The Harvard Business School club of Washington D.C, recently held an event taking place at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence featuring Harvard Business School Professor and NY Times Bestselling Author Francesca Gino.
HBS Associate Professor Francesca Gino is the author of a book called Sidetracked which focuses on the psychology behind why business leaders make some of the decisions they do.
The event Featured the Swiss Ambassador, along with Professor Gino. And was one of the highlights of the HBS Club’s year. Antonio Alves, who is the Executive Vice President of D.C's HBS Club called it, “A great honor to have our last event of the year hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Manuel Sager at his residence. We were also very fortunate to be considered by HBS Professor Francesca Gino as one of the few locations in the country to launch her recently published book: "Sidetracked - Why our Decisions get derailed".
The HBS Alumni club of Washington has hosted over 35 events this year, including events at the French embassy, and the World Bank. Along with a presentation dealing with restoring U.S competitiveness in national security. The club also works with numerous non-profits in the D.C area as the club’s President Dante Disparte says, “We continue to strive for meaningful ways in which our alumni can make a difference right here in the nation’s capital. Our work with Compass, the College Success Foundation-DC and funding 2 scholarships for local non-profit leaders are but modest examples of our commitment to improving conditions in the region.”
Professor Gino’s book which was the subject for the event offers solutions to business leaders and ordinary people alike, going into detail about the thought process behind business leaders decisions. One interesting point the author makes is how power and overconfidence increases the tendency for executives to ignore the advice of others. Calling for more to be done so companies can increase the level of personalization and engagement with their employees. Professor Gino contributed to a research paper published in the MIT Solan Management Review talking about how reforming the way that employees are treated during the onboarding process can have positive results for business leaders and employees alike.
The study indicates that there is, “An abundance of research which says that authentic self-expression is the key component to high self-esteem.” Which in turn leads to a better run company when the workers enjoy what they do. Calling for leaders to do more to create employee engagement, “If they want employees to contribute on their own and in ways that are not programmed.” The study finds that when companies do more to create an environment where employees can use their personal strengths, the new hires are more likely to stay at the job. Which in turn creates sustainable growth that is much needed in the current job market.
The level of engagement that the HBS Club in Washington does with business leaders as well as those in the non-profit industry shows their willingness to engage in an open dialogue that can bring badly needed reform.
It will be interesting to see how Professor Gino’s work and the work of the HBS Club in D.C changes the conversation between business leaders and regular people in today’s economy.