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University of La Verne Helping to Build Leaders Through New Behr Program

The University of La Verne, a national leader corporate education, has been selected to participate in a new program that will help team members at Santa Ana-based Behr Paint develop their leadership and management skills.

Behr’s Leadership, Engagement, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) program includes a series of seminars open companywide and aimed at cultivating managers from within the organization. University of La Verne Professor of Management and Leadership Dr. Louise Kelly, an expert on strategy, will lead a July seminar on “Leadership for Innovation.”

Kelly, a professor at the University of La Verne since July 2016, has written five books, including “Entrepreneurial Women: New Management and Leadership Models” and “Dictionary of Strategy: Strategic Management A-Z.”

Her seminar for Behr team members will address the importance of being nimble in the business landscape, cultivating great ideas, and looking outside of an industry for ways to adapt to changing times.

Kelly uses Netflix’s success over Blockbuster in the home video industry as an example of how flexible thinking can give a company a competitive advantage. Netflix had the foresight to expand beyond a mail-order video service to one providing Internet streaming, pushing it ahead of its rival to dominate the market.

“They had the vision that the Internet was going to be a game changer,” she said.

Behr developed LEAD as a pilot program in 2016, hoping to encourage employees to think outside of their current roles, step up if they see better ways of doing things, and solve problems.

The University of La Verne’s participation in the program builds upon an ongoing partnership with Behr, which began in 2006. That year, the university began offering Behr team members tuition discounts and onsite coursework in business management and business administration.

About 100 team members from Behr Paint have pursued bachelor’s degrees from the university through the partnership. Classes take place on site and via video-conferencing technology – sometimes called TelePresence. The TelePresence program, launched in 2016, brings real-time instruction to out-of-state Behr staff.

The University of La Verne launched its first corporate partnerships since 1968, providing education that improves workforce efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in positive organizational development.

The university currently has more than 180 active partnerships with corporations, municipalities, school districts, and other major organizations throughout California.