Dr. Adam Simpson, a recent alumni of eCornell’s Change Leadership certificate program, is the Manager of Global Programmes for UN Women in New York
I recently completed the Change Leadership certificate program, developed by faculty at Cornell University, delivered through the SC Johnson College of Business. The program consists of four core courses and two leadership electives that have enabled me to address specific development goals within my organization.
As a leader and manager in United Nations Women, my organization always needs to be prepared for change. UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. As a global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. Whether we are working on planned initiatives, or addressing the impacts of global volatility and unexpected situations, change is constant and inevitable in our field of work. In this program, I was able to identify and clarify my position in the power hierarchy of both my organization as well as across the broader United Nations system. Through this, I was able to better understand how the fluctuating power dynamics play into my role in the organization and how this affects organizational and system-wide decision making. Ultimately, this knowledge will help UN Women continue supporting Member States of the UN as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and strengthen our work with governments and civil society to design the laws, policies, programs and services required to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.
In addressing the changes I am involved with in my organization both corporately and on behalf of our global offices, the program has equipped me to better understand where and how large-scale change management initiatives are moving, and how I must implement the changes needed to sustain the momentum of these initiatives to advance our organizational mandate and maximize impacts. Specifically, the program helped me to analyze my organization and its tendencies toward change, to build approaches for identifying and influencing key stakeholders and overcome resistance, and explore critical decisions around negotiations and power dynamics.
I highly recommend this program for leaders, managers, and practitioners involved in addressing or leading large-scale, high-impact change management initiatives.