Capitalist Dilemma and How Will You Measure Your Life
Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration
Professor Christensen loves to tackle questions, from How does one live a happy, meaningful, purpose-filled life to What are patterns in the economic recovery cycle? Using a set of theories as lenses to the world, he routinely asks his students to share what they see through these lenses. He continues the conversation and shares insights from these conversations here. He’ll talk about his current research looking at the economy along with how this same research applies to family relationships, aligning resources with priorities, and how he has chosen to measure his life.
Design Thinking and Innovative Problem Solving
Srikant M. Datar, Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Accounting
In their book, Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads (Harvard Business Review Press), Professors Srikant Datar and David Garvin and researcher Patrick Cullen identified creative and innovative thinking as an essential skill for managers operating in a world of rapidly evolving product and business models and ever-increasing complexity. In this talk, Professor Datar will describe how managers can develop design thinking and innovative problem-solving skills. These skills include the ability to gain deep insights about users (the core of design thinking); to define and reframe problems; and to overcome fixedness in thinking to generate, develop, and implement novel and effective solutions. Professor Datar will also discuss how managers can build innovative organizations, identify innovative individuals, form innovative teams, and nurture innovative cultures.
Google, Facebook, and the End of Anonymity
John A. Deighton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, and Benjamin G. Edelman, Associate Professor of Business Administration
The automobile changed the physical world. The Internet is changing the mental world. First came Google, which put a dent in human ignorance, and then Facebook, which did the same for loneliness. Do these virtues come at a cost? They alter the line between private life and life in the marketplace; they change the balance of information between buyers and sellers; they change what it means to be alone. This session will report on research that finds that US firms spend $156 billion to buy marketing services grounded in microdata about individual consumers. Are marketers getting value for this spending? Are consumers?
Strategic Marketing Management: Betting on Blockbusters and Superstars
Anita Elberse, Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration
Big bets on blockbusters and superstars are commonplace in the business of entertainment, but such strategies increasingly pervade other consumer-goods sectors, too, including fashion, electronics, luxury goods, beverages, and apparel. That’s why managers in a wide range of industries can benefit from understanding successful strategies in show business. Drawing on a decade's worth of research on the creative industries, Professor Elberse will describe which strategies give leaders in film, television, music, publishing, and sports an edge over their rivals. Along the way, she will reveal why the search for the next blockbuster often is so costly, why superstars can earn unimaginable sums, how digital technologies are transforming the entertainment landscape—and what the key lessons are for managers across a wide range of other industries.
Can China Lead?
William C. Kirby, Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration; T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies
Europe led the world in the 19th century. The United States was the dominant power of the 20th century. What are the prospects for the 21st century being the “Chinese Century?” The question of whether China can sustain its remarkable emergence of the past 35 years is the subject of Professor Kirby’s new book, Can China Lead? Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth, coauthored with Regina M. Abrami and F. Warren McFarlan (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014). Looking at entrepreneurship, education, and politics, Professor Kirby will talk in this session about the challenges and opportunities for China and for the United States; and he will assess the prospects for reform in the light of the first years of President Xi Jinping’s leadership.
Family Feud at Market Basket
Jay W. Lorsch, Louis E. Kirstein Professor of Human Relations
During the summer of 2014, a boardroom conflict at Market Basket, a chain of New England supermarkets, exploded into public view after CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was fired by the board, led by his archnemesis and cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. His dismissal set off protests throughout the organization, by employees who saw Arthur S. and his side of the family as “greedy corporate sharks” more concerned about their own wealth than the welfare of employees and customers. Each day brought new headlines and TV updates. Because of the high-profile nature of the crisis, the actions by the board of directors were being carefully scrutinized and directors were under increasing pressure to get Market Basket back on track. Professor Lorsch will explore what caused this Greek tragedy to unfold in Boston, how the board and management reacted, and what the lessons are for company boards.
Tour of HBX Live Studio at WGBH
Youngme Moon, Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration
HBX Live! is a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom that allows students to interact in real time with faculty and alumni from around the world, much as they would in a traditional Aldrich classroom. HBS has partnered with the public broadcasting company WGBH to create a state-of-the-art space that will allow engagement with up to 60 participants at a time. Join Professor Moon for a tour of the studio where faculty go to teach and the control room where production is managed, and hear about how and why this unique learning platform was built.
Tour is limited to 50 participants.
From “Mad Men” to “Math Men” – The Programmatic Revolution in Advertising
Jeffrey F. Rayport, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
Department store magnate John Wanamaker is famous for saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Marketing guided by big data, analytics, and algorithmic intelligence is changing the game for major brands. Marketers can now determine exactly how well their advertising is performing, in real time, down to the individual ad impression. While so-called programmatic buying, selling, and targeting of advertising at scale has only recently taken hold, it is poised to become the dominant way in which leading brands achieve their goals. This revolution in marketing automation, which resembles the technology-driven transformation of the capital markets two decades ago, signals that programmatic techniques are poised to enter the mainstream. When that happens, major media, including television and even print, will become IP-addressable. And any conventional notions about marketing as usual will go out the window. In this talk, we’ll explore what this means for marketers and brands – and the future of our culture.
High-Growth Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Strategy
Steven S. Rogers, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
This will be an interactive session featuring a comprehensive discussion about high-growth vs. lifestyle entrepreneurship. Participants will also use the entrepreneurship spectrum to identify the numerous ways in which people can pursue entrepreneurship, including via startup or acquisition. The topic of strategic thinking will be covered throughout the session, with a focus on why successful entrepreneurs have seemingly mastered this skill set and corporate executives have not.
Real Estate and Capital Markets
Arthur I. Segel, Poorvu Family Professor of Management Practice
Participate in a discussion on real estate valuation and the capital markets today, using a short case involving New York City, which will be handed out in class (no pre-reading required).
Professor Arthur Segel will also provide a brief update on current real estate programming for MBA students.
Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution
Robert Simons, Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration
Executing strategy requires tough choices. Unfortunately, many managers avoid choosing in the mistaken belief that they can have it all. Instead of focusing on one primary customer, they try to serve many different types of customers. Instead of instilling values that prioritize the interests of shareholders, customers, and employees, they develop lists of aspirational attributes. Instead of focusing on what could cause their strategy to fail, they build complex scorecards with an overload of measures. The result: disappointing performance and declining market position. To guard against these risks, Professor Simons will review the seven strategy questions that all executives (and directors) should ask to ensure that business leaders are making the tough choices that ensure successful strategy execution and winning in highly competitive, global markets.
What It Takes to BE(come) a World-Class Leader: Authentic Leader(ship) Development
Scott A. Snook (MBA 1987), MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
This session will be an interactive discussion that draws on Senior Lecturer Snook’s 30-plus years of experience as a leader, teacher, and researcher. Using a series of short video vignettes and personal stories, Snook will argue that success is as much about who you are as it is about what you know and what you can do. Drawing from the emerging fields of positive psychology and authentic leader development, Snook will demonstrate the potential of this novel approach by introducing participants to a wide range of interesting characters, including The Happy Greeter, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Simon Cowell, and Michael Jordan. Based on his experience teaching the highly popular HBS course Authentic Leadership Development, Snook will lead participants through a reflective exercise designed to help them experience what it feels like to actually BE(come) more authentic.
Wealth: A Nice Problem to Have
Howard Stevenson (MBA 1965), Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
HBS boasts many wealthy graduates, many self-made. Many people think that money solves all problems—and it certainly can help—but it creates other challenges. Professor Stevenson’s experiences as the first president and a cofounder of Baupost, a $26 billion investment fund, and with his family’s investment partnership affords him some special insights. At the request of his children, Professor Stevenson has been trying to capture what he has learned about wealth in a “book” for the family. In this seminar, he will share his latest thinking about wealth, which he defines as the accumulation of a pool of assets that give choice; philanthropy; spending; and investing. He also will counter common wisdom on the particularly thorny issue of wealth and families, and offer some suggestions for raising wealthy children.