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Toward a more competitive U.S.

first_imgAt an event at Harvard Business School (HBS) that was three parts analysis and one part rally, participants tried to chart a new path forward for the sluggish U.S. economy — a move that may require a new definition of “competitiveness.”Highlighting the panel discussions Wednesday on “U.S. Competitiveness: Paths Forward,” an HBS initiative, was an appearance by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who was brought in by wheelchair but rose to his feet to speak about how the city could be a model for the nation.“I believe that for America to be more competitive, it must be more collaborative,” Menino said. “This approach delivered results for our city. It will also deliver results to our country.”The mayor cited development of the South Boston waterfront and the creation of summer jobs for youth. “Just look at what happened after the Marathon attack,” he said. “City, state, and federal official worked together to collect evidence, keep our city safe, and bring the bombers to justice. Everyone put their egos aside.“Sometimes I wonder if Washington is capable of doing the same,” Menino added. “We have to put away this Democrat-Republican nonsense.  They get elected to help people, but it’s criminal those people in Washington don’t work together, don’t speak together.”Likewise, Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, and Jan W. Rivkin, Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration, each led spirited discussions on how HBS alumni could play an active role in the national debate, countering the “circus” in D.C.“We are trying to understand what we can do to actually move the needle on both the quality of the debate and the facts underlying the debate and the political choices and compromises that we can make,” said Porter.While many people say the country needs to be more competitive, “we don’t have a robust and common understanding of competitiveness,” he said. “What this means is that people who should be allies are at cross-purposes with each other.”The U.S. Competitiveness Project put forth this definition: “The United States is a competitive nation to the extent that firms operating in the U.S. can compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for the average American.”Republicans may focus on the global economy angle, Democrats on the living standards, but “competitiveness occurs when we do both together,” Porter said.Rivkin put the issue in historical context: “We worried at the beginning of the Industrial Age that the advent of mass production would mean there would be no jobs for the vast majority of the population, but we reinvested and gained productivity and expanded the economy.”Innovation has driven the country’s strength in world markets and quality of life, said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, a panel moderator. “But that strength has to be nurtured.”She added, “We count on start-ups for job growth in America. Start-ups turn out to be more successful when they are also linked to a rich ecosystem of partnerships and collaborations.”Gerald C. Chertavian (from left), Mary L. Fifield, Gregory Bialecki, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter discussed “U.S. Competitiveness: Paths Forward,” an HBS initiative, which included an appearance by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who was brought in by wheelchair but rose to his feet to speak about how the city could be a model for the nation.Three panelists outlined some of those collaborations. Mary L. Fifield, president of Bunker Hill Community College, described that school’s partnership with a consortium of local businesses to create the Learn and Earn program, in which students work a day or two a week at a major corporations, receive mentorship, and are matched with a “work buddy.” The model should be scaled up to include the state’s other 14 community colleges, she said.Gregory Bialecki, secretary for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, acknowledged that government is used to making rules, not partnerships, and that state officials must now learn to “be more collaborators and not order givers.”Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, focused on how education must respond to workforce needs. Today 6.7 million 16-to 24-year-olds with a high school education are out of school and out of work, he said. Yet, “Thirty percent of jobs in this country are middle-skilled jobs, which means you need a high school degree but not necessarily a four-year degree.”Any discussion of the U.S. economy must include an analysis of the debt, and Robert Kaplan, the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development Emeritus, cheerfully admitted he would provide “the gloomy panel” with David Walker, founder and CEO of Comeback America Initiative. The picture they painted was gloomy, indeed.“The bottom line is that the government has grown too big, promised too much,  waited too long to restructure, and it needs to restructure sooner rather than later,” Walker said. He said the government lacks three things taught in every management 101 class: a plan, a budget, and metrics for performance. “We’re zero for three — that’s called a strike out.”last_img read more

Dreams Come True! Les Miz Star Caissie Levy Is Taking Your Questions

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 Les Miserables You dreamed a dream, and now it’s becoming a reality! Les Miserables star Caissie Levy will be the next star to take a seat on the comfy Broadway.com couch to answer your questions. After getting her start in Hairspray, going green in Wicked and letting loose in Hair, Levy headlined the musical adaptation of Ghost on Broadway and in the West End. Now, she’s back on the boards in the new Broadway revival of Les Miserables as Cosette’s down-on-her luck mom Fantine. Ever want to know how Levy gets her gorgeous hair so curly and bouncy? Wanna find out what her Les Miz audition was like? The time is now—ask her below! <a data-cke-saved-href="https://broadway.wufoo.com/forms/z1vy67cd0nviy8v/" href="https://broadway.wufoo.com/forms/z1vy67cd0nviy8v/">Fill out my Wufoo form!</a> Star Filescenter_img Caissie Levy Related Shows View Commentslast_img read more

Jeff Samardzija, Billy Hamilton turn into a throwback twosome

first_img“Shark” is definitely not down with the concept of the opener, which the Rays used to their advantage in 2018 and will employ again in 2019. Samardzija, 34, basically questioned Tampa Bay pitchers’ manhood in comments to reporters at spring training (per the San Francisco Chronicle).“Where did the pride go from the players’ standpoint?” Samardzija said. “Where were the guys in Tampa Bay saying, ‘No, no, no, I’m good enough to go seven innings and get all these outs. You don’t need to do this.’ Everybody’s just accepting what they’re told.“As players, we need a little more anarchy. We need a little bit more self-moxie, a little more pride about your career and about the way you’re being treated. When I came up in this game, I was told by the older guys to value your value. Understand what you bring to the team and let them know that, too.”MORE: 30 teams, 30 grades — How did your favorite team do this offseason?Tampa Bay’s youth on the pitching staff last year made openers, “bulk” relievers, bullpen days and fluid roles an easier sell for manager Kevin Cash and pitching coach Kyle Snyder. Among the plan’s core pitchers, only Sergio Romo had any real time in the game, and he embraced his role as the original opener before replacing the traded Alex Colome as the team’s closer.The rest of the main guys — Ryne Stanek, Diego Castillo, Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos and, later, Jalen Beeks, all rookies — wisely embraced another old-school concept and avoided being labeled bad guys at the start of their careers. They and other pitchers “bought in,” as Cash repeated Tuesday, threw when they were told, and helped the Rays win 90 games.”You can stand up for yourself, but it’s like, would you rather stand up for yourself and be in Triple-A, or would you rather do your job and be in the big leagues?” Stanek told reporters Tuesday in response to Samardzija (per the Tampa Bay Times). Stanek also said Samardzija could resist because of his expensive long-term contract.Yarbrough and Chirinos are the top candidates this year to follow the opener in the first, second or third inning. They’ll watch Cy Young winner Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow handle the type of starter role Samardzija prefers.A side note: New Giants team president Farhan Zaidi is willing to use the opener as a strategic tool and as a means of protecting younger pitchers like Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez. Samardzija and Giants ace Madison Bumgarner might not be buying, but they’ve also earned the ability to avoid that arrangement.* * * Let’s finish this two-fer with new Royals center fielder Billy Hamilton, one of the fastest runners in the game. Hamilton told The Athletic (subscription required) that Kansas City is trying to go retro with its offense. He seemed to be saying that it wants to reprise, to some degree, “Whitey Ball,” the speed-and-defense approach named for former Royals manager Whitey Herzog when he was managing the cross-state Cardinals in the 1980s.Hamilton said general manager Dayton Moore is about “bringing back that style of baseball.”Moore is looking forward to having the type of team speed “that perhaps at times cannot be defended against,” as he told reporters. His first two offseason moves were signing Hamilton (34 steals with the Reds last season) and fellow free agent Chris Owings, who has stolen as many as 21 in a season (2016 with the Diamondbacks). They’ll join the middle-infield combo of Whit Merrifield (45 steals last year) and Adalberto Mondesi (32) and left fielder Alex Gordon (12) in the Royal Relays.Moore also brought back baserunning specialist Terrance Gore, who has 27 career steals and one — one — career base hit. Call it “Revenge of the Cool Kids,” maybe? Baseball guys thumbing their noses at the nerds? Two stories this week showed that some players and organizations aren’t ready to dump old-school thinking.Start with Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who was one of the majors’ most durable starters until shoulder problems limited him to 10 mostly ineffective outings last season. He’s a fan of guys taking the ball every five days and pitching deep into games.  The Royals’ current skipper, Ned Yost, rhapsodizes about bunting, so a further move toward small ball only seems natural. It’s also logical that the organization would try something different after the offense finished third from the bottom in the American League in home runs and slugging percentage during a 104-loss season.None of this is to say the change in focus will make the Royals competitive. The other main component in a speed-and-defense approach is pitching, and KC needs more of it. The top returning starters are Danny Duffy, Jakob Junis and Brad Keller, and Moore’s only significant offseason mound additions have been Brad Boxberger and Homer Bailey.Still, it’ll be refreshing to see the Royals’ speedsters scurrying around the bases and in the field if the strategy fully takes hold. The team may even surprise opponents who aren’t used to that type of . . . wait for it . . . old-school aggressiveness.last_img read more