CoBE Talks unites business lot

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April 22, 2015

By Rumasa NoorIMG_0285WEB

Students and business professors gathered on April 17 in Hyland Hall to welcome the first installment of the Ted Talks-style program, CoBE Talks.

Organized by three students, Nick Pook, Chris Roberts and Kyle Saunders, the program featured six professors from CoBE and the college of Arts and Communication to speak on diverse topics ranging from entrepreneurship to arts in business.

The event was commenced by the dean of CoBE, John Chenoweth, who outlined the attributes of college of business.

Associate professor of IT and Supply Chain Management, Choton Basu served as the moderator and emcee of the event. He said the event is a great way to show the variety the college has to offer.

“We are just very grateful that there are students and faculty at the university that have the expertise and the energy and the ambition to put on what is really effective,” professor of entrepreneurship William Dougan said.

“[It’s a] very high quality show with very high quality production values and I think it really shows that the kind of rising tide lifts all boats in the university across all different areas of the university.”

Dougan presented on the topic of entrepreneurship along with the professor of entrepreneurship Dave Gee.

When he started his career, Dougan said only a fraction of universities had the entrepreneurship program, but now more and more institutions have it and are starting to understand the importance of it.

Gee and Dougan briefed on the Launch Pad, which is an educational program designed to provide resources to aspiring student entrepreneurs. Through the program, students are mentored and are provided with office space and supplies to work on their entrepreneurial endeavors.

DSC_0878WEBProfessor Megan Matthews, who teaches in CoBE and in the College of Arts and Communication, discussed the importance of creative people in business. She used Hallmark as an example of how creativity can be incorporated in business.

“I believe that arts and business, when we work together, we create better products, we create stronger communities, we create better opportunities…,” Matthews said.

Todd Loushine, assistant professor in the department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health, shed light on three issues: job safety, productivity and satisfaction.

“Safety is an attribute of work,” Loushine said.

People can’t succeed if safety is removed from a work place.

Compared to larger companies, smaller firms tend to be safer because people in those firms trust each other more and communicate better, according to Loushine.

For an event that was heavily focused on business related subjects, director of the Doctoral program at CoBE, Praveen Parboteeah presented on a unique topic: reading literature.

He described reading as “something that provides food for the human soul.” It helps people simplify the complex issues, reduces stress and also gives them a chance to put themselves under someone else’s shoe, said Parboteeah.

The last presenter, marketing professor Carol Scovotti, talked about collaborating with people from different cultures and overcoming the cultural barriers.IMG_0294WEB

She said although the technology has made it easy to collaborate with people in different countries, often times these collaborations turn into disasters.

Scovotti has been working with students in Germany for several years and has conducted research on how to make the collaborations effective.

Her team’s findings revealed that teams function well when they have “moderate degree of cultural differences.”

She said the teams also need to develop their own cultures.

“[It’s] suffice to say we have the opportunity to put the world in our hands,” Scovotti said. “The technology is there and we have the cultural sensitivity to be able to get the job done, if we develop hybrid cultures within teams, if we structure our teams correctly and if those individuals are really dedicated to getting the job done.”