In Spring 2016, Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) and the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts (Clef Club) partnered to develop a five-year strategic plan for the Clef Club. A team of four MBA students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and a faculty executive embarked on a 15-week project to create a strategic business plan that positioned Clef Club for long-term sustainability and organizational growth. The plan covered areas related to business strategy, organizational structure, marketing, operations, and fundraising.
The Clef Club started to implement the new strategic plan in April 2016, and since then, it has experienced positive organizational growth. Currently, the Clef Club is working with a new Fox MC team to further refine the marketing and fundraising plan.
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Business owners, executives and entrepreneurs are invited to join Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) for its second Executive Strategy Series panel discussion and networking event. The event, Business Model Innovation in a Rapidly Evolving Digital World, brings together executives from diverse industries to discuss how they have integrated digital innovation to build and retain a competitive advantage. Moderated by Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of Fox MC, the event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 7:45-9:30 a.m. at Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, 123 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.
CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region
Marcus Allen is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA Region (BBBS SEPA), the first African American CEO in the organization’s 100-year history. For two consecutive years, he has significantly grown the Agency as measured by number of children served, revenue generation from donors and programs and overall visibility. This impressive growth garnered BBBS SEPA a “Gold Standard Award” in 2013 and the coveted “Pinnacle Award” in 2014 from BBBS America, given to only four affiliates of the 334 affiliated agencies across the country. As a result, Allen now manages the largest one-to-one mentoring program in the Commonwealth and the third largest Big Brothers Big Sisters Agency in the nation. In 2015, BBBS SEPA was recognized as a 4-star organization by Charity Navigator (the largest charity evaluator in the country) as having good governance, transparency and minimizes unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible manner.
Darin Kapanjie, Ph.D.
Academic Director of the Online BBA, Online MBA and PMBA Programs | Managing Director of Online and Digital Learning | Assistant Professor of Instruction
Dr. Darin Kapanjie is the Fox School’s Managing Director of Online & Digital Learning and is the Academic Director of the Fox Online MBA and BBA Programs. He is committed to teaching beyond the physical classroom, and is known for using cutting-edge teaching technologies. He serves on numerous curriculum and technology committees and has helped infuse the use of efficient, reliable and user-friendly technologies throughout the school.
President – Philadelphia Region, iHeartMedia
Richard Lewis is the President of iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) Philadelphia Region. iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any media company in the U.S., owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, and serves 36 regions throughout the country. Prior to his current role, Lewis served as Vice President of Sales as well as a Sales Category Captain for the Retail Category Division of Clear Channel. He has been in the broadcast industry since 1975 and with iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) Media and Entertainment since 1992.
Mike West, CPA, MBA
CEO, Rothman Institute
Mike West is the CEO of the Rothman Institute, a 130 physician private orthopaedic practice, based in Philadelphia, PA. He is responsible for strategic, financial and operational oversight of the medical practice as well as a number of the organization’s ownership interest in ambulatory surgery centers, specialty hospitals, real estate and start-up technology companies. In addition, he oversees the orthopaedic clinical research department of the Rothman Institute, and the department of Orthopaedics at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. Mr. West has been at The Rothman Institute since 1999.
TL Hill, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Fox Management Consulting | Academic Director, Global MBA | Associate Professor, Strategic Management
Dr. TL Hill is an Associate Professor in Strategic Management and Managing Director of Fox Management Consulting, the capstone residency for all Fox MBA students. As the Academic Director of the MBA, TL recently led the transformation of the MBA to a competency-based model in which students complete a dozen live projects while developing the skills and judgment valued by employers. TL’s research interests include the governance of knowledge intensive organizations and social ventures, the ways networks span organizational boundaries, the social and institutional context of entrepreneurship, and community economic development.
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On Sept. 29, Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Director of Marketing for Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC), served on a panel of judges at a pitch competition as part of Philly Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, Fox MC’s latest effort to help support Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs and small-to-medium enterprises. During the competition, eight Philadelphia-area businesses owners pitched their products and services to a diverse group of panelists, including procurement specialists, leaders from the banking industry and marketing professionals. The event, sponsored by the Urban League of Philadelphia, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of Pennsylvania and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, also provided business owners with the opportunity to mingle with other business owners, contestants, judges and exhibitors providing resources to small businesses.
“Small business owners pitching today have the opportunity to get in front of top individuals from key firms, such as SEPTA, Henkels & McCoy, Philadelphia Gas Works and others,” said Victoria Hosendorf, Director of the MBDA Business Center-Pennsylvania, a federal contract from the U.S. Department of Commerce operated by The Enterprise Center. “If they pitch well, they can walk away with a potential contract and approximately $1,000 worth of awards.”
Fox MC at Temple University’s Fox School of Business donated a one-hour consultation to each of the top three winners of the competition. Winners also received a complimentary ticket to the Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Luncheon on Dec. 2, and the grand-prize winner received a complimentary VIP Pass to The Enterprise Center’s “Lighting the Torch Awards” on Oct. 6.
Keith Ellison, Program Manager of the Entrepreneurship Center for the Urban League of Philadelphia, which provides technical assistance, strategic planning and resources to help small businesses, helped to organize the pitch competition by recruiting contestants, identifying judges and exhibitors and overseeing logistics.
“It’s not easy to get in front of procurement and supplier diversity specialists at large companies,” Ellison said. “We want to give as much visibility as possible to the contestants. The pitch competition is a creative way for small business owners to promote their companies to judges in 90 seconds and answer questions.”
Victoria Tyson, owner of Victoria’s Kitchen & Catering and one of the contestants participating in the competition, hoped to obtain corporate catering contracts through the event, generate more awareness of her business, and garner assistance creating an operational plan.
“I’m looking for an outsider’s perspective on how to more effectively operate my day-to-day business operations,” Tyson said. “I want to be as efficient as possible as I try to expand within the Philadelphia area.”
For panelists, the pitch competition was a low-cost and uninterrupted way for them to learn about and find qualified businesses. They asked follow-up questions and provided business owners with feedback on their pitches.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with such an impressive group of business owners and to learn more about their plans to grow,” Becca Zinn said. “At Fox MC, we seek to provide resources that will help participants achieve their goals.”
Now in its 33rd year, Philly Minority Enterprise Development Week strives to honor and promote minority-owned businesses in the Philadelphia area. It includes more than 40 events across the city aimed to help business owners grow by providing them with opportunities to learn about government and university procurement, network and effectively market their services.
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On Sept. 20, minority business owners and entrepreneurs gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Minority Business Enterprise Growth Symposium, part of the annual R.O.A.R. (Return on All Relationships) Conference and Business Exchange hosted by the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council. The Symposium addressed the business development gap in the marketplace for mid- to large-sized businesses looking for assistance taking their companies to the next level. Conference organizers invited Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business to provide business building and entrepreneurship expertise to conference goers.
Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of Fox MC, hosted a session, “Build, Buy, or Sell: Applying Strategic Thinking to the Next Step of Wealth Creation” at the Symposium. During this session, he presented a strategic framework intended to guide business owners through an evaluation process. By proactively researching, analyzing and monitoring specific industry and market factors, business leaders can make informed decisions about the best next step, whether it’s investing towards organic growth, acquiring another business or selling to a firm better positioned to address market realities.
Hill encouraged participants to evaluate the profitability of each business line, spot possible industry disruptions and conduct an honest analysis of competitors. He concluded by emphasizing the importance of establishing a regular connection with customers.
“It is essential to understand what matters most to your customers, and whether they see value in what you offer” Hill said. “You really need to get inside their heads, to understand what they think, feel, hear, see, say, and do.” Throughout the session, he illustrated concrete ways of applying strategic concepts by using examples from past Fox MC projects.
Following the session, Hill fielded questions from participants representing a variety of industries, including commercial flooring, IT, medical care and science laboratory equipment. During the Q&A, he addressed strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and organic versus inorganic growth.
“Dr. Hill provided a structure for the audience to follow with concrete examples from various industries to drive his points home,” said James Sanders, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial Lending for Customers Bank, and a fellow Symposium speaker. “The ‘Build, Buy or Sell’ session was spot-on, and it was clear that the audience left with concrete tools and strategies about wealth creation.”
Fox MC’s participation in the Symposium is the latest example of the company’s commitment to offering entrepreneurship education and expertise to leaders across the globe. Fox MC develops customized entrepreneurship education programs to support entrepreneurs, government and nonprofit organizations, service providers, and students.
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Today’s economic landscape presents a unique challenge for those entering into the workforce, as many economies shift from a labor-based focus to one that’s knowledge- and innovation-based. Workers must continue to learn, adapt to changes, create opportunities, and, in some cases, build new organizations if they want to remain competitive. In fact, Oxford University researchers have estimated that 47 percent of US jobs could be automated within the next two decades. Given this rapid rate of change, how can students and younger workers position themselves for thriving careers 20, 25 years in the future?
Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia are teaming up to address the question. Together, they’re creating a series of online entrepreneurship and innovation modules that will encourage students, regardless of major, to “Differently Think.” Fox MC and Flinders believe that innovation-thinking will prepare people for the realities of the 21st century economy. Some students will take this thinking into established organizations, and others may use it to launch their own ventures, creating new job opportunities for themselves and others.
“We can’t train for specific jobs anymore,” said Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of Fox MC. ”We have to train for competencies and agility because the jobs just aren’t going to be there.”
The initiative between Fox MC and Flinders is particularly beneficial to a city such as Adelaide, which represents the global shift away from a manufacturing-focused economy, and the need for increased entrepreneurship to help businesses become more nimble. Once a major hub of the auto industry, car makers have halted the assembly and building of cars in Adelaide. Moreover, the country’s economic growth is expected to be below the average rates of other first-world countries, and the changing business landscape is leaving a dramatic impression on the nation’s economy, according to the InDaily article, “SA’s economic outlook: flat but with a potential upside.”
“We are working to build a more agile, competitive and innovative economy, one that is going to assist our nation in addressing modern challenges so that Australians will be better off in a new economy with new jobs in the future,” Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.
This new economy is already becoming a reality for young Australian graduates, around 70 percent of whom are starting their careers in roles that will substantially change or become obsolete in the next 10 to 15 years, according to the Foundation for Young Australians’ report “The New Work Order.”
For the past three years, Flinders University in Adelaide has been successfully addressing this reality through its New Venture Institute (NVI), which leverages university resources to support entrepreneurship and innovation in South Australia and for its 26,000 students. To-date, NVI has overseen more than 250 student projects, nearly 150 startups, trained close to 1,500 people, and generated more than $540,000 in investments.
The Fox MC-Flinders partnership builds on the success of both organizations’ efforts to support entrepreneurship. Fox MC’s expertise in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education has been widely recognized: The Online MBA program at the Fox School of Business is ranked no. 1 in the nation for the second consecutive year by US News & World Report, both the graduate and undergraduate Entrepreneurship programs at Fox are ranked among the top 10 by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine, and Fox MC has provided consulting services to nearly 150 startups and early stage companies.
Through the partnership with Flinders, Fox will develop a series of 12 online education modules related to entrepreneurship and will provide training to Flinders faculty to deliver the course materials. The content will be available to all Flinders students, regardless of major or course of study, and will include videos, exercises and training manuals.
Students will have numerous opportunities to participate in innovation-related coursework at Flinders. They can major in a newly created degree—Bachelor of Business (Innovation and Enterprise)—embed innovation topics into their existing bachelor degrees, and opt to add a year-long stand-alone course to their undergraduate degrees, earning an additional Bachelor of Letters (Innovation and Enterprise).
As part of the partnership, Fox will also provide RoadmapTM, a proprietary, revolutionary higher-education platform that assembles all feedback and assessments to demonstrate personal development and return on investment to students. Through RoadmapTM, students will work with faculty and advisors to devise and manage their custom learning plans, review their progress during the program, and provide employers and interviewers with a visual representation of their skills and competencies.
“Fox MC and others at the Fox School of Business, including the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and faculty in the Strategic Management Department, have been studying and teaching entrepreneurship for quite some time. Fox is well-positioned to help Flinders cultivate a dynamic entrepreneurship program that prepares students for the future,” Hill said. “We’re in a special place because we have knowledge to share and are located in an area that also needs economic development, so there’s a natural meeting there.”
Philadelphia, like Adelaide, is struggling to be seen as an innovative place at the SME (small and medium enterprise) level, according to Hill, and the partnership with Flinders is an opportunity for Fox MC to learn from Adelaide’s entrepreneurship ecosystems and bring lessons back to Philadelphia.
“This is an opportunity for us to learn together how to do this globally,” Hill said. “There are lots of places around the world where this kind of collaboration could be applied. Together, we’ll get really good at this.”
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