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Session Title: Understanding the importance of cross-cultural efforts in building innovative corporate mindsets
Speaker: Susana Fernandez, Professor, Florida Atlantic University

Session description: Culture should be always understood and valued from an organic—rather than prescriptive—approach. It should be also understood as a key component of any sound corporate strategy, particularly one that wants to be—or stay—innovative and cutting-edge. As such, executives who understand the role that culture plays in how their own personal and professional approaches and biases are shaped, become assets to any organization. After all, these executives are the ones that set, and carry out, the strategic goals of the organization! Therefore, developing true cross-cultural competence requires recognizing that the value of “utilization” is key. If you want to understand the importance of culture in building cross-culturally competent executives capable of building and encouraging an innovative corporate strategy, this program is for you.

Bio: Susana Fernández currently works as a faculty member for Florida Atlantic University, where she teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of Leadership, Management, Human Resource Management, and International Business, for the College of Business and the College of Education. Previously, she has taught and developed coursework for the University of Maryland University College, Nova Southeastern University, Lynn University, and Barry University. She has a professional background in public relations and broadcast journalism, as well as 25 years of experience in various academic and administrative areas of higher education. Her journalistic background spans print and broadcasting both in the United States and Europe, where she collaborated in a news and culture magazine show with the EFE agency that was broadcast regularly throughout Latin America.  Academically, she holds Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations, and a minor in French. She also has an M.B.A with a concentration in Marketing and earned her PhD in 2003 with a double concentration in Leadership and Human Resources Development Administration. She has also completed certifications in Situational Leadership at the Center for Leadership Studies in Escondido, California, under the founder of the Situational Leadership model, Dr. Paul Hersey, and in Effective Negotiation from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under its founders, Bruce Patton, William Ury, and Roger Fisher. She also has a professional certification in Data Wise, from The Data Wise Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her spare time, she writes poetry and children’s stories and is in the process of publishing 14 workbooks in English and Spanish for children aged 3-6.

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