November 12th 2013

Strategic Entrepreneurship - Creating & shaping dynamic organizations.

Hap Klopp, Entrepreneur, Founder of The North Face®, San Francisco

On Thursday, November 7, in the framework of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® at Management Center Innsbruck took pleasure in welcoming Hap Klopp, founder of the world-famous and highly successful outdoor brand The North Face and as such a visiting speaker who is something of a perfect specimen of the entrepreneur.

Speaking in English, Hap Klopp started off by telling his numerous listeners something about his own personal development, including an individualism that involved the desire to take his own decisions and run his own business. That dream came true with the foundation of The North Face in 1968, which soon became one of the best and best managed outdoor companies in the world. The speaker provided an overview of developments from the company’s early years to the establishment, development and continuous grooming of a successful brand. From the beginning, the keys to success at The North Face included a commitment to innovation and continuous product development, a strong focus on quality (“quality is an attitude”) as reflected in a life-long guarantee, and motivated employees who made it possible to develop the best possible products in line with the motto: “Don’t tell them how to do it; tell them why”.

The audience were particularly impressed by Hap Klopp’s entrepreneurial mindset. His style has always been to get things done, seize the opportunities, take risks and retain enthusiasm for his activities. For him, management is about taking decisions, leading the way and generally being a doer.

The alumni talk was held in the framework of the MCI’s Open House. That gave lots of high school students an opportunity to experience the international atmosphere of the MCI and test their command of English. A lively discussion concluded a fascinating presentation.

The event was chaired by Professor Peter Mirski, head of department at the MCI.