Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To Professor Neil Morgan

By Rajeev Gupta  
Second-year MBA, Entrepreneurial Innovation Academy

Professor Neil Morgan
“Don’t you make the mistake of calling me British, I am Welsh!”

These were first few words of yours I heard. And I knew in my heart that your teaching style was no exception to the general quirky personality of every professor at The Kelley School of Business MBA program. As subsequent classes unfolded, you have continued to show varying shades of your signature style.

In every class, you signal that you mean business by literally rolling up your sleeves as if you are about to get into heavy duty work. Indeed you are, because you do not force me to think, you force me to think harder. You push against most of my arguments and make me think deeper to push against your arguments, if at all possible. Business schools are often accused of encouraging ‘managing blah.’ But if someone is sitting in your class, he better think ten times before opening his mouth. It’s not that you will shoot him down or belittle him in any unhealthy way, but he should realize the futility of his comment if he was commenting only for class participation and not for contributing to the discussion.

You are a great story teller. When you give examples from your consulting experiences in Cambridge, you start with, “once upon a time, in a land far from here.”  As you uncover each new bullet of consequence, you animatedly describe  how each bad strategy backfired for the firms you consulted.

What mesmerizes me most is your speech – the clarity, the diction, the vocabulary. During the first half of the seven-week course so far, I have never heard you even once use such phrases as “kind of” or “like” or “I mean.”  Even more impressive is your ability to repeat a long sentence multiple times without any modification. When you define certain theory, with complicated words, you repeat the same sentence with same words in exact same order.

Studying strategy in your class is almost like learning the rules of success in a battlefield. When you discussed the case of American Airlines, your description of companies bleeding each other and cutting limbs of each other teleported me into a war zone of airline industry. 

The most entertaining and engaging moments occur during what you call “rant time.” You use real data with empirical evidence to show how stupid choices have huge costs to firms. Your rant against NPS score was clearly an eye-opener.

In my over one year of education at an American school, I realized that the best classes are the ones in which professor has to remind the student that the class is over. I am proud and glad that your class is one of them.

With Love,
Rajeev


P.S. - Neil has been nominated for Economist  Business Professor of the Year Award : The only global contest to recognize and reward excellence in business teaching. If you would like, you can vote for Neil here: http://www.businessprofessoraward.com?elq=bb3502b26c864adeb34fbcee6710198d&elqCampaignId=512

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