By Andrea Estey
SMG experts on money laundering, Toyota management changes, Apple, and banking
Boston University Public Relations’ Professor Voices blog features a sampling of quotes by experts from BU’s School of Management on recent issues impacting the business world:
Lawmakers rip into regulators over money-laundering prosecution (Washington Post): “The level of this money laundering and the fact it’s gone on for so long meant that regulators have been asleep.” Mark Williams
Wall St. will keep close iWatch on Apple product (Boston Herald): “It is clear that Apple needs to create a new category and do it soon. A watch is easier to launch than a TV. It’s easier to produce since it is a variation on the iPod mini and the iPhone, and uses the same app structure and Siri plus Bluetooth integration. Moreover, it has global appeal and can rekindle Apple’s cool factor.” N. Venkat Venkatraman
Toyota hires outsiders to help with global growth (AFP): “Toyota’s leadership changes portend a new era. New directors, drawn from beyond Japan’s shores, will help develop a truly global view at the top.” James Post
If the Catholic Church were a business, how would you fix it? (NPR “All Things Considered“): “Without systematic accounting and disclosure, there is enough doubt these days about how money is being managed that we don’t know whether the hungry are being fed, the naked are being clothed and those in need are getting health care and education.” James Post
Apple’s cash drama is far from over (MarketWatch): “It’s the real human drama here, and it certainly is a corporate drama. This sort of has it all, an iconic company which has been doing extraordinarily well and has buckets of cash, billions of buckets of cash. [Apple CEO] Tim Cook and the board are the ones in the hot seat here. They have to make a decision about distribution or no distribution and they have to have some compelling explanation for whatever they choose.” James Post
Mayo, a financial powerhouse, is poised to propel expansion (Minnesota Public Radio): “From a profitability standpoint they are successful. I don’t doubt people will step forward and write large checks. In a 20-year period, they should be able to successfully put together a package of financing and donations that’ll allow them to do this.” Elizabeth Keating
No longer unsung, Samsung turns up heat on Apple (Boston Herald): “I think 2013 is a watershed year for Apple. Will it lose to Google-Samsung dominance … or will it show true innovation with the phone and its strong ecosystem?” N. Venkat Venkatraman
Deferred pay draws Fed’s scrutiny (Wall Street Journal): “The lack of data on deferred compensation has benefited top-paid U.S. bankers and disadvantaged otherwise concerned shareholders.” Mark Williams
Behind the mega airlines merger (NECN): “They need each other. American Airlines is in bankruptcy and US Air is a smaller competitor on the East coast and in other places and it’s getting dominated by other big competitors that are out there. They just need each other.” Allen Michel
How governments spur private-sector demand for green buildings (Forbes): “Input suppliers such as game developers won’t invest until there is sufficient demand, or a large installed base, but demand won’t arise until there is an ample supply of key inputs. In our setting, government green-building procurement policies can stimulate private-sector building professionals to gain expertise in LEED, while also bolstering private-sector demand for LEED buildings.” Timothy Simcoe
There could be something wrong with 42 million credit reports (Business Insider): “Most people do not realize how many prices are affected by their credit scores. Even what you pay for car insurance depends on it. The FTC report seems to suggest that the rate of serious error is only about 5%, but that is enough to make it worth checking whether the information the credit reporting agencies have on you is correct.”Michael Salinger
The biggest financial asset in your portfolio is you (New York Times): “I see myself, for example, as a convertible bond. I’m protected by tenure at a solid university and have the potential to do extra things for income. I have a lot more capacity to take risk in my portfolio than I choose to use. I’m risk-averse, don’t like to gamble and don’t get a kick out of winning. I hate to lose.” Zvi Bodie
Fatigued users fall away from Facebook (TechNewsWorld): “It is inevitable that people will feel tired after an initial euphoria. Even if people spend less time but they find that time to be useful and valuable, Facebook can monetize it. Otherwise, it is a troubling sign.” N. Venkat Venkatraman
Does an ‘A’ in ethics have any value (Wall Street Journal): “We need to hit the students hard when they first get here, remind them of these principles throughout their core classes, and hit them once again before they leave.” Kabrina Chang
Creating the ‘innovative mindset’ (Telegram & Gazette): “I don’t think is something as concrete as gravity. If you are in a public trade organization you have to guaranty innovation every year, all the time.” Susan Fournier
Faculty promoted this year are from College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the School of Management
Excerpts from BU Today:
From mapping marketing strategies to mapping the brain, the 17 BU faculty members who have just been promoted to full professor cover a wide and compelling range of research interests.
Shuba Srinivasan, a newly minted SMG professor of marketing, views her promotion as an acknowledgment of years of hard work.
“This promotion represents a major milestone recognizing years of sustained effort on several fronts,” says Srinivasan. In addition to designing effective courses in her area of expertise—marketing analytics—Srinivasan has bridged the gap between marketing theory and practice in her research. “This promotion affirms all of this,” she says.
Faculty are selected for promotion based on the quality of the research and scholarship conducted in their classrooms and laboratories.
“Outstanding faculty are at the heart of what defines a successful research institution,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. “The 17 exceptional scholars we recognize are as talented as they are diverse, each demonstrating the passion for teaching and willingness to reach across disciplines that enable Boston University each day to create new knowledge, generate new ideas, and make important new practical discoveries. From the humanities and sciences to engineering and business, all have emerged as leaders committed to excellence in their individual fields. We are excited to announce their promotion to full professor and for the great work each has in store.”
Read the full story on BU Today.
Grzelcyk is a defensive powerhouse
Matt Grzelcyk is just a freshman, but the 18-year-old defenseman is well on his way to becoming a hometown success story for hockey-crazed Boston.
Grzelcyk (SMG’16) grew up a rink rat in Charlestown, Mass., the son of a longtime Zamboni driver at Boston’s TD Garden. Two years ago, he committed to play Division I hockey at BU, and in summer 2012 he was chosen by the Boston Bruins in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
“Playing hockey and getting the chance to play Division I, obviously your goal is to play one day in the NHL,” says Grzelcyk, one of nine freshmen in the 2012–2013 Terriers lineup. “But you have to stay realistic at the same time and realize how hard it is to get there. I have to work if I want it to happen.” Proof of his work ethic: in December 2012 he was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month and put on the preliminary roster for the U.S. National Junior Team.
Grzelcyk’s father, John, taught him to skate at the age of two by getting him to lean on stacked milk crates at a local rink. The elder Grzelcyk has worked for 45 years as a member of the Garden’s “bull gang,” the team that switches the arena surfaces between hockey and basketball games. “I can remember waiting for my dad to call, telling me to come down and skate when the Bruins weren’t playing at home,” Matt recalls. “Anytime I got the opportunity I always took it.”
Credit judge applauds management and reputation
From BU Today:
Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded BU’s creditworthiness, a thumbs-up that stands in conspicuous contrast to the dour outlook the firm gave higher education in general just last month.
The rating agency recently raised the University’s bond rating to A1 from A2. Moody’s credit rating system ranges from Aaa to C, with numbers added within each grade for further differentiation. The rating measures an institution’s ability to pay back borrowed money on time and in full. The upgrade will help the University to realize lower future borrowing costs.
The upgrade “reflects BU’s sustained improvement in its student market and research profile following years of strategic governance and leadership changes that have elevated BU to a more competitive position,” Moody’s wrote in a report on its decision. “The University is also beginning to generate philanthropic support more in line with its size and prominence and has launched its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign.”
The report also cited several developments bolstering BU’s reputation, and thus confidence in the University’s finances: President Robert A. Brown’s drive to attract academically stronger undergraduates and international students; the boom in research at the University in the past two decades; BU’s admission into the Association of American Universities; and recent budget surpluses and major gifts. It also mentioned improved governance in the past decade by the trustees, including term limits, conflict of interest policies, fewer trustee committees, and the hiring of Brown, “a president capable of quickly elevating the university’s standing.”
Read the full story on BU Today.
One-day conference with leading search engine marketing professionals open to all students
The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) Boston, in partnership with Google, Inc., is holding a free one-day summit at Boston University School of Management to expose students to the search marketing industry on Friday, February 22, 2013.
The SEMPO Student Search Summit will feature educational presentations, workshops, and panels composed of leading and local search engine marketing professionals, and offer students an inside look at the field. Speakers include representatives from Google, Gupta Media, Metropolis Creative, Microsoft, Rimm-Kaufman Group, and Staples.
The day will kick off with a keynote address on why search matters, followed by a career panel discussion with recent college graduates and a networking lunch. The day will conclude with sessions on search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social. Students will learn about the landscape, business, future, and potential careers that are tied to search and digital marketing.
Event is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students and will take place on the School’s 4th floor from 10 am-4 pm. Admission is free. Visit the undergraduate or graduate CareerLink websites to RSVP.
School among emerging group emphasizing ethics education in business programs
On February 7, the Wall Street Journal explored a growing trend among business schools: many are re-examining how they teach ethics. Some schools are asking if an ‘A’ in ethics has any value, while others, including Boston University School of Management, are integrating ethics into their programs.
Excerpts from “Does an ‘A’ in Ethics Have Any Value?” in the Wall Street Journal:
Business-school professors are making a morality play.
Four years after the scandals of the financial crisis prompted deans and faculty to re-examine how they teach ethics, some academics say they still haven’t gotten it right.
“Business schools have been giving students some education in ethics for at least the past 25 or 30 years, and we still have these problems,” such as irresponsibly risky bets or manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, says John Delaney, dean of University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration and Katz Graduate School of Business.
But some efforts are at risk of stalling at the discussion stage, since teaching business ethics faces roadblocks from faculty and recruiters alike. Some professors see ethics as separate from their own subjects, such as accounting or marketing, and companies have their own training programs for new hires.
A strong ethics education can help counteract a narrowing worldview that often accompanies a student’s progression through business school, supporters in academia say. Surveys conducted by the Aspen Institute, a think tank, show that about 60% of new M.B.A. students view maximizing shareholder value as the primary responsibility of a company; that number rises to 69% by the time they reach the program’s midpoint.
Though maximizing shareholder returns isn’t a bad goal in itself, focusing on that at the expense of customer satisfaction, employee well-being or environmental considerations can be dangerous.
Some schools are experimenting with a more integrated approach. This fall, Boston University’s School of Management is introducing a required ethics course for freshman business students, and is also tasking instructors in other business classes to incorporate ethics into their lessons. It may also overhaul a senior seminar to reinforce ethics topics.
“We need to hit the students hard when they first get here, remind them of these principles throughout their core classes, and hit them once again before they leave,” says Kabrina Chang, an assistant professor at Boston University’s business school, who is coordinating the new freshman class.
Students likely know right from wrong, so rather than, say, discussing whether a student would turn in a roommate caught stealing, Ms. Chang says she’ll lead a debate on how or if a student might maintain a relationship with the thief.
Students may find the roommate-thief scenario more relevant than a re-examination of recent Ponzi schemes, but many remain skeptical of how such discussions apply to real life.
On January 29, Forbes.com featured the research of Boston University’s Kathy Kram, in the article “3 Ways to Develop Your People Without Overwhelming Yourself.” Kram is the Richard C. Shipley Professor in Management and an expert in the field of mentoring.
The article, by Michael Campbell of the Center for Creative Leadership, explores a different approach senior leaders lacking adequate time can take to mentoring and developing others. John Ryan, president of the Center for Creative Leadership, is speaking at the School on February 28.
3 Ways to Develop Your People Without Overwhelming Yourself
Senior leaders consistently report that they don’t have enough time for mentoring and developing others.
Up-and-coming leaders consistently report wanting more guidance, mentoring and face time to learn from senior leaders.
One way to address this dilemma? Developmental networks.
Instead of taking on the formal role of sole coach or mentor to those you are responsible for developing (or to meet that performance metric of “develops others”), you can help your talent build a network of relationships that will – as a whole – provide the support they need for the next role or level.
Research conducted by Kathy Kram (Boston University) and Monica Higgins (Harvard University) indicates that people who develop faster have a strong network of developmental relationships. This parallels findings from Rob Cross of the University of Virginia that shows a clear correlation between high performance and robust networks.
As someone responsible for developing others, you can help your talent learn and grow in a more strategic way. Here’s how it works.
Start by looking at current developmental relationships. Help your direct report or mentee assess what their developmental network looks like today. Explain that a developmental network is made up of individuals who have a genuine interest in your development and who are qualified to assist you in your learning. Keep in mind, developmental relationships are deliberately and clearly about learning and growth.
You can quickly get a picture of the network by asking, during the past 12 months who are the people who have taken an interest and concerted action to help you advance your career? See if they can list 5-10 and then note the type of relationship (boss, peer, direct report, family, etc.)
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends interested in the topic are invited to attend a Dean’s Speaker Series event with John Ryan, president of the Center for Creative Leadership, at the School on February 28.
In the February edition of American Banker magazine, Boston University’s Mark Williams authored the commentary piece “Reduce Taxpayer Risk: Roll Back FDIC Limits.” Williams is an executive-in-residence and master lecturer at the School of Management, an expert on risk management, former Federal Reserve examiner, and author of the book Uncontrolled Risk: The Lessons of Lehman Brothers.
Reduce Taxpayer Risk: Roll Back FDIC Limits
FDIC insurance is more than just a sticker affixed to a bank door, it is a gold-plated guarantee that the government will step in and make depositors whole. Bank customers accept that they will earn a quarter of a percent or less on their deposits because they understand that their money is protected. And banks large and small benefit from this access to a cheap and dependable source of funding.
When it began, FDIC insurance provided depositors with only modest protection. The initial coverage limit in 1934 was $2,500, or less than $45,000 in today’s dollars. Six months later, the limit was raised to $5,000 (still less than $86,000 adjusted for inflation) and the risk-sharing arrangement between banks, depositors and the government was forever changed. As long as depositors stayed within set limits, they assumed zero risk. But if the dollar size of bank failures exceeded the fees collected from the banks, then the government, and taxpayers, would become the ultimate financial backstop.
In recent years, FDIC insurance has experienced mission creep. Having grown at over twice the rate of inflation, it now provides more than modest protection.
Few Americans have the means to keep deposits of $250,000 and benefit from this protection. Instead, the larger limits have tilted the risk-sharing in favor of wealthier depositors and banks themselves.
Read Williams’ full piece on American Banker.