Developing-Leaders-issue-27-2017

Corporate Practice Developing Leaders Issue 27: 2017 | 51 While some of the specifics may change, the heart of the program remains the no-barrier mindset advocated by professor Owens and illustrated by the history of National Life and WSM. “I think about the situation of Edwin Craig, and them walking in to say, ‘hey we want to buy this radio station and ultimately we’re going to market our product on this,’” says Overlin, “And I think that in today’s terms, would we have listened? Would we have seen that connection and that opportunity or would we have automatically put that barrier up?” In some ways, starting a radio station might be an extreme example, she says, but it also offers a power image of innovation. “When you think about it, how many opportunities do we miss because we just see them as too outlandish — when the reality is that it makes a lot of sense if we’re willing to put ourselves out there and make that investment.” The hope of the developers of Vanderbilt Owen’s Music City executive education program is that in the future, fewer seemingly outlandish opportunities will be missed — thanks to the lessons from the unexpected history of Music City USA.

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