Haas News

Culture Club
Green at Heart
Survey Says

Culture Club

Jumpstarting a new wave of organizational culture research

Culture Club

Dylan Jorgensen, from Zappos, and Lauren Rivera, assoc. prof. at Northwestern Kellogg, at the Berkeley Haas Culture Conference.

Prof. Jennifer Chatman

Prof. Jennifer Chatman

Executives from Facebook, Netflix, Zappos, Pixar Animation Studios, Deloitte, and other "culture-aware" companies mingled with top academics from around the world at the inaugural Berkeley Haas Culture Conference in January. They kicked off the new Berkeley Haas Culture Initiative—the brainchild of Prof. Jennifer Chatman, PhD 88, and Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava of the Haas Management of Organizations Group.

"We're interested in developing a shared research agenda to address some of the culture challenges we haven't yet been able to solve," says Chatman.

Company presenters spoke candidly about the culture challenges they're confronting, whether through mass hiring, mergers, new strategies, or changes in leadership.

Jennifer Cook, MBA 98, the CEO of cancer detection startup Grail, spoke about her experiences at six companies over 15 years. "There were any number of organizational themes and challenges that I had faced, and our teams had faced, for which culture was the relevant solution," she said.

Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava

Assoc. Prof. Sameer Srivastava

The new initiative will include industry partnerships and interdisciplinary research collaborations, communication exchanges on best practices, and events. The idea was to start by taking stock of a field that has become increasingly fragmented as it has expanded, Srivastava says. "Economists study culture, psychologists study culture, and sociologists study culture— all in different ways," he says. "At the same time, companies are developing innovative practices related to culture, and it's often hard to disentangle what works and what doesn't. We wanted to bring everyone together to start a conversation."

Green at Heart

Haas building earns highest marks possible for efficiency and environmental efforts

Green at Heart

Chou Hall, the country's greenest academic building.

It's official: Chou Hall is the country's greenest academic building, having earned TRUE Zero Waste certification at the highest possible level along with a LEED Platinum certification for its energy-efficient design and operation.

The TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification came after more than a year of dedicated waste sorting, composting, and other efforts to divert over 90 percent of Chou's landfill waste. The official notice came from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) in December, following an on-site audit by the U.S. Green Building Council.

About 25 percent of the more than 100 TRUE-certified facilities have achieved TRUE Platinum. Chou Hall is the only academic building to achieve the honor. The Chou team earned 69 out of the 70 credits they applied for, providing a narrative and evidence for each credit. Credits included such efforts as composting food scraps, tracking the purchase of environmentally preferred products, providing employees with access to zero-waste training, and reducing the use of hazardous-waste chemicals.

Separately, GBCI also announced this month that Chou received LEED Platinum certification for its architectural design, construction, and functioning of the building. Chou earned 85 points, well above the 80 points required for the platinum rating. Points are allotted in areas such as water efficiency, energy use, construction materials, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation.

Haas is also pursuing a third designation, WELL certification, given to buildings that promote user health and well-being.

Survey Says

Alumni speak their minds in biennial survey

The results are in from our alumni engagement survey, which was conducted last fall. Undergraduate and graduate alumni who earned their degrees between 1993 and 2017 were polled about their affinity for the Defining Leadership Principles; the kinds of events, offerings, and interactions that would most benefit them; and business topics of interest. The responses will allow Haas to best serve and support members of the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network. Here are some of the insights we gleaned from the survey.


Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) shot up 10 points, to 69, indicating alumni are increasingly satisfied. (An NPS over 50 is considered excellent.)

Social butterflies

Social gatherings and networking opportunities are the most valued and most desired offerings.

Location, location, location

Alumni outside the Bay Area (nationwide & international) want more events and opportunities to connect with one another.

Benefits in hindsight

Alumni need more education about their benefits as many weren't aware of the robust set of resources and services available to them, including career resources, lifelong-learning opportunities, networking events and tools, and more. Learn more at: haas.org/alum-benefits.

Hot topics

Popular business topics alumni are interested in include negotiation, sales, data science, marketing analytics, fintech, proptech (real estate), and artificial intelligence.

Well informed

Haas needs to communicate to alumni its efforts around diversity and inclusion improvements. Find Haas' Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan Status Report on our diversity site: haas.berkeley.edu/diversity.

Thriving culture

Here's what alumni had to say about our Defining Leadership Principles

91% of alumni apply the Defining Leadership Principles in their professional and/or personal lives.

"I have adopted these principles (with some variation) to the cultural values of my organization." BCEMBA 10

"I'm in a consulting position and find that Confidence Without Attitude is the most effective way of developing trusting, effective relationships with clients." FTMBA 99

"I work as a brand manager, and frequently push myself and my organization to Question the Status Quo and embrace disruptive innovations." BS 11

"Students Always. Haas taught me the value of realizing that it's okay to say I don't know something and use it as an opportunity to learn. I apply this to every situation that I'm in." EWMBA 15

"Beyond Yourself is such a meaningful leadership principle. I changed jobs [and moved] to a state with fewer resources in my field in order to help the community and people in this state." —EMBA 16

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By the Numbers

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