In Friday’s POM class, Corey focused on knowledge brokering–how to find solutions to problems instead of solving them. As part of the lecture, he walked us through his own knowledge brokering experience at HP, which led to the invention of several products. One of these products was the HP Universal Notebook Expansion Base, which I happen to have in my apartment and on which I am typing right now. As many of my readers know, I have a very personal attachment to my computer hardware, so you can imagine my excitement when I realized that Corey held the patent to one of my favorite computer accessories. I did not contain my excitement well in class and was made fun of by my American and Danish colleagues for being a brown-noser–but then I suppose I can’t really argue with that.
If I am a brown-noser, though, I am not a very good one as I missed a serious opportunity that day. Our morning marketing case was about the International Children’s Heart Foundation. Its founder, Dr. Novick, flew all the way in from Memphis, TN to speak with us about his life’s work and his difficulties in branding/promoting it. The class responded by providing him with insightful marketing ideas and a check for $1,500. The way the $ is going (On Friday it slipped below the Swiss Franc for the first time!), though, he’d better spend it fast!
Our afternoon POM case was about NASCAR‘s efforts to cut pit stop times in half by using knowledge brokering. Suggestions made by last year’s class are already being employed and this year we came up with several ideas that had not been tried before too. Perhaps IMD should change its MBA slogan from “90 Exceptional People Who Will Shape the Future of Business” to “90 Exceptional People from 44 Countries Who Will Shape the Future of Entertainment for Millions of Americans Who Still Wear Jeans Shorts.”
It wasn’t until Saturday that I realized what an opportunity I had missed. Our classes were about a doctor from Memphis and a NASCAR pit crew. I have with me here in Lausanne a Red Hot & Blue t-shirt that says “MEMPHIS” on the front and “PIT CREW” on the back. Never again will I have the opportunity to wear that shirt and have it be so incredibly appropriate. I missed my chance. I lose at life.
Oh well, speaking of pit crews, Saturday was Beer Bike at Rice–the first Beer Bike I’ve missed in a decade! Lovett’s theme this year, 300 Proof, would have been particularly fun to celebrate, but I was there in my traditional role of pit crew captain in spirit. EOL RRF!
On an unrelated note, the Class of 2009 began interviewing this week. There was a group on Tuesday and another on Friday. IMD is not like some schools where the hard part is getting in and then it’s smooth sailing afterward. However, getting in is so rigorous a process that you at least have an accurate idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into if accepted! Good luck to all of you applicants out there and don’t hesitate to send me any questions you have about the IMD experience.