Monday, October 3, 2011

Live Streaming My Class Today - Tuesday, October 4th

As you know, in my blog I write about leadership and strategy – discussing timely topics like executive mistakes, momentous decisions in business and in politics, and what makes for great, and terrible, leadership.   This forum, however, is not all that I do!  I am extremely fortunate to be on the faculty of one of the world’s leading business schools, working with terrific students on a regular basis.

If you want to get a glimpse into the MBA classroom, and a deeper dive into leadership and strategy, I invite you to join us as I broadcast my class live (via streaming on the Internet) today at the Tuck School of Business.  The goal is to share with you the provocative conversations I have each week with my students, and to even participate in these discussions by submitting a question.  You will also be able to submit questions live during the class.  Focusing on Top Management Teams – the ruling party at any organization – we will explore why smart executives sometimes do really dumb things, with special attention to Research in Motion and Yahoo. 

Details on the class are included below, as well as reading materials in case you’d like to “prep” before the class.

I hope to “see” you there today!
Syd (follow me on twitter @sydfinkelstein, #sydtuck)

Class Details:
Date: Tuesday, October 4
Time: 4:45pm – 7:45 PM EST

Guest Speaker: Eric Jackson, Shareholder Activist, and Founder and Managing Member, Ironfire Capital LLC Hedge Fund

Schedule of Session Content (times are approximate):
4:45pm – Why Smart Executives Fail
5:45pm – Research in Motion: Past, Present and Future
6:45pm – Yahoo and Carol Bartz

Join the live online class here!

Materials to help you prep for class:

Research in Motion in 2007

Chapter 1 of my book "Why Smart Executives Fail"
"Detractors of BlackBerry See Trouble Past Patents" (Source: The New York Times)

Discussion questions:

  • What made RIMM so successful prior to 2007?  Was the iPhone really a threat to these strengths?
  • What were the warning signs of problems at RIMM in 2007?
  • How would a co-CEO structure affect the WSEF dynamics we've discussed in class?
  • RIMM is based in Waterloo, Canada, a town of about 100,000 people.  How might that location affect the WSEF dynamics?
  • After beating back the Palm Treo, Microsoft WinMobile, and other phone providers like Samsung and Motorola prior to 2007, why should RIMM have feared Apple?

  • Yahoo and Carol Bartz in 2009


  • What did Yahoo need in January 2009?
  • What should have been Carol's priorities right off the start?
  • What do you think would have been the biggest risks facing Carol off the bat?
  • If you were on the board and you hired Carol, what would have been the best compensation package for her - given that Yahoo was criticized for having paid outgoing CEO Terry Semel $600m for his 5-year tenure?
  • In what ways do you think Yahoo in 2009 resembled Autodesk in 1992? In what ways were they different?

  • Contact us if you have any questions.

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