Featured Case Discussion: Iz-Lynn Chan at Far East Organization
In response to alumni requests, we are offering a featured case discussion during reunion weekend! Preregistration and prereading are required. Offered during Friday sessions I, II, and III. Space is limited to 95 alumni per session.
This case discussion focuses on Iz-Lynn Chan and her small team in the Service Quality and Standards Department for Far East Hospitality. After being awarded the national Customer Centric Initiative (CCI) by the government of Singapore, Chan had to make some tough decisions about how to carry it out. Despite Far East Hospitality’s leading market share in mid-tier hotels and serviced residences, competition remained fierce in Singapore’s hospitality industry. Additionally, its mid-tier legacy had made consistent customer service hard to achieve. The CCI provided a high-profile opportunity for the company to raise its standards of service. The question was, how far did Far East Hospitality still have to go to deliver world-class customer service?
The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change
Bharat N. Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration
Digital technology is changing many industries: cars and taxis, hotels, and fashion. But it changed the media and entertainment industries first, wholly affecting how consumers engaged with music, newspapers, books, magazines, TV, and movies. What have we learned from two decades of history of digital change in media and entertainment? Professor Anand will present findings from his forthcoming book The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change. Participants will learn about approaches that work and don’t work as companies craft digital strategy. Anand will also discuss how lessons learned from these strategies shaped the execution of HBX, HBS’s own digital learning initiative.
The Capitalist Dilemma: How Will You Measure Your Life?
Clayton M. Christensen (MBA 1979), Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration
Professor Christensen loves to tackle questions, whether they are about how to live a happy, meaningful, purpose-filled life or the 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 throughout this presentation. He will talk about his current research, which looks at the economy, and discuss how this same research applies to family relationships—aligning resources with priorities—and how he has chosen to measure his life.
Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders
Robin J. Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration; Faculty Chair, Gender Initiative;
Colleen Ammerman, Director, Gender Initiative
Gender disparities persist in business and society, with women still underrepresented in senior leadership roles. Why? And what can individuals and their companies do about it? Results from the recently published Life and Leadership after HBS study challenge conventional wisdom about high-achieving women and examine how both women and men make decisions and trade-offs as they pursue personal and professional goals. Professor Robin Ely, the study’s lead author, will present the latest findings from the study, providing insights about how to effect meaningful change in the organizations that participants lead and influence. In addition, Gender Initiative Director Colleen Ammerman will provide an overview of the School’s activities since 2013, when HBS celebrated the 50th anniversary of women in the MBA program, and share highlights of the recent work of the Gender Initiative.
How Biology Has Changed the Global Economy, Is Transforming the World's Largest Businesses, and Will Change Even the Human Species
Juan Enríquez (MBA 1986), Managing Director, Excel Venture Management
As humans modify viruses and bacteria to compute, vaccinate, retrovirally treat, or crowd out harmful pathogens, they begin to take direct and deliberate control over the evolution of various species. This changes man from a humanoid that is aware of and modifies its environment into a species that directly and deliberately guides evolution. And this is changing everything, including our life span, religions, ethics, and the power of various countries. Participants will leave with a sense of just how important bioliteracy is and why the life sciences are becoming the greatest single driver of the economy over the next few decades.
Can Health Care Become a Consumer Product?
Robert S. Huckman (PhDBE 2001), Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration
At the heart of the dramatic change occurring in the health care industry is the assumption that consumers can and must play a larger role in decisions about their health care. Consumers now have access to more information than ever before about their health and their options for improving it. Yet health care still remains far from being a true consumer good, as patients often lack either important information about their treatment options or incentives to act upon the information they do have. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of current efforts to embrace consumerism in health care and the significant challenges that remain in realizing consumerism’s full potential.
Launch “New” Nuclear Now or Lose the Race with Climate Change
Joseph B. Lassiter, Senior Fellow; Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, Retired;
Ray A. Rothrock (MBA 1988), Partner, Emeritus, Venrock; Chairman and CEO, RedSeal
Today’s nuclear and renewable alternatives are forecast to lose the race to fossil fuels. “New” nuclear alternatives that can beat fossil fuels are on the world’s drawing boards, but out-of-date thinking is keeping these “new” nuclear alternatives from being ready in time to keep worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from threatening levels. Professor Lassiter and Mr. Rothrock hope participants will leave this session insisting that politicians and policymakers support “new” nuclear, the energy solution that can provide US levels of power to every person on the planet for thousands of years, safely, cheaply, and carbon-free.
Tour of the HBX Live Studio at WGBH
Patrick J. Mullane (MBA 1999), Executive Director, HBX
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 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. The tour is limited to 50 participants.
Wealth and Families: Lessons from My Life Journey
Howard H. Stevenson (MBA 1965), Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
The financial insecurity inherent in today’s world means that no one can afford not to think about wealth—how you get it, manage it, and use it. Wealth and families? Even more complicated! Professor Stevenson’s experiences as the first president and a cofounder of Baupost, a $29 billion investment fund, and with his family, which he describes as “wealthy enough to have real choices and complex enough to face real challenges,” afford him some special insights. He has captured what he has learned in a book called Wealth and Families: Lessons from My Life Journey. In this session, Stevenson will share his thoughts about wealth management, counter some common family wealth wisdom, and offer advice for raising children in the context of wealth.
The Layoff Paradox: The Hidden Costs of Layoffs and the Proven Alternatives Managers Don’t Know They Have
Sandra J. Sucher (MBA 1976), MBA Class of 1966 Professor of Management Practice
Many executives and members of the general public struggle over the question of how business leaders can manage workforce reductions while making good on their responsibilities to employees, shareholders, and communities around the world. In this session, Professor Sucher will review highlights from 30 years of careful research on the effects of layoffs and propose when layoffs do—and do not—pay off for companies (and why). She will also describe novel approaches undertaken by three multinational firms, Honeywell, Michelin, and Nokia, as examples of what alternatives to “business-as-usual” layoffs can look like and the results they can achieve.
The US Economy—Restoring Oomph
Richard H.K. Vietor, Baker Foundation Professor, Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus
After a brief background on US economic strategies in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush eras, this presentation will focus on America’s twin deficits in the 2000s. It will examine the causes of America’s fiscal deficits, its current account deficit, and the recent congressional compromise on the debt ceiling. It will conclude by forecasting deficits in the next 10 years and by considering an alternative to congressional action. Participants will leave this session with a clearer idea of America’s economic fundamentals and economic policy issues than is revealed either by the primary debates or by the press.
Public Entrepreneurship: Can Startups Outside Government and Within Help Solve Our Biggest Public Problems?
Mitchell B. Weiss (MBA 2004), Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
There is a new generation of inventors, inside government and outside of it, turning problems into opportunities. Senior Lecturer Weiss created and teaches the School’s first course on these public entrepreneurs, who can be found at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, creating Airbnb’s civic partnerships, founding the US Digital Service, and experimenting inside Mexico City’s LabCDMX. Participants will leave with a sense for how public entrepreneurship can be deployed in companies and in government, and for how to tackle its trickier aspects, such as executing startup sales to government, investing in companies that sell into (or around) government, and scaling in regulatory “gray areas.”