Archives for Dean Eric Johnson

Don’t wait to develop your network

The number one mistake I see new MBA students make is waiting to develop their networks. Top B-schools offer an amazing (and sometime overwhelming) set of opportunities to network. Students should never miss a chance to share coffee or a lunch with a visiting executive. Even after a long day, stopping by for a reception […]

Leadership Notes

Leadership Notes is a blog and video series on leadership.  Through interviews with leaders from both the private and public sector, Johnson examines key leadership issues like empowerment, team development, and cultural dexterity.  The blog also addresses topics such as learning from failure, the importance of friendship, and the role leaders play in developing organizational […]

Soaring to New Heights while Maintaining Equilibrium

An auto executive once told me a funny story that I often use to illustrate one of the biggest challenges when implementing strategic initiatives—integration. The firm had introduced a modest set of colors that year for a new vehicle launch. Shortly into the model year, executives noticed that green vehicles were not selling. For some […]

Competition Moves the Marbles

Marketplace competitors are like a bucket full of marbles. Each marble represents a firm and the contact boundaries between the marbles are areas of intense competition. Like marbles shifting in the bucket, as firms move in the marketplace they end up competing with different firms and their movement causes competitive shifts for the others. Boston […]

What Makes A Firm Competitive? Wisdom from BCG’s Bruce Henderson

This year I have been reflecting on the legacy of Bruce Henderson. A Vanderbilt alumni and Owen School professor, Bruce was a pioneer in the business world, founding the Boston Consulting Group and participating in the creation of the management consulting industry. To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of his birth, BCG launched an Institute in […]

Owen Hustles into Summer Excitement

Summer has its own rhythm at Owen, but it is anything but slow. While the building falls quiet for a few days, it is not for long. Students of all ages take up residence, participating in programs that run from a few days to a few weeks. The centerpiece of summer activity at Owen is […]

Vanderbilt’s Sohr Grants Help Spark Startup Success

There are few things in business that compare to watching a passionate, smart startup completely transform an industry — or several at the same time. And given the current valuations that companies like Snapchat ($15 billion) and Uber ($41.2 billion) are fetching, it’s no wonder that business school students increasingly want a piece of the […]

Lights, Camera … Leadership

I like to say that leadership is a contact sport. To me, that means leadership requires not just theory, but also practice, something we try to instill in Owen students through things like case studies in the classroom, through club and case competition participation, and through our Leadership Development Program. However, trying to describe the […]

B-School Rankings Offer Useful Data, But Not the Whole Story

We live in a data-rich era. Facebook can say more about someone’s personality based on their likes than many trained psychologists can. Target’s data-mining software famously predicted a teenager’s pregnancy by detecting a shift in her buying habits. And the company Palantir, one of Silicon Valley’s most talked about startups, has used data linkages to […]

Publish or Perish: Finding New Models to Sustain Academic Research Journals

Disruptive change is sweeping many areas of academia. Much of that has focused on technology-enabled course delivery. But a new wave of disruptive change is also coming to the business models that support research dissemination. Academic journals may seem like arcane relics to the outside world, but they are the lifeblood for researchers across the […]