Career & Success

4 Class Takeaways from 2021

Five lessons in five minutes from Stanford GSB professors and lecturers.

December 15, 2021

| by Kelsey Doyle
Stanford GSB professor Jennifer Aaker in a classroom smiling and teaching two students. | Credit: Elena Zhukova.

Professor Jennifer Aaker talks with students in her class Humor: Serious Business (May 2018). | Elena Zhukova

Classes at Stanford Graduate School of Business are known for academic rigor, complexity of topics, and for challenging students’ preconceived notions of business. In these short videos, we ask faculty members to share some key lessons from a favorite class they teach. Their challenge? Doing so in just five minutes.

Leading With Values

We often bring our own set of morals into an argument, whether we realize it or not. But knowing the values of our counterparts can be key in managing conflict and persuading others.

In their class Leading with Values, professor of political science Neil Malhotra and professor of political economy Ken Shotts teach how leaders can create and promote good behavior within an organization. In this video, they share five takeaways from their class.

The Industrialist’s Dilemma

How are startups challenging the status quo? What can big companies do to survive? In his class The Industrialist’s Dilemma, Stanford GSB lecturer in management Robert E. Siegel shares five important takeaways for organizations seeking to weather the disruptions of the digital economy.

The Frinky Science of the Human Mind

We often think that the best way to sell our ideas is by making rational arguments. Yet if we really want to convince others, we also need to make emotional appeals that tap into the brain’s need for excitement, curiosity, and comfort. That’s one of the counterintuitive — or “frinky” — insights shared by Stanford GSB professor of marketing Baba Shiv in this video based on his course Designing Solutions by Leveraging the Frinky Science of the Human Mind.

Humor: Serious Business

It’s easy to believe that if you take your life or your mission seriously, the presence of humor betrays that mission. But leaders of all stripes know we can do serious things without taking ourselves too seriously. In fact, often we can do them better. Stanford Graduate School of Business marketing professor Jennifer Aaker and lecturer Naomi Bagdonas, MBA ’15, designed the course Humor: Serious Business to help students develop an appreciation for the role of humor in the workplace. Bagdonas calls humor “an underleveraged superpower in business.”

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