Dean's Message

February 1, 2010

Dear Haas School Community,

Exciting news — today we launch our new strategic plan, which received overwhelming support from our faculty. Over the last 18 months a large number of you have participated and we learned a ton from your input. One message came through incredibly strongly, and it came in from all fronts — students, alums, staff, and faculty — yes, let's set the highest possible aspiration, but let's go about it our way, not by mimicking what others are doing. For example, when we sharpened our focus on our culture, you told us that you did not want us to write down the same list of "10,000-foot" values that one sees on so many office walls. You told us to give them a voice that is uniquely ours. We've done our best to remain true to this voice throughout.

At the risk of over-simplifying, the plan has two main parts, a culture part and a leader part. The culture part takes a stand for the first time in our history on defining principles that, taken together, distinguish us from the rest. Haas is a singular place, with a singular culture, and explicit principles help us to communicate our narrative in a coordinated, powerful way. The leader part is our answer to a fundamental competitive question: Given that all top business schools develop leaders, what type do you develop? Our answer is our best judgment about the leader society needs most over the next 10-20 years. Whether producing cars or products of the mind, it is new ideas put to work that will advance well-being in the world. It is new ideas put to work that are the root source of business advantage and success. And it is new ideas put to work, in every corner and in every function of our organizations, that our future leaders need to deliver. We call this archetype the Innovative Leader. Our plan makes explicit the capabilities involved and delivers them with the right core, elective, and experiential curriculum.

Let me close with an ask. In many ways, writing this plan was the easy part. Now it's time for execution. You are a partner in that execution and over coming weeks we'll clarify roles for everybody in our community. Let's hold each other to being "all-in," as our great institution deserves. 

Sincerely Yours,


Richard Lyons
Bank of America Dean and Professor
Haas School of Business

P.S. If you've seen earlier drafts of this plan, you should know that there have been some slight changes to wording over the last few weeks based on your input, so please do take a look at this final version.

Rich Lyons
Rich Lyons
Bank of America Dean
Haas School of Business

"It's about leaders for the idea economy."