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 Syllabus for The Essence of Enterprise (BUS 4610) and Leading at the Edge (BUS 4615)

The mission of the Daniels College of Business is to foster Enlightened Practice, Professional Achievement and a Commitment
to Community among those engaged in management and the business professions.

As an institution that emphasizes the scholarship of teaching, our mission is achieved through programs that recognize the
diversity of a global economy and embrace:
         Knowledge and technical ability
         Interpersonal skills and intercultural understanding
         Ethically based leadership and social responsibility

Our mission is represented through the icon:

      The mission of The Daniels Compass is to inspire students to take responsibility, as citizens and
    professionals, and to make a positive difference now and for future generations in the workplace, the
                       marketplace and the communities in which they live and work.

                                  A great pri vate institution dedicated to the public good. DU

―The beginning of the bottom line‖

The purpose of the Essence of Enterprise is to increase perspective and understanding of the role and functions of
business in a global society as part of a dynamic integrated set of systems designed to create value —financial,
social, and environmental—for all stakeholders.

―Know you, know how‖

The purpose of Leading at the Edge is to provide a high impact experiential learning practice field to enhance
development of a set of portable skills—values based leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, entrepreneurial
spirit, self-awareness—needed to navigate an uncertain but high opportunity future, both personally and
                                        BUS 4610/4615 - Autumn/2008
                                         Section 1 – M/W 2-3:50 PM

Ruth Jebe                                                  Chris Hughen
Office: Daniels 691                                        Office: Daniels 567
Email:                                        Email:
Office Phone: 303-871-3148                                 Office Phone: 303-871-4526
Office Hours: MTW 12-2 and by appt.                        Office Hours: MW 3:50-5:50 and Tues 9-11

Daniels College of Business Code of Academic Integrity –

University of Denver Honor Code -

The standard method of communicating official information from the Daniels College of Business to its
students is the University‘s electronic mail (e- mail) system.

Students with Disabilities
If you have a disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act and need to request accommodations, please speak with me privately and schedule an
appointment with the Disability Services Program (DSP). DSP is located in The Center below the bookstore in
Driscoll South – phone 303-871-2455.

Performance Assessment
The Daniels College of Business may use assessment tools in this course and other courses for evaluation.
Educational Assessment is defined as the systematic collection, interpretation, and use of information about
student characteristics, educational environments, learning outcomes and client satisfaction to improve program
effectiveness, student performance and professional success.

Required Course Materials:
  1. Course readings posted in Blackboard
  2. The Executive’s Compass, by James O’Toole (available in the DU bookstore)
  3. Executive Log (blank) (available in the DU bookstore)
       Business news articles throughout the entire quarter
       Materials distributed in class and other materials as assigned

Optional Text/Readings:
The Economist, Fast Company, Business Week, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Etc.
Beyond Grey Pinstripes: In the Essence of Enterprise and Leading at the Edge, students will explore three
fundamental perspectives that are interrelated and essential to creating real value, both long and shorter term,
for the enterprise. In the course of this exploration, a variety of interdisciplinary themes will be explicitly
addressed and related to the core functions of business and enterprise management. Examples of such topics to
be explored are: The opportunities at the bottom of the Pyramid, Socially Responsible Investing, Environmental
Management, Sustainability, Triple Bottom Line, Leadership, Business History, Community Development, and
Social Entrepreneurship.

The Essence of Ente rprise (4 credits) and Leading at the Edge (2 credits)

Students will gain three fundamental perspectives during these first two portal courses: Personal, Community,
and Enterprise

Personal (Essence)
Students will learn to take personal responsibility as they build new skills including self-awareness,
cooperation, respect, creative problem solving, innovation, and empathy. Through metaphor and experience,
the courses are designed to bond the cohorts to each other, increase personal and team-oriented skills, and
enhance self-confidence to succeed under difficult and changing conditions. At the end of the quarter students
will understand the role of the individual and professional as they grow into the larger perspective of the
community and the enterprise.

This course connects values, globalization, and innovation themes through a mix of classroom and outdoor
experiential learning formats. The course is the application complement to The Essence of Enterprise. Using
the experiences and accomplishments of the 10 th Mountain Division as a metaphor for values-based leadership,
innovation, teamwork, and global perspective, the Edge builds a foundation of learning at Daniels through a
series of intensive outdoor leadership and team building exercises. Examples of skills and values that come into
play include cooperation, respect, creative problem solving, innovation, and empathy. Through metaphor and
experience, the course is designed to bond the cohorts to each other, increase personal and team-oriented skills,
and enhance self confidence to succeed under difficult and changing conditions.
In Leading at the Edge, Dennis Perkins‘ book about Shackleton‘s Antarctic expedition, ten principles are put
forward that characterize triumph in situations at ―the edge.‖ These p rinciples were present in the 10th
Mountain Division, and they are the principles we adhere to in this course and throughout your time with The
    1. Never lose sight of your ultimate goal.
    2. Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols, and personal behavior.
    3. Instill optimism and self- confidence, grounded in reality.
    4. Take care of yourself, maintain stamina and let go of guilt.
    5. Reinforce the team—we are one.
    6. Minimize differences; insist on courtesy and mutual respect.
    7. Master conflict.
    8. Find something to celebrate, to laugh about.
    9. Be willing to take the Big Risk.
    10. Never give up—there is always another move.

The Essence of Enterprise/Leading at the Edge      Section 1 Autumn 2008                                         3
Enterprise - What Ente rprise IS, What Enterprise DOES (Essence)
In today‘s economy, the purpose of ‗enterprise‘ is changing in response to different pressures. More and more,
we see questions regarding business organizations, their size and structure, while at the same time we see not-
for-profit efforts organizing in the same types of entity as business has assumed, with much the same goal.

Then there is the question of where the enterprise goes from here? If the reason for the firm being organized is
to counteract the ‗transactions costs‘ and cost of externalities of not so organizing, does that analysis extend
outside of the firm itself? This idea allows for a discussion of the Commons and can build from there.

The Essence of Ente rprise
The design of this course is based on two different kinds of learning environments, both of which require
intellectual rigor and acceptance of personal responsibility for both oneself and for your team.
Oxford Engage ments : The class will be divided into teams of five. Each week, teams will be given an
extensive series of readings on one of three broad subjects—personal/professional, enterprise/organizations, or
community/environments. One or more times a week, each group of five will meet with the professor to discuss
the readings in terms of content, meaning, application, and synthesis.
Grand Rounds: The concept of the Grand Rounds comes out of the medical profession. When a subject is
deemed of such importance that everyone needs to hear the information from one voice, a Grand Round is
called for everyone to attend. We will have three Grand Rounds during the quarter, one related to each of the
three broad subjects looked at in the Oxford Engagements. Please see the Course Calendar for dates of the
Grand Rounds. Following the Grand Round, the second class period of the week will be conducted by the class
instructor, and the topic will be explored in more depth.
Edge Weekend: Students will engage in a three-day intensive ―boot camp‖ experience focused on building
individual and team skills and understanding the relationships of different kinds of systems designs—
environmental, social, economic—to creating opportunities and finding innovative solutions to identified
challenges. This experience will take place at The Nature Place, located outside of Florissant, Colorado. The
dates for your Edge weekend are given in the Course Calendar.
Leading at the Edge

The design of this course focuses on experiential learning and is a complement to the intellectual foundation
established in The Essence of Enterprise. In your Oxford teams, you will complete the Community Capital
Project. The project requires that you take three excursions (using public transportation), explore community
capital ―gaps,‖ and identify the gap you feel is most compelling. Deliverables for this assignment include a
written report, and a presentation during the Community Capital Fair on November 14. You will learn more
detail on this assignment by accessing the instructions posted on Blackboard
The Essence of Ente rprise
       For students to understand the relationship between different systems, such as economic, social, and
        environmental systems, and how they are interdependent.
       For students to reflect on the historical similarities and differences in how the business sector and its
        leaders have operated and what this is likely to mean for their professional careers.
       For students to evaluate the role of values in business success and failure at both the organizational and
        personal leadership level.
       For students to demonstrate their understanding of the holistic working of an enterprise.
       For students to demonstrate the interrelationship of government, civil society, and business sectors in
        defining the success and failure of enterprises.
       For students to be able to describe what is meant by globalization and the basic principles by which a
        global enterprise must operate.

Leading at the Edge
       For students to develop a foundation of self-awareness and self-discovery for both their personal and
        professional lives.
       For students to develop the skills to work and make decisions under stress and in crisis.
       For students to develop personal responsibility for learning.
       For students to identify the relationship between systems designs and the concepts of innovation,
        creativity, and entrepreneurship.
       For students to enhance their ability to work effectively and synergistically in teams.

Building Blocks of Business Cognitive Thought*:

The learning experience for this course fits into a hierarchy like this:

1. Knowledge: Recall Essence and Edge readings to help identify problems in the real world.
2. Comprehension: Create a team based learning environment that encourages openness, creativity,
   resourcefulness, and evidence-based strategic thinking.
3. Application: Demonstrate a foundation of values based leadership skills, tools, and frameworks for use in other
   DCB courses and for career advancement.
4. Analysis: Evaluate and analyze course material and apply to critical thinking skills and use those skills to solve
   real business problems and course projects.
5. Synthesis: Apply the tools and frameworks learned in The Essence of Enterprise and Leading at the Edge to
   new projects and new environments outside the classroom.
6. Evaluation: Evaluate and apply the necessary tools and frameworks for crafting effective business strategies to
   pursue attractive market opportunities through sustainable competitive advantage, drawing on the analytical
   tools and frameworks.

*Modified from Benjamin Bloom‘s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

The Essence of Enterprise/Leading at the Edge             Section 1 Autumn 2008                                      5
Grade Distribution and Weighting
Final grades will be based on the following distribution and weighting:

        LEADING AT THE EDGE                                % of Edge Grade
        Community Capital Trade Show                             50%                 - team grade
        Community Capital Gap Report                             50%                 - team grade
        TOTAL POINTS                                                100
        THE ESSENCE OF ENTERPRISE                          % of Essence Grade
        Personal reflection &
        Leadership development plan                                 20%              - individual grade
        Participation                                               10%              - individual grade
                •Failure to actively engage in the experiential elements of the course will result in a failing grade for 4610.
                •Attendance and active participation during the in-class sessions.
                •Executive log - Your Executive Log will be graded on a pass/fail basis at the end of the quarter.
        Oxford Engage ments                                         40%              - individual grade
        Writing for Change Letter                                   15%              - individual grade
        Final Essay                                                 15%              - individual grade
        TOTAL POINTS                                                100
Grade Scale
The typical mean grade in these courses is approximately "B+" although course grades for individual students may
range from "F" [failure] to "A" [outstanding achievement], as indicated in the DCB Handbook. The grade scale

                94-100           =A
                90-93.99         = A-
                87-89.99         = B+
                84-86.99         =B
                80-83.99         = B-
                75-79.99         = C+
                72-74.99         =C

As in the Business world, grading is contribution based, - where all assignments start with zero (0%), and potentially build up
to 100% - "Consistently Far Exceeds Expectations".
Participation in the Course
Leadership is a contact sport. Missing classes and Oxford Engagements will affect your grade! If you are
unable to attend a session, please inform the professor before the session by email (preferable) or voicemail.
(Notification of an absence is just good protocol and does not by itself affect the grade either way.)

Grading Criteria:
Participation Evaluation will be based primarily upon these factors:
1)      Actively listening when others are speaking during classes and Oxford Engagements.
2)      Actively and supportively considering what other people say.
3)      Actively expressing your ideas when you can add to class dialogues.
4)      Actively and openly participating in class exercises.

All Written Assignments –
Please be sure that all written work is double-spaced and uses 12 point font
Submission of work:
          Your Personal Reflection paper and Writing fo r Change letter must be submitted through the Digital
       Your CCP gap report will be created in your CCP Blackboard container
   No late work will be accepted (absent a true emergency). Watch your deadlines and submit appropriately!

             Monday                                  Wednesday
Week 1       September 8: Class                      September 10: Class
             Welcome!                                Team formation
             Q&A on Syllabus
             CCP introduction
Week 2       September 15 – Personal/Professional    September 17
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
Week 3       September 22 – Grand Round –            September 24 : Class
                                                                    Edge Weekend –
             Speaker: James O’Toole
                                                                        On-campus prep Thursday, Sept.
                 Read ―The Executive‘s Compass‖
                                                                          25, 6-8 p.m.

                                                                            Depart Friday, Sept. 26, 7 a.m.
Week 4       September 29 - Personal/Professional    October 1
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
Week 5       October 6 – Context/Systems             October 8
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
             Personal Reflection & Leadership
             Development Plan due
Week 6       October 13 – Grand Round –              October 15: Class
             Speaker: Billy Shore
                 Read ―The Cathedral Within‖, Ch.
Week 7       October 20 – Context/Systems            October 22
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
Week 8       October 27– Enterprise                  October 29
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
Week 9       November 3 - Ente rprise                November 5
             Oxford Engagements                      Oxford Engagements
             Writing for Change letter due
Week         November 10 – Grand Round –             November 12: Class
10           Enterprise                              Now that you can do anything, what will you
             Speaker panel: Dean Christine           do?‖
             Riordan and the Athena Group
Finals       November 14: Community Capital
Period       Project Trade Show
             CCP written report due Nov. 14
             Final Exam – Nov. 17, 2:00-3:50 p.m.

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