“There is no such thing as a instant leader.” begins Bill George. Think about the typical CEO of a company. What made his or her leadership style significant to the livelihood of the company, if it was successful to begin with? One quickly realizes that the definition of being a ‘leader’ is not all black and white as numerous leadership studies and archetypes make it out to be. In fact, the former CEO of Medtronic argues that the best leaders are those who do not aim to be leaders, but those who aim to embody leadership throughout the company, called ‘authentic leadership.’
Monthly Archives: September 2013
Paul O’ Neill, former Secretary of the US Treasury and CEO of Alcoa, gives his views on effective leadership
At a conference at Harvard Business School, Paul O’ Neill led an open and very candid discussion about his time as Secretary of the Treasury under the Bush administration and CEO of Alcoa. Before joining the government, Mr O’ Neill had made his reputation by being tough on safety during his time at the world’s third largest aluminum producer.
During the hour long session chaired by Professor Ananth Raman, Mr. O’ Neill began by asking the group of senior managers and executives present “How many of you know the daily loss rate in your company?” A few hands went up. Continue reading
“Love and marriage,” says old blue eyes himself, Mr. Frank Sinatra, “Go together like a horse and carriage.” This idealised pairing might be said to be relevant for Harvard Business School and the Case Study Method.
HBS was created in 1908 and established its case study method in the 1920s. Today, this teaching method is as close to business school orthodoxy as you can possible get. There are approximately 14 000 business schools in the world and you would be hard pressed to find one that did not uses cases to teach business. But why did HBS start teaching this way and how many cases does it sell each year?
I confess that when I picked up the book for the first time I was a bit surprised. “Negotiauctions”? A book from Harvard with a spelling mistake on the front cover? Not at all. The word is just a collocation derived from ‘negotiation’ and ´auction´. The basic premise of this book is that in a interaction between the buyer and the seller you either have a one to one discussion, a negotiation, or an open market situation where the highest bidder wins, an auction. Guhan Subramanian takes this even further demonstrating how in real life we often move quite easily from transaction mode to another.
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In their book, “Promises Fulfilled and Unfulfilled in Management Education”, Howard Thomas et al. (2013) quote a Dean saying that degree certificates should be written in invisible ink. It is an interesting idea. If 80% of products we use today did not exist 10 years ago as marketers tell us, then we should be constantly going back to formal education to relearn new methods and techniques. The usefulness of knowledge learn at the age of 20, may have ‘disappeared’ by the time we are 30 or 40.
Working in higher education means that you should constantly get the chance to challenge set logic. (Or have it challenged by bright colleagues and students.) Still, there is no reason that the same reasoning should not apply. I have therefore chosen to begin this semester by going back to school myself. For the next two months I will be studying Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
I am delighted to announce the launch of a new blog, “Mainly International” by the Centre for International Affairs at Grenoble EM.
It posted its first article two days ago and will be posting everyday this coming week.
The articles will describe many of the exciting international projects that the team is working on and will have stories from students, faculty, staff and anyone else who wishes to contribute.
On a personal note I am even more pleased because I will be away from the office for the next couple of months. This new blog will allow me to keep track of all things that are happening.
I hope you enjoy reading it.
This is the blog of the Centre for International Affairs at Grenoble EM, France.
The mission of the Centre is to help students, faculty and administrative staff develop a whole range of international projects. This includes activities such as Study Abroad or the off-site programmes and campuses we have set up. Today is the first day of our blog. But why a blog and what will we talk about?
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