During a recent discussion with for Senior Executives at Harvard Business School, Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE shared his insights on leadership, corporate culture, his current role in the company. Invited by Professor Ranjay Gulati, Chair of the HBS Advanced Management Program, the CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations gave an open and honest talk about what he considers to be some of his own mistakes and what keeps a CEO awake at night. With a market capitalization of over $200 billion, nearly 300 000 employees and interests in business segments as divergent as Industrial Production, Energy, Technology and Infrastructure, Capital Finance the list had the potential to be a long one. Continue reading
Category Archives: Advanced Management Program
Speaking as a guest of Professor Rajiv Lal at the Harvard Business School, Monsieur Jean Jacques Lebel, outlined the logic behind the universalization strategy that L’Oréal has been implementing throughout the French cosmetics firm. This policy aims to leverage the advantages of having a global brand and adapt them to emerging markets in order to give new consumers a product that they feel in relevant and adapted to their needs. 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?
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.