The Sixth-Grader Test

Observations: a web log

The Sixth-Grader Test


Not long ago, we attended a conference of top business school educators at Hunter College, hosted by the Aspen Institute, about the recent unethical banking practices related to the LIBOR in 2007-2008. The first session was moderated by Clayton Rose, of the Harvard Business School and he presented nothing new here, in terms of the facts: it’s [...]

Hope Isn’t Optimism


When Russia moved into Crimea, it brought back memories of how the Soviets infiltrated and took over my homeland when I was growing up next door to Ukraine. I’ve been pondering whether it was optimism or hope that kept me alive when I was a child laboring in a communist work camp in Romania. It might have [...]

Giving Back


I keep coming back to the old, familiar adage that character is measured by what you do when no one else is looking. A couple incidents earlier this year underscored that little proverb for me and lifted my heart. In both cases, an individual did the right thing, in situations where he could have gotten away [...]

Let’s Redesign Executive Pay


Whenever I find fault with the world of business, anyone who knows me could easily accuse the pot of calling the kettle black. I made my career, and continue to operate, within the corporate world. Yet, having retired more than a decade ago, my view of business has sharpened and cooled. I look at the [...]

The Last Shall Be First

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Back in the 90s, when he was just out of school, Ed Tom worked as an associate buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. Now he runs one of the most innovative high schools in the country, sending his unlikely South Bronx graduates on their way to Dartmouth, Penn, and Bryn Mawr. The son of Chinese immigrants [...]