HSATM Conference 2009

Howe School Alliance for Technology Management

Eighteenth Annual Conference

Leading in a Changing Environment

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

8:45 AM - 4:45 PM



Today's business leaders, in technology, marketing, manufacturing, finance, general management, IT, HR......., are facing extraordinary challenges.  These include a dramatically disrupted world economy, sagging customer confidence and cutbacks, global competitors, the need for constant innovation, multi-dimensional diversity within and among teams, mergers (planned or otherwise), business strategies that require continuous review and frequent change, and turnover in senior leadership.  These all spell CHANGE.  Leadership, however, is all about change.  It is about plotting new routes to the future, surmounting unforeseen obstacles, achieving distant goals.  The Eighteenth Annual HSATM Conference will focus on working successfully through change as the essence of leadership, at all levels of the organization.

The presentations and the panel discussion following will provide many practical ideas for working through change and managing change successfully.  The Conference will appeal to technology managers, product managers, marketing managers, new business development personnel, project managers, HR managers, corporate and business unit managers -- in short, to everyone concerned with leading change, at every level of the organization.

Click on the links below to view videos of the presentations of this conference:


The Core Challenge of Leadership: Leading For and Through Change
Anthony J. Le Storti
President, IDEATECTS


The concept of “change leadership” is redundant.  At its heart, leadership is all about change and how to negotiate it successfully.  Accordingly, the greater the scale of change facing an organization, the greater is the challenge to leadership.  And it is at the more demanding levels of change that many previously successful leaders falter.  Too often they use decision processes that do not apply in current circumstances.  They do not fully grasp how comprehensive their change efforts must be.  They fall prey to a “logic” that dooms their efforts.  And, they engage in concrete strategic planning when they would be better served by fluid “strategic thinking.”

This presentation will address what goes on (and what should go on) in the mind of the leader when faced with uncertainty and change.  We will explore:

  • Levels of change and uncertainty
  • Comprehending the “predictable unpredictability” of organizational and technology strategy
  • The foolishness of plans -- and the immense importance of planning
  • Strategy pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • The necessary fusion of operational execution and action learning

Anthony J. Le Storti is President of IDEATECTS® Inc., a firm specializing in innovation, leadership, and the dynamics of human systems.  His work focuses especially on problem solving, decision-making, and strategic thinking.  His clients range from Fortune 500 corporations to educational and non-profit organizations.  He founded and directed the Center for Creative Studies at Gwynedd-Mercy College and has taught graduate courses at La Salle, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania.  He has published numerous articles on a range of topics including invention/discovery, innovation, conflict resolution, and decision-making. 


Le Storti is a Colleague of the Creative Education Foundation and a recipient of the American Creativity Association’s Champion of Creativity Award.  A former special operations officer decorated for his combat command skills, Le Storti transformed the knowledge gained from his military experience into a powerful book, When You’re Asked to Do the Impossible, setting out the principles and methods of U.S. Army Rangers for use by civilian teams and organizations operating under extremely challenging circumstances.  


Le Storti holds degrees from La Salle and Temple and Executive Certificates in strategy & innovation and management & leadership from MIT.  He can be reached at [email protected]

New Models for Leading Organizations: How the Virtual Age is Transforming Leadership
Dr. Richard Reilly
Emeritus Professor, Howe School of Technology Management, Stevens Institute

What do a world renowned astrophysicist, a Buddhist scholar and corporate executives from companies like Hewlett Packard, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM have in common?  Each of them has something important to tell us about how to lead in the 21st century.  This presentation will discuss how today’s leaders organize communities, engender trust, and span cultural, organizational and generational boundaries through a combination of technological savvy and personal authenticity. 

Reilly and Karen Sobel Lojeski, in their 2008 book  Uniting the Virtual Workforce,  showed how a combination of geographic, cultural, relationship and operational factors can create what they called “virtual distance” between people, teams and organizations -- wreaking havoc with innovation, leader effectiveness, trust, and financial performance.  None of the existing leadership models address how leaders can transcend these challenges to inspire, motivate and sustain vision in the wired world.  Now, based on a series of never-before-published interviews with leaders from Hewlett Packard, Merck, IBM, Western Union, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T and many others, the authors detail what great leaders do differently to reduce virtual distance and improve performance.  The lessons learned, based on real-life data from the world’s best, provide guidance on how to transform institutions and individuals in the Digital Age.

Richard R. Reilly is Emeritus Professor in the Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology.  Before joining Stevens, Dr. Reilly was a research psychologist for Bell Laboratories, the Educational Testing Service and AT&T.  He has been a consultant to Fortune 500 and governmental organizations on issues related to organizational performance.  He serves on the advisory board of the Institute for Innovation and Information Productivity and is a Technical Advisor to the Office of Naval Research ManTech Center of Excellence. 

Reilly has co-authored four books including Blockbusters: Developing Award Winning New Products (2002), The Human Side of Project Leadership (2007) and Uniting the Virtual Workforce (2008), and over 70 publications related to organizational behavior and project and team performance.  He is on the Editorial Board of Personnel Psychology and the International Journal of e-Collaboration, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.  His current research interests center on aspects of virtual work including leadership and trust.  

Reilly holds the Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Leading Culturally Diverse Organizations
Steven A. Jacobs
President, Global BioPharm Solutions

In today’s organizations leaders and managers are faced with ever growing cultural divides.  These can negatively impact teamwork, timelines and deliverables.  Culture is more than just the challenge of working with multinational companies and truly global teams; it is the challenge of working with the different cultures between engineers and project managers, introverts and extroverts, and visionaries and tacticians, just to name a few.  This presentation will provide real-life examples of how to be aware of and overcome these hurdles.
Attendees will gain insights into:

  • Identifying key competencies needed when working with cultural differences
  • The principal aspects of culture including adaptation and style switching
  • Communication techniques to break through cultural barriers
  • Strategies for effective intercultural interactions
  • Specific leadership and management concepts necessary with culturally diverse people
  • Ways to motivate culturally different people to accomplish project goals

Steven A. Jacobs is President of Global BioPharm Solutions, LLC, which provides clinical supply chain solutions and troubleshooting to biotech and pharmaceutical companies.  He is a successful business leader, consultant, and communicator, and his career has been heavily involved in innovation, global cultural dynamics, and high performing teams.  He has presented globally on creativity, leading global teams, emotional intelligence, clinical supplies logistics, project planning, and contract negotiations, and is a recognized expert in the clinical supplies industry.

Past positions have included president and Global Chief Operating Officer of a multinational contract organization that served companies like Novartis, Eisai, Lilly and others in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector.  He also served as head of US clinical supply operations for Johnson & Johnson.  Mr. Jacobs was a logistics and aviation officer, in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of Major and was a maintenance test pilot and pilot in command for rotary wing and fixed wing Army aircraft. 

His undergraduate degree is in Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and his MBA is from the University of Phoenix with a specialization in global management.  Jacobs can be reached at [email protected]

Innovation Leadership in a Fast-Changing Global Organization
Dr. Guido Petit
Director, Alcatel-Lucent Technical Academy
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories


The economic downturn has forced many companies to refocus their attention on innovation and renewed leadership in a world of constant and rapid change.  Alcatel-Lucent hasn't escaped from this trend.  This presentation will give some best practices -- contrasting them with some bad practices -- regarding innovation leadership in a global company, focusing on idea generation, business opportunity identification, incubation, venture creation and transfer.  Because innovation involves a critical and complex interplay between the best people inside and outside the company, the particular role of Human Resources in companies focusing on innovation will also be addressed. 

Setting the right expectations as well as managing these expectations is critically important to creating sufficient positive energy and chemistry among employees to really change the innovation and entrepreneurial mindset in a company.  Some practical examples of what works and doesn't work will be given, including some video interviews with employees who went through this experience to set up their own ventures inside Alcatel-Lucent.  Helping strengthen informal networks, scouting talent and fostering talent redeployment turns out to be key factors in addressing the challenges we face, especially now when the frequency of restructuring in companies is increasing. 

Dr.  Guido H. Petit is Director of the Alcatel-Lucent Technical Academy in Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories.  The Technical Academy recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to Alcatel-Lucent technological leadership and acts as a think tank to improve R&D effectiveness in domains such as innovation, knowledge sharing, networking and learning.  Guido is also secretary of the Innovation Board at Alcatel-Lucent in Belgium and is a member of the project team responsible for the organization of Entrepreneurial Boot Camps.

Previous positions held by Petit at Alcatel Belgium include Director of the Network Strategy Group and Project Manager of the Network Performance Modeling Group in the Corporate Research Center.  He has published more than 70 papers in leading technical journals/conferences and holds some 14 European Patents.   He was a visiting professor at the Department of Telecommunications and Information Processing of the University of Ghent, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Expertise Centrum for Digital Media (University of Hasselt) and of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Artesis Industrial College in Antwerp.  

Petit has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Chemistry, and a Ph.D. in Crystallography.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Change Rules: From A Good Idea to Everyone is Doing It
Peter Bregman
CEO, Bregman Partners, Inc.

The biggest challenge for leaders isn't coming up with great ideas.  It’s driving those ideas through their organizations so that everyone feels as much ownership for them as the leader does.  Yet the very actions most leaders take to implement ideas usually prevent them from succeeding.

People don't resist change.  They resist being changed.  The challenge is: how do you get people to choose to change?  In this presentation, participants will learn practical steps for bringing a good idea to fruition -- shifting responsibility to the people who must take the daily actions to make the strategy a reality.  This presentation will give participants a framework for taking the great ideas shared by the other speakers and giving them life in their own organizations.  We will explore:

  • The three things that every individual must have before they will make any change
  • The Engagement Continuum, a spectrum of actions leaders can take to engage people more or less deeply
  • How to engage the entire workforce to drive revolutionary strategic action

Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., is the author of Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change, and writes a weekly column, How We Work, for HarvardBusiness.org.  As an advisor to CEO’s and their leadership teams, Peter has coached all levels of management to recognize their leadership, exhibit leadership behaviors, model and stimulate change, and foster their own development and growth as well as that of their teams and colleagues. 

His work is based on the notion that an organization, at its core, is a platform for talent.  By unleashing that talent, focusing it on business results, and aligning it with a compelling vision, both the individual and the organization thrive.  Since 1989, his approach has helped improve performance at some of the world's premier organizations, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, NASDAQ, JP Morgan Chase, Victoria’s Secret, Converse, and Clear Channel Communications, among others.  He has worked with companies throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Bregman has served as adjunct faculty with Columbia University Business School and the National Outdoor Leadership School.  He earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.B.A. from Columbia University.  He can be reached at [email protected]