Ken Richardson, former Hughes Aircraft Company president and esteemed author, inspired the Santa Barbara community last Friday with his philosophy for success. Richardson’s decades of organizational, management and innovative wisdom was shared with Master of Business Administration candidates, faculty and community members during Antioch University’s monthly MBA Workshop Series on September 7.
As president of Hughes Aircraft, Richardson directed the operations of 80,000 employees with 12,000 products and annual sales of over $12 billion, with facilities in 13 states and four nations. During his time at the company, Hughes produced many military advances and took the lead in developing such lifestyle innovations as the laser, digital watches, DirecTV, microminiaturization and cell phone data processing. The joy of these developments and successes were evident as Richardson, a self-proclaimed “techie,” enthusiastically described the details and advancements of infrared, missiles, and space exploration technologies.
Describing the ideal workplace and how to build effective teams, Richardson emphasized the creation of an environment that promotes free-thinking, encourages risk-taking, values recognition and reward, and assures integrity.
As an advocate for education, Richardson commended the students on pursuing their education because “MBA people look at the big picture” and are not confined to one area of expertise.
CEO, Rich Block of the Santa Barbara Zoo, who attended the workshop said, “The information Ken Richardson shared tonight is universal and great advice for our leaders of today.”
MBA candidate Devin Scott, was particularly impacted by Richardson’s continuous emphasis on personal and professional integrity and its importance to a company’s long-term success. Scott shared that “hearing [Richardson] say that was so refreshing because it feels like that virtue has been valued less and less these days.”