Oct 26, 2012Organizational BehaviorFounder and CEO, WestShore Management GroupVisiting Lecturer, UC Davis Graduate School of Management
M.S., MBA, Santa Clara University.
B.S., University of California, Davis
Jim Olson founded the WestShore Management Group in April of 2007, continuing a distinguished career after leading several high technology businesses for two Fortune companies and serving for nine years as CEO of SkyStream Networks, the top rated IPTV video head-end provider worldwide. WestShore Management Group provides Interim CEO, corporate consulting, and executive development services for both public, and private, venture-financed companies.
The experience of working with a team on a UC Davis GSM Integrated Management Project was invaluable. It is not a stretch to say it galvanized all of the working knowledge we have gained from the MBA program so far. The initial scope of the project started as one thing, but it did evolve. Our client’s original starting point depended on the integration of a newly acquired division. That alone demonstrates how “real-world” the experience truly was. A client’s own internal priorities can change depending on many factors.
While ours was a very research-laden and data-driven assignment, our GSM faculty leadership helped us to rise above the fray. We translated our new-found expertise into valuable insights. Though we had not worked together before, our team found a rhythm that empowered each member to contribute according to his or her individual strengths. In the end, the caliber of our final product was easily as high if not higher than one would expect from an industry-specific consultant. It was a rigorous exercise, but a fantastic experience with many lessons that will help as we navigate our own careers after graduation.
Working in the consulting project for startup Nephosity left us with very valuable lessons not only from a business perspective, but also from a teamwork and leadership perspective.
Learning about an industry new to most of us was like drinking from the fire hose. We knew there was no way we were going to become experts in the medical imaging industry in such a short period of time, but with the power of our “collective brain” we certainly learnt enough to be “dangerous”. As a result, we were able to provide Nephosity with a business model recommendation and a 5 year growth plan for the startup.
Professor Lowe’s high standards of excellence set a high bar for our team to meet. It was clear that priority one was to meet our client’s business needs and expectations.
Figuring out the market size, how the startup could generate revenue and go to market, estimating costs and determining the investment needed to grow the company into a profitable business, plus keeping our client informed on project status and incorporating his feedback as more information became available was not an easy job.
Some of the things we learnt from the experience were the importance of having clear goals and expectations, open communication and overcoming the challenges of forming a geographically disperse team. Willingness to change directions based on feedback, dedication and collaboration from every team member, and determination to succeed motivated us to pass through the raging waves and to generate the final deliverables.
- Team Nephosity – Chinmay Sheth, Tim Murray, Graciela Casebeer, Erich Olson, Cliff McEnery, Marc Lowe, Shamson Wong
First off, what an amazing project! This was a real world problem beyond that of costs and revenue. We used our MBA expertise to assist in launching a health program at UCSF, a world-renowned prestigious health institution. It was rewarding to know that our efforts would ultimately impact the lives of patients that suffer traumatic brain injuries and concussions in the greater SF Bay Area and beyond.
Looking back at the project and the road we had come from the last 10 weeks, it’s easy to see why the GSM implemented the IMPACT curriculum. The experience and knowledge that we gained was immensely valuable. The nature of the client company and its industry presented a unique and complex set of challenges for the team. It took a great deal of communications and coordination between the team, Marc, physicians, trainers, and directors. It was a privilege of ours to work with professionals who are amongst leaders of their fields. We believe that what really made this project successful was the great relationship we had with each stakeholder and their willingness to collaborate with us.
Naturally, there were ups and downs in the project; in the beginning it seemed like a daunting project with nothing more than the end goal and loose pieces. Our team of six started out as strangers with different backgrounds, and ended up as one voice speaking the language of healthcare consultants in front of medical professionals. Together, we figured out the pieces. Together, we solved the puzzle.
Once again, thanks to everybody for the opportunity to be a part of this and to represent what it means to be a UC Davis GSM student!
- Team UCSF – Quentin, Manny, Ernie, Sibi, Joanie, and Lily – Summer 2012
UPDATE: Andrew Barkett is leaving his post as senior engineer at Facebook to bring his decade of experience in Silicon Valley to become the first-ever chief technology officer for the Republican National Committee.The June 4 announcement has stirred a whirlwind of media coverage, including the Huffington Post and Washington Post.Bark
Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group is a $3.6 billion business that over the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in its customer base from U.S., and Western European customers to predominantly Asia-based customers. Today, the majority of the division’s revenues are generated outside of the U.S., with an increasing concentration in China.
(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s full-time MBA program has been ranked among the top six percent of AACSB International-accredited programs nationwide, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings released today.