Leadership and Organizational Behavior for Engineers

Leadership and Organizational Behavior for Engineers

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Program Director:  Keith Gatto, Ph.D
Instructors: Maya Carter,  Whitney Hischier, Matthew P. Sherburne, Bulent Erbilgin, Daniel Himelstein, Kosa Goucher-Lambert, Naeem Zafar, Stephany Prince

Leading Technical Organizations in the 21st Century

Leaders need to drive performance through motivation, engagement, and the building of a culture of well-being. The foundations of 21st-century leadership start with understanding organizational behavior dynamics and how leaders can utilize those principles to create a supportive culture. To build on a solid cultural foundation, leaders need to understand the various tools available to proactively guide their organization forward. Finally, leaders will need a unique, focused strategy to compete in an ever-crowded marketplace.   

Executive & Professional Education (EPE)’s Leadership and Organizational Behavior Program for Engineers (LOB) is comprised of three areas of study:

  • Motivational and Cultural Well-Being – Utilizing the cutting-edge and scientifically based discipline of positive psychology, participants learn how to build cultures of well-being that motivate and engage employees. Present modules include: Positive Leadership, Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management, Creating Inclusive Workplaces
  • Foundational Tools – Having the right leadership tools is essential to moving projects forward. Present modules include: Facilitating Groups and Teams, Project Management, Power and Influence: The Impact on Decision-Making & Negotiations
  • Technical Driven Organizational Strategy – The College of Engineering offers a unique understanding of technically-driven strategies for organizational success. Present modules include Data-Driven Decision Making, Design Thinking for Innovation, Rapid Commercialization and Technology Strategy
Executive Education Class on Positive Psychology. Photo Copyright Noah Berger / 2016.

Program Overview

Not all companies are the same. Executive Education should augment and build upon existing capabilities and skill sets. One size program does not fit all! The Berkeley program was created with this reality in mind:

  • The program consists of three weeks of instruction with the option to add more modules
  • A final week with a panel discussion or participant presentations with industry experts can be added
  • The three weeks of instruction are highly customizable. Clients who know their target training areas can choose the content modules they need
  • People have a diversity of learning styles – reading, listening, and participating. The Berkeley program, while delivered online, is built to address as many learning styles as possible
  • Participants engage in weekly readings and online collaborations, including interactive live lectures, working in teams, and developing a project
When participants finish this program, they will be able to:
  • Create cultures of well-being that motivate and engage employees
  • Understand and put into use foundational leadership tools that drive organizational goals forward
  • Create or refine organizational strategy using tech-driven concepts

Program Modules

The LOB Program currently offers ten modules to choose from; we continue to develop new content areas based on market feedback and new research. The present modules are shown below.

Motivational and Cultural Well-Being

Creating Inclusive Workplaces

This course examines the unique ways in which a servant leader can drive and impact diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Servant leaders play a vital role in developing new talent and driving a more sustainable culture of excellence and acceptance. Using Robert Greenleaf’s servant leadership model, this course offers students methods to incorporate care and compassion into effective leadership that transforms traditional organizational culture into one that is collaborative, supportive, and innovative. In understanding the eight defining characteristics of servant leaders, we will identify the traits that separate a good leader from an effective one. Finally, we will consider examples of modern-day servant leaders who have transformed their industries and created inclusive workspaces. This course is an excellent foundation for better understanding and implementing diversity initiatives into your organizational design.

Stephany Prince, Executive Director, Fung Institute, UCB

Appreciative Inquiry For Change Management

Appreciative Inquiry empowers leaders to engage employees and stakeholders through the change management process. Traditional problem-solving methods look at organizational deficits as problems that need solutions vs. “appreciating” the team’s strengths and using those existing talents as a lens to “inquire” about possible solutions. This model results in improved productivity and performance, strengthened relationships, successful outcomes and a culture of well-being.

Maya Carter, Organizational and Leadership Development Professional

Positive Leadership

Leaders today are faced with unprecedented organizational challenges. Depth of technical knowledge is no longer enough to lead teams to success. Technical leaders need to understand how to increase employee engagement, support employee achievement, and create effective leader/employee relationships. Using science and application of Positive Psychology’s framework, present and future leaders will learn how to lead in positive ways that helps create a culture of psychological safety while supporting ROI. 


Take a look at the module content and concepts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5e_c-7S73M

K. Gatto

Keith Gatto, Lecturer, Fung Institute, UCB 

Foundational Tools

Design Thinking for Innovation

Design methodology provides a repeatable framework that allows multi-disciplinary teams to approach the development of innovative products, services, and systems. Topics include an overview of the design process across the following five stages: (1) design research, (2) analysis & synthesis, (3) concept generation & creativity, (4) prototyping, (5) communication & visualization. Methods and real-world case studies are introduced to link theory to practice.

Kosa Goucher-Lambert, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, UCB

Power and Influence: The Impact on Decision-Making & Negotiations

One of the most undervalued aspects of organizational culture is how power and influence in interpersonal relationships sway internal decision-making and external negotiations. This module addresses how participants can incorporate the power and influence dynamic to both improve internal decision-making and implementation processes, and maximize external stakeholder negotiations.

Dan Himelstein, Lecturer, Haas School of Business, UCB

Project Management: The Art of Getting it Right and on Time

One of the biggest challenges organizations face is delivering the right product on time. This module covers how participants can approach project management in a healthy and constructive way. It also analyzes the different project management philosophies from Waterfall to Agile and helps participants pick the right approach for their projects.

Bulent Erbilgin, Director of Development Engineering, Workday

Technical Driven Organizational Strategy

High Performing Teams

Creating and maintaining high performing teams can be incredibly challenging, particularly while working in a remote or hybrid environment. In this session, we look at the core elements of high performing teams and how to create the right processes, goals and structures to achieve success. This includes overcoming biases and leveraging the intelligence of the group for improved decision making, building trust, and having the tools to diagnose and fix when things get derailed. We conclude with: (1) a look at time management and prioritization at the team, individual and meeting level, and (2) strategies to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Whitney Hischier, Lecturer, HAAS School of Business, UCB

Creating & Implementing Technology Strategy

One of the most critical functions of an engineering leader is to create and implement technology strategy. This module breaks down four forces that must be exerted to create technology strategy, receive buy-in from stakeholders, as well as address the process, tools and metrics to execute your plan. Attendees leave with a framework they can customize and execute with greater success and measurable outcomes.
Photo of Naeem Zafar

Naeem Zafar, Lecturer, Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology, UCB

Data Driven Decision Making

This course covers three key areas of the data analytics process: gathering information, analyzing the data, and communicating the findings. These steps form the core of business analytics and the foundation for data-based business decisions, which can enhance decisions around marketing and operations, pricing and revenue management, and customer relationship management while supporting organizational growth and ROI.

Matthew P. Sherburne, Lecturer of Materials Science & Engineering, UCB

Rapid Commercialization

Rapid commercialization applies to organizations who need to find ways to stay competitive in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. This course looks at tools used for rapid commercialization, examines how to find product-market fit and best practices for primary research, and concludes with a review of prototyping techniques geared toward asking the right questions and determining when to move to scale.

Whitney Hischier, Lecturer, HAAS School of Business, UCB