Leadership by Design
Leadership is much more than exercising authority. It is the ability to create a compelling vision that others want to follow. A strong organizational leader respects individuals, delegates work, and enables others to perform to the best of their abilities. This course illuminates the traits of effective leadership and demonstrates a variety of approaches to enable students to become leaders themselves as well as to help other leaders in an organization to emerge. Students discuss leading in both entrepreneur and intrapreneur contexts and explore some of the key tasks of a leader, including creative brainstorming, evaluating business opportunities, and communicating these opportunities to a variety of stakeholders. This course also gives students the opportunity to practice techniques of negotiation and sales.
Market Insight Studio
A critical element of any good marketing strategy is the insight gained from the market, especially customers. The most successful companies use market insight to shape strategies of what to produce, not merely how best to produce it. This studio addresses both traditional and cutting-edge approaches to marketing, promotion, and advertising, focusing on market research that drives valuable, actionable, and accurate insight of customers, competitors, and markets. Students learn how to conduct effective research that illuminates unseen opportunity and enables a deep understanding of customers. They apply theories and techniques learned in the course to a project that runs the length of the semester, culminating in an insightful, successful, sustainable business solution and a professional marketing strategy.
While sustainability is a theme throughout every course in the program, this studio focuses exclusively on developing solutions that directly affect financial, natural, and human capital, as well as the systems that govern them. The course takes an in-depth look at various frameworks and approaches to sustainable development, using both historical and contemporary examples. Throughout the semester, students use practical tools and techniques for identifying issues, developing solutions, troubleshooting problems, and measuring progress. A semesterlong project challenges students to apply sustainability skills to a refined solution; at the end of the semester, they present their results along with a sustainability analysis and implementation plan.
Business Models & Stakeholders
There is no “right” or “perfect” approach to organizing a business; different values, understandings, and cultures influence the shape a business takes. This course examines various business models and types of organizations, looking to both the past and the future. It studies the history of corporations and examines the financial, social, political, and environmental roles that corporations play. In addition, the course discusses effective for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid structures, as well as the necessary and valuable role of governments, NGOs, and communities. Students learn the importance of addressing the needs of a growing variety of stakeholders in order to be successful in today’s market. They also explore the similarities among effective organizations, regardless of their business structure or organizational philosophy.