The 2017 Climate Change Deep Dive presented ALI Fellows with a holistic perspective of the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as potential solutions to mitigate its effects. The two-day conference featured speakers from Harvard Business School (HBS), Harvard’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and Harvard Law School (HLS).
Throughout the Deep Dive, ALI Fellows explored the complexities of climate change issues and solutions using case studies to further their thinking. At the close of the two-day conference, Deep Dive Chair Forest Reinhardt pushed ALI Fellows to reflect on their learning and synthesize their takeaways.
Medical errors both in the U.S. and worldwide occur at alarming rates. In the U.S. medical errors were the third leading cause of death. Southwick experienced the consequences of preventable medical errors firsthand. As a physician and a professor, he researched and wrote about the causes and solutions for medical errors over the years. Southwick also launched pilot programs applying different quality improvement frameworks from other fields to medicine. Although the results were positive, he encountered resistance from many physicians. To build more skills, Southwick became an Advanced Leadership Fellow in 2010 and a Senior Advanced Leadership Fellow in 2011. He used his time at Harvard to develop solutions that would address the root causes of medical errors. The complexities in healthcare and the entrenched cultural norms presented strong barriers to creating change. The case explores Southwick's efforts in getting medical professionals to work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and create a new sustainable culture that improves healthcare outcomes. Southwick's experience raises the question of how one person can best make a difference in a large, complex, entrenched system.
Sesame Workshop was transforming in 2016. CEO Jeff Dunn had reorganized and shifted the iconic institution to respond to digital disruption and a consensus culture. This case examines his efforts to turn Sesame Workshop around. It notes Sesame's storied history and the underlying financial troubles that Dunn confronted upon taking over in 2014. It shows how Dunn's leadership changes, increased communication, new partnership deals, and a focus on digital, sought speed, innovation, and accountability to better fulfill Sesame's educational mission. By 2016, Sesame was in the middle of its change, and Dunn contemplated how best to position the organization for success in the future.