Author: WashU Olin Business School

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About WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.


Stop Asian hate protest image. Photo via Shutterstock

This message to members of the WashU Olin community was sent by Dean Mark P. Taylor and the members of the SMP Council and the Olin East and Southeast Asia Club.

Dear Olin faculty, staff and students:

We write to you today from a place of both sadness and anger in response to continued acts of bigotry and hatred that have divided our nation over the past year. The violence committed in Atlanta this week, as well as all acts of discrimination and violence inflicted upon members of the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are unacceptable.

These acts stand in direct contradiction with Olin’s values of diversity, collaboration, integrity, excellence and leadership. We stand in solidarity with you, walking on the path forward together.

These events are another painful reminder that we must continue to work to create an inclusive community that values and respects our Asian community members.

Below, please find a list of a few campus spaces where you can begin or continue the work of crafting the inclusive community we all desire—one where we all can live, work, grow and thrive. To create that community, it is imperative that we each rise to the challenge of becoming allies in this work.

If you feel uneasy or worried about the recent uptick in violence against the Asian community, in addition to Olin’s undergraduate and graduate student affairs teams you can seek mental health resources at the Habif Wellness Center. Faculty and staff Mental Health Resources are also available.

This work isn’t abstract for us within the Olin community. As you can see from this story in The New York Times, the consequences of this hatred hit very close to home. Jason Wang is a 2009 BSBA from Olin. We are called to respond. This is who we are. These are our colleagues. These are our classmates, our friends, our family. This is Olin.

Photo above via Shutterstock.




Hillary Anger Elfenbein, area chair of the faculty for organizational behavior and the John K. Wallace, Jr. and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professor and Professor of Organizational Behavior, and Dean Mark P. Taylor shared this update to the WashU Olin community.

We are writing to let you know that Peter Boumgarden is now the Koch Family Professor of Practice for the Koch Center for Family Business. Peter’s new appointment was announced at today’s annual Olin Family Business Symposium.

In addition to his professor of practice role, Peter will serve as director of the Koch Center. He will continue to teach within and work closely with our organizational behavior area.

Bart Hamilton, Robert Brookings Smith Distinguished Professor of Economics, Management & Entrepreneurship, will continue with the Koch Center as research director. Peter will also retain his role as academic director of the Center for Experiential Learning.

Congratulations to Peter on this new role.




Keith Choy, EMBA-Shanghai

In a Q&A with McKinsey & Company published last month, Keith Choy describes how his GlaxoSmithKline’s Asia–Pacific Consumer Healthcare group is relying on the reality of the pandemic and the company’s values to speed up its response to customers and demonstrate its agility.

Choy, EMBA-Shanghai ’07, is head of the GSK unit, overseeing 6,000 employees whom, the article says, he has asked “to consider the pandemic a call to action, a chance to double down on existing digitalization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to even better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 Asia–Pacific markets the company serves.”

Here are a few highlights from the October conversation Choy had with McKinsey on how “GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.”

On tech and digitalization

“Even before the pandemic, people were getting more digitalized and using technology in ways we couldn’t imagine before. We need to accelerate our use of digital to engage with consumers, customers, and healthcare professionals.”

On company values

“During the pandemic, and even Chinese New Year, our manufacturing site employees still went back to work; our supply chain continued to deliver products to customers. We demonstrated a deep commitment to help patients even as we worked to keep our employees safe and healthy.”

On speeding customer response

“Our decision tree is based on empowerment of our people—the trust of the leadership in the people on the ground. We give them whatever support and resources we can. In that sense, decision making is on the local level.”

On leadership qualities

“The first quality I look for is how they prioritize; I want to see how they consider opportunities and challenges and if they can quickly identify priorities. The second is how they shoulder their leadership responsibilities and accountabilities, and how well they connect with people even under remote conditions.”

Read the full interview on McKinsey & Company’s website.




US Capitol Building

Dean Mark P. Taylor shared this message with WashU Olin’s staff, faculty and students following the events in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.

Dear Olin Community,

Like many of you, I have watched the events unfolding in the nation’s capital today with deep concern.

My thoughts turn to our Olin colleagues who live and work in Washington, DC, and to our students and their families on break in DC and nearby communities. I’m thinking of the many Olin students who, through our partnership with Brookings, have received behind-the-scenes insights into how the wheels of US government intersect with the world of business.

I am recalling the images of those same students, along with staff and faculty members, celebrating their Brookings experience on the steps of the Capitol—the same steps where these distressing events played out this evening.

The contrast is truly alarming.

I am also thinking of everyone in the Olin family who holds dear the promise of America.

One extraordinary year has led to the next. I believe we as business leaders are uniquely positioned to press forward with creativity and thoughtfulness, even in the midst of crisis.

I urge you to stay in touch with your colleagues, your classmates, your instructors and your advisors as events continue to unfold today and throughout this delicate moment in the country’s history.

As another year dawns, it is clear we all will be tested anew to demonstrate resilience, agility and creativity as business leaders who are and must be prepared to change the world, for good.

Sincerely
Mark

Professor Mark P. Taylor DSc PhD
Dean
Donald Danforth, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Finance
John M. Olin School of Business
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1156
Brookings Drive
St. Louis
Missouri 63130-4899
USA

@DeanTaylorWashU

Photo above via Shutterstock.




Lisa Lewin, BSBA

Lisa Lewin, BSBA ’96, was recognized for extraordinary leadership through adversity by a 145-year-old culture and arts organization for her work in June to launch an initiative designed to “dismantle three of the biggest levers of racist power in this country: biased policing, electoral disenfranchisement and economic exclusion.”

The 92nd Street Y in New York City, a nonprofit community and cultural center that provides programs fostering individual physical and mental health, announced the “extraordinary women” awards on November 10, including Lewin among five women so honored.

Lewin is CEO of General Assembly, a pioneer in education and career transformation offering dynamic courses in data, design, business, technology and other high-demand skills.

According to the announcement from the 92nd Street Y, Lewin and the Leadership Now Project—where she is a member of the steering and investor group—”launched the Business for Racial Equity pledge, bringing together a coalition of leading executives to mobilize businesses to take concrete action.”

That action included working toward dismantling biased policing, electoral disenfranchisement and economic exclusion. The pledge includes a series of concrete steps executives and their organizations can take toward addressing those three sources of systemic bias and inequity. The announcement noted that more than 1,000 executives of businesses and organizations across sectors have signed the pledge.

Lisa serves on the boards of the Wikimedia Foundation, Bank Street College of Education, and the Leadership Now Project. In addition to her business degree from WashU Olin, she earned an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School.