Friday, May 02, 2008

Kellogg Diary - Entry #1

Dear Diary,
The last couple of days have been pretty eventful. On Wednesday, I helped out with the Manufacturing Business Conference (MBC) organized by the MMM class at Kellogg. The topic for the event was 'Differentiation by Design'. We had a great list of keynote speakers and panelists from IDEO, HP, Private Equity Firms, Consulting firms etc. However, the highlight of the conference was undoubtedly the opening keynote by Jim McNerney, the President, Chairman and CEO of the Boeing Company. As far as CEO's go, you can't get bigger than that, can you? Apparently, his nephew is a fellow Kellogg student, his daughter goes to Northwestern, his dad taught at Northwestern, and Jim himself is on the board of trustees for Northwestern. I never get amazed at the elite company I suddenly find myself in.
Following the conference, I went to my 'Managerial Leadership' class taught by Harry Kraemer, the former CEO of Baxter International, a $40+ billion global healthcare company. He is a former Kellogg grad and now is an adjunct professor. This class is one of the most popular ones in Kellogg. Every week, he also invites a guest speaker from the industry. This week was the turn of Chris Galvin, former CEO of Motorola, and another Kellogg alum. The topic of the class was value-based leadership. Mr. Galvin also gave us a blow by blow account of the events that led to his ouster from Motorola by his board, and did not forget to point out the firm's downward trend ever since.
It was a long day. After a few drinks and some pool with a friend, I called it a night. I had to wake up at 6AM the next day to follow a lawn care truck. Yeah, you heard me right! As part of our design course, we have taken on a project to redesign the trucks operated by TruGreen lawncare. The project sort of fell into our hands since these trucks are designed and supplied to them by Wanner Engineering, a privately held firm that belongs to the family of a fellow classmate. What we were doing is called 'shadowing' and is an integral part of the modern design process. It helps to get the customer's perspective, some felt and some unfelt. We had a ton of ideas within a few hours, from redesigning the hose mechanism and spray gun to advertising better on their van to incorporating advanced GPS systems.
Today, a friday, is usually an offday. But I had to drive in to Chicago downtown to meet the clients for a project-based course we are doing. This course is called Management Lab, and is part of the 'experiential' learning most business schools advertise. My project team is helping the Chicago 2016, a non-profit organization set up by the city to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, to look at sustainability of their venues after the Olympics. Some of the questions we would address are - can this venue be a sustainable and profitable business post-Olympics? what could be other sources of revenue add-ons? what is the market size, demand and revenue model? etc. I can't tell you much more than that, even to you diary, since we signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement with 2016. So how did we get this project? Well, you've probably figured it by now. The man hand-picked by the mayor for the Olympic effort is Pat Ryan, executive chairman and founder of Aon Corporation and a director of the Chicago Bears. Apparently, he is also the chairman of the board of trustees for Northwestern University. So he's leveraged this connection to get Kellogg on board in the 2016 effort, and our project is part of this effort.
Well, its friday evening, and I'm probably going to check out looptopia with my wife and a bunch of friends. After a hectic week, I do need some R&R.


Blogger Karthi Keyan said...

very very amazing explaintion....many things gather about yourself...yes realy i enjoy it
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6/22/17, 6:06 AM  

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