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February 2005

Harvard Business School features Sapient as example of excellence in Leadership and Organizational Behavior “We need to be focused on our clients like no one else. And our desire for their success has to be unparalleled, it has to be.” Jerry Greenberg Co-Chairman and Co-CEO Sapient

Harvard Business School (HBS) professors Joel Podolny and Rakesh Khurana recently chose Sapient to feature in a case study on leadership. Sapient is now one of a select group of companies featured in the school’s core curriculum and is taught to all 900 first-year MBA students as part of the Leadership and Organizational Behavior class. The case study follows the company from its beginnings in 1991 through its record-breaking growth, perseverance through the difficult business climate of 2001 and 2002, and return to profitable growth in the years following. The case study is not about the growth itself, but how the firm’s leadership and unwavering attention to its “strategic context “— purpose, vision, goals, core values, and people- and client- value propositions — have enabled Sapient to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing market as they strive to build a great company that has a long-lasting impact on the world. Founded on a Single Promise From the start, Sapient’s single promise — to deliver the right business results, on-time and on-budget — was very appealing to executives who were extremely frustrated with projects going way over budget and schedule and, even worse, completed without the required business functionality. This is supported in the following excerpt from the case: Greenberg and Moore did not start a company simply with the purpose of moving with technological trends. From the beginning, they sought to build a long-lasting company that would help clients realize business impact from technology, something other consulting firms had not been able to consistently deliver. 1

Purpose and People The case study also describes how Sapient’s...
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