HEC Paris Makes Purposeful Leadership a Strategic Priority

– HEC Paris 1981 Alumnus Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy, is donating €3.7 million (over $4.3 million) to help his Alma Mater create a new Chair devoted to Purposeful Leadership
– The launch of the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership is a first step to positioning the school as a globally recognized center of excellence for the study and dissemination of Purposeful Leadership
– Rodolphe Durand has been named as the inaugural Chair holder. He is currently Professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris and the academic director of the Society and Organizations Center (SnO)

HEC Paris Dean Peter Todd and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly this morning announced the creation of the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership. This is the first-ever HEC endowed Chair supported by an Alumnus. This new type of Chair has been created to reflect and encourage the personal support of its Alumni for the business school.

The Chair will enable HEC to recognize, recruit and retain the world’s top scholars in the field of Purposeful Leadership. The endowment will help train the next generation of leaders on this theme and support research by top HEC faculty members. In addition, the Joly Family Endowed Chair will allow HEC Paris to offer an annual fellowship to an exceptional student who has demonstrated a clear interest in this field.

The business school Dean, Peter Todd insists that Purposeful Leadership “is a fundamental part of HEC Paris’ mission to shape the leaders of tomorrow who understand that their obligations go beyond the bottom line and contribute to the greater good in society.The creation of this new Chair is a natural extension of the work undertaken by the SnO Center in the past decade. I am delighted to announce that the first holder of the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership is Professor Rodolphe Durand. Rodolphe is one of our most accomplished researchers in business strategy, an influential scholar and a leader in thinking of the ways values are integrated into the DNA of organizations and incarnated in their strategy.”

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Hubert Joly declares: “I believe that the search for meaning is an essential quest for each individual. I further believe that a company is a human organization where individuals collaborate on a project, and that linking the search for meaning of a company’s team members with the purpose of the company is a key priority for a company and the individuals who work there. Finally, I believe that a company’s purpose must contribute to society’s common good. For all these reasons, through the creation of this Chair, I am very happy to support HEC’s professors and their teams as they work to advance research and teaching on the theme of Purposeful Leadership in business.”

The first key questions guiding the Purposeful Leadership program are:

• Why do we work? What is the purpose of a company or an organization?
• How can we find meaning in our work? Is a noble purpose solely in the realm of philanthropy or Corporate Social Responsibility, or can we make this the core focus of a company and all its activities?
• What principles and practices can guide the actions of today’s leaders?
• How can we create an environment in which individual members of an organization can be themselves and blossom personally and professionally?
• Can Purposeful Leadership result in superior business and financial performance?

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