2011-02-24 / News

Island professor named dean at Northeastern

By Cindy Cingone


Harry Lane and his wife, Anne, aboard their boat Fast Lane. Harry Lane and his wife, Anne, aboard their boat Fast Lane. Born and raised in Boston, Dr. Harry Lane moved to Jamestown in October 1987, right before Wall Street’s infamous Black Monday. It is no coincidence that Harry Lane equates his move to Jamestown with the Oct. 19 event, when stock markets around the world crashed.

That’s because Lane spent most of his education mastering the art of finance and business administration both nationally and globally.

Nearly a quarter century later, Lane has recently been appointed Acting Dean of the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University. He has worked with students regarding his research with Global Innovation Management, spreading his beliefs that business managers today must have a global mindset.

The American economy is more globalized than before and society must meet the new complexity rather than the traditional role. At the heart of the global mindset is the ability to see and understand the world differently. It’s Lane’s goal to filter that understanding downward.

Globalization means that one does not have to travel to another country to be exposed to situations of cultural diversity. Changes in technology, finance, political systems, business models, air travel and the media make most managers today work across all borders. With a global mindset, a businessman can function successfully in new and unknown situations and integrate this new understanding with other skills and knowledge bases.

Lane earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Business Administration from Boston College and a Doctor of Business Administration in organizational behavior from Harvard University.

He served on the faculty at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario before joining Northeastern’s faculty in 1999. He held the Darla and Frederick Brodsky Chair of Global Business from 1999 to 2009, served as co-director of the college’s Executive MBA Program from 2000 to 2006, and is currently the director of Northeastern’s Institute of Global Innovation Management.

At the time Lane and his wife, Anne, bought their Jamestown home on East Shore Road, they were living in Canada. Lane was a professor and Anne was a firstgrade teacher in the London, Ontario school system. At first their Jamestown home was a summer retreat, but the Lanes began frequenting the island a bit more.

The Lanes are avid sailors and have spent many summers sailing in Canada. The summers, however, were quite short up north, so the couple brought their J-24 sailboat to Jamestown from Bayfield on Lake Huron.

That was 24 years ago. Lane and his wife have resided in Jamestown ever since as full-time residents. In addition to sailing, the Lanes enjoy a bicycle ride into town.

“It’s an 11- to 12-mile round trip,” Lane said. “In the summer we may take a 19-mile ride to Beavertail.”

An ideal day for the Lanes would be a bike ride on the weekend with their daughter and her husband, followed up with breakfast at Slice of Heaven and a leisurely sail in the afternoon.

Professionally, Lane’s research interests include intercultural management and diversity management as well as organizational learning and strategic renewal. He has been a visiting professor at schools in France, Germany, Finland, Mexico, Columbia and Peru.

He has also conducted courses in diversity training and executing global strategy for companies such as Ericsson, BAE Systems, EMC, Boeing Sea Launch, Intelsat, Turkish Telecom, Exxon Company International, Bank of Montreal, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and a consortium of Mexican companies including CEMEX, Alfa and Modelo.

For all of his accomplishments, Lane has received numerous awards throughout his career. In 2009 he received the Outstanding Educator Award from the International Management Division of the Academy of Management and also received the Academy of Management Review Decade Award for an article he co-authored with Mary Crossan and Rod White titled “An Organizational Learning Framework: From Intuition to Institution.”

Lane races in the Jamestown Yacht Club every Tuesday in the spring, summer and fall. On Thursday nights he races in Fleet 50 in Newport.

“Being in Jamestown,” Lane said, “is one of my favorite things.”

Lane travels extensively due to his profession and when people ask him where he goes on vacation, he always replies, “Home. Why would I want to go elsewhere?”

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