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Leadership Professor Named New Professional MBA Director

November  2017

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Brad Winn

Written by: Jake Brabham

Dr. Bradley A. Winn, a leadership and strategy professor at USU, was recently appointed to serve as the new director of the Professional MBA Programs. PMBA programs at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business now serve about 200 working professionals throughout the State of Utah and beyond. “We are very excited to have Brad Winn to fill this very important role. Brad has extensive experience in higher education working with top administration at UVU and Snow College and as a legislator for the State of Utah. I’ve always been very impressed at Brad’s commitment to students, the community, and the University,” said Chad Albrecht, Huntsman MBA Director.

After a successful career in executive leadership roles, Dr. Winn chose to join the faculty at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. “I really wanted to give back and share what I’ve learned about people and strategy with the next generation of leaders.” Dr. Winn has recently published an article about the “harder half of strategy.” In this article entitled, “When Leaders Fail to Execute Strategy,” he discusses research showing how strategy has two essential parts – strategy design and strategy implementation. “As it turns out, leaders are better at designing strategy than implementing strategy.” This insight reveals several business tips in the context of leadership and strategy useful to all organizations, first of which, “it is estimated that more than 60% of strategies are not successfully implemented.”

In order to improve this low success rate of strategy execution, Dr. Winn’s advice is to build trusting relationships and be open and transparent with people across the organization. He has found through his experiences as a vice president, that although having a printed mission and vision statement can be helpful, it is really the open debates and broad conversations about those statements that are most effective in aiding the implementation of strategy. The battle of ideas and shared resolutions that happen in engaging conversations are what stick in people’s hearts and often affect behavior even more than written vision statements. He also added that it is crucial to engage people in the design phase of strategy if you want to increase the success of strategy implementation. Most of all, be genuine and demonstrate trust and care for every individual and that will go a long way.

Dr. Winn serves as a senior editor for People & Strategy Journal and is well known in the Huntsman School for his insights on linking theory to practice. Faculty and students alike have also appreciated his expertise in utilizing technology to foster non-traditional ways of learning. We are very fortunate to have faculty members that provide such great insights to our students, through the perfect combination of leadership, experience, and educational knowledge.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Winn enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Interestingly, when he was on tour with the Choir in Europe, he began writing a leadership textbook in the University of Paris library. While everyone else was out touring castles and other sites, he was writing his leadership textbook focusing on his belief of linking theory to practice. His dedication to applying practical knowledge to theory is what truly makes Dr. Winn such a great leadership and strategy faculty member at the Huntsman School of Business.