Tag: Faculty

Ashley E. Hardin, assistant professor of organizational behavior, co-authors a post published on the Harvard Business Review that calls for more compassion in the workplace. The authors advocate for a more compassionate and connected workforce in an age when technology facilitates isolation and discourages civil behavior and interaction.

Restoring compassion to the workplace, the authors suggest, will not only improve the working environment, but it will also have a positive impact on productivity:

“If people feel like they belong and genuinely care about one another, they will be more creative, resilient, and eager to contribute at work.”

Hardin’s coauthors, Monica C. Worline and Jane E. Dutton, are co-founders of the CompassionLab, the world’s leading collaboratory for research on compassion and work organizations. They define compassion this way:

“A 4-part experience of noticing someone’s distress or pain, interpreting it as relevant and important, feeling concern for that person or group, and acting to alleviate their pain.”

Expressing compassion can range from small gestures to heroic acts of generosity and life-saving support in times of need, according to the authors.

Read: “Forming Stronger Bonds with People at Work.”

About Ashley Hardin

Prior to pursuing her PhD and joining Olin, Professor Hardin worked as a Senior Associate Consultant for Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group.

Her research interests include relationships, affect, work-life boundaries, and unethical behavior. 


One of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry is reducing operating costs, and one area of opportunity for cost savings is through the supply chain. Jean-Claude Saghbini, Chief Technology Officer at Wolters Kluwer Health (and formerly of Cardinal Health), spoke with The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation about some of the recent advancements in healthcare technology that have recently been driving efficiency and reducing waste.


Jean-Claude Saghbini

Saghbini claims that high value medical devices, or physician preference items, are responsible for quite a bit of waste (up to 30%, or $5 billion) on an annual basis. One method of streamlining and increasing visibility of inventory for high value items such as these is through the use of RFID, or radio frequency identification. An application of RFID that has been particularly successful at driving efficiency is the development of “smart shelves” that know exactly what’s inside a medical device cabinet, and can automatically trigger a reorder at a set inventory level.

Another technology that has increased supply chain efficiency is the access to networks that can aggregate data for various purposes (e.g., sharing information with suppliers, running analytics, etc.). The analysis of data, according to Saghbini, has been very helpful in providing better insight into utilization of medical equipment within hospitals and throughout healthcare networks.

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

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The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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Students in Olin’s CELect course helped create the marketing plan for SafeTrek, a personal mobile safety app that was introduced to the WashU community this fall. Student-led teams in the entrepreneurship consulting course are paired with startups at the downtown accelerator T-Rex and assigned a wide variety of projects.

“The project for SafeTrek is one of many examples where helping a local entrepreneur also helped the community,” said Academic Director for Entrepreneurship Clifford Holekamp.

We asked SafeTrek cofounder Nick Droege about working with CELect teams on the marketing rollout of the app for WashU:

Have the CELect teams provided valuable contributions to your company?

The CELect teams have been extremely valuable in helping us over the past year. From market research to rollout strategies, they’ve made our jobs easier.

The spring 2017 team was diverse mix of law and business students. Did they bring valuable perspectives?

The spring 2017 team was an impressive group. They were able to provide us with valuable insights on campus climate as we geared up to launch at WUSTL’s campus.

[Related: Check out the Spring 2017 CELect team’s take on collaborating with SafeTrek]

What would you tell other startups considering a collaboration with a CELect student team?

Yes. Constantly getting outside perspectives is extremely important as you’re building a company. As founders, it’s easy to hone in on our strategies based on our lenses of how we should execute. Having a group of young, motivated, entrepreneurial spirited students look at what we’re doing and offer their opinions has made us take a step back and evaluate our approaches.

Safetrek recently announced a $3.2 million funding round with St. Louis-based VC firm Cultivation Capital.

The University is continuing to provide SafeTrek FREE OF CHARGE to all students, faculty, staff and Basic Services Contractor employees. To activate your subscription click on the link below and follow the steps: www.safetrekapp.com/affiliate/WUSTL

In an op-ed published by the Houston Business Journal, Panos Kouvelis writes about the crucial role supply chain managers play in recovery from natural disasters like the recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Kouvelis is Director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation and Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management. Excerpts from his opinion are below, link to the article here.

Panos Kouvelis

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma provide another stunning reminder of how far such disasters can reach. It is no exaggeration to say that, in the weeks and months to come, the whole world will feel their after-effects.

For supply chain managers confronting a disruption, the first-level reaction is to consider which customers, products, facilities, employees and suppliers are at the greatest risk. What is the overall revenue exposure, and how long it will take to recover?

As any supply chain manager understands all too well, it is not necessarily the original event, but the ripple effects that cause major disruptions. The Japanese earthquake triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hurricane Harvey caused a series of small explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas.

And when supply chains are tight, any hiccup can drive supply-demand imbalances. Harvey shuttered 60 percent of U.S. ethylene capacity. Ethylene and its derivatives are used to produce plastics, antifreeze, house paint, vinyl products and rubber. Shortages will ripple across these markets for months.

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley

Staci Thomas exudes enthusiasm and positive energy and it’s clear that students respond to her teaching tactics in her classroom where they practice the art of communication. Thomas, a lecturer in Management Communication at Olin was named one of 40 Top Undergraduate Professors by the Poets & Quants website this month.

Thomas received the Reid Teaching Award from the Class of 2017 and has been teaching at Olin since 2014 and at WashU since 2010.

Participants in the 2017 Washington University in St. Louis Olin Fleischer Scholars Program, a week-long residential summer program for for high school students geared toward underrepresented and first-generation college student populations, gathered at Bauer Hall on the Danforth Campus in St. Louis Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Staci Thomas, lecturer in Management Communications at Olin Business School, leads a workshop on resumes. Photo by Sid Hastings / WUSTL Photos

Thomas uses the flipped classroom approach in her classes. Students watch lectures on line and when they get to class, they are on their feet, practicing speaking, presentation, and other communication skills.

“She has done an incredible job ensuring that the electronic content is robust and that when in class students are applying the knowledge they have gained,” Steve Malter told Poets & Quants. Malter is Olin’s senior associate dean of undergraduate programs.

“There’s a pretty clear difference between lecturing and teaching,” Thomas explained to Poets & Quants. “We need to stop “dumping information” and placing the onus of responsibility on the students to absorb it. Today’s student grew up in sound-bites, vivid imagery and ever-changing pop-culture references. Long lectures and static images are no longer effective. We need to create new ways of teaching that work for the student, not just for the professor.”

Thomas answers a series of questions on the P&Q site. And the last question says a lot about her dedication and enthusiasm for teaching, “If, in 10 years, I could look back on 10 years’ worth of successful, satisfied former students, I’d call that a success.” Link to P&Q interview.

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