March 6, 2009
California Golden Bears Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour joined veteran Hewlett Packard executive Onagh Ash and Girls For A Change Board member Priyanka Bhatia, as they shared their winning strategies for leading change with a standing room only crowd before the March 5th Women's Basketball game in the Haas Pavilion Clubroom.
Sponsored by Cal Women's Basketball and Girls for a Change -an organization that empowers girls to change their communities-the moderated Q&A session highlighted the lessons learned and similarities in leading a successful collegiate athletic program, high-tech company and community advocacy group.
Sandy told the audience, which was comprised of Cal fans, business and community leaders, how she built on the historical success of Cal Athletics and the unique challenges leading an athletics program at a university known for its high academic standards. Sandy emphasized how her long-term vision for the program influences the decisions she makes every day.
After transforming Mercury Interactive from a group of technically talented individuals to an integrated team of business savvy technologists, Onagh Ash explained, the firm was acquired by Hewlett Packard, increasing the size of her team from 700 to 28,000 virtually overnight. To gain insight in her new team, she sought the input from the people who would know them best, their clients.
Already a community leader and changing the world, high school junior Priyanka Bhatia, led a successful campaign to inform consumers how their choices can affect the treatment of animals raised for food. Priyanka told the group how she fashioned an effective message that would best resonate with consumers and create change in behavior.
From Silicon Valley to the NCAA, leading change is an essential component of continuing success. That success can mean profits or championships, but the drivers are essentially the same.