Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lund Hall to Make Way for Huntsman Hall on April 1

Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Next week the walls will come tumbling down. Lund Hall will be coming to an end to make way for the new Huntsman Hall.

On April 1 and 2 the building will come down, with most of the visible work happening on April 2. If you are traveling or can’t get away from your computer for a few minutes, you can watch this historic development from webcamsmounted on the Agriculture Building and the Merrill-Cazier Library. 

For a long time my blog has been about planning, visualizing, and preparing for the construction of Huntsman Hall. It will be very rewarding on April 1 to see tangible evidence of our progress beyond the tunnel construction in front of our building. Please feel free share a link to this blog and webcam with the friends and alums you know. I’ll keep you updated on the progress, just as I did before, but now you’ll be able to see it yourself. From here forward the phrase, “Watch this space,” will have added meaning.

Lund Hall
Lund Hall 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Student's Implementation of CPI

One of the key initial understandings of Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) is that improvement is a journey not a destination. My personal journey with CPI has been extremely rewarding and has substantially enriched my current state of life.

I was first introduced to CPI philosophy by my father. Some of my early lessons include my dad executing a list of five words beginning with the letter "s" — sort, store, shine, standardize and sustain.These early lessons sparked my interest and started me on a journey of discovery that has impacted my current state more than I could have ever imagined.

Up to this stage in my process as a student I have been given several internship opportunities. I have been able to network with numerous professional practitioners of CPI. Many career building doors have opened because of my knowledge of CPI. During each of these professional opportunities I have been fortunate enough to add value to my employer by applying CPI principles that has impacted the natural work group.

Even though I have been fortunate enough to have great career building opportunities because of CPI, the greatest impact CPI has had on my current state is my ability to be a successful student. Being a student is a process and as such, improvement principles must be applied in order to reach an ideal future state. The ideal future state as a student could be graduation or being accepted to graduate school. CPI allows me to apply principles to bridge the gap between my current state as an undergraduate and my ideal future as a Utah State University graduate. I am constantly looking to recognize and eliminate waste, unevenness, and overburden in the way I accomplish my responsibilities as a student. I look for ways to Plan Do Check and Adjust the process of gaining necessary knowledge to succeed in my classes. I implement the "five S's" my father gave me in my study area, backpack and notebooks to be more efficient, and I consistently track daily goals that will allow me to move closer to my ideal future state. I allow myself to pull information from my classes which allows for my experience to be much more enjoyable. All of these CPI principles are unavoidable side-effects of a sincere passion for improvement given to me by my father, and the continuous improvement philosophy. I will never be the most effective student at this university but due to the continuous process improvement philosophy I will always be trying to improve.

CPI is an amazing philosophy that can give opportunities to anyone who is willing to learn it. CPI can positively impact any industry. I would invite anyone to take the journey of discovery of continuous improvement.   

— Ryan Willis
     Lean Leaders Club

Monday, March 25, 2013

Continuous Improvement: A Way of Life

Typically the phrase "continuous process improvement" swirls around in a pool with other jargon terms such as lean, kaizen, and operational excellence. These terms have had stigmas of being cost-cutting tools mostly applicable in a manufacturing type setting. 

Continuous process improvement can be applied in all industries as well as in your own personal life. It is a matter of determining what true value is and seeing the wastes intertwined in the current process and then actively making small improvements. The top lean leaders and change agents in business today consider continuous process improvement to be a way of life that all employees are involved in no matter the industry or area of profession.

When I was first introduced to this principle at the Shingo Prize, I was under the impression that lean and continuous improvement was a cost-cutting tool used in manufacturing. Upon walking through the Shingo doors my mind was opened to a whole new world of possibilities. Often times in life we get used to the regular mundane way of doing things. Some of us have come to a point where we accept things the way they are because that’s the way they have always been. Some people have wild hair that drives them to think about something and then change it for the better, in turn, making life a little easier for many others. The concept of continuous improvement suggests making continual and incremental positive changes to make something better. It applies to life in that it encompasses anything and everything from work, and school, to your personal life. It could be a process on the production floor that you could make easier, faster, or safer. It could be the way you do paperwork in your office — you realize a small change that will save you time and cut out needless busy work. At home it could be as simple as where you store the toilet paper for quick and purposeful action! 

The truth is, that as we start to focus on this concept and apply it, it becomes easier to catch a positive fever driving you to be better and accomplish things you never thought possible. This fever is often times contagious and begins to create an ever-valuable culture desperately needed to be successful in business today. There is no end to the journey and as we learn principles of continuous process improvement and operational excellence, we start to see the endless possibilities.

If you think about your life, job, or school, what things have you accepted as the norm because that’s the way it’s always been?

— Justin Corbridge
Lean Leaders Vice President

Friday, March 22, 2013

Courtyard Will Prove a Low-Cost Way to Add Great Value

The Courtyard at Huntsman Hall
The Courtyard at Huntsman Hall

Once we decided to seek funding for a new building, we faced the decision of whether or not we would tear down the current business building – the George S. Eccles Business Building built in 1970 – and build a completely new building, or to build a new building that would connect to the Eccles Building. For a variety of reasons, we decided to put the Eccles Building to good use. As we researched some of the implications of this decision, we realized that due to fire code requirements, there would need to be a space between the buildings. In this case, the structures will be about 24 feet apart.

We realized that this space between the buildings would be a perfect opportunity to take advantage of a low-cost way to add considerable value to that area by creating a courtyard. We charged our architects with meeting the challenge of designing low-cost space that would provide high value to the students in the business school. We think they have come up with some outstanding ideas.

The courtyard won’t be fancy but will offer two things that the brand-new building cannot offer: trees and the great outdoors. I’ve included two artist renderings of the courtyard to give you an idea for what that area might look like.

The Courtyard at Huntsman Hall
The Courtyard at Huntsman Hall
This courtyard will not only offer a place for individuals, but groups could use it as a refreshing meeting place. There will be some large group gathering areas. As a matter of fact, when it is nice outdoors, students might successfully lobby their professors to move the class to the courtyard. There are also tables that can be used for student team meetings.

Other potential uses include graduation receptions, catered dining events, big events, other festive activities like we usually plan during Business Week and Entrepreneurship Week. There is even an area that could serve as a stage for such celebrations.

And who knows, if we have someone who is very bold and innovative, they might choose just to go outside to sit quietly and enjoy the courtyard. There will be space for that too.

Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Branding: The Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) Method

Eric Schulz
Eric Schulz

The biggest branding problem most companies have is that they fail to refine their message to its most simple form. I recently worked on a consulting project for a group that had identified 17 target audiences and had crafted a discreet message for each of them! Their communication platform was a nightmare. As I sat with their senior managers, they spent three hours just trying to explain to me all the messages they felt they needed to deliver to their constituencies. Wow.

After the client finished briefing me, we started really looking at their business and I challenged them to simplify what they wanted to say to what I call "Kitchen Logic," which is a way of saying "How would two mom's explain this to each other over coffee at their kitchen table?" I also challenged them to communicate at a seventh grade writing level. When these really smart folks were forced to simplify the message, all of the sudden it was like the Red Sea parting. They developed a way of saying what they do in just FIVE WORDS! And even better, those FIVE WORDS were effective in communicating what they do to all 17 target audiences! No more complicated communication matrices. Five words. Clarity. Focus.

When you get focus, you have the opportunity to break through the clutter. See if you can sum up your brand message in just five words. It's a fun exercise!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Study Abroad Offers More Than Just an Education

Matthew Gary Miles
Matthew Gary Miles
While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Accounting, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has provided me with much more than an education. One program that has changed my life forever is the Go Global summer study abroad program. 
I took advantage of this opportunity to travel the world in the summer of 2012 and have thought about it every day since. As our group of about 30 students traveled throughout eastern Asia we visited businesses to learn important lessons and gain valuable experiences related to business, international culture, and global perspective. 
As a result of my visits in Vietnam, China, and South Korea I have had my eyes truly opened to the global economy. I now understand from first-hand experience how our world is becoming increasingly connected and the importance to educate and integrate myself so that I can be an important asset within it. I gained knowledge and insight from an excellent program that most students do not take advantage of and I know that in doing so I set myself apart from the crowd. 
Participating in the Go Global summer study abroad program has helped me to gain far more than just an education from the Jon M. Huntsman School of business. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything and recommend this and any other programs that offer international experience to everyone.

Monday, March 11, 2013

When Huntsman Hall Rises Up, You Can Watch

We are going to do something when we construct Huntsman Hall that we could not do in 1970 when the George S. Eccles Business Building was constructed.

We plan to capture live, with a web cam, the demolition of Lund Hall and the construction of Huntsman Hall. We plan to have one camera mounted on the new College of Agriculture Building that will give us an excellent vantage point to watch the work progress. I have included an image to give you some idea what that view might look like.

We are also investigating using other web cams to capture the construction from more than one angle. When we have things set up we will share links to the web cams on our website, in this blog, in the Huntsman Post and in the Huntsman Alumni Magazine.

Ken Snyder
In the 1970s if you wanted to see the Eccles Business Building rise up, it had to be an in-person experience. In 2013 the next chapter can play out in real time for anyone who has a computer, internet access, and a few minutes to see history in the making. When it is all set up and working, you’ll be able to access the webcam by going to this site by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Extra Penny in the Piggy Bank

As college students, we have a notorious reputation for being poor and therefore, cheap. The main reason for this stigma is because the incredibly high costs of attending school easily empties our pockets of just about everything that we own. While this cost is something that we are willing to pay in exchange for a stable and well-paying job in the future, there are a number of things that we can do now to be wise with the money that we do have and live a financially stable life. 

1. Be aware of your money. 

The biggest financial struggle that I have maintained since I was a freshman two and a half years ago, is not being lazy with my money. At this point in time we only have ourselves to support and this makes it so easy to carelessly spend our money. If you're anything like me, you'll spend on useless and unnecessary items until before you know it, you're money is gone and you can't even recall where it all went. This terrible habit of being lazy with money will come back and bite me in the rear one day, which is why I suggest that the first step to being a financially responsible adult is to be aware of your money and be cautious with it. This leads to step number 2. 

2. Create a Budget

This is another thing that I have tried and failed to do many times. I understand the importance of a budget but as mentioned above, I get lazy and fail to track my income and expenses. Sticking to a personalized budget, however, will help to create an awareness of money and will help you to be cautious of it. Strategically budgeting and saving your money, will also help you to maximize the money that you have and be wise with it. 

It's obvious that i'm not the budgeting queen, but the advice given in this article on really helped me with creating an effective budget. 

3. Understand the difference between needs and wants

Yet another thing that I have a hard time with, but this tip is vital to being money smart. Because I only provide for myself right now, I have been able to pay for both my needs and most of my wants. But as I get older and progress in society, there are more things that I am financially responsible for. These things come before the cute shirt that I would like to reward myself with or going out to the movies on the weekend. Unfortunately spending our money on our needs isn't quite as much fun as spending on our wants, but it will create a stability that will allow for "fun spending" in the future. 

While college is a fun, exciting time of life, it is also a transitory state and managing money wisely is one of the best ways to become successful in life. As Jack Hurley once said, "Every young man (or woman) should have a hobby. Learning how to handle money is the best one."

For more tips on becoming financially responsible, click here. 

— Allie Jeppson

Monday, March 4, 2013

Huntsman Hall Will Include Rooms Where Students Can Prepare For the Future

Huntsman Hall student team meeting room
Huntsman Hall student team meeting room
When we asked students about what they want to see in our new building, we heard repeated requests for more team meeting spaces. In the ranking by the students, this was the single most important request we received. In fact, that need for student break-out rooms was cited by members of all of our advisory committees – students, faculty and administration.

So our new building will include 17 student team meeting rooms that could be used for team meetings and projects. With the seven student team meeting rooms, built in 2008, that we already have, this means that when all is said and done, there will be two dozen total student team meeting rooms. Today I’ve included an artist’s rendering of what one of those rooms would look like if were to be used by very formal avatars.

Every one of these rooms will be equipped with a large flat-screen monitor, laptop hook-ups, WiFi, and other necessary technologies.

Why is there such an insatiable demand for such meeting space?

Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder
It’s because business schools that are trying to better prepare their students for the job market know that those students must have experience tackling challenging problems in a team setting because that’s likely to be a big part of how they’ll get things done in the workplace. The skills of being able to navigate group dynamics in an efficient way will always be in demand. Some of those skills will be mastered in small glassed-in rooms, just like the one pictured here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Small Cure for Senioritis

Have you been feeling uncharacteristically irresponsible this semester? Noticed a lack of motivation and abundance of procrastination? Been overusing the phrase YOLO? Do you find yourself wondering right now if YOLO should be coined a phrase or an acronym but don’t care to look it up?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may have a case of Senioritis. Yes, it’s a real disease. Trust me, it’s been Tweeted.

Isn’t it a relief knowing you aren’t the only one suffering? It happens to the best of us, and it’s completely understandable. We’re just weeks away from the point where we get to put the books down and start reaping the benefits of everything we’ve been working for.

But, until then, you may want to try to do a little less daydreaming and a little more umm…homework.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the harsh reality is that if you don’t get your butt in gear and start focusing, you’re not graduating. D’s don’t get degrees, remember?

Though the only true cure is graduation, I have a few tips that may help suppress some symptoms in the mean time.
  • First and foremost, stop procrastinating. No, you don’t have to complete all of your final projects or crack down on studying for final exams right this second. However, I would encourage you to begin working towards your finals week preparation little by little. Just devote 10-15 minutes of your time everyday in preparation for finals week. You’ll be amazed by what you are capable of accomplishing ahead of time. 

  • Keep a daily checklist. We all know how hectic it can be trying to keep up with 16 credit hours, your senior year internship duties, work responsibilities, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. The list goes on and on. Making a small to-do list on a daily basis is a great way to help you make sure none of these tasks slip through the cracks. If you’re lucky, maybe you will even have time to pencil in a few minutes to maintain your social life too.

  • Take care of yourself. I know climbing out of your cozy bed to face the icy blasts of wind and slippery sidewalks of USU’s campus during spring semester can be a daunting chore. But, rolling out of bed just in time to tuck your sweatpants into a pair of UGG boots and throw a jacket over the same t-shirt you’ve been wearing for the past 48 hours isn’t exactly the best way to begin a productive day. Stop pressing the snooze button and try waking up early enough to, I don’t know, take a shower?  And while you’re at it, pour yourself a bowl of cereal. A solid start to your morning is essential to maintaining productivity throughout the rest of the day.

Also, keep in mind that we only have a few weeks left. Stay strong, bust through these last few assignments. Quit cutting class. It will be graduation day before you know it. Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.”

Nicole Traveller
Nicole Traveller
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Intern