The impetus for the Student Association’s Thought Leadership Speaker Series arose from students’ demand to gain more exposure to some of the world’s most renowned business thought leaders: HBS faculty. Although students explore a wealth of ideas and frameworks throughout the MBA program, exposure to the thought leaders that develop this intellectual capital is restricted by class sizes, teaching rotations, and the case method pedagogy. The Student Association instated the Thought Leadership Speaker Series to create a forum whereby students can gain further exposure to the newest ideas, frameworks and research of some of HBS’s most accomplished faculty.
This year, MBAs were fortunate to learn the latest insights of Michael Porter, Clay Christensen, Tom Eisenmann, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter (Professor Kanter will present on Wednesday, April 25 at 3:30). Each of these thought leaders were extraordinarily cooperative and supportive participants in this inaugural series.
The Thought Leadership Speaker Series can serve as the foundation of a broader Thought Leadership Initiative to expand intellectual capital dissemination and generation beyond the MBA classroom and to foster the exposure of students and faculty to each other’s research and ideas. The faculty is among the greatest resources available to students in perusing business and academic interests. Whether students are developing business plans, gathering information for field studies, or developing their own business frameworks, they can take advantage of each faculty member’s unique expertise, research, and intellectual capital. Reciprocally, students can serve as a tremendous resource to faculty. Students represent a future generation of managers who can practically apply the faculty’s intellectual capital. Students can also provide a forum for faculty to test, hone, and the faculty’s freshest and newest ideas.
HBS students are very fortunate to have such an unbelievable wealth of today’s business thought leaders on campus. The aim of the Thought Leadership Initiative is to link the thought leadership resources of today’s leaders to create a platform for tomorrow’s leaders to continually develop and apply intellectual capital. Hopefully, this year’s speaker series will serve as a springboard toward achieving that goal.