Written by Ross J. Brown, BSBA 2018, on behalf of Bauer Leadership Center.
Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do right by the organization. Stick to your values. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Last Thursday, Michael Holmes imparted his lessons of leadership during his presentation at Olin’s Defining Moments course.
Holmes is chairman and founder of Rx Outreach. This nonprofit company focuses on providing medicine to individuals who cannot afford it. Since its inception in 2010, after originally being a part of Express Scripts, the company has been able to provide 670 medication strengths, by more than 70 employees, serving more than 210,000 patients. Rx Outreach patients have saved than $320 million.
Throughout his career, Holmes has worked at variety of companies and in executive positions with Edward Jones and Express Scripts.
With his charismatic personality, Holmes’ presentation captivated the audience with his story of success—and mistakes—that allowed students to understand his underlying points of respect, values, and reflection. With consistent excellence in his career path, he was also able to demonstrate consistent and equal respect to all his coworkers—from secretaries to superiors.
This equal respect came from his religious beliefs, which he also proudly speaks about. I find this impressive. Religion can be a controversial topic, but Holmes is confident enough in himself and who he is to share this part of his background with others.
Finally, Holmes mentioned that he believes we should “enjoy every step of the journey”—enjoy every victory, learn from mistakes, and ultimately, have fun. The time spent with Michael Holmes was inspiring and enjoyable as we learned how to become better employees, better leaders, and overall better people in and out of the work place.
A day hardly passes without an urgent headline focused on the economic transformation underway wrought by blockchain technology. The software is the power behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but Olin experts have been plumbing the deeper implications of the technology.
Blockchain technology has been developed as an efficient method for completing financial transactions, based on the principle of peer-to-peer involvement and fully decentralized and shared networks. It functions as a distributed ledger that provides visibility of all transactions to all parties in the chain, and it is built on an immutable database.
Beyond cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, etherium, and litecoin, the blockchain has been used in supply chain finance in areas such as clearing financial payments, using digital ledgers, and executing “smart” contracts.
Digital Inventory Tracking
Key inventory and asset resources can take on a digital footprint, which provides additional security and tracking capabilities. Applications have been built, relying on the blockchain, to track and trace goods involved in the supply chain for industries such as the diamond trade, food, and pharmaceuticals.
Applications Still Being Conceived
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize supply chains and it requires the immediate attention of supply chain managers. Many are scrambling to understand how a technology developed to support cryptocurrencies might be applicable to supply chains and, in particular, to the supply chains of their companies. Experts say the technology will reduce friction in global shipping operations and complex supply chains that involve goods flowing across borders, through ports, and involving governmental agencies, manufacturing, and retail firms.
The workshop is structured as a forum to learn more about the technology and equip attendees to know what questions to ask as they explore the implications of blockchain for their business. Coming out of the workshop, attendees should better understand the potential application of the technology in their supply chains, gain inspiration about possible immediate benefits the technology can provide, and confront obstacles and challenges in implementing it.
Guest post by Steve Friedman, chief strategist and principal at CPG Agency, and Fred Bendaña, vice president of sales at Express Scripts.
“The employer generally gets the employee he deserves.”
–J. Paul Getty
Getty’s quote cuts right to the heart of why employee engagement is so important. Unless you purposely align your internal and external brand strategies with and through your people, you cannot expect to generate the success that other well-respected, people-centered brands are experiencing.
We view engagement as the critical intersection where passion meets action and where the “employee first” values, beliefs, and attitudes a company intentionally focuses on drives the day-to-day practices of their organization. Engagement occurs when you establish a lasting emotional connection with employees. You accomplish that when employees feel these five basic needs are being met:
You genuinely care about me.
You appreciate me (and tell me so).
You listen to me.
We have open communication and mutual trust.
We share a meaningful purpose.
Brands that lean into their culture, such as Southwest Airlines, Panera Bread, Ulta Beauty, and Express Scripts, are leveraging creative, experiential strategies to engage their people. This critical step is what transforms employees into brand ambassadors. And that’s how you sustainably grow business.
We understand how impactful “belief through experience” can be. We’ve worked together with each of these aforementioned brands to drive success through live events and internal communications.
On February 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., we will join Olin Business School for an all-day seminar to share how to integrate engagement, collaboration, and formal recognition within an organization.
During this interactive workshop, we’ll share how brands such as Southwest Airlines activate high-performing teams and bring their own mission and values to life. When it comes to driving stakeholder engagement, we’ll help identify the different tools and innovative methods that connect a workforce and builds powerful brands.
PLEASE NOTE: This seminar qualifies for one day out of four in the Talent Management & Organizational Development Concentration. Earn a concentration by taking four seminar days in this area within two years, or complete 16 seminar days across four defined concentration areas to earn your Advanced Management Certificate.
Startup founders and angel investors are invited to a free webinar on the kinds of metrics they need to navigate their roles in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ron King, the Myron Northrup Professor of Accounting at Olin, will introduce the latest research on metrics and why standard measurements for established companies are very different than those needed for a startup.
“A startup company is not just a small version of a large company,” says King. “In this webinar, we will provide a framework for thinking about the metrics that startup founders need to manage and the metrics investors need to evaluate startups. It’s important to understand how these metrics relate and which of them may be more valuable in guiding your decision making.”
King has been on both sides of the startup equation as an investor and an entrepreneur and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this webinar. “Founders generally use metrics for their internal decision making: how do they design their marketing, their product, their target market, to scale their business,” King explains. “On the other hand, an angel generally thinks about valuing companies by using metrics that are more appropriate for established business. So the intersection between an angel’s interest in data and the founder’s interest in data for their internal decision-making are really quite distinct.”
This webinar is targeted to practitioners. King recommends that participants bring their inquisitive nature to the webinar. “All you need to benefit from this webinar I think is the natural curiosity about a very complicated problem. The problem is how do we efficiently an effective go from an idea to a business model that has recurring revenue.“
Hungry for the latest trends facing the food business? Don’t miss the Business of Food event taking place Thursday, Oct. 5, 7:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall. It’s part of the St. Louis Leadership Perspectives in partnership with the St. Louis Business Journal and Olin’s Executive Education programs. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Click Here to Register!
7:15 a.m. – 8 a.m. Networking and Chick-fil-A Breakfast
8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Panel Discussion
The Business of Food Panelists:
Eric Benting, Owner/Operator, Chick-fil-A; EMBA Alumnus
Gail Kitsis, Owner and Founder, Crazy Bowls and Wraps
Oliver Kremer, Owner and Founder, Dos Toros Taqueria; BSBA Alumnus
Moderator: Lauren DeSantis-Then, Founder, Capital Cooking TV and Blog; Attorney, Polsinelli
Managing earnings and same-store revenue expectations, supply chain challenges, talent acquisition and retention, marketing, and reputation management in the age of social media – how single restaurants and regional and national chains operate is more complex than ever before.
Professionals involved in the business of food find themselves wrestling with a list of competing priorities. Emerging technologies and the demand for a better mobile experience is at the top of the list. Changes in consumer preferences and expectations, along with health movements, food safety and FDA requirements, are forcing a new dialogue and menu choices.
The fight for a larger share of stomach has never been greater! Join us as we cook up some lively discussion with owners, a franchisee and a food blogger – and engage in the business of food.
Photo: Oliver and Leo Kremer of Dos Toros taquerias in NYC.
“There’s this myth out there that women aren’t as good negotiators as men,” says Hillary Anger Elfenbein. “And I want to try to shatter that myth.”
Elfenbein, The John and Ellen Wallace Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior, shatters that myth on a regular basis in the Olin courses she teaches on negotiation. On October 18, she will share highlights from her research on gender differences in negotiation and how women can confidently approach the process in a free webinar, “Women at the Negotiation Table,” sponsored by Olin’s Executive MBA program.
“There are differences in the way women approach negotiations versus men and there are often differences in outcomes, but these differences can be overcome, especially with a few very simple changes in frame of reference that are easy to accomplish without necessarily changing one’s overall personality,” explains Elfenbein.
Elfenbein also advocates for a broader definition of negotiation. It’s much more than haggling over the price of a new car or a promotion, or a new job’s salary. While those are extremely important negotiations, Elfenbein says it’s helpful to recognize that we are actually negotiating all the time, and can improve our techniques on a daily basis.
“The most accepted scholarly definition of negotiation is that it’s a mutual decision-making process to allocate scarce resources. And if you take that definition seriously enough, we’re negotiating constantly. This definition is as true for who does the dishes and who stays late on the weekends. Who has to come in to the office, what roles are you going to take, how are you dividing labor in your team. All of those things are a negotiation, just as much as the price of a car.”
Research shows that men and women may end up with similar outcomes in a negotiation, but they often get there in different ways. In very broad generalities, women are more apt to find trade-offs and compatibilities in the process, while men tend to engage in more assertive haggling. Elfenbein says these kinds of stereotypes can create psychological obstacles for women.
“If you survey people after a negotiation, and ask people to self-report their scores, women will, by and large, self-report that they did worse. That feeling matters, because even though you might say, ‘It’s all in your head,’ well, a lot of things are in our heads, and that makes them real, that makes them consequential. If you go through life feeling like you’re not good at something, you’re going to avoid doing it. And if you don’t enter a negotiation, then you’re not going to be able to advocate for your needs.”
In her Olin courses and the upcoming webinar, Elfenbein shares ways for women to shift their frame of reference and attitude when approaching negotiation. It takes practice, but they can be changed and make a difference in how to negotiate with confidence and success.
“The kinds of techniques that you learn in the negotiations workshop are as applicable outside of work as they are at work. I like to think that the tools that we that we teach here are useful and adaptable to negotiations of all types.”
Hillary Anger Elfenbein has been a business school professor at the Olin School of Washington University in St. Louis since 2008. She holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior, a Master’s degree in Statistics, and undergraduate degrees in Physics and Sanskrit, all from Harvard University.
Examples of Dr. Elfenbein’s research on negotiation:
Elfenbein, H. A., Curhan, J. R., Eisenkraft, N., Shirako, A., & Baccaro, L. (2008). Are some negotiators better than others? Individual differences in bargaining outcomes. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 1463–1475.
Curhan, J. R., Elfenbein, H. A., & Kilduff, G. J. (2009). Getting off on the right foot: Subjective value versus economic value in predicting longitudinal job outcomes from job offer negotiations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 524-534.
Curhan, J. R., Elfenbein, H. A., & Eisenkraft, N. (2010). The objective value of subjective value: A multi-round negotiation study. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40, 690-709.