STRATEGIC OBSERVATIONS

Lessons learned from

Harvard Business School Key Strategies

 

I have almost completed reading Duff McDonald’s book entitled “The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, The Limits of Capitalism and The Moral Failure of the MBA Elite”.

It is clear from the title alone, that Mr. McDonald doesn’t like the Harvard Business School and its best known alumni and faculty.

However he had his research and I think he has outlined why HBS’s successful has been at the top of the business school market and has made a lot of money.

Let me summarize the key elements of their long-term strategy and how it can serve as a model for other “non-profit?” organizations:

These are key strategies that have enabled them to be leaders: 

    1.  DIFFERENTIATORS- HBS clear, continuing “strategic differentiators are the development and continue focus:

  • On using their own unique CASE STUDIES
  • Staffing their faculty with their own “Baker Scholar alumni to not only teach, but develop thousands of case studies.
  • Formed student teams in the first and keeping the same teams for the two years. This resulted in strong bonding while in school and after. 

     2.  Created a Money Machine, by getting Alumni, major corporations and foundations to provide a huge endowment and cash flows.

     3,  Continuing “self promotion” with its publishing, consulting and executive programs.
     4. Separating itself from the rest of University.
     5. Creating and maintaining a GLOBAL BRAND.
     6. Continuity of leadership who strongly believed in the “HBS WAY!”.

Overall whether you think HBS is teaching the right courses and over using the case method it has been able create and maintain a very global image from its beginning to today.

 

Since I spent a number of years designing, developing, teaching and leading executive programs I will discuss other ways that can be more effective than the typical Harvard case study.

                                                             

Merging NON-PROFITS with FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION.. IS LIKELY TO BECOME A TREND..

"THE BUSINESS JOURNALS reported today that “Graham Holdings Co. (NYSE: GHC) sold off Fort Lauderdale-based Kaplan University — and its hundreds of millions in revenue — to Purdue University for just $1.Kaplan Higher Education generated $617 million in revenue in 2016, so it represents a big chunk of Graham's overall revenue, which was $2.5 billion in 2016.
Graham will receive 12.5 percent of the nonprofit's revenue after all the expenses (and other fees) are paid. But it is not entitled to receive any reimbursement for these costs until the new university nonprofit system has covered all of its operating costs plus an additional $10 million. Purdue will get five seats on the new nonprofit's board and Graham will get one (from the already assembled board of trustees for Kaplan University).
The transfer does not include Kaplan’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) or Kaplan’s test-prep business."

THE REAL ISSUE IS WHETHER THE CULTURES OF THESE TWO DIFFERENT TYPE ORGANIZATIONS CAN INTEGRATE TO PRODUCE A PROFITABLE AND MARKET RECEPTION ORGANIZATIONS.