Erika Hayes James
  • Goizueta FTMBA program moves up in Businessweek ranking

    ATLANTA  — The Full-Time MBA Program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School placed No. 18 in program rankings released today by Bloomberg Businessweek. The publication ranked Goizueta 22nd in its last survey (2012).

    “At Goizueta, we are committed to excellence,” Dean Erika James said. “We are pleased with the Businessweek ranking because it shows our community’s continued effort to support student success in the classroom and in their chosen careers.”

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  • James named to Ebony magazine Power 100

    Erika James, Dean of Goizueta Business School, was recently named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list. James, the first African-American female dean of a Top-25 business school, said she is humbled and honored by the recognition.

    “EBONY magazine has honored the heroes of the Black community for over 70 years. Today, the EBONY POWER 100 celebrates the world’s most inspiring African Americans,” says organizers via the award website. “EBONY recognizes those who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America.

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  • Recognize the rising tide of female entrepreneurs

    I’ve had the great fortune of spending more than 20 years in business education. As a faculty member at Emory, Virginia, Harvard and Tulane I’ve been able to keep up with various trends.

    I’ve seen two important patterns of late and both hold particular value for women in the workplace.

    For starters, let’s look at where future business leaders are driving their careers. More and more MBAs take jobs with small businesses. Just 10 years ago this would have been extremely uncommon. They may still cut their teeth with major companies, but they are increasingly clear with intentions to start a business or work for small, values-based startups.

    This phenomenon goes hand-in-hand with new roles of women in leadership.

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  • Build your organization’s vision with stakeholders, not by yourself

    “If I continue to believe as I have always believed, I will continue to think as I have always thought.  If I continue to think as I have always thought, I will continue to act as I have always acted.  If I continue to act as I have always acted, I will continue to get what I have always gotten.” – Unknown

    Powerful words that equate to a simple formula:

    Beliefs drive thoughts. Thoughts drive actions. Actions drive results.

    A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lay out a future vision for the Goizueta Business School.

    The vision was not concocted in my own head, but was born from scores of conversations, small group meetings, focus groups, and faculty/staff retreats where I simply asked the question:

    “What results do you want to create for our school?”

    It’s not an easy question for any organization to wrestle with, but it is perhaps the most important one a leader can ask. If we do not have a vision for the future then, frankly, we have no future.

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  • Mary Barra and the GM Recall Crisis, Part II

    In Part I of this blog series, we talked about the importance of early verbal responses to a crisis as an acknowledgement. When the leader recognizes the situation and even apologizes for the negative impact on stakeholders, stakeholders perceive it as a firm’s willingness to take corrective action and is correlated with a leader and his or her organization taking on a learning orientation.

    Framing the issue as a threat vs. opportunity
    How a crisis is framed by leaders also matters to the subsequent handling of the crisis.  Crises are negative events that evoke an emotional response.  According to psychological research, events that are perceived negatively are interpreted as threats, and in turn spark negative emotions (e.g., anger, anxiety, and despair) and negative behavior (defensiveness, deception, paralysis).  Under these circumstances it is difficult for leaders to recognize the potential opportunities for positive change that can manifest from crisis.  In fact, there is evidence to suggest that in response to situations interpreted as threats, leaders become more restricted in how they process information and less generative and creative in identifying solutions.

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