Dean and Professor of Business at Haas School of Business
Rich Lyons is the Bank of America dean of the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Prior to becoming dean in July 2008, he served as the chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs in New York, a position he held since 2006. As chief learning officer, Rich was responsible for leadership development among the firm’s managing directors.
Prior to Goldman Sachs, Rich served as acting dean of the Haas School from 2004 to 2005 and as executive associate dean and Sylvan Coleman Professor of Finance from 2005 to 2006. He received his BS with highest honors from UC Berkeley (finance) and his Ph.D. from MIT (economics). Before coming to Haas, Professor Lyons spent six years on the faculty at Columbia Business School. His teaching expertise is in international finance.
Twenty-first century companies are in great need of innovative leaders. They need men and women who know how to put new ideas to work effectively and responsibly in every corner of their organizations. They need people who will define what's next in our markets and societies.
But that doesn't mean that all business schools must develop the same types of leaders. Different businesses will need different kinds of talent. To develop a wide-ranging workforce, business schools must first understand how all aspects of their programs--their curricula, their faculty, their locational advantages, their cultures--work together. Only with that understanding can they forge fresh approaches to developing innovative leadership.
Unfortunately, while virtually every business school teaches leadership in one way or another, I believe that there isn't much differentiation among schools in the kinds of leaders they produce. At least, these differentiations are seldom explicitly stated. In fact, we have tended to blur these distinctions in our programs by failing to specify one set of leadership styles and capabilities over another.
I think that's a mistake. Business schools bring different strengths to the table and can foster business innovation in unique and interesting ways. At the Haas School of...