The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My time at Harvard

Back in March, my company sent their senior managers back to school.

About 40 of CDM’s best and brightest spent 4 days at Senior Management University—an intensive weekend of courses by Harvard Business School professors held at an executive training facility at Babson College, outside of Boston. I have to admit I was a little skeptical going into it. It was clearly going to be a lot of work (and, worse, a lot of early mornings) and seemed like business school (in which I never had any interest). But it the end it was really quite fascinating and a great learning and bonding experience. And an impressive investment on the part of CDM in their future leaders.

All aboard! The excursion began with trains, planes, and automobiles to Babson (as always, click on any image to enlarge):

Our first evening there we gathered to learn just what we were getting ourselves into…

…and for a group portrait. Here they are, SMU class of 2007, the future of CDM (God help us all):

For those of you who are “vertically-challenged” and have ever wondered, here is what the group looks like from a tall guy’s point of view:

The next day began in earnest. Every day we would discuss a number of case studies (most of them Harvard Case Studies authored by the professors who taught them to us) and every night we would have study groups. The first case was about Shouldice Hospital, a hernia center in Canada, authored and taught by Jim Heskett. Here’s Professor Heskett and Wendi mixing it up:

The crowd is rapt:

The set up of the room was a bit like the United Nations:

Chris and Debra with a slightly more hopeful world view:

Well that didn’t last too long:

This was St. Patrick’s day weekend, when we had the big snow…not that we ever went outside. All we could do was watch it pile up:

Next up, Frances X. Frei taught us about Commerce Bank. She was great. She also gave a case study about Tiffany’s, and when I insisted on commenting on it she called me an “honorary girl”. I guess you could say I got “Freied”:

Missy and me—the happy couple—watch as the snow continues to fall:

Bill fondly tries to recall the last time he was outside of this building:

Ever since his appearance in the Blue Hill Troupe’s performance of The Pirates of Penzance, Tom has known the pain of putting up with paparazzi:

The second night’s dinner was a clam bake theme. Clam bakes always sound like fun, even for those of us who don’t like clams. Here’s Bill and Ted's Exoskeleton Adventure:

Ted’s serious, imperious gaze in this picture seems vaguely reminiscent of someone, but who?:

...Oh, I know:

After dinner and study group, anyone who was still standing could head down to the bar. Here’s Gerry getting himself a little something (hey, he is a McLaughlin, and it’s was St. Patty’s Day…):

The bad kids were gambling…

…and shooting pool:

Peter seems a little jealous of Chris’ incomparable ability to charm the ladies:

Some of CDM’s loveliest ladies:

Nina kept a fanciful ribbon on her binder. And people call me a nerd:

The next day, Professor and rock star Tom DeLong gave us a case study from Morgan Stanley, where he used to be a bigwig:

With the theme “Let’s hear it for the B players”, his talk really spoke to me. He focused on employee satisfaction, management, and feedback, and here are some fine examples he provided (click to enlarge if you can’t read):

Missy and Leslie debate the finer points of great taste vs. less fillingness:

And last but not least, Nancy Koehn—Dean of our company’s educational efforts—taught her case study entitled Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance. If you don’t know, Earnest Shackleton was an explorer who got stuck in the Antarctic ice for 2 years…but thanks to his leadership (and penguin burgers) not one member of his expedition died:

“The Dueling Dans”:

After 4 longs days—and a Harvard education—the world-weary crew gets ready to head home:

Eric getting hustled, unaware that Nina has an ace up her sleeve…literally:

Ted hiding his New York Post inside a New York Times so he’ll look classy now that he’s a Harvard grad:

Waiting for the train home. Clearly, everyone is eager for it to arrive!:

Elizabeth and Wolf…she just had her baby today! (the day I’m typing this, not the day we were there!):

Leslie braving the cold as our train is delayed:

Last stop…leadership!:

And on an unrelated note… it’s been a while since I showed off my adorable nieces, who are all getting so big. So…Alana is in 2nd grade now…

…Ashley is as incorrigible as ever…

…and Chelsea, the littlest busybody, is almost two:

Like Tom Groves, she knows the pain of putting up with paparazzi:


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