14 Honored at 2013 Executive Excellence Awards

 
 

Fourteen leaders from enterprises and nonprofits across Washington state became the first recipients of Seattle Business magazine’s Executive Excellence Awards on Thursday night at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. Jerry Lee, chairman of MulvannyG2 Architecture of Bellevue, received the program’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong dedication to community service.

“Our intent with the Executive Excellence Awards is to start a conversation about leadership,” said Seattle Business Associate Publisher Michael Romoser. “This inaugural class says a lot about the caliber of leaders we already have, and about the type of people our state and region must attract to remain competitive well into the future.”

During a banquet attended by more than 300 people, honorees spoke about their leadership experiences, linking their remarks to themed videos featuring 10 leaders from the state, including Norman Rice, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, William Gates Sr., co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rev. Stephen Sundborg, president of Seattle University, and Christine Gregoire, Washington’s 22nd governor.

Seattle Business partnered with Leadership Tomorrow in presenting the event. Sponsors were Towers Watson, the Executive Education Programs of the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University, and AmericanWest Bank.

 

2013 Executive Excellence Award Winners

Colleen Brown, president and CEO, Fisher Communications, Seattle

Jeff Christianson, executive vice president and general counsel, F5 Networks, Seattle

Melanie Dressel, president and CEO, Columbia Bank, Tacoma

Ezra Eckhardt, president and COO, Sterling Bank, Spokane

Kathryn Flores, chief administrative officer, Child Care Resources of King County, Seattle

Megan Karch, CEO, FareStart, Seattle

Dara Khosrowshahi, president and CEO, Expedia, Bellevue

Jerry Lee, chairman, MulvannyG2 Architecture, Bellevue

Marcia Mason, vice president and general counsel, Esterline Corporation, Bellevue

Bryan Mistele, president and CEO, INRIX, Kirkland

Kathleen Philips, general counsel, Zillow, Seattle

Peter Rose, chairman and CEO, Expeditors International, Seattle

Steve Singh, chairman and CEO, Concur Technologies, Redmond

Mary Ellen Stone, executive director, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Renton

On Reflection: Corporate Game Changer

On Reflection: Corporate Game Changer

Gamification software from a UW startup makes biz-school case studies more authentic.
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Imagine you’re the CEO of an airline in crisis. Customers and shareholders are unhappy. Your employees have just gone on strike. What do you do? Give in to union demands? Hold your ground and negotiate? Fire all the employees? 

It’s the first of a cascading set of decisions you must make in The Signature Case Study, a new interactive game developed by Seattle-based Recurrence (recurrenceinc.com) in partnership with the University of Washington’s Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking (CLST). Players take one of five C-suite roles and each player’s decision changes the options available to the others and affects their total scores based on employee, shareholder and customer satisfaction.

The Signature Case Study takes the case-study method, a paper-based system pioneered by the Harvard Business School, and uses game techniques to make it more entertaining and accessible while also giving students and teachers immediate feedback on the quality of their decision making.

Data on 19 variables derived from real airlines on things like lost luggage, fuel costs, stock prices and customer satisfaction are built into algorithms that drive the game and can result in thousands of academically validated outcomes.

CEO and co-inventor Brayden Olson named the company after Friedrich Nietzsche’s doctrine of eternal recurrence, the notion that all life will repeat itself through eternity. The interactive case study, he says, allows people to learn from mistakes and develop critical thinking skills that improve their judgment so they won’t make similar mistakes in real life.

While traditional case studies depend heavily on the skills of professors to engage students, The Signature Game Study’s software uses game elements to require interactivity, says co-inventor Bruce Avolio, a professor of management at the UW’s Foster School of Business and executive director of CLST.

The game shows players how decisions made early on can narrow their course of action down the road. They also learn the importance of teamwork to overcome the toughest challenges. “Great games can be both more fun and more challenging,” says Avolio, who sits on Recurrence’s board of directors.

The product, released early this year, has already been adopted at more than 30 schools, including the UW, Stanford, Penn State, Johns Hopkins and the University of Texas, to teach leadership, organizational behavior and strategy. The cases sell for $47.50 per student; Recurrence is looking to add cases in areas such as operations, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. It’s also working with the University of Alabama nursing school to develop a case study to teach such skills as diagnosis and health care management.

With more than 15,000 business schools in the world, Olson says the market is huge. He notes that publishers of printed case studies are selling 12 million a year, but they recognize that the interactive case study is the future and are looking for Recurrence’s assistance in developing them.