This idea by Marcum in Melville, N.Y., and Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y., is one of the Best HR Ideas for 2012. See the rest of them here.
"Trading Places" was certainly not one of the longest entry forms of our contest, but it was one of the easiest to choose because of its uniqueness and simplicity, coupled with its strategic value in matching the education and business worlds.
The "dream child" of Mark Fogel, chief human resource officer for Marcum, "Trading Places" brought the quantitative research skills of Adelphi tenured HR professor MaryAnne Hyland into Marcum's fold and sent Fogel into the classroom to teach her MBA course on world-class HR for the fall 2011 semester. What Adelphi got back was a professor who, over the semester-long sabbatical, conducted needs assessments for training and development for Marcum's national HR team, using "the real world as a laboratory to add texture to her classroom discussions and inform her research," says Fogel.
What Marcum, an accounting and advisory firm, got in return was not just a much-improved reputation for taking steps to link academia with the business community, but enhanced assessments led by someone with a great deal of experience in the methodology.
Personally, says Fogel, the company also got back a CHRO who was challenged by MBA students to question his own business practices "in ways employees wouldn't dare, something every CHRO should experience." In meetings with Hyland, he adds, Marcum's HR leaders also enjoyed "discussions that extended well beyond . . . the general issues that often are discussed when HR professionals and professors meet at conferences and similar venues."