Elizabeth Thornton is a Professor of Management Practice, Babson Executive Education and an Adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship. She was Babson’s first Chief Diversity Officer.
Thornton developed a new curriculum called the Principles of Objectivity, which she teaches to graduate students and to corporations through Babson’s Executive Education. The 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. In addition, it is used as a guiding principle for entrepreneurs to balance their inherent subjectivity and their passion for the venture with their ability to be objective. Thornton’s Objectivity is now featured in a weekly blog on Huffington Post.
Thornton is the Faculty Director for the Workshop @ Macy’s, where she helped develop and currently co-facilitates Macy’s the unprecedented minority vendor development program in New York each year.
Thornton is the founder and CEO of Entrepreneurship Advantage, Inc., a training and consulting firm that provides resources and tools to help businesses increase profitability. She developed the Business Advantage Tool to enable entrepreneurs to understand their current financial performance so that they can develop a strategic plan for sustainable growth.
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 such clients as the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Clinton ’92/The White House, and a global beverage company. Thornton’s public policy work on small business began in 2007 when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to serve on the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. In 2010, she was invited to serve on a state advisory board to craft legislation that would help small businesses gain access to capital and business advisory support. Thornton is now a Director of the newly legislated Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation and chairs its Technical Assistance Subcommittee.
Thornton has a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University. She studied at the Oxford Center for Management Studies, and she holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.