The goal underlying the establishment of Executive Leadership Networks (ELN) is to provide the much needed platform for leading business leaders and academia to exchange ideas and leverage knowledge while at the same time offering support to respective missions of both universities and businesses. By teaming together in a collaborative fashion, business and universities provide the most productive and robust education experience for teaching students and preparing them for entry into the business world.
The mission to accomplish this vision is supported by building a two-way bridge between academia and industry that fosters strong relationships with leading businesses and other organizations. The networks provide an ongoing forum for ideas, suggested direction, and support of a university in areas which relate to business. Techniques may vary but the networks support all areas where a university finds it desirable and beneficial to tap into the creative thinking and support of key industry leaders, and vice versa.
Who are the members?
MA’s Executive Leadership Networks are comprised of peer groups representing the various disciplines typically found within the corporate leadership function of organizations plus leading academia. These groups meet periodically in discussion forums to share knowledge, exchange best practice information, participate in business content sessions, and to generally promote professional relationships and business connections. Further, the networks seek opportunities that allow a university to tap into their creative thinking and expertise and form mutually beneficial alliances through, for example, participation on advisory boards, mentoring of students, guest lecturing, executive education programs, student recruitment, career planning, internships, and other altruistic endeavors such as providing student scholarships and faculty research support.
Example ELN Networks
McCracken Alliance specializes in building and operating leadership networks among major companies exemplified by building networks for Georgia State University Robinson College of Business, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Rollins College Crummer School of Business,, EY, and Florida Atlantic University.
Companies which participate in these elite networks range from $100 million to over $100 billion in revenues and represent both public and private companies from many different industry groups.
The ELN will be comprised of members of the business community and academia having both a high level of knowledge in their respective leadership discipline in the business world as well as a vested interest in supporting the business community at large. The networks consist of renowned industry and academic leaders in key aspects of business as follows: Leaders of companies within the target groups mentioned above, Founding Members of the networks who have supported the design and formation of the networks, and Appointments from participating universities.
Membership is by invitation only through nomination from a network’s advisory board, membership, or sponsoring organizations. If a member leaves his/her employment, they may remain a member in the network for up to two years while re-establishing themselves for a new career commensurate to the qualifications of network membership. The Company which sponsored a transitioning member has the right to substitute the new incoming leader as a Member in the ELN.
Operations and Governance
The operations of the ELN are supported by a combination of member dues, in kind contributions, and other sources as they are identified, with an emphasis on maximizing peer-to-peer relationships which inherently minimizes a multi-vendor driven environment. This allows the groups to gain their greatest value from peer relationships.
McCracken Alliance oversees the basic functions of operating an ELN with the advice and counsel from participating universities and their advisory boards. The advisory board of each group is formed, where applicable, depending upon a council’s size and complexity. Each specific group’s Advisory Board also advises on programs, meeting format, and content. MA teams and collaborates with the participating university in designing and building the underlying leadership councils’ structure and in the implementation of several supporting pillar councils that form a foundation for establishment of the ELN. MA continues to ensure the ongoing professional management of the ELN including coordinating and administering the recruiting efforts, design and execution of the charter of each council within the ELN, providing coordination and administrative support for all meetings of the ELN, and coordinating and managing all aspects of implementing the activities and tasks assigned to members of the respective groups such as drafting minutes, tracking programs and other general meeting routines. The participating university generally oversees coordinating university efforts impacting membership in the Councils, meeting venues, support of meeting content, plus active support in the recruiting and relationship maintenance effort.