How OB Ruled the World

I've mentioned in previous posts this struggle between paying for "soft skill classes" and focusing on what most people think of as business school (the quantitative finance classes, marketing-specific theory and application, etc.). Our old OB and Leadership (organizational behavior) prof, Frank, used to constantly remind us what Jeff Immelt (GE) said in one of Immelt's visits to Haas. Immelt was quoted saying that his work today as CEO is: "all about OB!" (after looking back at his b-school days and how he scorned OB/soft skill classes)
I've been taking an OB-related class this semester, and it's been a great learning experience. Partly, it's good balance with my other class, which is more quantitative. But most especially because as someone who works full-time as a director, I have been able to apply much of it on a day-to-day basis recently. Our prof, Eli, has kept things interesting and at times, inspirational. I've been able to use the strategic and political/cultural lens at work more and see some things I probably wouldn't have seen before.
It's truly been a wild ride looking at how the OB-aspects relate to my current work-life. While I can't go into all the details, it has been a roller-coaster. But to me, it's been invaluable to take new perspectives and see how we can align everyone in an organization (post-acquisition, post-merger, post-change) to "get things done." I'm nowhere near perfect on this, but in my look back, I sometimes wish I had come back to b-school sooner! It would've been easier to balance things certainly. But then again, maybe I'm gaining more because of the situational aspects.
On a separate note, I am still constantly amazed in my other class that some people seem to have a lot of time, energy (and let's not forget brain-power, my fellow Haasketeers) to devote to some really fantastic and detailed quantitative analyses. Really great stuff-- Kudos to them! I find my team working hard to keep up with the Joneses in that class, but maybe we've been too preoccupied with regular work duties recently. C'est la vie.
Lastly, I think I saw my compadre blogger, Sonny, at Henry's (the local bar)-- while on my way out, last Saturday. If so, we have to arrange a post-class bar visit some time! Anyway, until the next round..
- T

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