What business topics or issues are most challenging to you right now?

Putting the H Back into HR

Helping businesses to thrive by encouraging HR executives to focus more on talent searches. Shift emphasis away from resume gaps and minutiae-mania and instead focus on the bigger picture of: seek, find and recruit individuals who demonstrate the building blocks of business growth: creativity, resourcefulness, intelligence and enthusiasm.

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What business topics or issues are most challenging to you right now?

Jeremy Siegel's Economic and Financial Markets Update

Pardon me if this general speaking topic already has been suggested, but I suspect nearly everyone would love to hear Prof. Siegel provide a reasonably detailed, comprehensive economic and financial markets update along with a review of whatever current topic interests him the most. His regular finance class lectures were a high point of our two years at Wharton. We want Jeremy!

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What societal challenges could be improved by the Wharton alumni network?

re-urbanization of america.

america's problems - cultural and financial - in large part stem from america's problematic infrastructure. americans drive long distances, causing environmental harm and - most importantly - further depleting resources. rising gas prices will only exacerbate the problem, increasing prices for consumer-commodities including food. meanwhile, investors continue to build new homes and businesses further from the epicenter of communities, especially in mid-america. any progress to build mixed-using or urban housing has been met w/ limited or mixed success. So, how can we incentivize citizens and - importantly for wharton - industry to contribute to the rejuvenattion of america through re-urbanization? how can we reverse the "white flight" of the 50s, making america a more live-able, sustainable, resource-efficient society?

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What do you most need to learn to be an even more effective leader?

Share your Doubt

A Wharton Alumnus can learn or study “technical” skills (like finance, statistics, languages, products, advertising, etc) but very often that’s not what he needs to learn to solve critical problems or take fundamental decisions. At a certain point in the career, one needs other skills that go beyond problem solving and that have a lot to do with experience and knowledge.

Wharton owns a wealth of experience and knowledge through Faculty, Alumni and Students.

The idea then would be to use this distributed experience and knowledge to focus on a specific “Doubt”: a critical problem or a fundamental decision.

Once a problem or decision is identified:

- The proponent could frame the Doubt and the context as necessary pre-work,

- Wharton could help in the choice of the team members (based on industry experience, similarities, background, volunteers, etc),

- The team members accept to prepare and participate to this unique “Board Meeting” (a “Sounding board Meeting”…), with the aim to contribute and candidly express their opinions and questions

- A working session (Sounding Board Meeting) takes place, with presentation, debate, conclusions and possibly short term follow-up.

- Once the main objective is accomplished, the working session can also broaden the discussion to other related themes or… Doubts

- The Faculty can of course decide to use the case in the courses

- The Faculty can also define the Frame or general Theme, within which proponents can add their Doubt

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The New Business Plan? Real Ideas Into Opportunities

One of the most important lessons learned in my undergraduate entrepreneurship studies at Wharton was: "Not every idea is an opportunity, but every opportunity started as a great idea." Times and business models have changed. What are some of the new ways to farm ideas and cultivate opportunities for new businesses? Is there a new way to present a business plan? How do we identify ideas that can be real opportunities reflective of today's economy and times?

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What business topics or issues are most challenging to you right now?

Parallel Industries

Background:

- when recruiting people, many companies try to select from within the Industry or look for similar experiences

- whenever strategic decisions need to be made, people try to drive inspiration and knowledge from every possible source

- even during the MBA studies, there is – rightfully so – a tendency to link what is being learnt to the contingent working experience.

- Engineers used fluid analogies to describe the electric “current”…

- We are looking for life on other planets…

The question then arises: are there industries or markets that present surprising similarities between each other?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if there is another industry that, mutatis mutandis, has faced a very similar situation?

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