Friday, October 30, 2009

It's been a year - the MMM program

It's hard to believe that it has been a year since I attended the MMM Prospective Day. Around one year ago, I was one of the several students trying to get to know more about the MMM program, by coming to Kellogg for one day. Today I attended the same Marketing Class taught by Prof. Henessey that I did one year ago at the prospective day, this time as a student, rather than a prospective student.
Speaking of MMM, we had our first Design class taught by Professor Don Norman. He gave us an excellent understanding of what the Design Thinking aspect of the program brings to students. He described it as follows. Before the Design curriculum, the MMM program tried to build a T - shaped specialist. The operations specialization of the MMM program added deep expertise in operations, while the Kellogg MBA curriculum added the broad expertise of a general manager.

With the Design Curiculum, the MMM program introduced another horizontal bar, emphasizing Design Thinking in addition to Management thinking.

But why this this important? This is because Engineers, and MBA's are great at solving the given problem. What are Designers good at? They are good at discovering the right problem to solve in the first place. Prof. Norman's philosophy is "Never solve the problem you are asked to Solve!'

The MMM program also emphasizes SOS - Systems, Operations and Services. Systems because the most successful products come with a full system of complementary products and services e.g. the iPod and iTunes. Services because everything we consume is ultimately a service, we just think of it as a product. E.g. Digital cameras give you recollection of memories, pictures are just a by-product. And Operations, cause you gotta make the damn thing work!

After 2 years of MMM, I do not hope to be a designer. That would take 6 to 8 years. I do hope to inculcate Design Thinking in the way I approach business and life. Looking forward to the next year, and beyond!


  1. I think you're second T diagram has operations on it twice :)

  2. oh boy - one year has passed already. I was at the same prospective student event and also sat in in Prof. Hennesey's lecture... small world.

    I really... REALLY like the MMM program idea - just hope that this time around I can improve my chances enough to get accepted.

    all the best for the rest of your 2 years!