Haas Defining Principles Beyond Berkeley

Dean Lyons and Dr. Carlos Prieto of Escuela Bancaria y Comercial discuss the importance of Defining Principles

Dr. Carlos Prieto, dean of Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, and Dean Lyons discuss the importance of Defining Principles

Even when we at Berkeley-Haas don’t travel, our Defining Principles do–making their way into other classrooms: Estudiantes para Siempre (Students Always) is one of the new “características distintivas” at a business school in Mexico; Confidence Without Attitude is now part of a course on public agency management at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; and a Berkeley Haas magazine article is required reading in a business course at San Jose State University.

In November, Dean Rich Lyons sat down with Dr. Carlos Prieto, dean of Escuela Bancaria & Comercial (EBC), Mexico’s oldest private institution of higher education. The deans first discussed the importance of culture to business schools last May, when Prieto was on campus for the graduation of his son, Diego Prieto, MBA 12.

The culture issue of EBC's magazine

The culture issue of EBC’s magazine

When they met this winter, Prieto was finalizing a set of guiding principles for EBC: Estudiantes para Siempre, Impulsores del Progreso (Progress-Driven), Honestos Sociablement Responsables (Honest & Socially Responsible). This spring, Prieto sent an issue of EBC’s magazine featuring the school’s culture journey on its cover, asking “Who are we?” and “What are our principles?” In a letter to Lyons, Prieto wrote, “The Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles have not only had a profound impact in your own school, but they have outreached your own boundaries and have been a source of inspiration for other academic institutions.”

Closer to home, William Riggs, an assistant professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo shared the following tweet:


Riggs earned his PhD in City and Regional Planning at Berkeley and met Lyons while working as a project manager on plans for the new Haas building.

“I see the Haas School’s Defining Principles as critical skills for future civic leaders as well as for business leaders,” says Riggs. “Public agency management tends to treat leadership and management as a dichotomy. I challenge my students to think beyond that and consider them in parallel.”

Back in the Bay Area, Herman “Buzz” Boschken, MBA 68, also weaves the Haas Defining Principles into his work. This professor of management and public policy at San Jose State makes a summer 2012 Berkeley Haas Magazine article on Haas culture required reading in his Principles of Management course. “The four principles serve as a basis for discerning a culture of competence and socially-aware decision-making in the firm,” says Boschken. “From this perspective, students can see that the character of decision-making hinges on an organization’s core values and a decision maker’s identity with that culture.”

Says Lyons, “Sometimes we forget that among all the world’s institutions of public higher ed, Berkeley is in so many ways a beacon, serving not just our own students but as an inspiration elsewhere. There is great purpose in that.”

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