Harry L. Davis: The Vision and Inspiration
For more than five decades, Harry L. Davis, the Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, has been a major force of innovation at Chicago Booth with respect to the curriculum and the way students develop lifelong habits of learning from their own experience. Under Davis’s direction, the school has become recognized for its many contributions to experience-based learning and leadership development.
The common thread throughout Harry’s work is curiosity about human beings: why and how we do what we do, personally as well as professionally. Harry’s major work at Booth always started with the students and often has been crafted by them. He is the first to acknowledge that none of his work is immutable. With Harry’s zest for experimentation, the same course taught two years, even two quarters in a row is never the same, which often amazes colleagues.
The Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership was named in honor of Harry’s unparalleled impact.
In 1992, Chicago Booth faculty Harry Davis and Robin Hogarth wrote “Rethinking Management Education: A View from Chicago” that referred to high performing individuals as smart, savvy, and insightful. This paper laid out a powerful framework that underlies much of the Chicago Booth curriculum today and focuses on helping students acquire action and insight skills.
Insight skills refer to the ability and habit of reflecting on the outcome of our actions and drawing the right lessons from experience. The Davis Center for Leadership continues to lead the way in helping students learn more effectively from their experience.