Michael Crooke’s THE BIG SHFT: Socially Responsible Business As Rule, Not Exception

Socially-conscious media platform and Ford Motor Co. honors “10 innovators changing our world” in a series of web shorts titled THE BIG SHFT. Pepperdine management professor Michael Crooke, one of those 10 innovators, shares his passion for companies that successfully embed ethical values into the DNA of the organization and vocation to instill the same principles in his students.

The former Patagonia CEO is founding director of SEER, the full-time MBA certificate program at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School that teaches socially, ethically and environmentally responsible business strategy.

The BIG SHFT” series will be available on, the Huffington Post, AOL, and on U.S. Virgin Airlines in-flight entertainment.

[VIDEO] MBA Graduation Speaker Tommy Mitchell Issues Challenge to Fellow Grads – Focus and Commit

Selected by faculty and fellow classmates for the honor, Full-time MBA student Thomas “Tommy” L. Mitchell III delivered a masterful and elevating message in his graduation speech at the April 2013 commencement ceremony for the Graziadio School of Business and Management. “The bonds we have formed here during our time at Graziadio are those without bounds,” he said. “These bonds can only be maintained through focus and commitment. I ask all of you here to make a promise to yourselves and fellow graduates to always do your best.”

Mitchell went on to say, “Don’t lose the opportunities today has given you, because tomorrow cannot be taken for granted.” Watch his speech.

[VIDEO] Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving Emphasizes Who-based Career Decisions

Make decisions based on who you are and not what you think you are or think you should be, urged April 2013 graduation speaker and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Blake Irving (MBA ’88), CEO of Go Daddy, the world’s largest provider of Web hosting.

Addressing new graduates at the Graziadio School, he said, “Answering the who-based question actually drove my what…There are moments in life when you have a moment to pause and take an introspective look at who you are and the path you might take because of it.” Watch his speech.

[VIDEO] Unified Grocers CEO Al Plamann Shares Leadership Advice with New Pepperdine Business Grads

It takes more than a title to be a leader, Al Plamann, Chief Executive Officer, Unified Grocers, told new graduates at the April 2013 commencement ceremony for the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Plamann was awarded an honorary doctorate of law degree at the event.

Plamann said, “Don’t be afraid to try, but learn from your mistakes. Failure is actually a critical component of success.” Watch his speech.

[VIDEO] Setting The Right Priorities As A Small Business


Professor Warren “Joe” Hahn, an assistant professor of Decision Sciences, focuses on operational decision-making and its effect on real options. In our continuing video series, Dr. Hahn discusses tactics for overcoming business challenges and fundamental principles as a business owner for finding solutions to problems and remaining competitive.

What Is and Isn’t Problem Solving?

Professor Hahn identifies three distinct elements of problem solving. Before becoming an effective problem solver, you must first understand what problem solving isn’t: memorization, knowing a foregone conclusion and/or following a roadmap.

Importance of Problem Solving

Why is problem solving so important? Because many of your competitors cannot and/or will not do it. A couple most likely already are!

How To Solve Problems

Professor Hahn covers four tactics to overcoming business challenges: framing the problem, obtaining relevant information, finding/applying an appropriate solution technique, and interpreting the solution.

Resources for Problem Solving

Every business faces daunting problems. Two clutch resources are explained to help confront the challenge: where to obtain relevant information and how to apply analytical techniques.

“Unsolvable” Problem?

More often than not, problems seem unsolvable. If so, maybe that means you have a problem that is very important. Four tips are offered to help you find the right solution.