Published quarterly by UCLA Anderson School of Management
|Harold Price: A Giant in Spirit
"Harold Price was a modest, understated giant," says Senior Associate Dean Al Osborne. "Small in stature but a giant in spirit." Price, one of UCLA Anderson's most significant benefactors, passed away Tuesday, January 27, 2004, at his home in Beverly Hills at the age of 95. Complete article>
|Global Access Program: A Window to the World
In the late 1980s, as emerging globalization was dramatically and irreversibly expanding the context of American business, UCLA Anderson recognized the need for students to have a concrete experience abroad," remembers William Broesamle, senior associate dean of MBA programs at the time. Complete article>
|Charles Corbett and the Greening of Business
Today's businesses must face the reality that their interests are inseparable from those of the surrounding community and natural environment. Complete article>
|Everybody's Business: Commitment to the Community
When I graduated from UCLA Anderson with my MBA in 1989, I expected one thing. I was in my 20s and had entered business school with a singular focus to excel in the fast-paced investment world. Complete article>
Harold Price: A Giant in Spirit
"Harold Price was a modest, understated giant," says Senior Associate Dean Al Osborne (shown, at left, with Price). "Small in stature but a giant in spirit." Price, one of UCLA Anderson's most significant benefactors, passed away Tuesday, January 27, 2004, at his home in Beverly Hills at the age of 95. In the mid-1980's, Price met with then-Professor Al Osborne and former Dean Clay La Force to discuss how he might support entrepreneurial education at the school. "His concern was with students," says Osborne. "He was interested in students being introduced to entrepreneurs and learning from experience. It was different than just learning from books."
Skeptical at first, Price's early contributions ranged from $20,000 to $100,000 per year, a modest start that put the onus on the entrepreneurial center to perform. After three years, Osborne, "Asked Mr. Price to challenge us," and requested a $1 million contribution. Today, the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is the finest such center in the world and one of the crown jewels of UCLA Anderson.
Price graduated from the Wharton School in 1928, earning a bachelor's degree in economics, then went to work for his father (co-founder of Joe Lowe Corp.) in the bakery and ice cream business. Among the most popular items was the Popsicle. Price's first office was a broom closet, and he worked in every department of his father's business. As he worked his way up, he helped build Lowe, adding subsidiaries and acquiring other companies. He ultimately negotiated a merger with Consolidated Foods Corp. and ran the Joe Lowe Division until Consolidated became Sara Lee Corp.
In 1979, he established the Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. His experience at Wharton led him to believe that a professional school owed it to its students to help them connect with the practice of management. Osborne says that Price was more interested in students than other academic options though, over time, he came to appreciate the importance of curriculum development and faculty research. He also supported socially-conscious entrepreneurship, feeling that entrepreneurs and innovators are an important and undernourished layer in the social fabric that needs to be nurtured. The Price Institute supported social enterprises such as NetImpact, NIFTE, and several women's business initiatives. According to Osborne, "The Price Institute recognized that organizations with a social mission should be supported." The institute also supported entrepreneurial studies at Wharton, Berkeley, and Stanford among others.
"I think it would be 'humility,'" Osborne responds when asked to sum up Harold Price in just one word. "He cared deeply about people. At UCLA Anderson, we hope that Mr. Price's entrepreneurial efforts, and his impact here and elsewhere, may serve as an inspiration to other's entrepreneurial endeavors. We honor this great man and ask that you keep his family in your thoughts." Price is survived by his wife, Pauline; his daughter, Linda; his granddaughters Lisa Beshkov and Bonnie Vitti; and five great grandsons.
Global Access Program: A Window to the World
"In the late 1980s, as emerging globalization was dramatically and irreversibly expanding the context of American business, UCLA Anderson's leadership recognized the need for our students to have a concrete experience abroad," remembers William Broesamle, senior associate dean of MBA programs at the time. "The international field study for the newly created Fully-Employed MBA (FEMBA) program was part of the effort to address that need."
In a world growing ever smaller and more intricately connected economically, the ability to effectively function across national borders has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Today, the Global Access Program (GAP) is the primary alternative for the final field study phase in the three-year FEMBA degree.
Student teams, with support from faculty advisors, comprehensively analyze a technology-based foreign company. Directly confronting the challenges of doing business with a world view, students work with company executives over a period of six months, including a cultural immersion with a visit to the firm's headquarters. Students' research results provide the foundation for an investment-quality business plan in their final presentation that is critically evaluated by industry experts from a variety of backgrounds carefully chosen specifically for each company.
"GAP is the culmination of the FEMBA program, combining entrepreneurship, high-technology and management in a strategic and international context," explains Victor Tabbush, associate dean of UCLA Anderson's FEMBA program. "It applies, extends and reinforces all their academic studies in the experiential equivalent of a masters-level thesis."
As with any program that aims to remain relevant, GAP is constantly evolving. After assuming the position of GAP's academic director last year, Bob Foster, an adjunct associate professor at UCLA Anderson, began a multi-layered redesign, further refining the focus toward high-technology-based entrepreneurial companies and away from the original emphasis on industry sectors and large corporations. Foster notes that these startups offer the greatest opportunity to have a real impact. To enhance students' preparation for the rigorous GAP experience, Foster also added his popular business development and high-technology management courses to the FEMBA curriculum, taking advantage of his previous experience as CEO for four high-tech firms and advisor to over 130 Anderson field studies.
"GAP provides a win-win-win proposition for all three of our constituencies: the students, the participating client companies and our regional partner agencies," Foster says. Partner agencies are GAP sponsoring organizations located overseas with the mission of enhancing their country's economic development and technological innovation. Eight nations have been represented so far. Beginning in 1999 and with 35 field study projects to date, one of GAP's strongest relationships is with Tekes, the National Technology Agency of Finland.
"Before beginning our association with UCLA Anderson's Global Access Program, we did an exhaustive study of international business schools and found GAP to be unique, and our investigations since still have not found anything comparable," says Kimmo Ahola, head of office for the California location of Tekes. "The tremendous value our organizations have received over the years has confirmed our original assessment of the merits of a connection with GAP, and as the program develops, the results continue to get even better."
John Spruce (FEMBA '02), a 2001 GAP student, was part of a group working with Exote, a Finnish company that owns the patent on a new bulletproof armor plate material. The team found potential U.S. customers, prompted additional testing of the product and created a plan that attracted significant funding from investors. Spruce developed a relationship that resulted in the unusual outcome of Exote hiring him for their U.S. business development. "Exote's executives were surprised and impressed that students could accomplish so much," Spruce recalls. "However, they were not the only ones to benefit. We as students had an extremely valuable experience as well, and one that I don't think we could have gotten any other way."
Client companies represent a wide range of industries from countries all over the world, including Italy, New Zealand and Chile. FEMBA students, who each have an average of five years work experience, collectively contribute more then 2,000 hours to each company, which most small firms would find cost prohibitive at typical consultant rates. Elwin Svenson, FEMBA's executive director of international programs, travels extensively on behalf of GAP to develop and maintain relationships with partners and interview potential client firms. As a former vice chancellor of institutional relations for UCLA, he has 30 years experience in international cooperation and educational programs. GAP's clients benefit from the students' unbiased views of how well prepared they are to move to the next stage of corporate development, he says. "Unlike traditional consultants, who might feel pressure to tell their clients what they want to hear in order to retain their business, GAP students have no such financial incentive," says Svenson. "They are motivated to give honest judgments, since their grades are based on the quality of their appraisal."
Today's GAP is the result of the interweaving of strands from different sources in UCLA Anderson's history. Driven by student interest, it grew out of a blend of the original FEMBA field study program and the former Venture Development Program, which was established by Alan Carsrud under the auspices of UCLA Anderson's world renowned Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition to Carsrud, GAP's founding faculty included Janis Forman, Richard Goodman and Svenson. Since its inception in 1998, more than 500 students and over 100 companies have participated in the multicultural experience GAP provides.
"The Global Access Program is an excellent example of integration across UCLA Anderson centers and programs in an effort to create meaningful professional education for our students," says Alfred E. Osborne, senior associate dean for external affairs and founder of the Price Center. "My sense is that GAP has helped raise international awareness of UCLA Anderson, demonstrated the value of real-time business development and contributed to our No. 1 placement in entrepreneurship in the Financial Times worldwide ranking for the last three years."
Today's businesses must face the reality that their interests are inseparable from those of the surrounding community and natural environment. The tension between the two has been a high-profile conflict, but Charles J. Corbett, associate dean of UCLA Anderson's full-time MBA program, takes a positive approach, looking at the synergies between environmental improvement and business success. He believes the key is to show how the interests of both parties actually can be in alignment.
Impressive results supporting this view have been reported by Corbett and his colleagues. "Focusing on environmental benefits can ultimately lead to increased productivity," explains Corbett. "The demonstration of the link between good business practices and environmental protection is the core of my research."
Corbett's current project, "Sustainability in the Motion Picture Industry," is an investigation of environmental practices in film and television. Sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, it is part of his affiliation with the UCLA Institute of the Environment, and several UCLA Anderson students have been participating.
"We started with determining the direction, mapping the industry and establishing a rapport with our contacts," says Kim Pargoff ('04), a student involved in the early stages. "I found this initial development so fascinating that it strengthened my intention to work in the area after I graduate."
The industry is already quite proactive and may serve as a model elsewhere notes Corbett. However, the complexity of many players, short-term production teams and remote far-flung locations make their ecological footprints very difficult to trace.
"Entertainment is an almost exclusively project-based industry, reflecting the widespread trend away from the traditional physical product supply chain," observes Corbett. "It is like looking into the future of American business, which is one of the most intriguing aspects but also logistically challenging."
His extensive expertise has made Corbett the advisor-of-choice for UCLA Anderson field study teams with environmental or nonprofit enterprises. He provides guidance and support for several groups each year. A current example, not-for-profit ReefCheck, is creating a network of divers to constantly monitor the condition of coral reefs worldwide.
As an associate professor of operations management and environmental management, an environmental theme is also apparent in Corbett's classroom. He is UCLA Anderson's faculty member in the Corporate Environmental Management (CEM) interdisciplinary emphasis program, a joint venture of five UC schools. Based at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, CEM was inaugurated in 1999 to give MBA students the skills to solve real-world environmental challenges. Each spring quarter, Corbett teaches his survey course, "Business and the Environment."
One of Corbett's UCLA Anderson students from CEM's first year, Steve Pickle ('00), credits the caliber of Corbett's commitment and well-respected reputation as crucial to creating UCLA Anderson's connection. He considers CEM a valuable natural compliment to his UCLA Anderson coursework.
"My experience in CEM is very relevant to my work as a strategy consultant," Pickle says. "It encouraged viewing environmental concerns as opportune areas that can cultivate innovative business strategy, helping firms to stay creative and competitive."
Corbett's influence is easily discernible in his students and their common effort to broker a peace between business and the environment, emphasizing that companies who embrace the possibilities can reap real long-term rewards. Corbett is living proof that being a practical results-oriented business educator and researcher and a "green" warrior in defense of the environment are not mutually exclusive.
By Elizabeth Heile
When I graduated from UCLA Anderson with my MBA in 1989, I expected one thing. I was in my 20s and had entered business school with the singular focus to excel in the fast-paced investment world. A decade later, my expectation had been met. I'd held a series of key positions with investment consulting firms in the Northwest, serving pension plans and financial institutions across the country.
Then out of the blue came the unexpected: a life-changing opportunity to assist - from the business perspective - a nonprofit consultancy that promised to improve the quality of education in our country. I was intrigued. After all, nonprofits needed help managing their businesses as much as for-profits did. And this was a good cause.
Once again, I had expectations. I expected the transition to the nonprofit sector would be a challenge. But what I did not expect was the fulfillment such a challenge would provide - or that I would one day create and run my own communications consulting firm, catering to the needs of nonprofit organizations.
At Philanthropy Communications Group we help nonprofits develop and implement the communications component of their fundraising strategy. Our clients include Seattle's Compass Center, a company that provides temporary housing and other services to the homeless. As with most of our clients, it is important for Compass Center to convey the difference between existing facilities and services and those that could be provided with better infrastructure and finances.
Our goal as a firm is to tap into the emotional aspect of nonprofit fundraising and add a visceral component to our clients' strategy. For example, we've discovered that many younger donors in the Seattle area - the ones we call "Microsoft millionaires" - seek out social "returns-on-investment" or opportunities that benefit the community in tangible, economic ways. These donors tend to respond to technically advanced presentations, so we often create CD-ROMs and DVDs that showcase everything from architectural illustrations of a location to a fly-though animation that helps investors better understand the project they are being asked to finance.
As the principal of the firm, my role is not technological. My list of tasks actually reads like the text of a UCLA Anderson catalog, putting into practice the same disciplines for which the school is known: teamwork, communication and entrepreneurship. Though my initial impression of Anderson left me wondering why I needed all "this stuff in the core," I grew to realize that these classes, particularly those in marketing, were the most valuable element of my education. The knowledge I gained at UCLA Anderson helps me not only run my own business, but helps me help the clients run theirs.
For instance, our client Cornish College of the Arts has a mission to offer an education in theater, music, visual art and dance. The immediate goal is to establish a viable and permanent campus. But applying a business model of strategic decision making is not necessarily at the top of management's mindset. So we're working with their president and fund development team to create a comprehensive communications package that speaks to prospective students and donors, as well as current students and faculty. We inventoried their existing marketing collateral, analyzed their audience and tailored the new communication to appeal to their multifaceted constituents. It's no different than a bank segmenting its prospective customers to get the most mileage out of an advertising campaign.
These are the kinds of challenges that make working in the nonprofit sector interesting and rewarding for me. But I was curious to learn about the experience of other UCLA Anderson alumni working in nonprofits. Due to my undying proclivity for networking, I've discovered there are hundreds of fellow graduates who've chosen this career path, which often provides more intrinsic than financial rewards. I spoke to several of them in my quest to answer the following questions: What attracted them to this arena? How do they use their UCLA Anderson experience in their current roles? And what personal motivation could they possibly have for reducing their incomes by anywhere from 10 to 90 percent from what they could achieve in the private sector?
Some folks saw working with nonprofits as a business opportunity, like me, while others had a long personal history of involvement. Some actually stumbled onto their careers. But all of the alumni I interviewed acknowledged that every day felt like a gift, that they had the opportunity to shape other people's lives, while having the time of their own.
Nike Irvin, president of the Riordan Foundation, volunteered extensively while at UCLA Anderson, in the Riordan Scholars program. Following graduation, she maintained her connection with Anderson, continuing to speak with at-risk youth about achieving their own personal and academic success. At the same time, she was climbing the corporate ladder, holding senior marketing positions at Pepsi and Nestle.
When the leadership position became available at the Riordan Foundation, Irvin was recommended for an interview, and, in a series of events she describes as "kismet," she ultimately wound up managing the foundation.
"It was backwards, and without any master planning," she says. "And I couldn't be happier. I wake up every day and I love what I'm doing."
Volunteering is the route that also brought Sarah Kreuzkamp to the nonprofit sector. She established her fundraising consulting firm Charitable Resources after being discovered by a business owner through a volunteer project. Her previous work experience included working in the television movie business, as well as working at UCLA Anderson as associate director in the alumni relations office.
Dan Asher, principal and founder of Foundation Management Group, actually grew up in a community-oriented, philanthropic family, so it comes as no surprise that he would create a successful consultancy to other philanthropists (http://www.foundgroup.com). However, he spent several years in the venture capital/investment world before returning to his roots.
"The longer I spent in the corporate world, the more committed I became to the volunteer work I was doing in the human services arena," Asher says. "A series of events led me to try and reconcile my ‘business' skills with my interest in community service."
Asher eventually took a job managing the financial and operational aspects of a family service agency, and says the personal rewards are substantial, particularly in seeing one's influence on getting important community projects funded.
"Getting funding is challenging," concurs Karen Mack, who recently founded the Los Angeles nonprofit L.A. Commons (http://www.lacommons.org), which focuses on the ways in which art can connect people with their communities and environments. Mack says she relies daily upon her corporate experience and Anderson education to realize LA Commons' goal of revitalizing troubled neighborhoods. It helps that she is an engaging conversationalist with tremendous people skills and a talent for analytical thinking.
"I like to look at the social entrepreneurial way of doing things," Mack says. "Packaging, selling to people, developing a business plan: these are all tasks that I now feel confident in exploring or overseeing."
Like Mack, Edward (Ted) Bosley, director of the Gamble House and author of Greene & Greene (Phaidon Press, 2000), says the general management curriculum at UCLA Anderson has served him well in the nonprofit sector. Since he relies on outside professionals in the areas of finance and financial markets, human resources and marketing, Bosley says the core knowledge behind his MBA has been very useful.
"Not only was I able to acquire some fundamental skills in these areas, I now know what other people are capable of doing, and I can select, recruit and monitor them effectively," he says.
Bosley also cites his UCLA Anderson experience working on group projects as being influential in his ability to create and build teams, and to play to various strengths and personalities - something critical to one's success when establishing a board of directors and a supportive community.
Rebecca Smith, director of marketing and communications in Stanford University's office of development, worked at both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Trust for Museum Exhibitions prior to attending UCLA Anderson.
"What I noticed through my work experience was that artists often were running the arts organizations. In other cases, academics were in charge," she says. "While these people undoubtedly knew the product, in many cases, they did not have the skills and training to do the most effective jobs at some of the business functions of running an organization -- from basic management issues, to strategic planning, to marketing, etc.
"I wanted to gain those skills so that I could add real value in the nonprofit arena," Smith continues. "So, I looked around for a graduate program that would be based in business, but with a focus on nonprofit, specifically arts management. I found the arts management program (at UCLA Anderson) to be the right mix of an arts focus with a rigorous business curriculum."
Smith took the arts management version of field study while at UCLA Anderson, and credits the knowledge gained in marketing and finance with giving her the skills to understand the positioning and communicating of her product (education), as well as bottom line management.
"I think the analytical and quantitative training I received at UCLA Anderson has informed my approach to virtually everything I do here (at Stanford)," she says.
Kate Cochran, vice president of resource development at Unitus Global Microfinance Accelerator, has had a similar experience.
"The general management and HR curriculum at Anderson help in managing any business," she says. "At Unitus, we use creative financing to achieve social goals. I find myself thankful that I took Bill Cockrum's classes, and I rely on my core accounting class more than I ever expected I would."
And, what about the rewards of working with nonprofits? After achieving notable corporate success in the advertising industry, Ted Bosley says he is grateful he made the move into nonprofit management. He describes the past 15 years as a "treasure," and though he took a financial pay cut to move into the nonprofit sector, "it's the psychic rewards that really carry the day." He says he loves going to work, and his Pasadena office is housed "in a very cool building." (http://www.gamblehouse.org)
Sarah Kreuzkamp echoes Bosley's sentiments and says her work with Charitable Resources provides the best of both worlds. "My business is for profit, but I am able to assist nonprofits," she points out. " I get a real thrill out of helping clients who do good work find the funding they need to help their clients. Whether it's education reform, child welfare, homeless services, or higher education, I believe in the work my clients do."
And that element of "belief" is the bottom line if one expects to build a successful career in the nonprofit sector, says Michelle Barnes, vice president of marketing and sales at Outward Bound USA. "You have to really believe in the mission of the nonprofit to get the big rewards," she notes. "Since money isn't a driver for any of the staff (or they wouldn't be working there), the cutthroat competition isn't there either. People don't care much about titles, resumes, or organizational charts. It's about the passion you bring to the organization's mission and the impact you know your business skills can have on the business goals. I feel good that I am using my business skills to help people, so I feel challenged and am learning new things every day. I also find it rewarding to lead a team of people who are as passionate as I am."
Elizabeth Heile is the Principal and founder of Philanthropy Communications Group, a communications and visualization firm serving nonprofits' fundraising and outreach needs (http://www.pcgseattle.org)
Anderson Assets welcomes input from alumni and the UCLA Anderson community for letters to the editor, articles, or ideas on themes.