Uncategorized - Blog

Apple University Secrets: De-coding the Algorithm to Your Next Successful Decade

More smart-phones were produced last year than new borns. Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) the storied company that Steve Jobs founded has redefined the everyday experience of human beings and “made a dent in the universe”. Were there repeatable processes that made massive success more likely? In 2008, Steve Jobs selected former Dean of Yale and Harvard, Joel Podolny, to be the Dean of “Apple University” – the corporate training program to inculcate employees into Apple’s business culture and educate them about its history. As the new year unfolds, we asked: Could some of these techniques be helpful as you or a loved one attempt to gain acceptance to an elite college or win a coveted company position? Discover the algorithm we researched in this fascinating note and in our upcoming webinar.

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Brand or Substance: McKinsey or Millions* - Cold Decisions by a Global MBA (Part 2 of 2)

Two years goes by quickly. Seems like just a week ago Maya was noodling on whether or not to go to business school. The Great Recession had ushered in an untapped love of entrepreneurship that in its seductive appeal cast every other career as its ugly cousin. Furthermore, Maya had been regaled by success stories of young recent HBS alumni such as Yelp!, Gilt Groupe, Rue La La to name a few. Startup risks be damned! In fact, more of Maya’s Harvard classmates were going to Silicon Valley than going to Wall Street! Still the brand appeal of a blue-chip firm like McKinsey was not easy to dismiss. After all, Facebook COO and HBS alum, Sheryl Sandberg had “leaned in” to the Facebook role only after building a strong foundation at McKinsey. The lure of a hi-growth tech start-up, substantially changing he lives of millions customers, having recently secured Series A financing – despite all the risks – gnawed at Maya’s stomach. A cappuccino at the Soho House in New York City, seemed a fitting place to be brooding over this patently privileged decision. Should she choose the security of McKinsey or the potential of a Silicon Valley start-up? How should she decide? Learn how she utilized the Crimson Oak Career Decision Framework to advance her career.
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Brand or Substance: Does a Harvard or Stanford MBA Still Matter? (Part 1 of 2)

Instinctively her chest tightened, spine stiffened and found herself nibbling on her lower lip. The anticipation is spiked with dread. That surreal feeling of an obsession on the cusp of entering the realm of possibility. For every Harvard MBA dream that came true; nine others would rue the dimmed possibility cast off a cruel lesson. With poise more reminiscent of a crack-head than that of a management consultant, Maya found herself in that flummoxed moment of picking up the phone with the “617”area code emblazoned on the caller-id screen. She knew it was the Harvard Admissions Office. She knew that 60 seconds later her life would be altered. The career she had meticulously built would have to take a two-year hiatus for the seductive appeal of a Cambridge-branded education – should she be accepted. Complicating matters, since submitting her MBA application she had been promoted to an associate role – typically requiring an MBA. The caller greeting was definitive: “Hi Maya! Welcome to the Harvard Business School Class of …” How would Maya decide?
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Entrepreneur’s Delight: 6 Sweet Insights & Scary Stories from Harvard and Cornell

Twitter’s IPO, a record-breaking S&P 500 and more & more Harvard Business School graduates going to start-ups rather than Wall Street, all signs that perhaps we have reached the tipping point for acceptance of entrepreneurship as a “credible career route”.  The past several weeks have been filled with amazing insights and terrifying gauntlets from Ivy League alumni leaving the Crimson Oak team filled with energy.  Going from cockroach-filled apartments to securing $100 million exits.  Spending 20 years networking and then activating it to fund a revolutionary Silicon Valley-backed healthcare venture.  Recognizing the tremendous generational impact you can have through your venture on your first team – your family.   These stories left us with deeper respect for two of the most coveted universities in the world: Cornell and Harvard.  Be treated by our six secret insights or remain scared of your potential entrepreneurial future.

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The Cubist Career: A Crimson Lens to Re-framing Your Career

tiled manWhy aren't you more thankful for your job?  After all there are still millions stranded in the purgatory of long-term unemployment here in the U.S. and even worse in Europe.  Greece is currently mired in 30% unemployment, it’s youth unemployment above 55%.  A sorry trend seems afoot in Corporate America:  stagnant wages are creeping up the Corporate ladder.   White collar professionals once confident in the perch of title and the insulation of advanced degrees are transfixed: sapped by increasing productivity demands and kept motivated by arbitrary cost-of-living-adjustments or whittling year-end bonuses.  For most professionals, this efficient “management consultant approved” combination is akin to a tightening shirt collar bursting under the gird of their sweating necks.

Silent pains are the worst. 

How does a heralded pay check transform itself into a back-handed slap? Accessing perspectives can clear the fog of conflicting emotions.   A simple yet effective framework for re-framing your career: 1) time 2) space and 3) beliefs/expectations.  Approaching your current career from multiple perspectives  offers a solution that just might surprise you – depending, of course, on your point-of-view. 

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