As an economist, however, I also believe that in the real world people are motivated by concrete incentives. One of the best incentives a business school can offer to faculty is flexibility, in both their schedules and their workloads. There’s a reason why most academics serve only two years on the White House Council of Economic Advisers: Most professors lose tenure after an absence of more than two years. If business schools want their faculty to take more active roles in government, they must provide greater leeway.
Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies and holds the Douglas Dillon Chair. He is founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and Editor-in-Chief of TechTank. His current research focuses on educational technology, health information technology, and mobile technology.
In his 1961 inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” (YouTube)
Similarly, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Chief Learning Officer Trina Shields, née Greer, asks the leaders and employees inside and outside of her organization not what learning can do for them but what they can do to promote each other’s growth and development.
To do so and remain under budget, the department had to look outside. Shields created “Higher Education @ Work,” a partner model that connected HHS with 22 universities. Instead of relying solely on departmental programs, employees can access certification and degree programs with tuition discounts. This eases HHS learning delivery costs and increases the level of education its workforce can receive.
“Most agencies were afraid to ask universities for savings and discounts,” Shields said.
Big change is coming to Washington DC after the midterm elections. But as political lion Tip O'Neill famously said "All politics is local." Today on "The Business," we find out why two MBAs have opted for Main Street over Wall Street.
Brian Kenny: Today on "The Business"- the road less travelled. Business school grads who choose City Hall over Wall Street. I'm Brian Kenny, Chief Marketing Communications Officer at Harvard Business School. It’s Election season, in case you didn't notice- and in this edition of our podcast, we're introducing you to two MBAs who have invested themselves-- in local politics.
Mitch Weiss and Dan Koh are driven to succeed. It's almost palpable, when you talk with them. They're also innovative, open minded, and accomplished. Mitch has been an investment banker- and Dan was deputy to Arianna Huffington, at the Huffington Post.
But it seems that both Dan and Mitch have found their greatest challenge-- and their greatest reward so far-- working in the public sector, at City Hall. Both are Harvard Business School grads. And both have held the same job in Boston - Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Boston. Actually, for TWO Boston mayors. Mitch Weiss was Chief of Staff to the late Mayor Tom Menino. The longest-serving mayor in Boston history:
Mayor Menino: You didn’t elect me mayor because I am a fancy talker, you elected me mayor because I care about Boston.