone before new things can be done; how thinking must change before we can expect changes in behavior; and how multiple, interlocking programs may be the secret to change success.   

Crisis Leadership

This workshop is about stopping or containing potential disasters and quickly restoring the organization to high-level performance. The focus is on proactive management of operations. We investigate the main sources of crises and explore the planning and integrated operations that would enable an organization to identify and strongly respond to potential catastrophes.

Leading Innovation

This workshop, based on studies of “best-of-breed” innovative organizations, combines an investigation of “Principles and Best Practices” with a novel examination of “Leadership for Innovation.” We answer two important questions: What are the overarching responsibilities of leaders with regard to innovation? What are the specific roles of leaders in each phase of the innovation process?

Designing a Product or Technology Strategy

How and why do customer needs—and therefore market dynamics—change? What is the difference between great products and great architectures? How does one create and capture value (even in the face of inconsistent customer choices)? What are the two major paths for product introduction and how might we choose the right one? These are some of the key questions treated in this workshop.

When You're Asked To Do The Impossible:   Leading in the Face of Great Challenge

This workshop examines why some teams succeed at accomplishing the “impossible” time and again. It explores the nature of teams and leaders who take on the toughest challenges and accomplish their goals even against great odds. Using a variety of case studies, we examine critical topics such as the four dimensions of high-stakes teams, competencies and skill sets, team formation, operations and best practices, decision making in the face of chaos, motivation, and learning. 

Creativity Under-the-Gun:   Accelerating Innovation with High Stakes Teams 

Invention/Discovery teams represent an important vehicle that organizations are utilizing to develop new products and services. These teams face the daunting challenge of having to produce, in a very short time, highly creative ideas that are well developed and ready for implementation. This workshop presents case studies and lessons regarding how successful innovation teams operate. It also underscores the responsibilities of senior leaders in sponsoring, supporting and championing these teams.

Gaining Acceptance:   The Hard Part of Creativity

It is often easier to come up with a creative concept than it is to get others to say "Yes" to that idea. Even very strong creative ideas do not sell themselves due to their nature -- they are DIFFERENT! This workshop explores some of the reasons why people tend to reject new ideas and why they may be "right" to do so. We also provide and examine a substantial repertoire of tactics that we can utilize to gain acceptance for novel solutions and change initiatives.

Everyone an Innovator:   Sparking Creativity Throughout an Organization 

In what ways might we actualize and focus the creative potential of all staff members? How do the great innovative organizations (big and small) harvest novel ideas from everyone and everywhere? These are the key challenges we address in this workshop, which is loaded with real-life anecdotes, studies and tactics that will provoke serious thought about how to make everyone in the organization an innovator. 

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a new high-impact management process being adopted by a number of acclaimed organizations.  It is a cross-disciplinary approach tightly focused on providing value and meaning for the customer.  This workshop provides a systematic examination of the nature and tools of this powerful approach, along with several revealing case studies that will illustrate the benefits it can deliver to customers.   

Turning Technical Groups into High Performing Teams

Getting highly technical people to work together can sometimes seem challenging. The delays in plugging the BP oil leak may have inadvertently shown that high performing technical teams and brainstorming are not as abundant as we thought. This workshop will examine the three key tenets of high performing teams (diversity, Tuckman's team building model, and brain dominance) and through exercises identify steps to take to evolve some technical teams into high performing ones

Leadership vs. Management:  The huge difference and why many organizations have gaps

The difference between these key roles isn’t just about tactical versus strategic, or getting the job done now versus planning for the future.  The differences between the two is staggering, and will be illuminated with case studies, roles and responsibilities and a series of exercises that will create an archetype of both, with qualities that can be developed, or used as criteria for hiring or promotion.

Why being lucky may be better than being smart: What is it about lucky folks in business? 

Why do some people always find fortune? Is it by chance, or through luck? The newest data show that lucky people have a tendency to make their luck happen. Their luck is created by the way they think and act. The lucky folks see and exploit opportunities that others completely miss.  This workshop will discuss the four principles that make people “lucky”.  Through a series of exercises attendees will identify ways and tasks to create their own luck and build their ability to change their luck and success in their organizations.

Cultural differences: Why knowing them and self-awareness is essential in global organizations 

In the next 10 years, leading global teams will be the standard versus the exception.  To be successful in this challenging role, leaders must possess three key things: Intellectual Capital (the ability to understand how business works and operates on a global scale while creating multiple worldwide contingencies and scenarios to mitigate risk); Psychological Capital (the ability to succeed in a culture or cultures completely different from one’s own); and Social Capital (the ability to connect and build relationships with people from other parts of the world through intercultural skills, innate diplomacy and cultural flexibility).  This workshop defines what these types of capital are, and presents examples of people with both excellent and substandard levels.  Through case studies, participants will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in their capital levels, and come away with things they can do to improve them.

Generational challenges in the workplace and how they can be leveraged to create great teams 

The next 10 years will see a complete turnover in the make-up of the generations in the American workplace.  The Baby Boomers will no longer be in charge and with that will come the end of their influence in the workplace.  This workshop, through exploration of the differences in the generations, identifies the benefits of diverse cultural teams, while helping participants better understand why the generations think differently.  Examples will be presented of exceptional teams rife with generational diversity and exercises will be done to help people bridge the differences and exploit the synergies of generationally diverse teams.

Viral change and how it is an essential element for change management in all organizations 

Over 70% of change management programs fail.  The reasons for these failures will be explored while a new concept of “viral change” is introduced.  The workplace no longer listens to the senior leaders.  Psychological research shows our peers influence us more.  This workshop explores why champions, identified from indirect leaders and developed from our peer groups, are the best way to lead successful change in the workplace.  This workshop explores the concepts of “viral change”, including the tools to be used to drive it and how some key concepts of top-down communication must be used and linked to the success stories of “viral change”.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the workplace and why it is a necessity in today’s diverse corporations

In the past, a high IQ was an essential characteristic of leaders.  Current research shows that a high EQ or “Emotional Quotient” is more important in our organizations.  This workshop introduces participants to the key tenets of Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence (Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Empathy, Social expertise, Motivation and Mastery of purpose and vision).  Attendees will do exercises to assess their levels of EI and identify ways to enhance theirs and their teams’ levels of EI.