Acclaimed CEO, board director and philanthropist shares her tactics for how to apply a strategic framework to problem-solving to grow the leader within
SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that distinguished business leader Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, will teach a class on strategic decision-making. In her class, Hobson shares her guiding principles for leadership and decision-making, leveraging her experience in the C-suite and as a board member for Fortune 500 companies, including Starbucks Corp., JPMorgan Chase, the Estée Lauder Companies, DreamWorks Animation SKG and more. Hobson’s class is available now exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers have unlimited access to all 180+ instructors with an annual membership.
In the class, Hobson walks members through two pivotal moments in her career: her firm’s response to the devastating 2008 stock market crash, and fielding offers for DreamWorks Animation SKG while serving as chair of the board amid tremendous media-sector disruption in 2016. Using each as a case study, Hobson shares how to respond to crises with sound judgment and a solid strategy, providing members with a tool kit when confronted with a difficult choice. The class is broken down into four sections, including:
- Introduction to Strategic Decision-Making: Hobson introduces her decision-making framework and guiding principles to help members think strategically while solving complex problems. She dives into some of the biggest decisions she has made during her career as a high-profile executive.
- Case Study: Ariel Investments: Hobson discusses how she navigated one of Ariel Investments’ most challenging periods both internally and externally, sharing her strategy for problem-solving in the midst of a business crisis and how she secured a better foundation for the company’s future.
- Case Study: DreamWorks Animation SKG: Hobson takes members through a critical decision that she and the board faced during a time of sector consolidation and change. Throughout the lesson, she challenges members to consider what’s at stake in their decisions, how to evolve and grow and who to trust while making critical calls during their leadership journey.
- Conclusion: Hobson shares her final thoughts and addresses some broader recommendations about strategic decision-making that members can consider, asking how they would think through a critical decision in their own life using these tools.
“Whether you are a business leader or not, strategic decision-making is absolutely crucial to tackling difficult situations effectively,” Hobson said. “In my class, members will learn my personal tool kit for success during challenging times and will walk away as better, more resilient leaders—both in business and in everyday life.”
As co-CEO of Ariel Investments, Hobson oversees management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of the company outside of research and portfolio management, in addition to serving as chair of the board of Ariel’s publicly traded mutual funds. Prior to being named co-CEO, she spent nearly two decades as Ariel’s president. Hobson currently serves as chair of the board of Starbucks Corp. and as a director of JPMorgan Chase. She previously served as chair of DreamWorks Animation SKG and was a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Hobson is also the co-founder of the private equity firm Ariel Alternatives, which recently announced the close of its first fund—Project Black—with $1.45 billion in commitments, aiming to scale sustainable minority-owned businesses to serve as suppliers of choice to Fortune 500 companies.
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Credit: Courtesy of MasterClass
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