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Well-known author to speak about leadership, diversity

October 7, 2010

Nationally known author and speaker, Kenneth W. Morris is coming to the UW-River Falls campus at 2 p.m., Oct. 14 to engage the University in a discussion about diversity.

Morris is this semester’s Executive-in-Residence sponsored by the College of Business and Economics. The Executive-in-Residence program is in its seventh year of bringing noted speakers to the UWRF campus, CBE Program Assistant Tina Kelly said.

At this event, Morris will discuss “Building Your Brand: A Leadership Fundamental.” Morris will discuss several key concepts including the leadership-brand relationship; leveraging your brand by building an amazing network, and why adding value to others is foundational to sustained success, according to the Executive-in-Residence program poster.

Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Aperçu Group Inc., a global consulting firm specializing in assisting corporations with diversity and inclusion challenges and leadership team building, according to Kelly. Morris’ specialty is helping companies improve their financial and operational performance by enhancing the effectiveness of organizational leaders, according to Kelly.

Typically the problems lie in disenfranchisement, said Morris.

“You will have people who believe they don’t ‘belong’ inside a particular environment. They show up, but you don’t get the magic that happens when someone is fully vested and is participating of their own volition,” Morris said in a June 2010 article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. “Minorities don’t see themselves reflected in a monochromatic leadership and therefore can’t throw their whole weight into the effort,” Morris said in the article.
Morris is a former vice president of two Fortune 250 companies, Guidant Corporation and Boston Scientific Corporation where he created the Metrics That Matter™ process where organizations measure and evaluate the effectiveness of their diversity and inclusion work against strategic enterprise objectives, according to the poster.

Morris consults and coaches on issues of diversity, leadership, conflict management, succession planning, crisis management, team building, negotiation, public and governmental affairs, presentation skills, workplace systems design, marketing and strategic planning, according to the Aperçu Group website.

Morris is focused on the big picture, diversity as an end toward business success, according to the article.

Morris devotes time outside of work to a program he launched while working at Guidant Corporation called Close the Gap. This program looks to reduce the disparity in cardiovascular care, where minorities tend to have less access to services, according to the article.

Dean of the CBE Glenn Potts is looking forward to this event.

“We are hoping to have about 600 students attend this event,” Potts said.

This event will be a great learning experience,  Kelly said.

“His topic on leadership is of importance to all students, not only to the students in the College of Business and Economics,” Kelly said.

The Executive-in-Residence event will be held in the University Center’s Riverview Ballroom.