Commentary

Getting Tactical about Your Next Job
Commentary, Trevor Fetter

Getting Tactical about Your Next Job

In his column for the Harbus, Professor Trevor Fetter shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. Last month, I wrote about the primary colors of the career spectrum (advisor, investor, operator) and the strategic considerations that go along with them. Judging from recent meetings I have had with students, summer and post-MBA jobs…

Wending My Way to Some Wisdom
Commentary

Wending My Way to Some Wisdom

20 years later, an MBA Class of 2000 graduate and former Harbus Opinion Page Editor finds more to say. Just over 20 years ago, during my two years at HBS, I was the Opinion Page Editor of the Harbus. Your current Editor-in-Chief, Upoma Dutta, during what I assume is a particularly busy school time that…

We Ought to Read the Classics
Commentary

We Ought to Read the Classics

Justin Crist Lee (MBA ’21) expands the scope of an education in business. We are told we live in unprecedented times. Today in our nation, we face an impending economic crisis, paired with ongoing concerns surrounding the future of our democracy. While each of these alone would seem a daunting challenge to tackle, these twin…

The Energy Transition: A Slightly Nerdy Take on a Global Issue
Commentary

The Energy Transition: A Slightly Nerdy Take on a Global Issue

Aruna Ramkrishnan and Amrit Jalan (MBA ’22) reflect on the parallels between thermodynamic transformations and tough real-world Energy/Sustainability problems. Years ago, as budding chemical engineers, we learned about the concept of “transition energy.” It explains how changes in complex systems do not occur spontaneously even though the benefits may be obvious. Rather, these systems often…

True Accountability Requires Courage
Commentary, Opinion

True Accountability Requires Courage

Alterrell Mills (MBA ’16) reflects on the commitments and lessons learned in HBS’ Racial Equity Plan.  We have all witnessed, or had ourselves been subjected to, the dreaded cold call of a classmate that refused to acknowledge their lack of preparation, drawing out their monologue and digging a deeper hole with hubris-laden attempts to avoid…

Personal and Public Risk in a Pandemic
Commentary

Personal and Public Risk in a Pandemic

Adam Palay (MBA ’21) raises questions about our collective responsibilities during a pandemic. Not long before school started, at my desk in my home office, I took a deep breath and clicked a button. I had just opted out of coming in-person to the hybrid courses I would take this term. It might seem like…

Welcome to the Simulation
Commentary, Featured, Features, Trevor Fetter

Welcome to the Simulation

In his inaugural column for the Harbus, Professor Trevor Fetter shares his thoughts on how HBS students can learn crisis leadership by observation in 2020. I first knew Kevin Sharer as the legendary Chief Executive Officer of one of the world’s most important companies. Many of our MBA students first knew him as Professor Kevin…

Dancing with the Dragon: Lessons for Businesses Operating Far from Home
Commentary

Dancing with the Dragon: Lessons for Businesses Operating Far from Home

Joe Bao (MBA ’20) writes on how western businesses became caught in the latest political crossfire in Hong Kong and how being an authentic leader might end up costing you your whole business. For many years, Milton Friedman’s “shareholder value” theory, that the first social responsibility of a company is to maximize shareholder profits, has…

Finding Hope in Lebanon
Commentary

Finding Hope in Lebanon

John Geagea (MBA ’21) takes a look at Lebanon’s past, present, and path forward. It is difficult to put into words how it feels to be Lebanese today. My head keeps coming back to this startling reality: somehow Covid-19 might have become the third most pressing issue that the country now faces. On August 4,…

Vexing Requests for Vulnerability
Commentary

Vexing Requests for Vulnerability

To celebrate the Mental Health Awareness Month, Ariam Tesfai (MBA ’20) reflects on the value of prompting vulnerability with tact. Oprah-style “aha” moments have colored my time at HBS. More recently, I have been working to collect and dissect my first- and second-year revelations. Some insights are clearer than others. One, however, is of crystal…

Focusing on Disruptive Innovation
Commentary

Focusing on Disruptive Innovation

Theodore Seem (MBA ’20) introduces the idea behind Outsiders Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on identifying opportunities where technology will disrupt traditional, incumbent industries. The world of start-ups is complex. It is hard to organize and harder to analyze. But one simple way to look at the world is to sort companies into…

Leadership for a Changed World
Commentary

Leadership for a Changed World

Our generation will be called to lead a great American renewal. On January 26, 1986, addressing the United States in the wake of the deaths of seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, President Ronald Reagan reminded the country, “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.” Today, as we face…

Lessons in Uncertainty
Commentary

Lessons in Uncertainty

In uncertain times, make deliberate choices, control what you can, and enjoy the moment. The changes, at HBS, the local community, and the world more broadly, in response to the pandemic are unnerving. It is a time of increased, and still increasing, uncertainty. Everyone is making unexpected new choices while reassessing decisions that we thought…

Leadership in Crisis: What Good Looks Like
Commentary, Politics

Leadership in Crisis: What Good Looks Like

In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. To state the obvious, we are in a time of crisis and great uncertainty. We are taking unprecedented steps on the societal, economic and healthcare fronts. Our leaders at the national, state, local and business…

Tax Shield Is Capitalist Brainwashing
Commentary

Tax Shield Is Capitalist Brainwashing

Taxes are valuable for shareholders’ and lenders’ pockets. Neglecting the importance of the public role in a company’s balance sheet is not a political ideology, it is an intellectual flaw. To those who need to keep revising for the final exams, here is what tax shield, a major FIN2 concept, actually is. A company is…

Authentic!?
Commentary, Kevin Sharer

Authentic!?

In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. A very successful CEO of a respected and large global brand shared four ideas with the top 500 executives at their annual leadership gathering. This meeting is the key leadership leverage opportunity for the CEO,…

Have Mercy on the Babies
Commentary

Have Mercy on the Babies

As you think about your next new year’s resolution, consider this small change, yet big statement, that can drive an incredible effect on our planet. “Did you ever stop to notice All the blood we’ve shed before Did you ever stop to notice This crying Earth, these weeping shores” — Michael Jackson, “Earth Song”  …

The Three Graces for MBAs Today
Commentary, Featured, Kevin Sharer

The Three Graces for MBAs Today

In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. The Three Graces is a famous marble neoclassical sculpture executed by the Italian artist Antonio Canova in the early 19th century. The graces are meant to represent the three daughters of Zeus, who personified mythological…

A Day in the Life of a Cabaret Music Director
Club Corner, Commentary

A Day in the Life of a Cabaret Music Director

Akash Gupta (MBA ’20), Music Director, discusses his thoughts about Cabaret and what we can expect to see this year. The Cabaret auditions are tonight, and I’m experiencing the sort of nervous excitement that Adam Levine must have felt before every episode of The Voice. For the next three hours, I’ll be listening to the…

Corporate Purpose?
Commentary, Kevin Sharer

Corporate Purpose?

Fortune magazine reported that on August 19, 2019, the Business Roundtable announced a new purpose for the corporation. Why did this 300-word, not particularly specific (and certainly not binding on anyone) declaration receive such widespread attention? Why should HBS students care? What might it mean for business and society? In short, is this a big…

The Future of Heroic Hong Kong
Business, Commentary, Politics, Society

The Future of Heroic Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents are experiencing unsustainable angst and anxiety because of perceived encroachment by mainland China and unaddressed ambiguity regarding their fate post-2047; Xi Jinping must formally provide clarity to alleviate the situation, and soon. On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam decided to permanently withdraw the 2019 Hong Kong extradition…

Remaking Capitalism: The Work of Our Generation
Business, Commentary, Featured, Features, Politics, Society

Remaking Capitalism: The Work of Our Generation

Recently, the Business Roundtable released a new definition of the purpose of corporations. Tarun Galagali (MBA ’21) offers his thoughts on how we might use the pledge to go from reimagining capitalism to remaking it. Just about two weeks ago, a consortium of America’s most powerful CEOs signed a commitment to “[modernize] the principles on…

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