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Business School

Forum for Dynamic Innovation at Columbia Event January 10

The last few years have seen a resurgence of what Steve Blank and other startups folks call ‘innovation theater‘.  On January 10, I’ll be chatting with Steve and transformative CEO of HarperCollins, Brian Murray, about what comes next. You can read about the event details and register at this link.  Under the heading the ‘Forum for Dynamic Innovation,’ we are bringing together people across the university with an interest in how... read more »

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New Women’s Leadership Course to be Launched in June

Anyone who has been following the coverage of women in the workplace, for example, this series in the Wall Street Journal, knows the general story line.  Professional women enter workplaces in numbers roughly equal to men, but with each rung of the career ladder, there are fewer and fewer, until the number of women representing the very top leadership of large corporations is a tiny fraction of the total.  Explanations for this disparity have... read more »

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Now in development: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship On-Line

What if you could take teams of people or individual contributors with an innovation mandate and have them go through a state of the art, hands-on and very applied journey through the essence of innovation in the convenience of an on-line format? Part executive development program, part coaching program and part real-time learning, the vision for Columbia’s new Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship Course is just that. It’s been a huge project... read more »

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The Future of Business Education – Panel at the Thinkers50 Event

Des Dearlove of the Thinkers50 chaired an amazing panel on November 11, 2013 entitled “The Future of Business Education”.  It was sponsored by Dean Santiago Iniguez of the IE business school, and featured as panelists Clark Callahan, the Dean of Executive Education at the Tuck School, Roger Martin of the Rotman School, Noel Tagoe, the Executive Director of Education for CIMA and myself. For the most part, the panelists were... read more »

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Transient Advantage: New article in HBR

In a new article featured in the June Harvard Business Review, I offer a summary of my new book.  Essentially, that strategy is stuck!  We've locked ourselves into a view of strategy that depends on sustainable competitive advantage.  In the new strategy playbook, we'll adopt practices that are suited to environments in which advantages come and go.  For instance, focusing on access to assets, not ownership of assets. And creating... read more »

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The schizophrenic life of an academic

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a fascinating article about the heated competition to become America’s Top College Professor.  Aside from being personally inspiring (as someone who spent a lot of years trying to figure out the right classroom style), the story also points to the fundamental schizophrenia behind the conventional University (and by extension, business school) career track.  Good teaching obviously matters to students—it can make the difference in what... read more »

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Management Techniques actually work!

If you didn’t catch the article by Scott Thurm in today’s Wall Street Journal, you should check it out. He reports that researchers from Stanford University, the London School of Economics and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that solid management techniques, yes, the kind we teach in business schools, actually make a difference to the performance of manufacturing plants.  They found that better managed facilities employed management tools... read more »

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The field of management enslaved by theory?

Don Hambrick, one of the management field’s leading academics comments on the way the field relies on theory in a recent Business Week: Viewpoint January 13, 2008, 4:06PM EST The Theory Fetish: Too Much of a Good Thing? Management journals demand contributions to theory. But slavish devotion to theory inhibits other valuable research by Donald C. Hambrick Recently I was at a brown-bag seminar where a pair of faculty colleagues... read more »

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Business Development Resources for New Entrepreneurs

As a sometime professor of entrepreneurship, I'm frequently approached by would-be entrepreneurs for help in fleshing out their business plans. While I enjoy doing this, it could very easily become a full-time job! I've therefore put together a resource list for new entrepreneurs that are free or very low cost, to use during the business definition stage of their ventures and to help them get those first few critical transactions... read more »

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Columbia Faculty on “What is the Entrepreneurial Mindset”

Entrepreneurship is one of those terms that’s a bit like the old saw about art or pornography – “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it”.  If you want to bring a collection of entrepreneurship academics to a screeching halt, just ask the question “What is entrepreneurship?” This will provoke such a long and heated debate that all other purposes of coming together get lost in... read more »

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Columbia Business School offers one of the best “spare time” B Schools in Business Week

Business Week has just published its highly influential rankings of executive MBA and Executive Education programs, and I’m pleased and proud to note that Columbia has not only done well, but improved its position considerably in both.  In his first year as Associate Dean of our executive education offerings, Troy Eggers has led a strong upswing in our position.  For non-degree executive education offerings, Columbia ranked #5 for Open Enrollment... read more »

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Observations on educational institutions

Two books which challenge the current way educational institutions organize themselves are now out, and they are both a fascinating read.  Rakesh Khurana’s book From Higher Aims to Hired Hands traces the evolution and development of business schools and observes that they have more or less abandoned the professionalization of managers as a goal.  He questions the long run viability of the current model.  The other fascinating read is by... read more »

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How much does the prestige of a university matter to business?

I was recently asked to consider whether the prestige of a university matters at all in the business world.  I’d say it does. One place you see it make a huge difference is when companies are looking for universities to partner with in the world of executive education.  They feel a great comfort with a name brand as their university collaborators. For individuals, in my experience, a prestigious degree (and... read more »

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