01 Dec 2012

The Key to Innovation: Flexible Funding

by Robert Steven Kaplan


As we look to the future, it is clear that the leading MBA programs will be very different 25 years from now. The role of MBA education is changing, and HBS needs to be increasingly nimble and innovative in order to remain the leader in management education and the creation of cutting-edge thought leadership.

We must experiment more extensively with alternative modes of teaching, collaborate more (both internally and with other Harvard schools), and find ways to deliver more real-world experience to our students. It is also vital that we be even more closely in touch with leaders in business and other sectors so that we continue to produce and disseminate research and teaching materials with power in practice.

To fulfill the School's enormous potential, a larger portion of the HBS annual budget will be invested in new pedagogy, pathbreaking research, and initiatives that foster collaboration across multiple disciplines. The HBS Dean's Fund is critical to this effort. It provides the flexible funding necessary for greater experimentation and innovation that will help ensure the strategic dynamism and future success of the School.

The Dean's Fund provides "bridge" funding for innovation—such as the new required FIELD course, the Harvard Innovation Lab, and the U.S. Competitiveness Project—during the experimental phase. Once a concept is proven, the School can solicit the permanent funding needed to bring that innovation to scale and ensure long-term financing.

Support for the Dean's Fund provides a bridge between our remarkable past and what we hope will be our extraordinary future.

Robert Steven Kaplan (MBA 1983)
Professor of Management Practice
Senior Associate Dean for External Relations

See "Campus News In Brief" for more information on Kaplan's new roles at HBS.


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