Exceptional leaders come here to study general management, product development, marketing, sales, finance, and business analytics. Our goal is to help them succeed in their life's work -- managing creative destruction.

Upcoming classes. All classes take place at 291 Alma Street in Palo Alto and have limited space. If you have any questions, you can email us at classes@harrisonmetal.com.

Lulu Lemon Athletica

Lulu Lemon Athletica gives us a chance to discuss the ups and downs of hypergrowth, scaling a general management team, and dealing with the unexpected in an operationally intensive business. The company also has a fantastically interesting brand challenge -- how to be truly different in an enormous market dominated by established brand names and distribution channels.

The prep materials include an online case study (reading and some video snips). The class is open to Foundations alums only.

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Cirque du Soleil

For Foundations alums only.

Cirque du Soleil is in the unique position of being both an artistic powerhouse and a financial success story. This case traces the company from its founding days on the streets of Quebec through global expansion and success. In the discussion, we will consider how the company's leaders knit performance art and business realities during the rapid growth of the company. The founder's vision, talent recruitment, operations, marketing, and general management play large roles in this story.

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Foundations: General Management

Many of you -- the best and brightest of your generation -- won’t go to business school. And you aren’t going to get long apprenticeships learning how to manage from a terrific boss. Many of you are being shoved into leadership and management roles because you are great at your jobs, because your company is growing rapidly, or both. You may or may not realize it, but the talents that make you a great individual contributor are not the same ones that will make you a great manager.

This six-session immersion in management thinking takes place over three weeks. Using simulations, case studies, and group exercises from the classrooms of Stanford University and Harvard Business School we will tackle:

— Setting goals for you and your team

— Performance management

— Managing engineers and artists

— Organization design

— Communication

— Tricky situations managing humans

This immersion comes with a big workload. In addition to twelve hours in-session, plan on about twenty hours of prep work during the three weeks. General Management 01 meets from 10AM to 2PM on three successive Saturdays at Harrison Metal's classroom in Palo Alto (transportation from SF is offered at no charge). Each day is broken into two sessions with lunch served in between the sessions. Enrollment is limited so that we can all get to know each other.

If you join the class, tuition is $1,500.

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Foundations: Finance for Management

Cash is life. Growth eats cash. Cash only comes from debt, equity, or operations. Many of you — the best and brightest of your generation — won’t go to business school to learn this stuff. And you aren't going to get a chance to learn and practice while you are busy doing your day jobs. Sadly, the Finance Priesthood has crusted over their domain with vocabulary and attitudes that attempt to keep the non-priests away. Worse, our current economic cycle is teaching many of the wrong lessons about how cash moves into, around, and out of a business.

This is highly fix-able. During my eight years teaching at Stanford, I taught one of the most popular and highly-regarded classes on campus: Entrepreneurial Finance in the School of Engineering. The purpose of the class was to make the fundamentals of finance accessible to everyone, particularly non-finance folks who wanted to someday play a leadership role in their companies.

This class takes place over three weeks. Using classroom-tested case studies and an excellent book by Robert C. Higgins, Analysis for Financial Management, we will tackle:

— Cash metabolism of business

— Growth and cash

— Sources of cash (debt, equity, operations)

— Time value of money

— Basic financial analysis

This class comes with a big workload. In addition to six hours in-session, plan on about fifteen hours of prep work during the three weeks. Enrollment is limited.

If you have a recommendation from someone who has taken classes at Harrison Metal previously, please have her or him send a note on your behalf. Please don't sign up if you have previously studied finance or if your current job is in the finance field. You will be bored and the other people in the class will sense that and there will be friction.

If you join the class, tuition is $1,500. If you have previously taken either the General Management class or the Go-To-Market class and paid tuition for those, there is no charge for this class.

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Michael Dearing

I founded Harrison Metal in 2006 (unofficially) and again in 2008 (for real in the legal sense). I started the business because I love helping people productize new technology, take those products to market, and then make those products into businesses. "Helping" has always been a mix of money and time.

While building Harrison Metal, I was fortunate to work at Stanford University. From 2006 through 2014, I was a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University’s School of Engineering, teaching classes in Mechanical Engineering, Management Science & Engineering, and the d.school. With some out-of-this-world colleagues, I got to design and teach some of the most popular courses in entrepreneurship and management in the University — including Launchpad, Management in Complex Organizations, Creative Product Marketing, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Creating Infectious Action. When I finished my work at Stanford, I decided to continue teaching at Harrison Metal. Today Harrison Metal is a center for teaching and investing in exceptional people.

Prior to Stanford and Harrison Metal, I spent six-and-a-half years at eBay, where I had tours of duty in category management, corporate strategy, U.S. marketing, and finally as Senior Vice President & General Merchandise Manager for eBay.com. Before eBay, I worked at Industrial Shoe Warehouse (COO then CEO), The Walt Disney Company (corporate strategy), Filene’s Basement (operations at the Downtown Boston store), and Bain & Company (Associate Consultant). I earned an AB in Economics, with a focus in economic history, from Brown University, and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.

I live in the woods with four dogs, a cat, and four chickens. I don’t follow an organized religion but if I did it would be the Creative Destruction sect of Capitalism. I am INTJ if you believe in that whole thing. I think David Sedaris is the funniest person in the world in terms of lifetime achievement. But A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is the funniest single piece of writing I’ve read. You should read it. If you like it, tell me. If you hate it, keep that to yourself.

291 Alma Street
Palo Alto, California, 94301