Miami Herbert Business School: Staying Ahead Of The Virtual Learning Curve

University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business SchoolPhoto Credit: University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School

Well before the pandemic swept across the globe and Zoom became a household name, the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School had already successfully orchestrated a last-minute pivot of its lecture series from in-person to online. In March of 2019, thanks to a canceled flight, Jeffrey D. Sachs, a world-renowned economics professor and a global leader in sustainable development, was zoomed into a packed Miami Herbert auditorium to deliver his lecture.

One year later, as COVID-19’s physical distancing rules canceled all in-person events from one day to the next, Miami Herbert saw itself in familiar territory and was again quick to transition its lecture series–Southern Glazer’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series and the Knight Venture Leaders Series–to online.

Stephen Schwarzman
Stephen Schwarzman

Photo Credit: University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School

For many, this unprecedented shift from in-person to virtual was a challenge, and in some instances, an inconvenience, but Miami Herbert embraced the new normal because it offered an opportunity for innovation and growth.

With travel, cost, and language barriers mostly eliminated, the lecture series is experiencing a surge in its registrants and in its global reach. Pre-COVID, the lecture series would draw about 250 people from the Miami area, but now, in the virtual space, it is averaging 1,000 registrants from more than 30 countries.

“We established the lecture series to bring national and global thought leaders to our students, faculty, alumni, staff and the local business community,” said John Quelch, dean of Miami Herbert. “Almost three years later, despite a global pandemic, we’ve created an exclusive, high-touch virtual environment that facilitates conversations between acclaimed business leaders and attendees from all over the world.”

Anne Wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki

Photo Credit: University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School

Since their inception, the lectures have delivered firsthand insight from more than 50 distinguished and diverse leaders who, as individuals, cross race, gender, nationality, education, age and career paths. Representing areas spanning from marketing to law, Fortune 500 to nonprofit organizations, start-ups to some of the longest established companies in the world, the series has covered an expansive variety of business and leadership topics.

In recent months, Miami Herbert has hosted guest speakers such as Stephen A. Schwarzman, co-founder of the investment firm Blackstone; Anne Wojcicki, CEO and cofounder of 23&Me; Eric Yuan, Zoom CEO and founder; Pattricia Russo, Chairman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Ken Chenault, Chairman & Managing Director of General Catalyst, former Chairman and CEO of American Express.

Eric Yuan
Eric Yuan

Photo Credit: University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School

As we face one of the greatest challenges to the business community in our lifetimes, it is worth revisiting the messages of these global business leaders on important lessons learned during previous crises, as well as on the leadership traits that should guide decision-making today and tomorrow when we will need to work together to rebound from the impact of this pandemic. For a list of upcoming lectures visit: www.bus.miami.edu/events.

Leadership Words of Wisdom

“As a CEO, my number one job is not about the customer, product or service, it’s about our employees’ happiness. If I can make our employees happy, together we can make our customers happy.”

-Eric Yuan, CEO and Founder of Zoom Media Communications

“It’s important to learn from your failures. You fail a bunch, and you have to learn from those failures and face them. You can’t make pretend they didn’t happen.”

Herbert Business Photo Shoot13Photo Credit: University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School

-Stephen A. Schwarzman, Co-Founder of the investment firm Blackstone

“You need culture. You can have the best business strategy, but it will not be implemented if you don’t have the right culture because people won’t feel passionate and engaged with the company.”

-Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi

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