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The Inside View: What a Finance Professional Learned from the Racetrack

Murray Orr photo May 142

Murray Orr

With more than 25 years of experience in international investment banking, Murray Orr didn’t need to jump-start his career.

But Orr thought something was missing.

“I really felt I needed a software upgrade,” Orr said.

Even though he wasn’t looking to change jobs, Orr started researching ways to gain a fresh perspective. He was particularly interested in learning from the experience of people in other industries. He was also strongly attracted to going to a U.S. business school given his predominantly British education.

Orr enrolled in Duke University’s Advanced Management Program (AMP). The course is designed for executives with 15 years or more of experience. Participants spend two sessions of two weeks each in Durham, North Carolina. In between, the learning happens virtually as classmates interact online and take what they’ve gained back to their companies.

“Given the varied backgrounds of the other participants, there was no discomfort with sharing experiences, and in fact, there are real learning benefits of having a free and open dialogue amongst a small group of similarly motivated senior executives,” Orr said.


IDEO Brings Design Thinking to Fuqua


Aycan, left, and Misono, right, of IDEO talk to Christine Moorman’s Marketing Strategy

IDEO — the company that created the first mouse for Apple back in 1980 — is located in countries around the world, including England and Germany. They are considered by some to be THE go-to company for creative design thinking.

They recently came to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to address professor Christine Moorman’s Marketing Strategy Class.

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Dominating Leaders Can Hamper Team Success

According to a recent report from The Conference Board, European business leaders say their biggest strategic challenge is managing, growing, and retaining talented workers.

images2VDEM3VODuke University Fuqua School of Business Professor Rick Larrick, Leigh Plunkett Tost of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Francesca Gino of Harvard University’s Business School conducted a study looking at the impact power has on team leadership.

Their findings suggest that at times when leaders are most successful personally, they are least likely to consult and involve their team. In the study, the researchers reminded leaders of their power over others and watched their subsequent interactions in a team setting. They discovered that following the reminder, the leaders did a poorer job facilitating conversation between the team members than they did in the absence of a reminder. As a result, the team’s performance suffered.


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is meant to be a currency, like the dollar or the yen, but increasingly, it’s being used as an investment. This is a fact recognized by some governments struggling to understand how bitcoin fits into their economies.

The Bank of England recently came out with guidance on bitcoin, labeling it as a commodity rather than a currency.

The move happened in the wake of the collapse of Mt. Gox, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. The collapse led some skeptics to question the viability of the cryptocurrency.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business professor Campbell Harvey discusses the basics of how the currency works, security concerns, and the future of bitcoin in the following video series.



CFO Survey: Rising Interest Rates Would Hinder European Companies

iStock_000002164555MediumEuropean chief financial officers believe European companies are more sensitive to rising interest rates than their counterparts across the globe.

That is just one of the findings of the latest Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, which polled CFOs from around the world, including 138 in Europe.

European CFOs say a two percentage point increase in interest rates would reduce hiring, spending, and borrowing.

Fuqua School of Business Professor John Graham, director of the survey, says Europe needs to move cautiously to avoid economic fallout.

“Europe has bottomed and is beginning to take tentative steps towards stronger continent-wide growth,” he said. “However, the economic recovery is fragile and sensitive to increased costs such as rising interest rates. Therefore, central banks in Europe need to be careful about scaling back from the easy monetary policies they have implemented for the past several years.”