Category: Dean Freeman

Dean Freeman in WSJ: Millennials Are Changing the Socially Responsible Equation

October 23rd, 2014 in Dean Freeman, News

The Wall Street Journal’s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: Do you think companies have a social responsibility other than being as profitable as possible?

His answer? Responsibility is shifting from profit to people—with millennials leading the charge:

Yes. Corporate reputation matters in today’s world more than ever.

The millennial generation is keenly focused on sustainability and making the world a better place and often makes the purchasing decision (and decision about where to work) based on a company’s overall performance and reputation for doing good.

The days of focusing solely on profit among providers of goods and services used by consumers are numbered, as millions of emerging customers around the world are demanding much more.

View “The Experts” post here.

Conversations with Ken: Allen Questrom (SMG’64), Former Chairman & CEO of JC Penney

April 8th, 2014 in Conversations with Ken, Dean Freeman, News

Allen Questrom (SMG’64), Former Chairman & CEO of JC Penney
Allen Questrom (SMG’64) is an icon of corporate America. He directed the successful turnarounds of several major department and specialty stores, including JC Penney, Barneys New York, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus. On April 8, 2014, Dean Ken Freeman sat down with Questrom to discuss his journey from BU student to retail guru.

Wake Up and Smell the Data, Says Dean Freeman in WSJ

March 28th, 2014 in Dean Freeman, News

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: What’s preventing companies from taking full advantage of data?

Companies don’t recognize the powerful effect data can have on strategy, Freeman notes. And if they hope to compete, that needs to change.

In many companies, data is not considered a strategic resource. In these companies it has played a secondary role to products and services, and the processes and systems utilized for data collection are not linked.

The result?

Heterogeneous data that is difficult to aggregate and analyze. Establishing a comprehensive strategy that includes a robust data warehouse to harness the power of data analytics is no longer optional. It is an essential enabler of competitive advantage.

View “The Experts” post here.

Dean Freeman in WSJ: Corporate Titles Shouldn’t Matter

March 18th, 2014 in Dean Freeman, News

Number of “Chiefs” shouldn’t impact decision-making

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: Does the increase in chief officer titles in many companies help or hinder effective decision-making?

Neither, says Freeman. The number of “Chiefs” in a company shouldn’t affect how decisions are made. Effective leaders employ balance and clarity in the workplace.

In a perfect world, the proliferation of “Chiefs” or other job titles should have no impact whatsoever on decision-making effectiveness.

This phenomenon often represents the ongoing desire of corporations to reward symbolically their best talent.

More broadly, the CEO is responsible for creating an environment of trust, with a compelling strategy, clear priorities and effective execution.

He/she must guard against top-heavy and complex management structures where decision making responsibilities are not clear.

In today’s world of business, rapid change is the byword. Management teams that lack clarity and focus, transparency and accessibility run the risk of losing the competitive race.

View “The Experts” post here.

Dean Freeman Offers “Rules of Engagement” for Global Executives in WSJ

March 11th, 2014 in Dean Freeman, News

Freeman: Treat each other with dignity, fairness, and respect

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: What’s the secret to getting C-suite executives to work better together?

Freeman, a former CEO himself, offered this advice:

Start by living the same values with your senior executives that you have shared with your entire organization.

Treat each other with dignity, fairness and respect. Establish “rules of engagement” to encourage open sharing of points of view, and drive alignment when the final decision on an issue is made.

More and more companies are scattering their C-suite executives around the world to get closer to the customer. A good move commercially, that requires leaders to identify new ways to engage with each other… frequent video conferences, check-ins, scheduled face-to-face live meetings. Trust is built over years and can be lost in moments.

View “The Experts” post here.

Dean’s Speaker Series: Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79), Founder & Chairman, Max India Limited

February 25th, 2014 in Dean Freeman, Dean's Speaker Series, News

Founder and Chairman of Max India Limited, Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79) is a thriving entrepreneur in a variety of fields. Among his most notable contributions has been the transformation of health care services in his native India. On February 24, 2014, Singh returned to the School to share the lessons he’s learned—from identifying problems to achieving significant reforms.

Boston University School of Management’s Dean’s Speaker Series brings industry leaders into its “living room” for insightful conversation with Dean Freeman. The various speakers tap into their personal experience and provide advice on how to become a successful leader, implement an effective talent management system, guide an organization through a technological transformation, and more.

Conversations with Ken: Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79), Founder & Chairman, Max India Limited

February 25th, 2014 in Conversations with Ken, Dean Freeman, News

Analjit Singh (SMG’77, GSM’79), Founder & Chairman, Max India Limited
One of the School of Management’s most influential alumni, Analjit Singh returned to the School on February 24, 2014 for a conversation on entrepreneurship with Dean Freeman. Founder and Chairman of billion-dollar conglomerate Max India Limited, Singh has transformed health care services in his native India, where he has emerged as a leading entrepreneur.

Dean Freeman in Bloomberg Businessweek: Consider the Student a Customer

December 5th, 2013 in Dean Freeman, News

Engage the entire organization in creating a memorable mission and translate it into an actionable strategy

Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman shares his thoughts on how to build a better business school in a piece for Bloomberg Businessweek, in which he stresses motivating faculty to work as a collective force, one that carries out a mission dedicated to enhancing the student (or, customer) experience. Highlighting the School’s commitment to its own mission—”to create value for the world”—he notes the transformation of the undergraduate and graduate curricula, launched during the School’s centennial, as well as innovations to teaching and learning that will better prepare students for a world that faces massive economic, commercial, and social challenges.

Excerpts from Bloomberg Businessweek:

After leaving the for-profit world three years ago to become Dean of Boston University’s School of Management, I observed to one of my new colleagues that our students are our customers. “No,” he said, “they are our products.” At first, I thought I must have a lot to learn about academe. Now, as the School of Management launches a complete transformation of its undergraduate and graduate curricula during our centennial year, I believe my initial instincts were correct.

Business schools increasingly face the same powerful forces that have confronted law schools in recent years: application drops, employers questioning the utility of the degree, alternative education models, and doubts about the return on investment as tuition rises in a weak economy. These new realities will induce many business schools to make sweeping changes that fundamentally alter management education and the “customer experience” it provides.

As business schools seek innovation, I believe the chances of success can be greatly increased by applying the core principle of transformation that companies have long used to remake their businesses: Engage the entire organization in creating a memorable mission and translate it into an actionable strategy. And, as with the best business transformations, schools should not only respond to market forces; they should respond in ways that matter far beyond the narrow interests of their own institutions.

Engaging the entire organization can be particularly difficult. Faculty members typically make their mark through outstanding individual work and eminent reputations that attract students and expose them to the best of management thought and practice. Rarely, however, have faculty been motivated and mobilized as a collective force to work across the boundaries of their professional interests to reshape an entire institution. This is not tinkering at the margins of a curriculum—their active engagement is critical for creating a coherent, collective mission that is genuinely transformative.

Read the full piece here.

Aging Population and Millennials Are Influencing Business, Dean Freeman Says in WSJ

December 2nd, 2013 in Dean Freeman, News

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: How do you think changing demographics in the U.S. will influence business in the coming decade?

Dean Freeman tells companies to mind two contrasting demographics—the aging and the rising:

The aging population, and the millennial generation are changing the business landscape.

All aspects of health care from direct services, to digital and life sciences technology, to ancillary industries such as real estate, financial planning and the like will be the beneficiaries. Health care is poised for substantial sustainable growth.

In contrast, the Millennials are very idealistic and have lost confidence in the political process. They want change, and they want it now. They want to save the world, which raises the bar for all businesses in focusing on sustainability and social responsibility. They expect to be pampered with goods and services, rely on constant digital communications and are committed to a better planet. Business must focus on sustainability, and digital technology to earn the trust of the rising new generation of consumers.

View “The Experts” post here.

Dean Freeman Addresses Challenge to Capitalism in WSJ

December 2nd, 2013 in Dean Freeman, News

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: What will be the biggest challenge to capitalism in the next two decades—and what should be done about it?

Dean Freeman considers the world in his response:

Accepting that there are a number of different varieties of “capitalism,” not just the American way. This will be difficult at a time when most Americans still do not have a passport, and have not visited countries outside of its borders. An economic revolution is taking place from China to Singapore to Nigeria to Brazil combining the best elements of the American way with local needs.

We need to learn from and respect each other’s form of capitalism so that all have the opportunity to flourish.

View “The Experts” post here.