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Professional Resources

IDDBA Leadership Certificate Program

uw school of business center for professional & executive development

The Pandemic crisis continues to disrupt entire industries across the globe, but more importantly, it has created winners and losers in all facets of business. Perhaps none has been more dramatic than the overnight changes and ongoing agility required in the retail, food service, and related sectors.
Leading an organization was already a challenge, but capitalizing on new opportunities, managing all facets of risk, and pivoting quickly to profitable business models is more essential than ever. To take on the challenge and harvest the possibilities, today’s leader needs to move beyond management to a keen understanding of high performing leadership behaviors, their own strengths and areas for growth, and the business context where their own organization can meet the passions of the customer.

Join a cross section of industry peers who also want to develop elite leadership skills in an exciting, engaging, and interactive journey with top ranked faculty, industry experts, and peers who will help you explore:
  • Proven, researched leadership behaviors that create personal and organizational success.
  • What today’s customers want and expect from a business that feeds their passions for food, health, and sustainability.
  • Your organization’s business model so you can pivot towards success.
  • Your awareness of organization context and culture, which allows you to respond more thoughtfully to rapid changes in business circumstances.
  • Deep consumer insight using trend analysis and the latest social media methods.
  • Methods to analyze performance impact and efficiencies in product sales and inventory.
  • Best practices of product placement and atmospherics in stores.
  • The why and the how of Leading Inclusively in today’s diverse employment and consumer marketplace.
  • End-to-end supply chain and purchasing excellence.
  • The strategic pricing process.
  • Why it is essential for leaders to understand good management.
  • What employees need from managers.
  • Leading for change in your organization and your industry.

This program will be delivered in an in-person format over the course of five days in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. Set on the lakefront campus of the University of Wisconsin, you will engage with dynamic and highly interactive instructors, several of who were formerly industry practitioners and are now highly skilled instructors. You will participate in lecturettes, active discussion, small breakout teams, pre-recorded videos, reading, case studies, and individual reflection to make sure you are deeply immersed in the learning, and can integrate what you learn into your work environment and culture.

This agenda may be refined to meet participant needs based on final participant registration.


2022 Agenda

Sunday, August 14 – 5:00pm to 9:00pm – Lodging Check-in and Welcome Dinner

Monday, August 15 – 8:30am to 5:00pm

Steve King headshot image
A Strong Management Foundation – Managing People, Teams and Key Processes
A strong management foundation is critical for leadership success. This session from author and instructor Steve King will ensure participants have the critical skills and tools they need for themselves and managers who report to them for leading direct reports and teams to high engagement, satisfaction, resilience, and performance. As a result of this session, you will gain insights and tools into understanding:
  • What does strong management look like and why is it essential for leaders to understand?
  • Six conversations for maximizing performance and retaining high performing employees.
  • How to align your team to your organization's larger business goals, provide guidance to make and implement decisions together, and build trusting relationships within the team and with external stakeholders.
  • Simple yet powerful tools to manage your team to top performance.
  • An easy-to-use framework for assessing team effectiveness through Human Synergistics International’s Group Styles Inventory.
  • How to balance individuals’ needs with the needs of the entire team.
  • How to increase your emotional intelligence to create stronger and more satisfying employee relationships.

Tuesday, August 16 – 8:30am to 5:00pm

Jerry O'Brien headshot image
Leading to meet Changing Customer Expectations and Managing a Cross Generational Workforce
Jerry O’Brien, Executive Director of the Wisconsin School of Human Ecology’s Kohl’s Center for Retailing and a veteran of 25 years with Target Corporation, will provide focus on disruption, agility, and leading in the new retail environment. He will cover the following critical topics to help develop your business acumen:
  • Consumer behavior – From the Four Ps to the Three Es of Retail.
  • Connection – Your business to consumer interests.
  • Industry Outlook – What are other non-food retail businesses doing?
  • Leading Across Generations – Understand Digital Natives and how the five generations can work together most effectively.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Examine the links between business performance and inclusive cultures.

Wednesday, August 17 – 8:30am to 11:30am

Nancy Murray headshot image
Understanding and Leveraging Retail Finance
Dr. Nancy Murray, Academic Director for Kohl's Center for Retailing Excellence, Faculty Associate & Teaching Professor, Consumer Science will enhance your business acumen as you deepen your understanding of retail finance, inventory, and forecasting. In this session, you will gain insight on:
  • Product Sales/Inventory – Methods used to analyze, evaluate, and impact performance and efficiencies of product sales and inventory.
  • Essential Finance – Understand and evaluate profit and loss statements of retailers and manufacturers.
  • Forecast Accuracy – Define and calculate the components of a retailer’s merchandise financial plan and forecast based upon market influences.
  • Best Practices – Product placement and atmospherics in stores.

Wednesday, August 17 – 12:30pm to 4:30pm

Katie Krueger headshot image
Consumer and Social Media Trends
Instructor Katie Kreuger from the highly rated Wisconsin School of Business Marketing program will immerse you in the latest research and trends in consumer behavior and how best in class marketers are leveraging social media and online shopping. Key focus includes:
  • Consumer Behavior – The nature of the digital consumer in the age of mobile devices, constant connectivity, and the COVID-19 acceleration towards ecommerce.
  • Social Media Strategy – How to use social media to connect with consumers and drive brand recognition, online sales, and overall customer loyalty.
  • Consumer Insights – How to use social media as a tool to gain insights into consumers’ behavior, preferences, and sentiment toward your brand.
  • Going Viral – How to leverage user generated content and influencer marketing to spread awareness of your brand.

Thursday, August 18 – 8:30am to 4:30pm

Tim Buhl headshot image
Retail Operations and Performance
Tim Buhl, Adjunct Faculty in the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management and a former Logistics Director and CFO provides practical strategies gained from his corporate roles for measuring and improving efficiency in supply and pricing. This session covers:
  • Purchasing Excellence – How to gain improvement in indirect spending (including capital-expenditure projects) as well as sourcing strategies, such as supplier and partnership selections.
  • End-to-End Supply Chain – Demand planning and inventory management in order to manage multichannel order-fulfillment costs while ensuring profitability. This session will focus on the new realities of sourcing and supply chain in a disrupted COVID and post COVID terrain.
  • Promotion and Pricing Management – Identifying and driving value in the eyes of the customer. Understanding the strategic pricing process.
  • Key Performance Indicators – Creating metrics that represent and complement your business objectives while allowing for appropriate monitoring and improvement opportunity identification.

Friday, August 19 – 8:30am to 1:00pm

Your Keys to Executive Leadership
This session will give you the knowledge, framework, and tools you need to know to be an effective executive, now or in the future. Key focus areas include:
  • Purposeful Leadership – Creating a deliberative approach that maximizes your strengths and passions while achieving organizational goals.
  • Aligning the Organization – Utilizing strategy, culture, process, resources, and other key drivers of performance effectively.
  • The Leaders Role in Driving Change – Your role and the method for leading sustainable change.
  • The Ideal Change Sponsor – What do change agents and the front-line need from you?
  • How to over-predict for change to ensure success!
  • Development Action Planning – Creating accountability and a plan for your management and change opportunities.

60-day Post Program Support and Follow-up: October 12th, 9:00am – 11:00am

To help ensure you can apply what you learned in the program, faculty member Steve King will facilitate a 90-minute online discussion regarding the goals and application activities you developed during the online sessions. In this session, you will share your progress and obstacles and get input, feedback, and additional ideas on how to increase your and your organization’s effectiveness.

As a result of your complete attendance in the program, you will receive a Professional Certificate in Retail Leadership from the Center for Professional and Executive Development, an affiliate of the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Tuition for members: $4,000 per person.
  • Tuition for non-members: $5,000 per person.
  • So you may receive the most benefit, class size is limited to 35 participants.
  • Tuition includes meals and session materials.
  • Sessions, meals, and lodging will be on the UW-Madison campus at the Fluno Center; single guestroom $159/night.

For more details, contact

**REFUND/CANCELLATION POLICY: If the program is cancelled for any reason, there will be full refunds. If the program is not cancelled, but an attendee chooses not to attend, there will be a refund minus a $25 admin fee IF another person is able to register for the seat. If the seat is not filled, it will be a forfeiture of the full tuition amount. Note: A paid tuition is allowed to be transferred to a colleague within the same company with the company's approval.


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