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A Policy on Leadership

03/31/2010 12:00 PM Wong Auditorium
Edmund (Ted) F. Kelly, PhD '70, Chairman, President & CEO; Liberty Mutual

Description: Ted Kelly walks a Sloan audience through the process of turning around a failing company. His formula? Develop two key things: a fact based analytical organization, and great management teams that value people. It's the dynamic combination of the two that have put Liberty Mutual in position it is today, a $31 billion company with 46,000 employees-- that lives by its advertising slogan, "responsibility, what's your policy".

On the people side he recounts how very successful managers who may have been effective in the technical aspects of their jobs, but treated people badly, were simply let go. He insists that the people side of management is what builds a great company. "Find what is good and build that," is a key component of his strategy.

On the data site, IT has to inform the strategy, not just support a strategy. How does IT make a business model better? In thinking about a younger generation of buyers, IT must inform the strategy to ensure the customer experience is shaped to foster customer loyalty. He discusses pricing, identity, mission, core values, and a global company that has a strong culture of "doing the right thing". He masterfully connects all of the dots of the responsibility strategy throughout all sectors of the company.

In offering advice to new MBAs he says everybody has to have "an intellectual calling" card, defined as technical skills that they are "really, really good at," but at the same time have the ability to grasp the big picture. He frowns upon general managers, and says there's no room at Liberty Mutual for imperial mangers, those who love the position more than the job.

About the Speaker(s): Ted Kelly was elected Chairman of Liberty Mutual in April of 2000. Mr. Kelly joined Liberty Mutual in 1992 as President and Chief Operating Officer, and was elected Chief Executive Officer in 1998. Mr. Kelly has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Liberty Mutual Group since 1992. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; a member of the boards of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, the EMC Corporation, the American Ireland Fund, the Insurance Information Institute; and he serves on various other community and education boards. In addition, Mr. Kelly is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Born in Ireland, Mr. Kelly graduated from Queen's University in Belfast and obtained his Ph.D. in mathematics MIT in 1970

Host(s): Sloan School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

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