“And the final result of our training must be neither a psychologist nor a brickmason, but a man. And to make men, we must have ideals, broad, pure, and inspiring ends of living -- not sordid money getting, not apples of gold.” W.E.B. DuBois
Dr. Valerie L. Myers is the rare scholar-practitioner that possesses academic expertise and business experience, which she uses to translate the latest research into innovative solutions that create value through human performance. Valerie earned her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and upon completion, joined the University of Michigan's (U of M) management faculty in 2003, where she currently serves in the Ross School of Business's MBA and Executive Education programs. She is also the Chief Learning Officer of her own consulting firm and is a highly sought after public speaker.
Valerie, an Organizational Psychologist, has cultivated thousands of emerging and established leaders through her work as a professor, executive coach, consultant and public speaker. In addition to designing and delivering graduate courses in management, Valerie privately coaches C-suite executives, consults with governing boards, and facilitates training for senior leaders of non-profit and for-profit institutions. Her areas of expertise include leadership development, diversity and inclusion, organizational learning, and strategic plan refinement, with in-depth healthcare and automotive experience.
Academia Valerie’s scholarly work includes research and interventions that: 1) promote cognitive agility and behavioral change; 2) cultivate inclusive leadership skills and a positive work climate; and 3) develop intrinsic motivation as a catalyst for ethical, excellent and personally gratifying work. To do this, she integrates her training in management, organizational psychology, clinical psychology, and intervention design, which informed her creation of Strategic Curiosity™, Inclusive Leadership, and Specialist with Spirit™ professional development programs.
In addition to Michigan’s business school, Valerie also served as an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Health Management & Policy, where she developed and taught highly rated graduate courses in Organizational Behavior, Healthcare Management, Diversity Leadership and Strategic Planning for a decade. Valerie coached award-winning teams in national strategic planning competitions; led multi-site, mixed method research teams; conducted qualitative and quantitative research and published findings in peer-reviewed academic journals, books, technical reports; and presented her academic insights at national, international and professional conferences. Scholarly work in her groundbreaking book, Conversations About Calling: Advancing Management Perspectives, (Routledge Press) contributes to the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship by offering comprehensive research and disruptive ideas about intrinsic motivation that were endorsedby leading management scholars. Yet, Valerie's expertise is more than academic theory; she has management and industry experience.
Industry Valerie's work for a global automotive supplier in Management, Marketing, and Product Development informs her consulting practice. In addition to successfully leading a department turnaround ($400m revenue), she collaborated with Fortune 500 executives of domestic and international auto companies to develop strategically progressive and profitable niche market products. These early experiences were invaluable for gaining a systems perspective of organizations, learning to work across professional boundaries, and to solve "real" business challenges. During this career phase, Valerie applied problem-solving skills that are now popularly referred to as "design thinking."
Valerie acquired design thinking skills while studying Industrial Design at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, and refined them by designing transformational products for automotive and furniture industries. Design thinking inherently informs Valerie's approach to management education, research, and consulting. She helps leaders apply these principles in their professional practices through her Strategic Curiosity™work.
This uncommon combination of academic expertise and practical experience has shaped the philosophy that guides Myers' scholarship, consulting, and executive coaching.
Philosophy "I’ve found that exemplary people achieve exceptional results by cultivating a core set of competencies that are portable across time, contexts and careers. Specifically, when reflection, attention, agility, integrity, and diligence are guiding principles, people 'serve the work' instead of serving themselves. They derive pleasure from striving to live those ideals -- ideals that energize excellence, inspire and support colleagues, temper raw ambition, and are a buffer and resource during adversity. Reflection...Attention...Agility...Integrity...Diligence... these broad, pure, inspiring ideals describe what I call aSpecialist with Spirit.TM
Specialists with SpiritTM take reflective actions that elevate performance. They combine professional, emotional, social and ethical competence to work in ways that serve the work, benefit their organization and society, and is personally enriching. The Specialist with Spirit TM mindset and skills are invaluable in a gig economy, knowledge economy and in sustaining tacit knowledge in traditional organizations. To optimize returns on talent investments, organizations need Specialists with Spirit TM at every level to create value through human performance -- to wisely govern and strategize, ethically and effectively lead, enact humane policies, equitably manage resources, improve quality, and collaborate across boundaries.
"The transformative power of Specialists with Spirit TM is a unifying theme of my scholarly and consulting work. Both personally and professionally, I aspire to be and to cultivate Specialists with Spirit TM through my public speaking, executive coaching, teaching, consulting and service. By integrating academic rigor, practical experience and a guiding philosophy, I equip people to take reflective actions that elevate performance via my work on Strategy Formulation, Strategic Curiosity TM, Inclusive Leadership, and Calling."
Executive Coaching & Consulting Strategy Formulation & Planning: Valerie helps leaders align the organization with its operating environment. Going beyond typical SWOT and PEST, Valerie utilizes frameworks from sociology and macro organization theory. These frameworks provide additional rigor to the analytic process and capture subtle yet vital elements that are needed for a comprehensive plan. She has conducted situational analyses and facilitated strategic planning for historic and emerging arts, healthcare, and charitable organizations. To accelerate the planning process, she sometimes uses Strategic Curiosity™ exercises.
Strategic Curiosity™ Seminars: Strategic Curiosity is a catalyst for human performance. In one elegant solution, Strategic Curiosity™ training conquers "unconscious" and "lazy" thinking that undermine performance. Valerie created this series in response to surprising findings from her team's study of the Work Climate and Diversity Management in Michigan Hospitals, funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. Training cultivates thoughts, behaviors and skills at multiple levels (e.g., social, intrapersonal, and neurological) to improve observation, objectivity and decision-making, and to facilitate social learning that fuels innovation and problem solving. This advanced learning experience integrates ground-breaking developments in cognitive neuroscience and machine learning with Valerie's training in behavioral intervention planning. Valerie has successfully conducted these highly engaging seminars for leaders at all levels in various industries.
Inclusive LeadershipHow can leaders overcome inertia that has resulted from "typical" diversity and unconscious bias training? By developing inclusive leadership skills. Having designed and delivered executive and graduate courses in diversity leadership, Myers' ongoing interactions with international students prompted her to think more critically about the mechanisms of inclusion and performance. Her atypical approach integrates all of her professional expertise to provide a challenging, thought provoking, and high impact learning experience that both inspires people and equips them with tools to be more inclusive and effective.
Specialist with Spirit™ & Calling Intrinsic motivation drives performance! Intrinsic motivation is more powerful and sustainable than extrinsic rewards (e.g., money and awards), and it is also more cost effective. Specialist with Spirit™ and Calling focus on intrinsic motivations because, too often, conversations about calling focus on "what" (e.g., career and purpose) rather than "how" (e.g., what animates our behavior). Attention to both is essential to fully live one's calling and to be a Specialist with Spirit™ that makes meaningful contributions through their work. The Specialist with Spirit™ mindset and skills are applicable to every life stage and occupation. Therefore, the related business case and seminars are customized to meet the needs of emerging and established adults (e.g., executives, leaders, working adults, graduate and college students) across professions.
In sum, Valerie Myers, Ph.D. is a scholar-practitioner that translates theory into evidence-based solutions that achieve results. Through her work, she help leaders take reflective actions to elevate performance.
What is your leadership challenge? ContactDr. Myers to translate research into evidence-based solutions that help you elevate performance.
Ph.D. Organizational Psychology; Policy & Program Planning University of Michigan M.A. Organizational Psychology, University of Michigan M.S.W. Policy & Program Planning, University of Michigan Bachelor's Psychology, University of Michigan