Photo by Michelle Celedon on Unsplash

Today is the end of week 6 of the 8-week Advanced Management Programme (AMP) that I am participating in at the Harvard Business School (HBS). I can’t believe that we are already at the end of week 6 – it feels like AMP185, the current programme, only started yesterday! With only 2 weeks left in the programme, I find myself: 1) reflecting on my choice of HBS and 2) trying to wrap my arms around what has made HBS extraordinarily successful.

From its humble beginnings in 1908 as part of Harvard University’s Economics Department, the HBS has grown into a global teaching, research and publishing enterprise with diverse students from across the globe and world-class faculty. My experience at HBS has led me to believe that,  the school’s critical success factors are:

  1. The School’s thinking and operations are aligned to its mission, to educate leaders who make a difference.
  2. The Case-method of research and teaching.
  3. Deep research with practical impact – HBS professors continue to publish groundbreaking research and books supporting the school’s research tradition. For example, since its publication in 1980, HBS Professor Michael Porter’s Competitive Strategy has sold more than 3 million copies. Furthermore, HBS has established six global research centres around the world: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, Paris, Buenos Aires and Palo Alto. The global research centres strengthen faculty connections with business, people, and ideas beyond its U.S. home.
  4. Faculty from diverse backgrounds whose interests and skills complement each other, who are attracted to HBS’ mission and are highly original and creative thinkers.  To gain industry experience HBS allows its faculty to be members of the boards of directors of external companies. A few of the faculty are retired Chief Executive Officers.
  5. Embracing globalization – HBS enrolled students and offered courses related to business abroad as early as 1909. This tradition has continued and today both the faculty and student body are truly global. HBS has also exported its case-focused research and teaching method to business schools around the world.
  6. Remarkable leaders as alumni:
  • Michael Bloomberg, 1966 – Mayor of New York City
  • George W. Bush, 1975 – 43rd President of the United States
  • Ray Dalio 1973 – founded Bridgewater Associates
  • P Chidambaram, ’68 – Union Minister of Finance, India
  • Jeffrey Immelt, 1982 – Chairman and CEO of General Electric
  • A. G. Lafley, 1977 – Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble
  • Mitt Romney, 1975 – 70th Governor of Massachusetts, co-founder of Bain Capital, 2012 Presidential candidate of the Republican Party
  • Ratan Tata, 1975 – Chairman and CEO Tata Sons
  • Yoshito Hori, 1991 – Founder, Globis University Graduate School of Management
  • Jamie Dimon, 1982 – Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase