Zara Larsen (DM 2007) is all about change. Personally her career path has involved a good deal of change - she started as an engineer, became an executive, and is now a radio talk show host and consultant. As an executive, she has led major change efforts for a number of global organizations, and she is deeply interested in the way that leading change efforts changes the leader. Her research, consulting practice, and Tucson radio program all focus on issues around leading change.
The radio program, "Circles of Change: Where Your Path is Created by Walking on It," is in its third season - running every Saturday 9-11:00 a.m. PST (12:00-2:00 EST) on 104.1 FM "The Truth", Tucson News Talk FM, and simultaneously webcast on www.1041thetruth.com. She brings on a variety of guests, including authors, executives, political figures, and an assortment of thought leaders and change agents to discuss change. During every interview she asks "How have you changed by leading change?" Over the years she has completed almost 200 shows and over 250 segments are available on the show's website: http://www.thelarsengroup.com/home.html.
The DM program was instrumental in her choice to pursue the radio show. According to Dr. Larsen, she intentionally joined the program as a means by which she planned to change her life: "I needed to shake up my own marbles ... Deliberately knowing I wanted not just to transition but to transform and I didn't know what I would become at the end of the program." Although she was accepted into a number of top doctoral programs, she chose the Case program primarily because of the outstanding faculty, the cohort-based learning experience and the strength of her fellow students. According to Dr. Larsen, the key value of the program is "to learn how to reflect." Overall, the impact on her thinking is "huge, but it is hard to articulate it all... it takes a couple of years to see what you have become and are becoming."
Dr. Zara Larsen is President of the Larsen Group, and has formerly held executive positions with Raytheon, Hamilton Sundstrand, Pratt & Whitney, and United Technologies, among others. In addition to her DM degree, Dr. Larsen holds a Bachelors in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, a Masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in management from Stanford University (Sloane Fellow). Her research in the DM program focused on the social capital of leaders and the impact on large-scale change.