Darden Professor Ed Hess to Kick Off Part 2 of Grow to Greatness Coursera Class

25 April 2013

Earlier this year University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Ed Hess debuted the School’s first massive open online course (MOOC) – “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 1.” The Coursera course opened its first day with more than 31,000 students participating in the initial class. Of this number, 10,260 finished the end of the course – a major success by MOOC retention standards.

With the excitement generated by the first course, Hess is eager to begin the second on Monday, 29 April.

“The quality of student conversations on the discussion forums and their work product in the workshops exceeded my expectations,” said Hess. “It was a rich and rewarding experience for me, and I look forward to the second course.”

One student from Europe expressed his appreciation to Hess via e-mail. “Hello, Ed. I want to thank you so much for the fantastic course. I am a 54-year-old entrepreneur in Europe, with 60 people on the payroll. I wish I had done your course 20 years ago. Very practical, and it really provokes you to think.”

Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 2,” focuses on the leadership and people challenges of growing a business,” said Hess. “Modules include ‘The Entrepreneur Must Grow, Too!’ delving into the challenges of learning to delegate, managing employees, leading managers and ultimately mentoring a senior management team. Another module explores how an entrepreneur creates a culture and environment that result in high employee engagement that drives high productivity and loyalty, as well as high customer satisfaction.”

The course covers the alignment of culture, human resource policies, measurements and rewards, using real case studies on high-performance private companies including: Barbara Lynch Gruppo (Boston, Massachusetts), Room & Board (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Trilogy Health Services (Louisville, Kentucky).

“Too many entrepreneurs underestimate the difficulty of hiring, training and retaining the right employees,” concluded Hess. “In most cases, it takes people to grow a business.”

To sign up for “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 2,” visit https://www.coursera.org/#course/GTG.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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