Last Thursday I went to the “Strategy Forum: Achieving Strategic Advantage Through Innovation,” organized by the Strategy & Operations Club, and the Management Consulting Association at Stern. The keynote speaker was Mumtaz Ahmed, Chief Strategy Officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and a Principal at Deloitte Consulting. He talked about what sets exceptional companies apart from others, and how to achieve sustained competitive advantage (being in the top decile for 10 years, so that it’s not a coincidence). According to him, the three rules are as follows: 1) better before cheaper; 2) revenue before cost; 3) there are no other rules. It was all based on data and analyses that Deloitte has gathered over many years, and I thought some of the conclusions were unexpected: for instance, according to the data, there is no evidence that innovation is a key driver of exceptional performance. It was interesting to hear what he had to say.
Then on Friday, as part of “research” for my Stern Consulting Corps project, I attended a screening of the film Stoker (great film), followed by a Q&A session with director Chan-wook Park, and stars Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode. It was a room of roughly 70 people, so it was relatively intimate, and I was starstruck the whole time. I don’t want to divulge the content, but all three of them were really nice, and Matthew Goode was hilarious.
This, of course, was followed by a 2.5-hour client meeting; after which I had to rush to make it to one of the biggest Stern events of the year: Think Social, Drink Local, or simply TSDL. It’s an annual runway fashion show (featuring MBA students & Stern administration wearing fashion from top NYC designers!) and dance party, all rolled into one big event in a gorgeous venue. I’m sure one of my fellow bloggers will cover TSDL this week, so in the spirit of avoiding redundancy, I will leave it at that. I will say it was an amazing night though—and a great way to start the weekend!