In Partnership With...

by Leslie L. Kossoff

One of my goals as I began developing LeadershipQuantified was to establish a business model that supported universities through their Professional and Continuing Education divisions. (I’ll explain why in a moment.)

That’s why I’m so very happy to announce that LeadershipQuantified has established our first University Partner: The College of Professional and International Education (CPIE) at California State University, Long Beach.

There are both personal and professional reasons why I’m so pleased about this - but let’s start with the professional…because there’s nothing like going through the rigorous review process than having your materials assessed for acceptance by an accredited university.

LeadershipQuantified was founded on a set of core beliefs (I’ll write more about these in future, too). Specifically, we know that:

  • Employees have the majority of answers that their organizations need. They just don’t know how to make their cases in a way that resonates for management.

  • As a result, organizations hire consultants and coaches unnecessarily - leading to increased costs and severely reduced employee morale and innovation.

  • Learning how and what to measure in an organization is key to every employee’s - and every organization’s - success. The problem is, measurement techniques and quantifiable, implementation-based thinking methodologies are rarely included in developmental programs.

  • The role of the organization - both for employees and independents - has to change in order for organizations to have the operational and innovational capabilities…and success…they seek.

  • Every person deserves a satisfying and productive work life and the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, goals and potential.

…and those are just a start.

Our core beliefs have driven what we do from the inception of the company. Now, with our University Partnership, we are expanding our reach beyond our previous markets to employees at every organizational level, independents, entrepreneurs, small business owners…and more…across all industries, sectors and geographies.

Which leads us to a bit more personal piece of this picture - specifically, why I invited CSU Long Beach to be our first partner.

Reputation and Relationships

When I first began my consulting career, one of my mentors recommended that I contact Cal-State Long Beach’s “Extension Services” to see if they would be interested in a Certificate Program on what was then a new concept, Total Quality Management or TQM.  (Now, of course, we know TQM as Quality, Lean, Kaizen, ISO and any number of other improvement initiatives and mandatory certifications that are all based on Japanese Management Techniques.)

As my mentor explained to me, “CSU Long Beach has a great reputation, they’re great to work with and you’ll benefit from their community outreach.” 

She was correct.

I had the great good fortune to meet with a shiny new Program Manager named Penni Wells, who saw what I saw in the possibilities for people’s growth. Happily, over the next 20+ years, we’ve worked on any number of developmental programs - all focused on helping professionals and their organizations succeed.

With that history - and their continued excellent reputation - I wanted CSU Long Beach to be our first partner…not least because I knew that if the LeadershipQuantified Resources weren’t up to their rigorous standards, we wouldn’t get the deal.

(I have to take a moment to thank Regina Cash, the former Director of Academic and Professional Programs at CPIE, for her championing our  partnership. We started with a handshake and ended with that partnership - and, now, Regina is an Associate Dean at Cal-State LA. Good job, Regina!!)

Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials

Which brings me to another benefit of our partnership with CSU Long Beach: Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials.

We knew that as long as LeadershipQuantified Resources passed their assessment, they would qualify for Certificates and Continuing Education Units (CEUs). But continuing education at CSU Long Beach was going further. They were adopting a Digital Badge system to enhance and increase the value of professional development programs for all their students.

I quote Penni:

The LeadershipQuantified Resources qualify as Certificate Programs through the College of Professional and International Education. This means they meet the depth and breadth of their subject areas as well as the number of hours required. For an individual to receive a Certificate, there are assignments, projects and/or other deliverables that must be successfully completed. The Certificate, itself, is a tangible representation of an individual’s having met the requirements, and includes the Student’s Name, College Name, Title of the Program and Date Awarded. Students often include them in resumes or reference them in digital applications.

Digital Badges are the online, graphic representation of the same thing - but better! They include the information on a Certificate and they validate and provide evidence of the competencies achieved by the learner. They are portable, connected to data provided by CPIE and can be attached to digital applications or online professional profiles, such as LinkedIn.

Digital Badges more accurately illustrate competency than a CV or a resumé. They specifically identify skills learned and concepts demonstrated - and access to viewing Digital Badges is available 24/7.

Digital Badging for non-credit programs is very new - CPIE is one of the first to award them. Those successfully completing a LeadershipQuantified Resource will receive a Certificate, Continuing Education Units and a Digital Badge.

Going forward, we will be expanding the offering to include digitally-awarded Micro-Credentials based on completion of associated Resources.

We couldn't ask for more in a University Partner - which brings me to why this model was so important to me from the first.

Individual Development and the Importance of Online Education

Society and corporations are at a crossroads.

In the past, there was a social contract that ensured ongoing employment by an enterprise that would allow employees to start - and end - their careers in the same organization.

It may seem that that was a long time ago, but, in fact, it wasn’t. The changes we’re seeing - but not yet addressing - in the corporate / societal contract began in earnest in the late 1980s with the earliest stages of “outsourcing.” But even then, it was more often the case that a company’s employees would be moved to the outsource provider than that they were simply let go.

As time went by and the world saw a few recessions and the near-collapse of the global economy (remember 2008?), it became easier and more profitable for companies to change their social contract - particularly with employees.

You can call it “side hustle” or the “gig-” or “shared-economy,” but we’re seeing more movement of people - and less organizational consistency - than ever before.

Lifetime employment, in most industries, no longer exists.

At the same time, the constant changes in the education systems around the world - moving to larger classes and matriculation based more on the ability to test well than to learn, think and apply - have been working against us.

The outcome? Organizations of all sizes, across sectors and industries around the world need the best people to succeed…but neither are they fully investing in their own people nor are they getting the caliber of people they need from the education system as it stands.

That puts everyone’s success at risk.

It’s this challenge that led to my goal of building partnerships with universities.

The more that we can create a virtuous circle of educational institutions, professionals - both employee and independent - and organizations…all understanding that they need each other to succeed, the more likely that success.

For LeadershipQuantified, I and our Experts are dedicated to providing the targeted, next generation learning that individuals need to succeed - no matter where they work nor what their relationship with the organization might be.

For organizations, we are dedicated to developing the leaders they need in a timely, implementation- and action-oriented way that is both visible and measurable. Immediately.

And, finally, for our University Partners, we are dedicated to creating a revenue source for our partner institutions that assists them in expanding in new, innovative ways to address society’s current and future challenges.

It’s a win all the way around.