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Elizabeth R. Thornton
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Elizabeth R. Thornton is a Professor of Management Practice, Babson Executive Education and Adjunct Lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Babson College. She was also Babson’s first Chief Diversity Officer.

Thornton has developed a new curriculum called the Principles of Objectivity which she teaches to graduate students and to corporations through Babson’s Executive Education. This course teaches people about objectivity, the power of seeing things as they are, without projecting mental models, biases, and fears in order to react appropriately to changing dynamics, make sound decisions and improve relationships with others. The Principles of Objectivity is also used as an underlying framework for collaborative, “no shame-no blame” conversations about diversity and inclusion. She is also the Faculty Director for the Workshop @ Macy’s where she helped develop and currently co-facilitates with Macy’s, the unprecedented minority vendor development program in New York each year.

Thornton is the founder and CEO of the training and consulting firm, Entrepreneurship Advantage, Inc., which provides resources and tools to help businesses in under served communities thrive and grow. She has developed the Business Advantage Tool to help entrepreneurs understand their current financial performance so that they can develop a strategic plan to create new jobs and revitalize communities.

She has over 15 years of corporate experience with institutions such as American Express and Bank One and more than 15 years of consulting/entrepreneurial experience with clients such as the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Clinton ’92, The White House and a global beverage company, Governor Patrick appointed Ms. Thornton to serve twice. In 2007, she was appointed to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (MWIB) to represent small business interests. She was also asked to serve as on an Advisory board to craft legislation merging three quasi-public agencies for small business to gain access to capital and business advisory support. Thornton is now a Director of the newly legislated Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation and chairs the Technical Assistance Sub-Committee.

Thornton has a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University, studied under the Oxford Center for Management Studies, and holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Entries by Elizabeth R. Thornton

Redefining Prejudice: Why Are Clive Bundy and Donald Sterling Choosing to Be Subjective, Mindless and Powerless?

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 10:46 AM

Here we are again -- two more incidents to reignite the conversation about racism. In his inflammatory statements, Cliven Bundy says, "Prejudice is about not being able to exercise what we think." This is not what prejudice is. The dictionary definition is "preconceived opinion that is not based on reason...

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It's Not Just Barneys...Unconscious Bias is a Business Risk...How Much is it Costing Your Business?

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 5:39 PM

Subjectivity and the tendency to act based on unconscious biases is a business risk that companies cannot afford to ignore. It's not just Barneys or a pricey boutique in Zurich where racial profiling can impact the bottom line. According to a Huff Post writers, Kim Bhasin and Julee Wilson in...

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Government Shutdown -- Subjectivity Run Amok

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 2:36 PM

We have come to expect some degree of subjectivity from our politicians but what we are witnessing now is subjectivity run amok. As human beings, we are inherently subjective. It is quite natural for us to perceive and respond to everything we experience through the lens of our mental models....

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What If Many of Us Are Biased and We Don't Know It?

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2013 | 2:50 PM

President Obama urged each of us to become a modern-day marcher for economic justice and racial harmony. But what if we're all racists and don't know it? In my previous blogs on this subject, Objectivity A New Perspective on the Conversation About Race, Parts 1 and 2, I said we're...

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What's in Your Brain?

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 12:11 PM

In the first blog in the series on "Objectivity: The Power of Seeing Things As They Are," I presented extreme cases of extreme subjectivity to illustrate how often we overreact to situations, take things personally and make other cognitive errors. In the second blog, we established that it...

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Objectivity: A New Perspective on the Conversation About Race (Part 2)

(17) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 11:18 AM

The national conversation on race is proving once again to not be so easy. In my first blog, I talked about the importance of starting the conversation from a point of common ground. I highlighted that in order to improve race relations in this country, we as human...

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Objectivity: The Power of Seeing Things as They Are (Part 2)

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 12:18 PM

In the last blog, I shared extreme cases of subjectivity, situations where people overreacted because they projected their fears or past experiences onto the current situation. We do this quite a bit. It is our inherent subjectivity. This is what we tend to do:

We perceive through our senses a...

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Objectivity: The Power of Seeing Things as They Are

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Let's be honest:

  • Have you ever over-reacted to a situation?
  • Have you ever taken something personally when it was not really meant that way?
  • Have you ever misinterpreted the tone of an email, text or tweet?
  • Have you ever judged someone unfairly simply based on the way they look?

The...

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Objectivity: A New Perspective on the Conversation About Race

(9) Comments | Posted July 21, 2013 | 12:26 PM

In the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, it is critical to explore new perspectives about race relations and to engage in a conversation that can be constructive and transformative. As an African-American woman who has had her share of painful experiences of overt racism, I have found that the most...

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Principles of Objectivity: Changing Mindsets for Greater Effectiveness

(4) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 10:59 AM

Have you ever over-reacted to a situation, taken something personally when it was not really meant that way, misinterpreted the tone of an email or responded based on a perception that had little to do with what was actually going on? Of course, we all have. We are all subjective...

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