LMU College of Business Administration Dean Dayle Smith and Kelly Watson, clinical professor of management, facilitated an interactive workshop titled “Creativity through Crisis: From the Classroom to the Boardroom” at the Women in Business Education annual conference, held June 2-4, 2022, at George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C.
The workshop delivered strategic and creative approaches for managing challenges and crises in higher education and outlined key leadership skills needed to take organizations to the next level. Participants worked in small groups to discuss and share the creative energy that enabled them to weather any number of storms – from the COVID-19 pandemic to issues around enrollment, restructuring, philanthropy and stakeholder engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and organizational politics. Lastly, participants developed a framework for using creative approaches to face the challenges that affect their classrooms, faculty, and staff.
Mini case studies were used to explore the four “opportunity creator” leadership mindsets for surviving and thriving during a crisis – that is, the mindset of an architect, coach, politician, and artist. Smith and other CBA faculty and staff in attendance – including Myla Bui, Rochelle Webb, Nola Wanta, Roberta Kuhlman, Marki Jones, Grace Kurek-Boschan, Chiray Koo and Nancy Donovan – shared how these mindsets were used to view challenges from different perspectives, resulting in strategic, creative approaches that led to opportunities for growth.
Under the theme “Let’s Create the Future We Imagine,” the conference provided a forum for women leaders in academia to connect with their peers from around the globe and find innovative solutions to promoting DEI and gender equity in business education. The three-day event featured inspiring keynote speakers, workshops, table topic discussions and expert panels and proved to be both a great learning experience and a great team-bonding experience for CBA administrators and faculty.
Women in Business Education, founded in 2020 during the pandemic, is a global network that champions women’s leadership in business academia. The organization aims to build greater diversity and gender balance at all leadership levels within business schools and accelerate the progress being made to build the pipeline of the next generation of leaders.