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Best content from the best source handpicked by Shyam. The source include The Harvard University, MIT, Mckinsey & Co, Wharton, Stanford,and other top educational institutions. domains include Cybersecurity, Machine learning, Deep Learning, Bigdata, Education, Information Technology, Management, others.

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  • 05/27/14--21:22: Degree 7

  • 7. Harvard’s 1682 Triennial Catalog, an early example of a traditional list of all graduates, living and dead, printed as a broadside starting in 1674 and posted at every Commencement. By 1776, the list of graduates was long enough to merit a pamphlet. A five-year publication interval was adopted in 1875. The last number of the “Quinquennial Catalog” appeared in 1930.

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  • 05/27/14--21:25: Degree 8

  • The 1855 diploma of William Gouverneur Morris, who earned an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School. It was signed by Harvard President James Walker, under whose regime (1853-1860) Harvard constructed its first sciences building, offered its first music course, and hired its first black staffer, boxing instructor A. Molyneaux Hewlett.

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  • 05/27/14--21:28: Degree 9

  • 9. Harvard College’s general degree diploma dated Oct. 3, 1775, signed by President Samuel Locke. At the time, the College was exiled to Concord, Mass., while Harvard was an armed camp housing the Continental Army.

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  • 05/27/14--21:32: Degree 10

  • 10. The earliest Harvard Law School diploma in the University’s collections, from 1839. It memorializes an LL.B. degree earned by Henry Mason.

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  • 05/27/14--22:24: Degree 11

  • 11. The remains of the 1849 A.B. diploma of Edward Lorenzo Holmes. Tucked into a safe, it survived the fire of 1871 — although “it is clearly evident,” wrote heir and donor Randolph W. Holmes in 1929, “that the ‘sheep skin’ has turned to a substance analogous to glue.”

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  • 05/27/14--22:28: Degree 12

  • 12. Radcliffe College graduate Ruth Lansing’s 1914 diploma, memorializing her Ph.D. in Romance philology.

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  • 05/27/14--22:30: Degree13

  • 13. The elaborate and large diploma commissioned by Thomas Kast on the occasion of his 1769 graduation from Harvard College.

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  • 05/27/14--22:35: Degree 14

  • 14.The Latin-text LL.B. diploma of Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr., who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1951 and taught there from 1976 until his death in 1983. He was a decorated veteran of World War II, an ambassador, a professor, and an author.

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  • 05/27/14--22:38: Degree 15

  • 15. An 1864 honorary Master of Arts degree diploma for Marshall Train Bigelow, signed by Harvard President Thomas Hill. This represents an era — 1860 to 1902 — characterized by extra-large Harvard diplomas.

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  • 05/27/14--22:41: Degree 16

  • 16.A detail from the 1951 LL.B. diploma of Clarence Clyde Ferguson Jr., which shows the bold, clear signature of James Bryant Conant, Class of 1914. His regime (1933-1953) marked the beginning of the University Professor program, need-blind admissions, the predecessor of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Design, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, women in Harvard classrooms, and general education courses.

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  • 05/27/14--22:44: Degree17

  • 17. The 1827 A.B. diploma for Cornelius Conway Felton, a classics scholar who was president of Harvard from 1860 (when he presided over the first graduating class of more than 100 students) until his death in 1862.

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  • 05/27/14--22:46: Degree 18

  • 18. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. — Class of 1861 graduate, Union Army officer, and future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court — received his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1866. His diploma, pictured, is part of Harvard’s collections.

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  • 05/27/14--22:50: Degree 19

  • 19. A sample Harvard bachelor’s degree diploma from 1989. It was in 1963 that graduates of Radcliffe College first received diplomas jointly with graduates of Harvard College.

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    With an MBA, Students Build Search Funds to be Entrepreneurs

    A business school degree can help newly minted MBAs find investors to buy a company.

    Search fund MBA
    Business school teaches students who want to run a search fund and acquire a business how to be good managers, experts say.

    When Matt Littell was nearing the end of business school, he could have done what many MBAs do: look for work at an established marketing or finance company, or start his own business.
    He instead chose a unusual path for entrepreneurship.​ Littell convinced other people to give him money while he searched for a business to take over, also known as building a search fund.
    He started the search fund process during the second year of his MBA program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Before business school, his view of entrepreneurship was more narrow.
    "I knew that I wanted to buy and fix small businesses," says Littell. "I didn't know that search funds were an option."
    Through his MBA program, he learned of other people who used search funds to find employment and the basics of how the search fund process works. Students typically look for small- to medium-sized businesses. Experts suggest they choose a company in an area of business that they are familiar with. 
    ​Littell's search fund allowed him to buy Progressive Bronze, which makes and restores hardware used in the Catholic church, such as crosses and candlesticks​. Littell, who also has a master's in engineering, instantly became president and CEO – the kinds of roles MBAs usually go into once their search fund process is complete.
    "It’s a terrific way to jump-start​ their career and get into a leadership position much much faster," says William Sutter Jr.​, a senior lecturer in finance at Kellogg.
    [Ask these five questions when choosing an entrepreneurship program.]
    While anyone can use a search fund to become an entrepreneur, business school experts say getting an MBA can make pursuing this career track easier. Business school teaches students how to be managers and move into the C-suite, which is usually the goal for people who do search funds.
    "Business school teaches you the things you need to know to run a company," says Steve Kaplan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business at University of Chicago. It also provides a network, he says. This network can help students find investors or mentors to help them build a search fund. This school year, Booth launched Booth Search to help graduating students find investors, mentors and other resources for a search fund.
    Like Littell, most MBAs start the search fund process while in business school. They look ​for investors to give them enough money that will last them up to two years while they search for a business to acquire.
    MBAs that find a company​ return to their investors and ask if they'll agree to buy the business. Some say yes, while others may say no. If some decline, MBAs go on another search to find more investors who will say yes.
    Once the investors are ready to go, the student and investors buy the business. The investors own stake in the company and sometimes join the board of directors. The student usually becomes the CEO and runs the company.
    It's the elements of running a business that can make a business school background most critical for those interested in search funds. While in school, there are a number of classes students can take to prepare them to be managers​.
    Courses that cover negotiations, acquisitions, marketing and private equity are especially helpful, experts say. Some business schools offer classes that specifically discuss search funds.
    [Find out how b-schools ranked for entrepreneurship .]
    At Kellogg, Sutter​ teaches a course called "Private Equity: The Human Element"​ where students learn about the interpersonal skills needed to be successful at private equity, among other topics. He also has students, such as Littell, who have successfully carried out a search fund come in to share their experience.
    Sutter believes strong interpersonal skills are important in this line of work.
    "They have to convince a seller that they’re a credible buyer," he says. This can be especially hard to do if you're a student. "You’re a little short of experience to be running an organization," he says.
    Students can also take courses that give them a clear idea of the ​day-to-day challenges that managers experience at work, says H. Irving Grousbeck, a consulting professor of management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
    "I think it’s also useful to take some hands-on courses that might give you some role playing exercises," he says. In his class "Managing Growing Enterprises" students figure out how to handle difficult issues that a manager might encounter, such as reprimanding an employee who dresses inappropriately or who lacks tact, through role-playing​ exercises.
    [​Participate in an business school incubator to become an entrepreneur.] 

    No matter how many classes students take​ though, none may fully prepare them for the hardships that come with creating a search fund.

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    Harnessing Data for Growth

    The Western world may have a wealth of economic data, but many emerging nations can’t get enough. A new Centre for Economic Growth (CEG) in the Middle East will provide original research to address the region’s massive unemployment problems and serve as a model for developing economies around the world.
    When Iyad Malas, CEO of the leading Dubai-based retail and leisure company, Majid Al Futtaim Group, visited the construction site of a massive new shopping centre in Egypt he found the biggest problem its contractors had was finding labour; a surprising revelation given the bloody protests of the Arab Spring, which were sparked, in part, by extreme and rising unemployment.
    “I was shocked,” Malas admitted during a panel discussion to mark the launch of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Centre for Economic Growth. “You would have thought in a country like Egypt, labour would be the easiest thing to get.”
    Majid Al Futtaim (which employs 10,000 people across Egypt alone) experienced similar difficulties staffing its retail and leisure establishments. “What we’re finding is a gap in terms of skills set,” says Malas. “These are not necessarily advanced skills, it’s basic service-orientated type approaches.
    This skills mismatch is a recurring problem across sectors and countries in the region. A recent World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) survey found a very clear and common theme ‘I have jobs but I can’t find the skills that I need’.
    “Often job seekers don’t have soft skills, they don’t have language skills and sometimes they don’t have technical skills,” said IFC’s Middle East head, Luke Haggarty noting one government university in Egypt was sending out IT graduates proficient in Fulcrum, a computer language that hasn’t been used by business for more than 20 years.
    Bridging the skills gap
    Governments’ ability to create policies and business opportunities to address the longstanding but increasingly urgent challenges of unemployment and economic growth has been frustrated by a lack of - or inability to access - timely, reliable, country-specific statistics.
    “Basic issues around job markets and skills mismatch are not well-known or well-studied beyond the macro level… we need much more detail such as infrastructure gap analysis, looking at country-by-country and sector-by-sector information,” says Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and founding Chair of the CEG Business Council.
    The Abu Dhabi-based CEG is a unique collaboration between the region’s private sector and INSEAD. Launched in March 2014, it aims to collate and analyse data from across the region, provide original research on key economic issues and act as a platform where government policy makers, business and academics can share information. Top of its agenda is economic growth and job creation.
    Key to good policy is timely data
    Whether it’s policies to bridge the skills gap (which has left millions of tertiary-educated young Arabs out of work), foster the vital SME market, or address problems of large public services and high reservations wages, timely and accurate data is essential. Providing an avenue to this data and a platform to disseminate the findings will help researchers move faster and have a bigger impact, in terms of thought leadership, INSEAD Deputy Dean Peter Zemsky notes.
    “Centres like the CEG are critical in terms of two things: reaching out to business communities and government policy makers to feed in to the real challenges, and accessing an avenue of up-to-date information.
    “It’s really important for academics to ask the right questions that respond to the needs of policy makers and business. We need to get consensus (from business) on what is needed and then get that knowledge to the top policy makers.”
    Business: The only long-term source of economic growth
    “INSEAD’s knowledge and expertise will give better insight to policy makers on how to generate faster growth,” notes INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov. “But I think our role goes beyond that. We have to ask ourselves what is really driving growth, why are rich countries richer, how can you become a rich country?  For that, you need business. Business creation is the only long-term source of economic growth.”
    New research, Mihov says, will help generate policies and models addressing productivity at the firm level and the infrastructure gap - challenges which transcend the Middle East – with relevance for researchers across the globe.
    From Tunisia to Jordan
    Faced with the world’s highest youth unemployment levels at over 28 percent and the need to create 100 million jobs by the end of the decade, MENA economies must grow at least seven percent a year, according to IMF predictions. Considering the recent social and political unrest and the slow growth rate (around three percent, and in some countries as low as one or two percent) the challenge is colossal.
    The centre’s scope is large from Tunisia in northwest Africa across Libya and Egypt to Jordan in the Levant; economies facing very diverse economic and social challenges.
    “The types of investment which are going to enhance growth and job creation are very different as you go across the region,” Jafar says, noting the CEG’s initial task was to “delve down” beyond headline figures to conduct an infrastructure gap analysis, partnering with both local and global corporations and entities.
    “We want to break through silos and get more concrete facts and figures to study, to help make recommendations for policy makers and companies’ across the region.
    “Clearly having investment to drive economic growth from the top down is important but it’s also important to address some of the micro aspects in terms of firm productivity, education and the skills gap, so the bottom up approach is also important.”
    An international advisory council of economists, academics and former policy-makers from around the globe will compare new research with models from developing economies in regions such as Latin America and the Far East.
    “Academic input is crucial if timely solutions are to be found. The type of economic problems that we deal with today, around the world and in the region, are complex, large and fast-moving. You need a multi-stakeholder approach. Government alone can’t solve them; private sector alone can’t solve them; stronger links with the academic world and original research are definitely needed.”

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    Four Key Sales Metrics That Businesses Fail to Track

    While you should always generate new leads, have a solid sales process and live up to your brand promise, tracking these key sales metrics provide a quick analysis that will point you in the right direction and help keep your business on track.
    Four Key Sales Metrics That Businesses Fail to Track
    What key metrics to you track for your business? Organizations track their clients (or service hours) and revenues from those clients. However, taking some time to look at a few key metrics will help you to analyze your business when times are slow and take the best approach to moving it forward. Here are some important numbers that you should measure in your business.
    How do your prospects and clients find you?
    Whenever someone reaches out to you, it is critical to ask how they heard about your business. Did they learn about you from a professional referral, a current or former client, an advertisement, through social media or via a web search? Which referral, client, advertisement or keyword? How many of each type of referral do you receive each week or month? If you notice a drop, the first place to look is at your year over year inquiries. If they have decreased in a certain area, you may need to boost your marketing efforts in this area or change your approach. When your inquiries drop, it is time to do more lead generation activities.
    What percentage of your prospects are converting to clients?
    While this number varies by industry, by individual businesses and by your sales process, it is important to know what the number is for you. If your business has dropped, but your level of inquires remain the same, you may find that you are converting fewer prospects. Now you must try to pinpoint the problem. Did you change your sales process? Did you hire a new sales person? Are your referrals offering a service that you do not? Is a competitor or former client warning prospects away? Is someone on your team struggling with a new objection? If you are continuing to focus on lead generation but are failing to convert your leads, focus on your sales process. Instead of putting more energy into brining in new leads that do not convert, analyze the reason why and consider some training in this area.
    What is the amount of service that each client receives?
    Perhaps you have the same number of prospect inquires and conversions, but clients are signing on for fewer hours or lower priced projects? In this situation, I often hear, “It’s the economy, people have fewer dollars to spend.” Before you jump to this conclusion and simply accept the situation look at both your sales team and your competitors. Is a competitor undercutting your price or including a service that you do not? Perhaps they are simply doing a better job managing their prospects. Do a competitive analysis to find out. In addition, ask yourself if your sales team is continuing to demonstrate value in your offering. A lower price option may not be the best answer for your prospects and it is important for your sales team to be able to show prospects how they will reap greater benefits from this investment. Again, consider bolstering your sales training.
    What is the duration of service for your clients?
    If you are still attracting prospects and converting them to clients, but they are staying with you for fewer months (or years), it is time to look internally at your service and support. Are your prospects still seeing value in your offering? Is your support team addressing problems quickly and effectively? Has something changed with your delivery of services? These are critical elements to address, because poor service delivery will eventually impact new inquiries and conversions. Consider an assessment of your customer service to ensure that your entire team supports your sales efforts.
    The Bottom Line
    While you should always pay attention to generating new leads, having a solid sales process to convert leads to clients and living up to your brand promise, when your situation changes you need to triage it quickly. Having these metrics available will help you with a quick analysis that will point you in the right direction and help you to get back on track quickly.

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    If any institution is equipped to handle questions of strategy, it is Harvard Business School, whose professors have coined so much of the strategic lexicon used in classrooms and boardrooms that it’s hard to discuss the topic without recourse to their concepts: Competitive advantage. Disruptive innovation. The value chain.

    But when its dean, Nitin Nohria, faced the school’s biggest strategic decision since 1924 — the year it planned its campus and adopted the case-study method as its pedagogical cornerstone — he ran into an issue. Those professors, and those concepts, disagreed.

    The question: Should Harvard Business School enter the business of online education, and, if so, how?

    Universities across the country are wrestling with the same question — call it the educator’s quandary — of whether to plunge into the rapidly growing realm of online teaching, at the risk of devaluing the on-campus education for which students pay tens of thousands of dollars, or to stand pat at the risk of being left behind.

    Harvard Business School faced a choice between different models of online instruction. Prof. Michael Porter favored the development of online courses that would reflect the school’s existing strategy. Credit
    David De la Paz/European Press Photo Agency

    At Harvard Business School, the pros and cons of the argument were personified by two of its most famous faculty members. For Michael Porter, widely considered the father of modern business strategy, the answer is yes — create online courses, but not in a way that undermines the school’s existing strategy. “A company must stay the course,” Professor Porter has written, “even in times of upheaval, while constantly improving and extending its distinctive positioning.”

    For Clayton Christensen, whose 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” propelled him to academic stardom, the only way that market leaders like Harvard Business School survive “disruptive innovation” is by disrupting their existing businesses themselves. This is arguably what rival business schools like Stanford and the Wharton School have been doing by having professors stand in front of cameras and teach MOOCs, or massive open online courses, free of charge to anyone, anywhere in the world. For a modest investment by the school — about $20,000 to $30,000 a course — a professor can reach a million students, says Karl Ulrich, vice dean for innovation at Wharton, part of the University of Pennsylvania.

    “Do it cheap and simple,” Professor Christensen says. “Get it out there.”

    But Harvard Business School’s online education program is not cheap, simple, or open. It could be said that the school opted for the Porter theory. Called HBX, the program will make its debut on June 11 and has its own admissions office. Instead of attacking the school’s traditional M.B.A. and executive education programs — which produced revenue of $108 million and $146 million in 2013 — it aims to create an entirely new segment of business education: the pre-M.B.A. “Instead of having two big product lines, we may be on the verge of inventing a third,” said Prof. Jay W. Lorsch, who has taught at Harvard Business School since 1964.

    Starting last month, HBX has been quietly admitting several hundred students, mostly undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors, into a program called Credential of Readiness, or CORe. The program includes three online courses — accounting, analytics and economics for managers — that are intended to give liberal arts students fluency in what it calls “the language of business.” Students have nine weeks to complete all three courses, and tuition is $1,500. Only those with a high level of class participation will be invited to take a three-hour final exam at a testing center.

    “We don’t want tourists,” said Jana Kierstead, executive director of HBX, alluding to the high dropout rates among MOOCs. “Our goal is to be very credible to employers.” To that end, graduates will receive a paper credential with a grade: high honors, honors, pass.

    “Harvard is going to make a lot of money,” Mr. Ulrich predicted. “They will sell a lot of seats at those courses. But those seats are very carefully designed to be off to the side. It’s designed to be not at all threatening to what they’re doing at the core of the business school.”

    Exactly, warned Professor Christensen, who said he was not consulted about the project. “What they’re doing is, in my language, a sustaining innovation,” akin to Kodak introducing better film, circa 2005. “It’s not truly disruptive.”

    ‘Very Different Places’

    Professor Christensen did something “truly disruptive” in 2011, when he found himself in a room with a panoramic view of Boston Harbor. About to begin his lecture, he noticed something about the students before him. They were beautiful, he later recalled. Really beautiful.

    “Oh, we’re not students,” one of them explained. “We’re models.”

    They were there to look as if they were learning: to appear slightly puzzled when Professor Christensen introduced a complex concept, to nod when he clarified it, or to look fascinated if he grew a tad boring. The cameras in the classroom — actually, a rented space downtown — would capture it all for the real audience: roughly 130,000 business students at the University of Phoenix, which hired Professor Christensen to deliver lectures online.

    Why had his boss, Mr. Nohria, given him permission to moonlight? “Because we didn’t have an alternative of our own” online, Mr. Nohria explained.

    The dean had taken a wait-and-see approach — until 18 months ago, when his own university announced the formation of edX, an open-courseware platform that would hitch the overall university firmly to the MOOC bandwagon.

    He said he remembered listening to an edX presentation at an all-university meeting. “I must confess I was unsure what we’d be really hoping to gain from it,” he said. “My own early imagination was: ‘This is for people who do lectures. We don’t do lectures, so this is not for us.’ ” In the case method, concepts aren’t taught directly, but induced through student discussion of real-world business problems that professors guide with carefully chosen questions.

    “Nitin and I are close friends, and we’ve talked about this repeatedly,” Professor Porter said. “I think the big risk in any new technology is to believe the technology is the strategy. Just because 200,000 people sign up doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.” Though Professor Porter published “Strategy and the Internet” in the Harvard Business Review in 2001, before the advent of MOOCs, the article makes his sternest warning about the perils of online recklessness: “A destructive, zero-sum form of competition has been set in motion that confuses the acquisition of customers with the building of profitability.”

    Mr. Nohria ultimately chose for the business school to opt out of edX. But this decision forced a question: What should the school do instead? “People came out in very different places,” Mr. Nohria said. “Very different places.”

    One morning, he sat down for one of his regular breakfasts with students. “Three of them had just been in Clay’s course,” which had included a case study on the future of Harvard Business School, Mr. Nohria said. “So I asked them, ‘What was the debate like, and how would you think about this?’ They, too, split very deeply.”

    Some took Professor Christensen’s view that the school was a potential Blockbuster Video: a high-cost incumbent — students put the total cost of the two-year M.B.A. at around $100,0000 — that would be upended by cheaper technology if it didn’t act quickly to make its own model obsolete. At least one suggested putting the entire first-year curriculum online.

    On the topic of online instruction, Prof. Clayton Christensen said: ‘Do it cheap and simple. Get it out there.”CreditRick Friedman for The New York Times
    On the topic of online instruction, Prof. Clayton Christensen said: ‘Do it cheap and simple. Get it out there.” Credit Rick Friedman for The New York Times
    Others weren’t so sure. “ ‘This disruption is going to happen,’ ” is how Mr. Nohria described their thinking, “ ‘but it’s going to happen to a very different segment of business education, not to us.’ ” The power of Harvard’s brand, networking opportunities and classroom experience would protect it from the fate of second- and third-tier schools, a view that even Professor Christensen endorses — up to a point.

    “We’re at the very high end of the market, and disruption always hits the high end last,” said Professor Christensen, who recently predicted that half of the United States’ universities could face bankruptcy within 15 years.

    Mr. Nohria states flatly, “I do not believe our M.B.A. program is at risk.” He concluded that disruption is not always “all or nothing,” and cited the businesses of music and retailing as examples. “In the music business, all record stores are gone,” he said, while in retailing, “it’s not like Amazon has eliminated everything; after those debates, my feeling was that we’re going to be more in that category.”

    Still, Mr. Nohria said, he wanted some insurance. “Our beliefs can always turn out to be wrong,” he said. Harvard Business School could not afford to stand on the sidelines. So last summer, he said, he asked the business school’s administrative director, “What would you say if we started a little skunk works around this technology?”

    ‘Hollywood’ at Harvard

    That skunk works, in a low-slung building 300 yards from campus, is not little. It buzzes with 35 full-time staff members — Wharton’s online efforts, by comparison, employ one-half of one staffer, Mr. Ulrich said — who are scrambling to complete a proprietary platform that, after this summer’s limited go-round, could support much larger enrollments.

    “Here’s Hollywood,” Ms. Kierstead said on a recent tour, passing an array of video equipment that’s hauled around to film business case-study protagonists on location. Nearby, two digital animators worked on graphics for Professor Christensen’s forthcoming course. Another staff member handled financial aid.

    To run HBX with Ms. Kierstead, Mr. Nohria tapped Bharat Anand, 48, a strategy professor who had been researching how traditional media companies have coped, or haven’t, with digital disruption. “I think about those cases a lot,” said Professor Anand, who is also Mr. Nohria’s brother-in-law.

    The dean handed him a sheet of six guiding principles, including these: HBX should be economically self-sustaining. It should not substitute for the M.B.A. program. It should seek to replicate the Harvard Business School discussion-based style of learning. This was no easy assignment, Professor Anand conceded.

    “What is competitive advantage?” he asked, invoking Professor Porter’s signature theory. “It comes from being fundamentally different. We teach this all the time. But saying it is one thing. Putting it into practice is hard. When everyone is going free, everyone is going with a similar type of platform, it takes courage to do your own thing.”

    On campus, Harvard business students face one another in five horseshoe-shaped tiers with oversized name cards. They fight for “airtime” while the professor orchestrates discussion from a central “pit.”

    “We don’t do lectures,” Mr. Nohria said. “Part of what had already convinced me that MOOCs are not for us is that for a hundred years our education has been social.”

    The challenge was to invent a digital architecture that simulated the Harvard Business School classroom dynamic without looking like a classroom. In a demonstration of a course called economics for managers, the first thing the student sees is the name, background and location — represented by glowing dots on a map — of other students in the course.

    A video clip begins. It’s Jim Holzman, chief executive of the ticket reseller Ace Ticket, estimating the supply of tickets for a New England Patriots playoff game: “Where I have a really hard time is trying to figure out what the demand is. We just don’t know how many people are on the sidelines saying, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about going.’ ”

    It’s a complex situation meant to get students thinking about a key concept — “the distinction between willingness to pay and price,” Professor Anand said. “Just because something costs zero doesn’t mean people aren’t willing to pay something.” A second case study, on the pay model of The New York Times, drives the point home.

    Then a box pops up on the screen with the words “Cold Call.” The student has 30 seconds to a few minutes to type a response to a question and is then prodded to assess comments made by other students. Eventually there is a multiple-choice quiz to gauge mastery of the concept. (This was surprisingly time-consuming to develop, Professor Anand said, because the business school does not give multiple-choice tests.)

    At a faculty meeting in April, Professor Anand demonstrated the other two elements of HBX: continuing education for executives and a live forum. He unveiled the existence of a studio, built in collaboration with Boston’s public television station, that allows a professor to stand in a pit before a horseshoe of 60 digital “tiles,” or high-definition screens with the live images and voices of geographically dispersed participants. “I’m proud of our team, and how carefully they’ve thought about it even before they’ve done it,” Professor Porter said.

    The Clashing Models

    Not everyone was so impressed. Professor Christensen, for one, worried that Harvard was falling into the very trap he had laid out in “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” “I think that we’ve way overshot the needs of customers,” he said. “I worry that we’re a little too technologically ambitious.”

    The dean, Nitin Nohria, found that students were also divided on the issue of online instruction.CreditRick Friedman for The New York Times
    The dean, Nitin Nohria, found that students were also divided on the issue of online instruction. Credit Rick Friedman for The New York Times

    He also feared that HBX was tied too closely to the business school.

    “There have been a few companies that have survived disruption, but in every case they set up an independent business unit that let people learn how to play ball in the new game,” he said. IBM survived the transition from mainframe computers to minicomputers, and then from minicomputers to personal computers, by setting up autonomous teams in Minnesota and then in Florida. “We haven’t got the separation required.”

    Professor Porter has expressed the opposite view. Companies that set up stand-alone Internet units, he wrote in 2001, “fail to integrate the Internet into their proven strategies and thus never harness their most important advantages.” Barnes & Noble’s decision to set up a separate online unit is one of his cautionary tales. “It deterred the online store from capitalizing on the many advantages provided by the network of physical stores,” he said, “thus playing into the hands of Amazon.”

    Here is where the two professors’ differences come to a head. In the Porter model, all of a company’s activities should be mutually reinforcing. By integrating everything into one, cohesive fortification, “any competitor wishing to imitate a strategy must replicate a whole system,” Professor Porter wrote.

    In the Christensen model, these very fortifications become a liability. In the steel industry, which was blindsided by new technology in smaller and cheaper minimills, heavily integrated companies couldn’t move quickly and ended up entombed inside their elaborately constructed defenses.

    “If Clay and I differ, it’s that Clay sees disruption everywhere, in every business, whereas I see it as something that happens every once in a while,” Professor Porter said. “And what looks like disruption is in fact an incumbent firm not embracing innovation” at all.

    In other words, it’s not that U.S. Steel was destined to be undone by minimills. It’s that its managers let it happen.

    “The disrupter doesn’t always win,” argued Professor Porter, who nonetheless called Professor Christensen “phenomenal” and “one of the great management thinkers.”

    Who will win the coming business school shakeout? Professor Porter acknowledged that it’s a multidimensional question.

    Most schools offering MOOCs do so through outside distribution channels like Coursera, a for-profit company that has Duke, Wharton, Yale, the University of Michigan and several dozen other schools in its stable. EdX, of which Harvard was a co-founder with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, counts Dartmouth and Georgetown among its charter members.

    “These will come to have considerable power,” predicted Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He pointed to the aircraft industry: “In order to get into China, Boeing transferred its technology to parts manufacturers there. Pretty soon there’s going to be Chinese firms building airplanes. Boeing created their own competition.” Business schools, he said, “are doing it again; we are creating our own demise.”

    Professors as Online Stars

    The worry is all the more acute at midtier schools, which fear that elite business schools will move to gobble up a larger share of a shrinking pie.

    “Would you rather watch Kenneth Branagh do ‘Henry V,’ or see it at a community theater?” asked Mr. Ulrich at Wharton. “There are going to be some instructors who become more valuable in this new world because they master the new medium. We’d rather be those guys than the people left behind.”

    This raises a still more radical case, in which the winners are not any institution, new or old, but a handful of star professors. One of Professor Porter’s generic observations — that the Internet increases the “bargaining power of suppliers” — suggests just that. “It’s potentially very divisive in a way,” he acknowledged. “We’re all partners; we all get paid roughly the same. Anything that starts to fracture the enterprise is a sobering prospect.”

    François Ortalo-Magné, dean of the University of Wisconsin’s business school, says fissures have already appeared. Recently, a rival school offered one of his faculty members not just a job, but also shares in an online learning start-up created especially for him. “We’re talking about millions of dollars,” Mr. Ortalo-Magné said. “My best teachers are going to find platforms so they can teach to the world for free. The market is finding a way to unbundle us. My job is to hold this platform together.”

    To that end, he has changed his school’s incentive structure, which, as in most of academia, was based primarily on the number of research articles published in elite journals. Now professors who can’t crack those journals but “have a gift for inspiring learning,” he said, in person or online, are being paid as top performers, too. “We are now rewarding people who have tenure to give up on research,” Mr. Ortalo-Magné said.

    Mr. Ortalo-Magné spins out the possibilities of disruption even further. “How many calculus professors do we need in the world?” he asked. “Maybe it’s nine. My colleague says it’s four. One to teach in English, one in French, one in Chinese, and one in the farm system in case one dies.”

    What is to stop a Coursera from poaching Harvard Business School faculty members directly? “Nothing,” Mr. Nohria said. “The decision people will have to make is whether being on the platform of Harvard Business School, or any great university, is more important than the opportunity to build a brand elsewhere.

    “Does Clay Christensen become Clay Christensen just by himself? Or does Clay Christensen become Clay Christensen because he was at Harvard Business School? He’ll have to make that determination.”

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    1. How do you feel throughout the day at work? Now more than ever, workplace demands are exceeding our capacity to fulfill them, and it's having a significant effect on all areas of our lives.
      This short survey will help you determine how your workplace experience compares with that of others across five categories: health and well-being; trust and safety; enjoyment and satisfaction; focus and prioritization; and meaning and significance. The visualization you'll see at the end of the survey is based on your own behaviors, your relationship with your manager, and the organization in which you work.
      My colleague Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and I will be offering analysis of the survey's trends and results on We will be making recommendations about how to improve the quality of your life at work. We’ll also explore what sorts of changes organizations must make to generate higher levels of employee engagement and sustainable productivity.
      The questions should take you about 10 minutes to answer.
    2. In the first section, evaluate yourself and your workload on a series of personal attributes and organizational traits. Use the following scale to rate how well your behaviors or feelings match those attributes -- or how well your organization fits certain traits.
      1 = Extremely low; 2 = Very low; 3 = Limited; 4 = Moderate; 5 = Above average; 6 = High;
      7 = Extremely high
    3. Ability to disengage from work when you're home

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    4. Level of stress at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    5. Level of overload at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    6. Ability to balance work and home life

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    7. Sense of community at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    8. Comfort level truly being yourself at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    9. Level of engagement at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    10. Job satisfaction

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    11. Overall satisfaction in life

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    12. Overall positive energy at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    13. Opportunities to do what you enjoy most at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    14. Opportunities to do what you do best at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    15. Opportunities for learning and growth at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    16. Understanding of how to be successful in your job

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    17. Ability to focus on one thing at a time

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    18. Ability to prioritize your tasks

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    19. Ability to allocate regular time for creative or strategic thinking

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    20. Likelihood to stay with the organization

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    21. Level of meaning and significance at work

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    22. Connection to your company’s mission

      Extremely low
      Extremely high
    23. In this next section, rate your manager using the following scale, which represents frequency.
      1 = Never; 2 = Rarely; 3 = Occasionally; 4 = Sometimes; 5 = Frequently; 6 = Usually; 7 = Always
    24. Models a sustainable way of working

    25. Encourages you to get away from your desk for lunch

    26. Encourages you to take breaks to renew and recharge

    27. Encourages you to use all of your vacation days

    28. Under high stress, exhibits patience and is calm

    29. Provides frequent and useful feedback in a way you can hear

    30. Is open to your feedback about his or her leadership

    31. Treats you with respect

    32. Recognizes and appreciates you and your work

    33. Is positive and optimistic

    34. Provides opportunities for learning, growth, and development

    35. Sets clear priorities and stays focused on them

    36. Communicates a vision that is clear, consistent, and inspiring

    37. Now, here are some questions about your work and living habits, as well as your company's practices.
    38. How many hours do you work during the week (including checking and responding to emails outside the office)?

    39. How frequently do you take breaks at work?

    40. How many vacation days did you take during the past calendar year?

    41. How many workdays have you missed because of illness during the past year?

    42. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night?

    43. How often do you exercise for at least 20 minutes?

    44. How many hours a day do you spend online (including with smartphones or tablets)?

    45. How many hours a day do you spend in meetings?

    46. How valuable are the meetings you attend?

    47. Does your organization provide these options?

      Please check all that apply in this category.
    48. Are you paid fairly?

    49. How frequently does your company provide performance reviews?

    50. Does your company offer these options to employees in your role?

      Please check all that apply in this category.
    51. Here's the final section. It asks for basic information about you and the kind of work you do, for purposes of classification.
    52. What is your age group?

    53. What is your gender?

    54. Do you have children younger than age 18?

    55. Do you manage others, or are you an individual contributor?

    56. If you manage others, which one of the following phrases best describes where you are in your career? (If you don't manage others, skip this question.)

    57. How many people does your company employ?

    58. In which department or function do you work?

    59. Which of the following (if any) best describes the industry in which you work?

    60. Please select your location:

    61. What single policy or practice could your organization institute to improve your life at work?

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    Big Data Vs Small Data... What's the deal??

    Marketing measurement is a big problem, but the solution to the problem doesn’t also have to be big. In fact, it can be small.
    On Monday afternoon, I met my friend Reuben to get caught up over a coffee. I always enjoy our chats as they usually cover a wide range of interesting topics. Reuben also tends to ask great questions and make insightful comments. Monday was no exception.
    While discussing how pervasive technology, analytics and big data are in marketing, we concluded that in contrast to all of that complexity and big data, I come at marketing measurement from a different angle; with something we might call a small data approach.
    big data vs small data
    Photo Credit:

    There is an emerging definition of small data as the few key pieces of meaningful, actionable information that we can uncover by analyzing big data. Those insights you extract from your big data become the last steps along the way to making better marketing decisions.

    Actually, neither one of us had that definition of small data in mind during our discussion. Rather, we spoke of my “small data” approach to marketing measurement as small relative to other approaches and to the complexity of the problem.
    My approach does align with the above definition of small data in the sense that I am very focused on organizing the chaos of all that data, uncovering insights and helping marketers to learn what they need to know so they can make better decisions. That is the reason to measure marketing and it needs to be the focus of any approach to measuring marketing.
    Where my scorecard-based approach might also seem a bit contrarian is in its emphasis on measuring results vs. objectives and in not trying to calculate a financial return on investment (ROI). Although it would be ideal to accurately measure the financial ROI of marketing programs, as I have written about in the past, I think there are too many problems with doing financial ROI calculations for individual marketing programs.
    I’ve always thought of my approach as a practical approach to a complex problem. As of Monday afternoon, I’m also starting to think about it as a small data approach to a big data problem. To explain what I mean by a small data approach, let me start with some thoughts on big data.
    Big Data
    Big data flows out of a set of circumstances that will tend to occur at bigger companies, and might include some combination of the following:
    • Big marketing budgets

    • Many marketing programs

    • Many products and/or services

    • Many communications channels

    • Many and diverse customers and customer segments

    • Many touch points on the customer path-to-purchase

    • Many transactions
    These circumstances lead to a whole lot of data to analyze and understand which in turn leads to big data measurement solutions that will also tend to be big, complex, sophisticated and expensive.
    With all the buzz around big data, it is easy for small and mid-sized companies to conclude that a high-science, big data solution must be the only legitimate way to approach marketing measurement. For many of these companies, a big, costly sophisticated approach isn’t needed or practical under their circumstances. A smaller, more practical approach can do the trick.
    Small Data
    Most small to mid-sized companies don’t operate under the same set of circumstances. Their budgets aren’t as big, their marketing activity is much less involved, their world is much less complex and they generate and collect a smaller amount of data. They also have fewer resources with which to take on the problem that all marketers must solve, which is to determine the best ways to invest their budgets.
    A small data approach can be a great fit under these smaller circumstances. Yet, given the range of company size and marketing activity within the small to medium sized businesses segment, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Any approach needs to have some built in flexibility so you can scale up or down to be appropriate for the size of the marketing budget being measured.
    That’s really where I stand on marketing measurement. Right size your approach to your circumstances, and don’t overspend on measurement by bringing an over-sized solution to your problem.
    Don’t over allocate resources to measuring something that you can’t measure perfectly, as the law of diminishing marginal returns will ensure you waste some of those precious resources. This is not about measuring perfectly; it’s about perfecting your marketing.
    About the Author: Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing effectiveness consultancy with a focus on helping small to mid-sized organizations measure their marketing so they can stop wasting money.

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    A Brilliantly Simple Design Transforms Old Boxes Into School Desks And Bags

    Most schools in rural India can’t afford basic supplies like desks, and most of the students attending them can’t afford backpacks. The Bombay-based nonprofit Aarambh worked with designers to come up with an ingenious solution to both problems: Their simple stencil transforms old cardboard boxes into a convertible desk and school bag.

    “In the villages of India life is very difficult for children,” says Shobha Murthy, the nonprofit's founder. “They walk miles to reach the nearest school. The concept of carrying school bags, wearing shoes or a school uniform are distant dreams because most families are landless laborers who barely earn $1 for 10 hours of work. Kids have to carry their books in their arms, and it was an urgent need to find them a way to carry their books.”
    They needed desks just as much--students usually sit on the floor hunched over books for hours--but the organization couldn't afford to make two different products. The result,Help Desk, folds quickly from one thing to the other; at the end of the day, a few simple moves turn the desk back into a bag to carry books home. The design ended up costing only about 20 cents to make since it's made from used cardboard.
    "Looking back, I think the solution was right in front of our eyes," says Sanuree Gomes, an art director from an agency called DDB Mudra, which came up with the design. "We wanted a material that was not only strong, but flexible and economical. We had just received a shipment at our office, and we had boxes lying all around us."

    The designers prototyped a few different variations to test with the students, looking for a solution that would be ergonomically correct as a desk and also easy to build. So far, the final design has been given to 10,000 students at 600 schools.
    The students are fans. "The children love the bags and take good care of them," says Murthy. "They are very lightweight and sit easily on the back."
    The desk-bags don't last forever, especially since cardboard doesn't stand up well to the rain. But the team is working on developing a low-cost material that can be coated on the surface to help it repel water. Right now, they only last about six months to a year. But anytime they need to be replaced, it's simple to make again.

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