Fall 2015 Reunion Presentations

During the 2015 Fall Reunions, HBS faculty members, industry leaders and non-HBS scholars will present their most recent research on a wide range of topics.

To view presentation materials from prior reunions, please visit past reunion presentations pages: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Dean's Address: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Dean's Address

Nitin Nohria, George F. Baker Professor of Business Administration and Dean of the Faculty

Session 1: 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
The Low-Risk Anomaly: Implications for Investment, Asset Allocation, and Corporate Finance
Malcolm P. Baker (PhDBE 2000), Robert G. Kirby Professor of Business Administration

One of the basic principles of finance is that, in competitive and efficient markets, investors earn higher average returns only by taking greater risks. Asset classes follow this pattern: Stocks have returned more than bonds, and bonds have returned more than cash. But within the stock market, the pattern is reversed. Low-risk stocks, whether measured by volatility or market beta, have outperformed high-risk stocks, on average, in 80 years of US stock market history and in 30 years of international data. Drawing on his research, Professor Baker will describe the behavioral and institutional explanations for this anomaly and discuss the potential implications for investment, asset allocation, and corporate finance.

Behavioral Insights to Be a More Effective Organization
Max H. Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration

The growth of behavioral economics, decision research, controlled field experiments, and nudging has created a new set of levers for executives to create more effective organizations. HBS, and Harvard more broadly, is at the center of this revolution. As cochair of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group (along with Professor Iris Bohnet), Professor Bazerman helps organize the dozens of Harvard researchers working in this area and coordinates with emerging Behavioral Insights Teams around the globe. This talk will give an overview of Harvard’s role in this field and offer a number of specific examples that may be useful to executives attending the session.

The Next Harvard: Planning for Transformation
Angela Quinn Crispi (MBA 1990), Executive Dean for Administration; Andrew F. O’Brien, Chief of Operations

Harvard and HBS are undertaking one of the largest real estate developments in the City of Boston. This interactive discussion will showcase these evolving plans. Learn how Harvard’s vision for Allston will create a campus of the next century, putting HBS, long recognized as one of the most renowned campuses in higher education, at the center of the University’s master plan. Hear how the HBS campus has evolved over the past five years and which innovations are planned for the next five as it designs the campus of the future.

Terror at the Taj Bombay: Customer-Centric Leadership
Rohit Deshpandé, Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing

Join a case discussion about the bravery and resourcefulness shown by the rank-and-file employees of the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower luxury hotel during the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008. Excerpts from the “Terror at the Taj” multimedia case will be shown during the session, featuring video interviews with hotel staff and executives combined with security footage of the attack, which create a documentary-like account of the events that took place. The case also covers the hotel’s history, its approach to training, and the “guest is God” philosophy inherent in Indian culture. Why did the Taj employees stay at their posts, jeopardizing their safety in order to save hotel guests? And is this level of loyalty and dedication something that can be replicated and scaled elsewhere? Note: The Terror at the Taj Bombay case discussion will be based on a video case shown live in the classroom; no pre-reading or viewing is required.

Teaming across Industries
Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management

This session will review research on the interpersonal dynamics that affect organizational learning. Teaming—the dynamic interactions through which interdependent work is carried out—emphasizes the action rather than the structures of teamwork. This perspective on organizational learning emerged through field research in settings ranging from the front lines of health care delivery to the Space Shuttle program at NASA to the management conference room. It emphasizes the debilitating effects of interpersonal fear and examines the role of leadership in counteracting these effects.

The Future of Private Equity and Venture Capital: Hope or Hype?
Josh Lerner (PMD 62, 1991), Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking

Both the buyout and venture capital industries face unprecedented challenges today. After an orgy of investments in the mid-2000s, private equity funds suffered a hangover of epic proportions. In recent quarters, however, the portfolios of the private equity funds have recovered in a manner that has surprised even the most optimistic observers. Meanwhile, venture capital, after a prolonged drought, has experienced new life—and even the repeat of bubble-like behavior, according to some observers. But all is not rosy: many of the investors on which these funds have traditionally depended, such as endowments and pensions, have increasingly looked to bypass funds and to instead pursue direct investments into private firms. This talk will explore this unsettled and often mysterious territory and offer some surprising predictions about the future of these sectors.

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.

Consumers, Corporations, and Public Health: The Case of 23andMe
John A. Quelch (DBA 1977), Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration

In November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration sent a strongly worded cease and desist letter to 23andMe, a pioneer in direct-to-consumer genetic testing. The case is a metaphor for the increasing tension between public-health regulators and innovative entrepreneurs. As they contend with ever-escalating health-care costs (now 18 percent of U.S. GDP), consumers are encouraged to take more responsibility for their own health. But public-health officials are concerned about the quality of the information consumers may purchase and the possibility that they may act on the information in ways that do themselves more harm than good. The 23andMe case is one of many in Professor Quelch’s new course, Consumers, Corporations, and Public Health, that is offered jointly to MPH and MBA students.

The Market for Smaller Firms
Richard S. Ruback, Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate Finance; Royce G. Yudkoff (MBA 1980), Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Smaller firms sell for substantially lower multiples than larger firms in similar businesses. These smaller firms—with transaction values below $10 million—typically sell for four times EBITDA, multiples that are half to a third as large as those for comparable larger companies. These low multiples seem to provide enormous opportunities for potential buyers. The magic of small-firm investing is surely these low multiples. This talk will offer some thoughts about the market for smaller firms and the dynamics that result in the low multiples for smaller firms.

The Basis for Optimism
William A. Sahlman (MBA 1975), Dimitri V. D'Arbeloff – MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration

This talk focuses on the challenges confronting the United States and other countries and the entrepreneurial actors who are hard at work finding solutions. If K‒12 education is failing in the United States, entrepreneurs are designing new systems that are less costly and more effective. If climate change threatens life as we know it, entrepreneurs are searching for scalable, clean, low-cost alternatives to hydrocarbons. This is the basic duality participants will discuss.

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 Segel will also provide a brief update on current real estate programming for MBA students.

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 Management in the 21st Century
Luis M. Viceira, George E. Bates Professor

With more than $15 trillion in assets under management, the U.S. retail wealth management industry is the largest of its kind in the world and one of the most highly competitive and innovative. Recent demographic, cultural, and industry trends are transforming the wealth management business. This talk will explore these trends, how the traditional wealth management business is responding to them, and how new business models are emerging and disrupting traditional firms.

The Roots of the Debate over Tax Reform
Matthew C. Weinzierl, Associate Professor of Business Administration

Fundamental tax reform is overdue in the United States. While the outlines of a compromise seem clear, agreement remains elusive. Associate Professor Weinzierl studies the roots of this stalemate, and in this interactive discussion, participants will explore some of the underlying tensions driving the current debate. They may even come to appreciate the other side of the debate a bit better.

Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs
David B. Yoffie, Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration

Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs were masters of strategy, who led Microsoft, Intel, and Apple to become the world’s most valuable companies during their tenures. Based on more than 20 years of research, Professor Yoffie argues that these three CEOs shared a powerful, common approach to strategy, which he describes through five rules: (1) look forward and then reason back; (2) make big bets but without betting the company; (3) build platforms and ecosystems rather than just stand-alone products; (4) exploit both leverage and power, or “judo” and “sumo” tactics; and (5) drive execution by shaping the organization around the CEO’s “personal anchor.” This session is based on Professor Yoffie’s book Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs, coauthored with Michael Cusumano (Harper Collins).

Session 2: 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Is “Good Governance” Good for Companies?
Joseph L. Bower (MBA 1961), Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus; Lynn S. Paine, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration

At a time of changing technology, shifting environmental and market conditions, and increasing competition from giant Asian companies, business leaders also face heightened pressure to increase returns to shareholders and improve corporate governance. In the name of good governance and greater accountability to shareholders, many companies have declassified their boards, introduced majority voting for directors, and eliminated so-called “poison pills." Others, under pressure from activist investors, have bought back shares, spun off divisions, or taken other steps to modify their business models. In this session, Professors Bower and Paine will review the intellectual foundations of the “good governance” movement and report on the conversations they have had with corporate executives, investors, and asset managers about the implications of this movement and the role of shareholders in the modern public corporation.

Aligning Strategy and Sales
Frank V. Cespedes, MBA Class of 1973 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

For most companies, the most expensive part of implementation is aligning sales and other go-to-market efforts with their strategies and goals. Yet research indicates a big gap between strategy and field execution in sales. On average, companies deliver only about half of the financial performance that their strategies and sales forecasts promise. That’s a lot of wasted money and managerial effort. This session will focus on tools to help close that gap and improve selling and strategy in your organization. Senior Lecturer Cespedes will outline what research for his new book, Aligning Strategy and Sales: The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors That Drive Effective Selling (Harvard Business Review Press), can say about improving performance in this area. He will also leave attendees with diagnostics that they can use when they return to their organizations.

The Capitalist Dilemma and 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.

Digital Innovation and Transformation: What Are Nest, WhatsApp, and SnapChat Really Worth and What Does It Mean for the Rest of Us?
Marco Iansiti, David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration

The ubiquity of digital connectivity is creating new giants and transforming old industries. This session will focus on the changes driven by digital innovation and its implications for business value creation and capture. Participants will discuss emerging business and operating models and their foundations in technology and economics. The content will draw from Digital Innovation and Transformation, a new Elective Curriculum course.

Value-Based Health Care: How to Reconcile Mission and Margin
Robert S. Kaplan, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus

Recent attempts at health care reform have focused on the “demand” side, attempting to improve patients’ access to the system. Professor Kaplan will discuss his collaboration with Michael Porter on the “supply” side, helping health-care providers deliver better value by improving their patient outcomes while incurring lower total costs. He will describe Porter’s outcomes framework and his HBS-supported work to apply time-driven, activity-based costing for accurate and transparent costing at the individual patient level. The approach promises to transform the economics of the health care industry by facilitating major improvements in process efficiencies, resource deployment and use, and costs without compromising patient outcomes. It will also accelerate the replacement of fee-for-service payment models with bundled payments that reward providers for delivering the best outcomes at the lowest cost, not those that perform multiple and expensive procedures.

Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education
John Jong-Hyun Kim (MBA 1993), Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

This session will explore how entrepreneurs are applying business practices and technology innovations to transform K–12 education and raise performance. The United States spends more than $600 billion each year to provide public education to more than 50 million children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Despite concerted reform efforts matched with a more than doubling in spending in real terms over the past three decades, the performance of US students has not improved. Indeed, many schools in the United States look similar to those of a hundred years ago. Learn about a new class of entrepreneurs who are attempting to develop breakthrough approaches to education.

E Pluribus Unum: Thoughts on the Perils (and Promise) of an Aging Democracy
David A. Moss, Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration

Is American democracy in trouble? What could this mean for the nation’s economy and business environment? Professor Moss will take up these questions from an historical perspective, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s political system as it has evolved over the past 230-plus years. He will pay particular attention to the issue of partisan conflict over time, and whether partisanship has become especially dangerous today, as many commentators contend. Ultimately, he will consider whether it’s possible for America’s aging democracy to overcome its many challenges—and if so, how. Over the past several years, Professor Moss has developed a case-method course on the history of American democracy, available to both Harvard undergraduates and MBA students, and he expects to draw on a number of the cases in his presentation.

HBX: Business Education Reimagined for the Digital Age
V.G. Narayanan, Thomas D. Casserly Jr. Professor of Business Administration; Cristina de la Cierva (MBA 2009), Product Manager, HBX Live

HBX is a new online education platform that offers interactive learning experiences in keeping with HBS’s mission to educate leaders. Participants will learn about HBS’s strategy for creating a unique learning environment. Professor Narayanan and HBX Product Manager de la Cierva will provide a deep-dive into the Credential of Readiness (CORe) program, a primer on the fundamentals of business, and Courses, which are specialized offerings that allow learners to engage with leading-edge ideas from HBS faculty. They will also introduce HBX Live, a one-of-a-kind digital classroom that will enable learners worldwide to connect in real time. Platform demonstrations will illustrate the technology and teaching elements that make HBX unique.

Learning From Harvard’s "Great Negotiators"
James K. Sebenius (PhDBE 1980), Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration

What can we learn from closely studying great negotiators at work? Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation—an interuniversity consortium involving Harvard, MIT, and Tufts—has annually bestowed the “Great Negotiator Award” on men and women such as George Mitchell, Bruce Wasserstein, Richard Holbrooke, Charlene Barshefsky, and James Baker. By systematically probing the strategies and tactics of this distinguished group, one can uncover broader lessons about negotiation. The Great Negotiator in 2014 was Tommy Koh of Singapore, who chaired the Law of the Sea Negotiations and the UN’s Rio Earth Summit, mediated an ugly dispute between the Russian Federation and the Baltics, and served as Singapore’s chief negotiator for the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. During this session, Professor Sebenius will sketch the Great Negotiators program and, as an example, probe Koh’s unusual approach to the Free Trade negotiations for broader insight into complex dealmaking.

Global Sourcing, Industrial Competitiveness, and the Future of Regional Clusters
Willy C. Shih, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration

Building on earlier work on industrial competitiveness, Professor Shih will discuss one of his current projects, looking at the future of regional clusters. In today's global market for knowledge and ideas, the breadth of knowledge needed to sustain competitiveness increasingly requires firms to source capabilities from wherever they can find them. This means that the long-term health of regional clusters depends on the extent to which they can attract talent, invest in leading-edge capabilities, and foster cross-boundary collaboration that stays ahead of technological convergence.

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 afford 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 will also counter common wisdom on the particularly thorny issue of wealth and families and offer some suggestions for raising wealthy children.

Leading Innovation and Change: The Challenge of Innovation Streams and Open Innovation on Incumbent Firms
Michael L. Tushman, Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration

This interactive session will explore the challenges of building organizations, both public and private, that can excel at today's innovation as well as create tomorrow's innovation. It will emphasize, with a range of video examples, the challenges of open innovation on incumbent firms and focus on the characteristics of senior leaders who build effective ambidextrous firms.

Session 3: 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
A New CEO’s Perspectives on the Harvard Endowment
Stephen Blyth, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harvard Management Company

Product Management 101
Thomas R. Eisenmann (MBA 1983), Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration

Great product managers (PMs) can have a tremendous impact on a technology company's performance. PMs define a product and then lead a cross-functional team responsible for its development, launch, and ongoing improvement. The elective course Product Management 101 aims to prepare MBAs for this demanding and crucial role by using a learning-by-doing approach. Over the course of a year, PM101 students conduct research on user needs for a software application, specify functional requirements, recruit and supervise programmers, and then manage the application's launch. Professor Eisenmann will describe the challenges and rewards of designing and delivering a course that eschews the traditional HBS case method and instead relies solely on its complement, the field method. He will also discuss how PM101 fits into broader efforts underway at HBS to better prepare students for entrepreneurial careers.

Digital Transformation
Sunil Gupta, Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration

Digital technology is disrupting almost every industry. Netflix wiped away Blockbuster, and Best Buy is becoming a showroom for Amazon. Telecom firms are afraid to become dumb pipes even as mobile usage increases exponentially. Even large and successful offline players, like Wal-Mart, are struggling to build a digital business. In this session, participants will discuss a framework for the digital transformation of large firms.

The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation
Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration

What does it take to build an organization that can innovate in today’s global economy? What kind of leadership is needed? How can one select and develop the kind of leadership talent needed? These are questions Professor Hill has been researching along with, among others, the former senior vice president of technology for Pixar. She will share examples from her new book of leaders who have learned how to cultivate “collective genius” and provide a framework for creating organizations in which people are willing and able to innovate.

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 about the challenges and opportunities for China and the United States, and he will assess the prospects for reform in the light of the first years of President Xi Jinping's leadership.

The Crowd as an Innovation Partner: Lessons from Leading Organizations
Karim R. Lakhani, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration

Over the last decade, crowd-based models for organizing and funding innovation have established themselves firmly within the economy. Crowds are now an important innovation partner to organizations in a range of commercial and technological settings. In this talk, Associate Professor Lakhani discusses the four fundamental modes of organizing crowds and what types of problems are best suited to each mode. Using examples from GE, Siemens, NASA, Kickstarter, Prodigy Network, Local Motors, and Harvard Medical School, he presents evidence on important factors that determine success and performance when deploying crowds to solve innovation problems. He also discusses the critical role of senior executives to drive crowd innovation within their companies.

Online Lending to Small Business: How Technology Is Changing the Game
Karen G. Mills (MBA 1977), Senior Fellow

Small businesses have often faced gaps in access to credit, particularly in the recent recession. Now an onslaught of new online lenders such as Lending Club, Funding Circle and OnDeck are providing small dollar loans to businesses within days, with easy online applications and the use of new credit algorithms. Institutional players—including Goldman Sachs—and many hedge funds are entering the game, providing billions of dollars of capital. Is this a good development for America and its small businesses? Mills draws on her experience as the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet to discuss recent developments in the online lending market for small business. Who will be the winners and losers? What is the right approach to regulation?

The Geopolitics of Energy
Meghan O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Energy has long been a major determinant of power in the international system, and every shift in global energy patterns has brought with it changes in international politics. The past several years have seen dramatic change in the fortunes of American oil and gas production, through a revolution in technologies that may have similar applications worldwide. This talk will focus on how this U.S. energy revolution is reshaping international affairs—both by strengthening American sources of power and refashioning both global energy markets and geopolitics.

From “Mad Men” to “Math Men”—The Programmatic Revolution in Advertising
Jeffrey F. Rayport, MBA Class of 1960 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 have 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 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.

Prospects for Shared Prosperity: Findings from the 2015 Alumni Survey on U.S. Competitiveness
Jan W. Rivkin (PhDBE 1997), Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration

America’s leading companies are thriving, but the prosperity they are producing is not being shared broadly among U.S. citizens. Do business leaders see the lack of shared prosperity as a problem, either for society or for their companies? Are they satisfied with an economy that is growing strongly in aggregate, or do they care more about outcomes such as income equality, middle-class prosperity, poverty alleviation, and economic mobility? And are they more or less confident in the current and future competitiveness of the American economy than they were in 2011? Professor Rivkin will present the results of HBS’s effort to gauge alumni opinions on these topics.

Renewable You: Stem Cells and the Future of Medicine
David Scadden, M.D., Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine, Harvard University

Cells, the fundamental units of life, enact the drama that is our health and vigor and our eventual loss of both. Once viewed as rigidly determined, stem cell biology has taught us that all cells are, in fact, quite plastic, able to be modified or reprogrammed to change their fate and ours. This session will explore how cells, particularly stem cells, can serve as the next wave of medicines to improve our health, wealth, and vitality.

The Wise Leader: How CEOs Can Learn Practical Wisdom to Help Them Do What’s Right for Their Companies—and Society
Hirotaka Takeuchi, Professor of Management Practice

Business now demands a new kind of leader—one who will make judgments knowing that everything is contextual, make decisions knowing that everything is changing, and take actions knowing that everything depends on doing so in a timely fashion. Such leaders will have to see what is good, just, and right for society (keeping a higher purpose in mind) while being grounded in the details of the ever-changing front line (realizing “God is in the details”).

The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World
Michael A. Wheeler, MBA Class of 1952 Professor of Management Practice, Retired

Professor Wheeler presents a fresh and dynamic approach to negotiation, one that challenges the static assumptions of win-win and hard-bargaining models. The simple truth is that negotiation can’t be scripted. People can’t dictate what other parties will say or do any more than they would let others dominate them. Success thus requires strategic agility and the capacity to be nimble from moment to moment. Professor Wheeler draws practical lessons from masters of improvisation in other fields, including jazz, comedy, competitive sports, and even warfare. He is the author of The Art of Negotiation (Simon & Schuster).

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baker Library Sessions: 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Baker Library: Informed Leaders Start Here
Meghan Dolan and Jim Borron, Baker Library

Alumni support at HBS includes access to the world-class resources at Baker Library for career and professional research needs. Meghan and Jim will provide an overview of current research tools and services and unveil new research services available only to HBS alumni. Attend this presentation and be among the first to hear about these new services that can save you and your organizations time and help you be more fully informed about existing and emerging markets, industries, organizations and more. Contact us at infoservices@hbs.edu or 617-495-6040.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS EXHIBITION TOUR

Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies
Baker Library Staff

Attend a guided tour of the exhibit "Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies." The exhibit examines the career of Georges F. Doriot, an educator and founder of the modern venture-capital industry. During his 4o-year tenure at Harvard Business School, the charismatic professor taught business and leadership in his celebrated Manufacturing course to nearly 7,000 students. The exhibit features selections from the Georges F. Doriot Collection that reveal the ideas and ideals of a man who played a pioneering role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy. If you are unable to attend this tour, please visit http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/doriot to learn more about the exhibit and related research materials. Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections at histcollref@hbs.edu to request a copy of the exhibition catalog.

Session 1: 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Why Is There Any Life in the Universe at All?
Charles R. Alcock, Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University

The early universe did not offer promising opportunities for life to develop. At the most elementary level, we think life needs a warm place and a mixture of chemical elements, neither of which was present as the universe expanded after the Big Bang. The universe cooled as it expanded and was for a few million years at hospitable temperatures, after which it became very cold and profoundly dark. We are now investigating the developments that led to the first stars, the chemical elements, and the circumstances that would permit life to develop here on Earth and elsewhere.

The Effects of Foreign Direct Investment: Macro and Micro Approaches
Laura Alfaro, Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration

Understanding the gains of foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational production has been a critical topic in academic, business, and policy circles. The benefits generated by FDI depend on the presence of certain complementary conditions that help countries absorb those benefits. Professor Alfaro will discuss the need for an “integrated approach” in studying the effects of FDI on host countries. She will examine the importance of macro-level work to uncover countries’ absorptive capacities, the value of micro-level work to understand the mechanisms through which these capacities materialize, and the role of theoretical work to guide these studies.

Humanizing CRM: Unlocking the Mysteries of Your Customer Relationships
Jill J. Avery (DBA 2007), Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Consumers have always had relationships with brands, but sophisticated tools for analyzing customer data are finally allowing marketers to truly personalize and manage those relationships. With this new power comes a new challenge: consumers now expect companies to understand what type of relationship they want and to respond appropriately. Unfortunately, despite the $11 billion spent annually on CRM software, many companies lack “relational intelligence” and fail to meet customer expectations. Based on more than a decade of research on brand relationships in a variety of industries across the globe, Senior Lecturer and former CPG Brand Manager Avery will illustrate how companies can unlock the mysteries contained within their relationship portfolios and deliver on customers’ expectations in ways that significantly affect their profitability.

Restarting America’s Job Creation Engine: How Business Leaders Can Help Close the Skills Gap
Joseph B. Fuller (MBA 1981), Professor of Management Practice

The jobs market in the United States offers a number of paradoxes. Employers complain about the unavailability of skilled workers, while millions remain unemployed, underemployed, or have withdrawn from the workforce. Middle-skills jobs have attracted particular attention. By some estimates, these jobs account for about half of the labor force. Historically, they represented a reliable path to the middle class. But many of those jobs have been automated out of existence, relocated offshore, or have seen their wages stagnate. In this session, Professor Fuller will discuss research on the role of businesses in closing middle-skills gaps. He will explain why the traditional definition of “middle skills” is inadequate and present a unique view of jobs data. He will argue that by adopting a broad-based focus on U.S. competitiveness, employers, educators, and policymakers can address the skills gap and eroding standards of living.

Rethinking Nuclear: Can We Change the World’s Cumulative Carbon Emissions Soon Enough?
Joseph B. Lassiter, Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, Retired; Ray Rothrock (MBA 1988), Partner Emeritus, Venrock; Chairman and CEO, RedSeal

Today’s existing nuclear power alternatives as well as renewables are forecast by the EIA and IEA to be losing the race with fossil fuels worldwide and are expected to continue to do so for the forecast future. A new suite of nuclear power alternatives that is capable of competing economically with fossil fuels (coal in Asia and natural gas in the United States) is needed, but time is of the essence if we want to keep cumulative, worldwide CO2 emissions from reaching what could well be threatening levels.

How Do HBS Careers Progress? 2014 Alumni Survey Results
Lauren C. Murphy, Director, HBS MBA Career & Professional Development, and Christine Van Dae, Assistant Director, Market Intelligence

Have you ever wondered about the career paths of fellow HBS alumni? Perhaps you may be curious about the types of roles HBS alumni pursue beyond graduation. The 2014 Alumni Career Pathways Survey explores the decisions and experiences that shape alumni careers 5, 10, 15, and up to 30 years after graduation. Murphy and Van Dae will present findings from this study to illustrate the potential trajectory of career choices. Learn the answers to the following questions: How often do HBS alumni change positions and what drives these decisions? Which industries have high retention rates? How and when do alumni generally factor in family, travel, and other non-work interests into their careers? Do alumni take time out of their careers? Are Harvard MBA alumni satisfied with their careers?

Living an Extraordinary Life
Stever Robbins (MBA 1991), Executive Coach, Stever Robbins, Inc.

How would life change if people committed to living only a life that they defined as extraordinary? In this presentation, Robbins will identify myths about jobs and careers and practical strategies that work. He'll share the results of his own experiment in extraordinary living, and what happened after the experiment was over. His material is grounded in multidisciplinary science and research. He will cover topics from entrepreneurship to decision making, learning, and career planning. Participants will walk away with new insight into how they can shape their lives and have strategies for making changes in pursuit of whatever life they define as extraordinary. They will learn that (1) planning a life doesn’t work very well, but there are other things they can do instead; (2) fear isn’t what holds people back—habit is; and (3) intelligence, willpower, and drive aren’t the keys to having the life one wants—systems and people are.

The Five Best Investments in Education
James E. "Jim" Ryan, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The challenges facing education, though daunting, are not insurmountable. To be sure, far too many students lack access to a high-quality education, and still others are unable to achieve their full potential. Our classrooms and systems were designed for the 19th century, while technology evolves at a dizzying pace. But a growing evidence base points to five investments that hold great promise for improving educational opportunities and outcomes for students in the United States and around the world. Join Dean Ryan as he makes the case for what works in education and how Harvard can capitalize on this unique moment in our country’s history to make transformational progress for millions of young people.

Replicating the Risks and Returns to Alternative Investments
Erik Stafford, John A. Paulson Professor of Business Administration

The Law of One Price (LOP) is the foundation for modern finance theory, and its applications and implications show up in asset pricing, the determination of required returns, and the assessment of unearned returns or alpha. Critical to the application of the LOP is the method for replication. In practice, this requires judgement about data and the appropriateness of various financial models. Professor Stafford will provide an overview of the data challenges common to traditional methods of evaluating the risks and returns of alternative investments like hedge funds and private equity. The discussion will also propose some alternative methods for replicating these risks that produce different implications about the attractiveness of direct investment in alternatives over their risk-matched replicating portfolios.

A New Wave of Digital Disruption Models
Thales S. Teixeira, Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration

In recent years, a new wave of digital disruption has been taking over the Internet. It is characterized by business models focusing on the separation of consumption activities that traditionally went together such as content and advertising, or browsing and purchasing products. In this talk, Professor Teixeira will show how a variety of firms, both incumbents and start-ups, are using digital technologies to break the bonds between (i.e., decouple) activities that consumers want to do and what they previously had to do. Examples in industries such as retailing, telecom, education, transportation, and media will be discussed.

Kids’ Case: Building Magical Customer Experiences
Stefan H. Thomke, William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration

Parents may watch via simulcast in Hawes 101. Preregistration required.

Why do some customer experiences have that magical "wow" factor, making them destined for success, while others get few, if any, enthusiastic customer responses? What are the building blocks of a magical customer experience? These are some of the questions that we will discuss in a fun learning exercise. The class will require that participants build LEGO models and present them, along with personal stories, in front of other participants. Please prepare for the following questions:
(a) Think of a terrible experience that you've had (while traveling, eating in a restaurant, shopping, or anything that comes to mind). Why was it so bad?
(b) Now think of a magical (or great) experience that you've had. Why did you like it so much? Compare the magical and terrible experiences. Why were they so different?
(c) Imagine that you get a summer job (at a store, a restaurant, or any place that you'd like to imagine). Your new boss puts you in charge of making customers happy. What would you do?

Session 2: 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Campus Tour
James E. Aisner, Director of Media and Public Relations

Want to see what happened to the WAC chute? Interested in learning what an i-lab is? Ever wonder why the chapel is round? Join 30-year HBS veteran Jim Aisner, the School’s director of media and public relations, on a campus tour filled with anecdotes and memories.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies
Howard Brod Brownstein (MBA 1975), President, The Brownstein Corporation

HBS and other top business schools understandably teach students “how to do things right” with the implicit message that “if you do things right, everything will go well.” In fact, it is practically ensured that things will not go well. How can you spot possible early signs that things may be going awry, and intervene promptly and effectively enough to positively affect the outcome? What are the special skills necessary to prevent or deal with distress, and what opportunities exist for acquiring distressed businesses? What special considerations of corporate governance apply in distressed situations? Howard Brod Brownstein (MBA 1975), a nationally-known turnaround professional, will share his experiences in “battlefield surgery without anesthetic" and how to avoid being a casualty.

Harvard Innovation Lab Presentation and Tour
Jodi Goldstein (MBA 1996), Director, Harvard Innovation Lab

Join us for a presentation, video, and tour of the Harvard Innovation Lab. Opened in November 2011, the Innovation Lab, or i-lab, is designed to foster team-based and entrepreneurial activities across Harvard and to deepen interactions among students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and the Boston community. The lab provides public areas and meeting rooms designed to foster project work as well as business-development resources for companies, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and other individuals in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood and Boston area. This is a central place where students, practitioners, and local businesses can work together, share knowledge, and collaborate on ideas.

Sustainable Capitalism: An Oxymoron?
Rebecca M. Henderson (MBA 1985), John and Natty McArthur University Professor

The world’s population has doubled in our lifetime and tripled in our parents’. These growing numbers are placing increasing pressure on many of the earth’s resources, but particularly on land and water, while accelerating economic growth is simultaneously accelerating emissions of greenhouse gases, so that there is now a serious risk of destabilizing the earth’s climate. Business is often identified as the source of many of these problems, but business is also the source of the freedom, prosperity, and opportunity that is so central to meeting humanity’s needs. In this talk, Professor Henderson will discuss both the risks and the tremendous opportunities inherent in harnessing the power of private enterprise to build a more sustainable world. She will also explore how people can hold the tension between the demands of the bottom line and their desire to make a difference in the world.

Saving and Investing for a Secure Future
Stuart E. Lucas (MBA 1989), Chairman and CIO, Wealth Strategist Partners

For many people, long-term wealth planning suffers because they are wrapped up in the day-to-day details of careers and family. In a world of slowing growth, low interest rates, higher taxes, and greater longevity, the challenge of managing wealth is even tougher. Lucas will confront this challenge by drawing from his insider experience managing his own family’s good fortune, his 30-plus years as a successful investment professional, and his interactions with hundreds of other wealthy families from around the world. He will share well-tested, practical frameworks to help participants navigate the financial services industry and manage their wealth strategically, comprehensively, and even simply. By compounding profits, controlling cost, developing effective governance, and transferring values to future generations, people can meet their financial objectives while maintaining their focus on career and family. Each participant will receive a copy of Wealth: Grow It and Protect It, Lucas’s highly acclaimed and practical book about managing long-term wealth.

Can China Lead?
F. Warren McFarlan (MBA 1961), Baker Foundation Professor; Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

The question of whether China can sustain its remarkable emergence of the past 35 years is the subject of Professor McFarlan’s Harvard Business Review Press book Can China Lead: Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth, coauthored with Regina M. Abrami and William C. Kirby and published in 2014. Looking at the subject through the lenses of a historian, a political economist, and a general management scholar, respectively, the book’s answer is that it will be very hard. In particular, in 2015 a set of economic and political forces has come into play, which clouds prospects for both internal growth and opportunities for foreign companies.

Disrupt the Workforce: Unlocking the Power of Independent Talent and What It Means for You
Jill Perrin (MBA 1985), Senior Vice President, Client Services, Business Talent Group; Sandra Pinnavaia, Executive Vice President and Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer, Business Talent Group

Clay Christensen asserted that the consulting industry stands at the brink of disruption. This interactive session will focus on one of the forces poised to disrupt it: the high-growth marketplace for independent consulting. Perrin and Pinnavaia will discuss "hot areas" and share how both companies and consultants can take advantage of this new paradigm in human capital. They will explore how independent consultants, on their own terms, can launch, scale, and nurture meaningful and impactful career paths and how companies can leverage independent talent as a competitive advantage. They will also cover how to structure projects for success from both client and consultant perspectives and the lessons they have gleaned from those serving at the front lines of this emerging marketplace.

Thin Political Markets: The Soft Underbelly of Capitalism
Karthik Ramanna, Associate Professor of Business Administration

“Thin political markets” are the processes through which some of the most complex and critical institutions of our capitalist system are determined—e.g., our accounting-standards infrastructure; rules for bank-capital adequacy; actuarial standards; and auditing practice. In thin political markets, corporate special interests are largely unopposed because of their own expertise and the general public’s low awareness of the issues. This enables special interests to structure the “rules of the game” in self-serving ways. On one level, this behavior embodies the capitalist spirit articulated by Milton Friedman: “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” But the ethics of profit-seeking behavior are premised on the logic of competition and, as this session will demonstrate, this logic breaks down in thin political markets. The result is a structural flaw in the determination of critical institutions of the capitalist system, which, if ignored, can undermine the legitimacy of the system. Associate Professor Ramanna will provide some ideas on how to fix the problem.

High-Growth Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Strategy
Steven S. Rogers (MBA 1985), Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

This will be an interactive session featuring a comprehensive discussion about high-growth versus 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.

What Great Service Leaders Know and Do: Creating Breakthroughs in Service Firms
Leonard A. Schlesinger (DBA 1979), Baker Foundation Professor

In their recently completed book by the same title, Professor Schlesinger and coauthors and fellow HBS professors James L. Heskett (emeritus) and W. Earl Sasser posit the following: that management has within its control the authority and the responsibility to improve service quality and productivity while increasing job satisfaction and employee engagement. The book explores ways in which that can be achieved.

The Agility Advantage: How to Win Market Leadership in a Fast-Changing World
Amanda Setili (MBA 1990), Managing Partner, Setili & Associates

In the past, companies could pick a strategy and stick with it, maintaining a competitive edge for years. But today, companies surge ahead, fall behind, or even disappear from view in mere months. The future will present more opportunities but narrower windows to capture them. Setili has worked with and studied dozens of companies to identify the mindsets, habits, and capabilities that enable strategic agility—the ability to spot and jump on new opportunities created by market change. Participants will learn how the most agile companies identify those elements of their business where agility is crucial and capitalize on market changes to establish a new competitive advantage.

Reinventing Layoffs: Research and Best Practices
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 two multinational firms, Honeywell and Nokia, as examples of what alternatives to “business as usual” layoffs can look like and the results they can achieve.

Panel – Aging Parents: Navigating the Journey Successfully
Moderator: Janet Simpson Benvenuti (MBA 1985), Founder and CEO, Circle of Life Partners

This session is aimed at people who are responsible for aging parents and other loved ones while juggling the demands of their own professional careers. An intergenerational panel of alumni and experts on aging experts will discuss specific strategies and resources for navigating parents’ later years successfully. Participants will learn how to address legal, financial, medical, and caregiving challenges while enjoying the benefits of multigenerational families. Each participant will receive a copy of Don’t Give Up on Me! Supporting Aging Parents Successfully, Benvenuti’s highly acclaimed guide through the unpredictable last years of her journey with her own parents. This book has become a must-read for adult children who find suddenly, just when life is on overload, that their parents need help.

Session 3: 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Alumni Topical Panels will be announced in September.

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