How MBAs Can Strengthen Their Networks In The COVID Era

“When you’re just starting out,” writes Northwestern Kellogg School of Management professor Holly Raider in a new piece in Harvard Business Review, “making new connections and strengthening your professional network are vital to getting to where you want to go. But the guidance you need, like how to thrive in a new role or pursue a promotion, can be difficult to find in your inner circle.”

Raider is the managing director of executive education and a clinical professor of management at Kellogg. She has published research on career development, economic transactions, and technology management. In her latest work, published by HBR on Friday (November 13), she posits that new employees tend to make professional connections “based on proximity (colleagues they see the most) or commonalities (the colleagues most like themselves).” But, she adds, that’s a mistake.

“When you network with colleagues like you or near you, you create an echo chamber which circulates only the same ideas about the same opportunities,” Raider writes. “That sameness benefits neither you nor your peers, especially when it comes to innovation and growth.

“While it may be intimidating to leave the safety of your circle, you should. Strong, diverse networks help you stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, meet new collaborators, and gain access to opportunities or resources that can help you be more effective in your work. The best (yet often overlooked) way to build this kind of network is to focus on your lateral connections: peers who work in different areas of your company. Many early career employees don’t recognize how powerful these relationships can be.”

Founder of SMU’s Cox School Of Business Dies At 99

Edwin L. Cox Sr. ’42 died November 5. Cox School photo

Southern Methodist University and the Cox School of Business are mourning the passing of renowned Dallas business leader and entrepreneur Edwin L. Cox Sr. ’42, who died Thursday, November 5. Cox had celebrated his 99th birthday on October 20 and remained active and engaged with family and friends until his passing.

“Edwin Cox’s contributions to and enthusiasm for this university and the Cox School of Business are invaluable. He was a tremendous presence and an inspiring influence for every person who crossed his path, and his work with and for his community has reached across generations and over great distances,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He will remain an example of tireless drive, selfless spirit and boundless energy to the students of Cox and of SMU for generations to come. He is missed, not only because of his determination to make the Cox School a globally recognized institution but also because of his character and his unwavering commitment to the students of SMU and to the people of Dallas.”

Cox was the chair and CEO of the Edwin L. Cox Company, and the former chair of Cox Oil & Gas Inc., SEDCO Inc. and the Keebler Company. SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business was renamed in his honor in 1978 in recognition of his support for and service to SMU for more than 50 years. He was a long-standing member of the Cox Executive Board and founded the Cox Distinguished MBA Scholars Program, the Business Leadership Center for graduate students, and the Edwin L. Cox BBA Leadership Institute for undergraduates. In 2007, Cox provided a challenge to establish the Edwin L. Cox BBA Scholars Program, which provides merit-based undergraduate scholarships.

Wharton Analytics Accelerator goes virtual for 5th annual summit

The Wharton Analytics Accelerator Summit is today (November 13) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. Six teams of Penn and Wharton students spent the past six weeks analyzing datasets from real companies to help solve a business challenge. They’ll present their final recommendations and data models to executives from Comcast, Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions, Evite, Lidl, Neuroflow and TE Connectivity — all virtually via Zoom.

It is the first virtual (and fifth ever) Analytics Accelerator Summit hosted by Wharton Customer Analytics.

“Data is now a company’s most valuable asset, and students with skills in data analytics will be better positioned as they enter a fiercely competitive job market,” a news release states. “The Analytics Accelerator program provides a unique opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in a critical field.”

Spinout tech company launched by Oxford Saïd academics

Oxford’s Andrew Stephen

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford academics Andrew Stephen, Felipe Thomaz, and Gregory Clark have incorporated a research spinout, Augmented Intelligence Labs, which develops analysis and decision support systems for marketing leaders. The company creates tools which are integrated into those offered by marketing research companies.

One of its tools, called Hypertrends, is a trend detection and analysis system that maps complex social connections to understand the flow and significance of ideas, discussion topics, and emotions. The approach assists strategic decision-making by providing context and rationale for long-term predictions. This analytical capability is being used to underpin the sustainability practice at Kantar, the market data business, and will guide companies’ sustainability strategies and investment.

Through its research commercialization arm Oxford University Innovation, the university has created more than 200 spinout companies based on academic research. In the last financial year, Oxford spinout companies raised more than £880 million — more than a billion U.S. dollars — in external fundraising.

Co-founder Felipe Thomaz, associate professor of marketing, said: “Oxford has a long history of technology transfer, and an incredibly well-established process to do so. It certainly was very helpful to deal with people that have enormous amounts of experience in commercializing research.”

Queen’s professor takes deanship in Moscow

Yuri Levin, professor of business analytics and artificial intelligence at Queen’s University Smith School of Business in Canada, has accepted the position of dean of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO in Russia.

“This year Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO has achieved a remarkable technological breakthrough successfully adapting to the new external conditions caused by the pandemic,” Alexander Voloshin,  chairman of the school’s board of directors, says in a news release. “We have a clear vision of its future development, while Yuri Levin possesses the most advanced academic experience and expertise that will boost this process. Professor Levin has been cooperating with the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO for over 10 years. As the dean of the school, he will now head a strong management team to ensure momentum and leadership at the new stage of school’s development.”

The position of SKOLKOVO’s dean had been vacant for a year. Levin was born in 1976 in Minsk. He graduated from the Belarus State University in 1998 with a degree in Mathematical Electronics. In 2001, he received a Ph.D. in Operations Research at Rutgers University, where he taught in various MBA programs until joining Queen’s, where he is a founding executive director of the Analytics and AI Ecosystem and a chair of analytics.

“Within almost a decade and a half, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO has established a solid foundation becoming one of the most distinctive players in Russia’s business education market,” Levin says. “I am grateful to SKOLKOVO’s board of directors for their confidence in me and eager to continue this impressive path with the school’s team. I am sure that SKOLKOVO will become one of the leading educational institutions providing training for a successful career in the digital future.”

Wharton launches Management & Business Review

Experts at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, along with a number of other universities and organizations, have launched Management and Business Review, a new journal that aims to bridge management practice, education, and research, “and thereby enhance all three,” according to a news release. “MBR is the result of a grassroots initiative with a wide participation by many schools and companies, with an editorial team that includes top professors and senior executives from these organizations.”

With over 20 million potential readers of such journals worldwide who have a broad range of needs for knowledge about management and business practices, the MBR team has found that existing sources — including Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and California Management Review — and the enormous amount of information available on the internet only meet a fraction of these readers’ needs. Over 200,000 business school professors worldwide have roughly 1,500 research journals and practitioners’ journals focused on specific business disciplines. “Over 98% of these professors never attempt to publish to HBR, SMR, or CMR, and the MBR team believes many of them could be motivated to write papers for MBR with its broad community involvement, a different editorial structure, and different editorial processes,” the release states.

See here for a link to the first issue, which is freely available to the public.


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