• May 05 2020

5 Professors Making an Impact Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis

This coronavirus outbreak is affecting the health of the public and stamping its impact on the economy worldwide. Across industries, companies are scrambling to take action to protect their employees and customers and minimize economic damage. 

At ExecOnline, we work directly with enterprises representing every industry and with leaders representing every functional area and geographic region. We know firsthand the human tragedy and the shockwaves surging throughout businesses everywhere. Effective leadership is more important than ever. This is why we are especially proud to partner with the world’s top business schools—including Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, The Wharton School, Yale School of Management, MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth, Berkeley-Haas, and IMD Switzerland—to deliver executive development that accelerates careers and organizational impact for tens of thousands of leaders from many hundreds of premier companies globally. 
The over 30 professors leading our programs are renowned experts in the global business community. They are knowledge creators who research, practice, and teach at the leading edge of their fields. And their passion for developing successful business leaders and organizations has become even more evident during the current health crisis.

Several of our professors are meaningfully contributing to the well-being of people in their communities and all over the world and providing guidance to help people persevere in both their personal and professional lives.

Professor Vivek Farias (Leading Operational Excellence) is among MIT faculty developing data tools and programs to bolster response to the coronavirus pandemic throughout the U.S. and make it more likely that COVID-19 and other patients have available the care they need. Professor Farias is applying his expertise in optimizing large-scale stochastic systems to help streamline access to hospital beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, as well as a network of resources for elderly homes. The National Guard is now allocating its resources by leveraging Professor Farias’ data analytics and predictive modeling that shows where outbreaks are occurring.

Nathan Novemsky, professor of marketing and psychology at Yale University (Leading Effective Decision-Making), is deriving insights from current events related to his areas of expertise: the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics, and consumer behavior, including guidance on and better understanding of new realities brought on by the pandemic, including the implications of stockpiling, whether to spend or save your economic stimulus check, why Americans didn’t see this pandemic coming, and overall consumer behavior during a crisis.

IMD Professor Michael Wade (Driving Digital Transformation) presents proactive response strategies to COVID-19 business challenges. He has identified three response strategies to match organizational infrastructure with emerging market trends. Significant opportunities are available to those organizations agile enough to adjust their infrastructure, their product/service portfolio, or their route to market. He also presented an essential webinar on key principles for thriving amid disruption that is now available on-demand

Columbia professor Rita McGrath (Leading Strategic Growth) is sharing her expertise with leaders worldwide. Recently, she guided leaders to find “infectious inflection points.” Using inflection points, we can build scenarios and early warning systems for the post-Covid-19 future. Her framework is useful for decision-makers even in (or especially in) times of crisis—articulate crucial uncertainties, define a ‘time-zero’ event, and work backwards to create an early warning system. She also has an excellent webinar on these themes and innovation tools that can help you right now.

UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough (Leading Innovative Change) coined the term ‘Open Innovation’ in his 2003 book of the same title. And now, during the pandemic, that concept is more essential than ever. Organizations today recognize that there are more capabilities for innovation in the marketplace than what they can possibly create on their own. The open innovation model is the perfect vehicle for today’s fast-moving environment, which includes the current race for a coronavirus vaccine.

There are several other examples of how our partner professors acted quickly to provide guidance and come to the aid of others, and we take great pride in working with all of them. Visit ExecOnline’s Leading Through COVID-19 Resources Hub, to find free webinars, podcasts, and articles from professors, educators, business practitioners, and experts!


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