An Innovative Mindset
A New Strategic Plan for the Haas School of Business
(This plan was approved unanimously by the Haas School faculty in April 2006.)
Our supporters want to back a winner. They have asked the Haas School to present a plan for winning. This is our answer. This strategic plan is a transformation in the way we view ourselves, act amongst ourselves, talk about ourselves, and market ourselves. The payoff is stronger students, closer recruiters, happier faculty, and the reputation our school deserves.
We aspire to the highest level of business school quality. Our goal is to exploit areas where we are, or readily can be, the best in the world. We will build from the school's deepest, most distinctive assets, which include: (1) U.C. Berkeley, with its unsurpassed scholarship, extraordinary location, and inter-connected departments; (2) the innovative atmosphere of the Bay Area and its diversity of ideas; and (3) the collaborative culture of our programs, which differentiates our students as engaged, authentic, and having confidence without attitude. Though ratings are not our goal, our strategy will put us solidly among the top five business schools within five years of achieving our funding target.
Our plan is built around three blocks: business strategy, brand strategy, and execution strategy.
1. Business Strategy: Leading Through Innovation. We will be the best in the world at innovation. At Haas, innovation is a mindset, an orientation, not a discipline or function. We define it broadly as people and organizations perpetually adapting and creating new processes, ideas, and products to create value. Our graduates are leaders who innovate. Our curriculum covers the strategic and organizational challenges relating to Innovation, as well as our strengths in Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship. For us, entrepreneurship is much more than start-ups: it is the recognition and seizing of opportunity wherever it arises, as relevant for GM and Ford as it is for Intel and Vodafone. A new Center for Innovation will serve as this initiative's strategic hub.
- Our Approach: We will build additional bridges to the wider UC Berkeley campus. Our partnership with the College of Engineering, already deep in Management of Technology, will be extended to executive and undergraduate education. A substantial partnership with the School of Law will include joint initiatives and an essential, shared building. We will launch a suite of expert practice courses, taking our students beyond those at rival schools.
- Our Ideas: Targeted lines of cases (in innovation management, in entrepreneurship, among others) will be developed and taught at UC Berkeley and other top schools. Faculty writings will be compiled into a book: Haas on Innovation. We will continue to invest heavily in faculty who contribute in this area. We will introduce a student orientation workshop on creative thinking and organizations.
- Our Culture: Our business strategy will reinforce elements of our culture that businesses especially value. Our students are already known for being innovative and collaborative—excellent at working in team-based environments. They have established themselves as authentic and involved, accountable, and holding to the highest standards of integrity.
2. Brand Strategy: Our brand strategy has three tiers, designed to sharpen our positioning without over-specializing. The top level emphasizes our commitment to excellence in overall, or general management. The middle tier is the organizing theme, innovation, which is supported by our approach, our ideas, and our culture. A set of world-beating strengths will make up the sub-brands (e.g., the school's successful Real Estate program). We will also reaffirm our positioning as a serious and rigorous school. This leverages nicely the faculty's intellectual distinction. We will establish and enforce the highest expectations of student preparation for class.
3. Execution Strategy:
- Executive Education: Increasingly focused on customization and partnering with firms, our Center for Executive Development (CED) will deepen our relationships with these firms. It also sharpens our faculty's understanding of current and pressing business needs. This is an essential source of revenue for business schools, a kind of high-powered endowment. Though at a much smaller scale than at our rivals, CED has already proven to be an essential source of revenue at Haas. A new executive education facility will open a new era of opportunity.
- Chief Strategy Officer: A Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) from the faculty will ensure successful strategy execution. The CSO will mobilize all brand ambassadors (students, faculty, alumni), encoding our brand in everything we do. The CSO will play an important role on the faculty Hiring Committee.
The opportunity for success has never been greater with recent changes in campus policies and approaches decided in the Haas School's favor. Just as the school was transformed by previous capital campaigns—the acclaimed current building is a perfect example— Haas stands at another transformation point. What this means is that the school will be asking its alumni and friends to take ownership of Haas School's future. In return, we commit to achieving identifiable goals that validate the value of their investment. With their support, we will enter a cycle of mutually reinforcing success and resource abundance.
Tom Campbell, Dean
Richard Lyons, Executive Associate Dean (currently on leave)