Tuck hosts leadership conference
By Angie Cho
Published on Monday, May 2, 2011
Tuck School of Business and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers partnered for the first time to host 40 of the nation’s most esteemed executives in cable technology and operations, according to M. Eric Johnson, a science of administration professor and director of the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck, The week-long leadership insitute, which took place between April 26 and April 30, was designed to help participants manage changes in their industry and to reinforce business, leadership and critical thinking skills necessary to remain competitive in an increasingly technological world, according to the Institute’s online brochure.
“There are constantly crazy changes in the cable industry and executives constantly need to be working on their managing skills,” Johnson said.
Conference participants engaged in intensive seminars on leadership, finance, marketing and operations and innovation, according to Johnson. The event included seminars such as “Finance Tools for Value Creation for Broadband Engineering” and “Why Smart Executives Fail,” among many others, according to the online brochure.
Prominent companies in the technology and communications industries, including Cisco, Motorola, Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc., sent representatives to attend the conference, according to Johnson. Johnson said the participation from both large and small players was crucial for the Institute’s information sharing.
Participants were also exposed to a variety of guest speakers such as Glenn Britt ’71, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner Cable Inc., according to Johnson. Other speakers included Bruce Leichtman, the president and principal analyst of the Leichtman Research Group — a company that focuses on media research, according to its website — and Richard Bilotti, the head of media, technology and telecommunications research for the P. Shoenfeld Asset Management LP.
Johnson called the program “high resource,” and said its $9,970 price covered instruction from Tuck professors, talks with high-profile guest speakers, private accommodations, course materials and meals. SCTE and Tuck will share any profits that come from the event, Johnson said.
Peter Golder, a marketing professor at Tuck who taught one of the event’s seminars, said Tuck’s Center for Digital Strategies was an ideal site for dialogue on the cable industry and strategy.
The selection process for the conference was competitive and resulted in a sold-out event, according to Johnson. The first part of the selection process was generally internal, as companies nominated their own employees.
“They looked to see who would benefit the most and have the most impact on their organization,” Golder said.
Based upon applications, administrators in the leadership institute narrowed the candidate pool to a group of 40 individuals, Johnson said.
Tuck students were allowed to sit in on some sessions and meet the participants, although students did not have to pay the conference fees, according to Johnson.
Johnson said Tuck and SCTE plan to make this event an annual occurrence and have already begun planning the 2012 Leadership Institute. Feedback from this year’s participants was positive, and many of the attendees will serve as mentors for next years participants.
As technology continues to evolve and the concept of communications grows, the event organizers plan to adjust the content of the Leadership Institute accordingly, Johnson said.
“The key thing to understand about the cable industry is that you need to follow the changes in technology,” he said. “The industry is so fiercely competitive that without learning this innovative strategy and financial accounting it’s hard to succeed.”