2017

Stories related to "General Management".

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Judgment Call

In many disciplines—financial accounting, for example—if you try to practice without any sort of formal education, you could very well end up in jail, says Jane L. Risen, professor of behavioral science. But when it comes to decision making, everybody is making personal and professional decisions all of the time without any formal guidance. Risen's class Managerial Decision Making is designed to provide that: a framework to actively recognize when decisions are likely to go wrong so that you can identify what you might be able to do to make them better.

perspectives

This is Working for Me: Arnold Donald, ’80

After Arnold Donald, ’80, retired at 51 from a long and successful career spent largely at agricultural giant Monsanto, he followed his passions: He bought a minor league basketball team. He indulged his love for dancing. And he joined boards, including that of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company. Fast-forward eight years to 2013, and Carnival Corporation’s founders and board were calling him out of retirement to lead a turnaround of the profitable but tarnished brand. Donald hesitated—He was retired! Dancing with the stars!—but he ultimately accepted. “It felt like the right thing to do,” said Donald. “I’d been on the board 13 years. I knew the company, the state of its business, and its strong foundation. It wasn’t like I was walking into failure,” he said. The founders and board chose well: in the five years since Donald took the helm, Carnival Corporation’s stock price has doubled and its market cap has soared 74 percent, to $47 billion—even though, worldwide, there’s only a small number of shipyards capable of building new cruise ships, limiting capacity growth, and ever-changing but ever-present geopolitical hot spots that close popular routes.

perspectives

Game On!

Sergey Yun, MBA ’18, MS ’18, was one of the first to participate in a new joint-degree program that allows Booth MBA students to simultaneously earn a master’s degree in computer science through the University of Chicago. Yun graduated earlier this year, and shares his experience in the program here: Technology and computers have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I disassembled a cartridge for my video-game console. I was really interested in how this little microchip could produce my experience of playing a game. This is how I became a geek. I never got a chance to learn computer science formally. I always saw it as more of a hobby and not a serious career trajectory. I studied economics and financial management and worked in consulting. Initially when I came to Booth, I thought I might pursue investment banking or another career in finance. But I soon realized I wanted to pursue something I felt more passionate about, and I began to consider a career in technology. So when we got an email announcing a new joint-degree program with the computer science department, it came at exactly the right moment in my life. I knew it would be a perfect fit for me given my interests and my new direction.

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It’s All Relative to this Booth Student Group

A recent addition among Booth student groups, the Private and Family Business Group started back in 2010, under the name Family Enterprise Group. Providing a forum for private and family business issues, the group today has about 25 members, who host discussions on the particular challenges of such entities, particularly in emerging markets. The group hosts small dinners, lunch ’n’ learns, off-campus cocktails, workshops, speakers, and discussions. Not all members are part of a family business; some want to know what it would be like to work for a family-run firm. Chicago Booth Magazine checked in with two of the group’s current leaders, both of whom are international students at turning points in their careers facing a big question: Should they stay in the United States and better their skills in corporate America, or return home to put their Booth education to use growing the family business?<br/>

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Building on Big Ideas

Though you might not realize it, you’ve likely encountered USG Corporation’s landmark product recently, maybe even today. In fact, it may very well be in the room where you’re sitting right now. That’s because the company’s drywall, flooring, ceiling, and roofing products are part of countless homes and buildings. As the creator of the iconic and ubiquitous Sheetrock brand of wallboard, Chicago-based USG has led the building-materials industry for more than 116 years, with a storied history of innovation and sales of $3.2 billion last year. It made panels for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. It helped build homes for American GIs returning from World War II. And in November 2016, Jennifer Scanlon, ’92, became the first female CEO in the company’s history. “We are a transformed company,” Scanlon said, just days before leading USG’s first-ever Investor Day in New York City. “That transformation came in a number of ways—interestingly, from a lot of the initiatives that I led prior to becoming CEO.” A Chicago-area native, Scanlon joined USG in 2003 after studying government and computer applications at the University of Notre Dame and holding roles at IBM and in operations consulting. In recent years, she has made USG more global and more responsive to its customers. She was named president of the international division in 2010, when it included only Canada, Mexico, Europe, and a small operation in Asia. She went on to lead the divestiture of the European business, and then assembled an Asian joint venture called USG Boral, with $1.2 billion of revenue in 2017.

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Class, Behave!

In 2017, Chicago Booth professor Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Thaler’s students describe him as “a luminary,” “a guru”—someone who changed their lives and set their careers on a trajectory to success. So it might be surprising to hear that those superlatives contrast amusingly with the way Thaler’s close friends and admirers—and even Thaler himself—have described the newly minted Nobel laureate: “We didn’t expect much of him,” said Sherwin Rosen, AM ’62, PhD ’66 (Economics), his thesis advisor at the University of Rochester. Daniel Kahneman, the 2002 Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences and one of Thaler’s closest friends, described Thaler as “lazy.” Early on in Thaler’s career, his fellow Booth professor and future golf buddy Eugene Fama once quipped, “His work is interesting, but there’s nothing there.” Thaler’s own self-assessment is hardly more glowing. He considers himself “at best, an average economist.” How did an “average economist” change the field of economics, gain a worldwide reputation, and influence public and corporate policies for millions of people—and win the Nobel Prize? It turns out that Thaler’s ability to spot anomalies, tell stories, and share credit for his successes have made him not only a great researcher, but also a great teacher.<br/>

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How Do You Manage Millennials?

For the rising ranks of millennials in business, 2015 was a watershed year: they surpassed Gen Xers to become the largest generation present in the US labor force. Yet another milestone is on the horizon—Pew Research predicts the 73 million–strong cohort, born between 1981 and 1996, will overtake baby boomers as the country’s largest living adult generation sometime next year. Though millennials are no more or less a monolith than the generations that came before them, many managers have observed that members of this generation are bringing a markedly different set of values to the office than their predecessors. Millennials may be derided as tech-obsessed, approval-seeking job-hoppers, or praised as creative, adaptable idealists, hungry for personal growth. But one thing’s clear: they’re prompting executives across industries to reevaluate the traditional approach to management. We asked three Booth experts what the future holds. William Osborne, ’01 (XP-70), is senior vice president for global manufacturing and quality at Navistar Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in the Chicago area: Millennial employees take a fundamentally different approach to their professional lives, but they’re not the caricatures people make them out to be. They have a different value system regarding the role of work in their lives—work is one component, and not the centerpiece. They value experiences more than what I would call traditional rewards. For example, I just had an employee, an engineer, recently quit the company and move into a completely different position, in purchasing, with another company. It was a fundamental change, and the main reason he gave was that he lived downtown and the new company was downtown. For him, work was a means to support his lifestyle. <br/>This is not necessarily a bad thing. They’re more creative and more innovative—they look at things differently, and that’s what’s driving change. But they’re less willing to compromise personal growth and development for the sake of the corporation. <br/>

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75 Years at the Forefront

The year 1943 dawned upon a world at war. Little more than a year had passed since the United States entered World War II, but American life had already been rocked to its core. All personal car production had ceased, as Detroit’s Big Three factories churned out tanks, equipment, and billions of rounds of ammunition. By the end of the year, two million men would leave the workforce to serve in the military. And American women—many working outside the home for the first time—marched into factories in unprecedented numbers to replace them. It was an era of change, as Americans struggled to meet the challenges of the day. Chicago Booth entered that changing landscape when it launched the world’s first Executive MBA Program in 1943. The school recognized the need for experienced leaders to apply their knowledge and training to urgent tasks and expand the capacity of American industry. For the first time, there existed a course of rigorous business education tailored to the specific needs of mid-career managers. Or, as an early Executive MBA brochure put it, “The task of war is primarily one of co-ordination of men and materials in the work of industrial production; it is a problem of management.”<br/>

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Meet the Women Shaking Up Business

A successful woman walking into a boardroom full of men. A junior employee seeing a male colleague get credit for her ideas. A new hire anxiously negotiating her salary offer that is distinctly below market value. Sadly, these types of situations are not yet scenes from a bygone era. Too often, women in business must walk a tightrope where assertive is characterized as “shrill” and leadership is denigrated to “bossy.” To address these issues, and continue to tackle the larger problem of gender inequality in business, it takes a community. Booth Women Connect Conference began in 2010 as an initiative to build that collaborative network, and to attract more women applicants to Booth. It has evolved into a can’t-miss annual event that brings together nearly four dozen accomplished speakers with alumnae, students, and Chicago business leaders for a day of collaboration, learning, and growth.<br/>

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What Will Your Workplace Look Like in 2028?

Jonathan Dingel, assistant professor of economics and James S. Kemper Foundation Faculty Scholar, teaches Managing the Firm in the Global Economy. If I were looking 10 years out, I would say the changing nature of work will particularly reward talent living in some of the world’s biggest cities. The concentration of college-educated workers is already increasing in big cities, including San Francisco and New York. That contributes to an increasing inequality of life between larger cities and less populated areas. As computerization causes routine work to be automated, certain types of nonroutine, cognitively intensive tasks will offer an even bigger reward. It’s becoming more important for us to interact with other highly skilled people to get innovative results.

perspectives

The Book of Booth: Amy and Richard Wallman

In the fall of 1973, a first-year MBA student was moving her things into the graduate-school dorm at the University of Chicago. Second-year MBA students lingered about, some attempting to sell refrigerators and hot plates left by people who had graduated the year before. One of those second-year students was Richard Wallman, who stopped to help the new resident carry her belongings. The two became friends, and three years later, Amy and Richard married. Over the past 40 years, the Wallmans have enjoyed successful careers in business. Amy began her career at EY, retiring as an audit partner in 2001. Most recently, she was director at Cincinnati-based health-care company Omnicare from 2004 to 2015. Richard began his career at Ford Motor Company and served in senior financial positions at Honeywell International and its predecessor AlliedSignal, as well as at IBM and Chrysler. In October, the two made a $75 million gift to Booth. In recognition of the gift, Booth renamed its academic high honors distinction after the Wallmans. (Learn more about the gift in New Ventures, page 18.) Their generosity builds upon their legacy of supporting students and faculty. <br/>