MIT Sloan Executive Education
Certificate Holder Profile
Michael L. Kerns
Manager, Global Materials Technology
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
As someone with an advanced technical degree and no formal management training, these programs have provided me with the foundation that I needed to build on as a manager and leader. I first took Fundamentals of Finance for the Technical Executive as a new manager of product development, and I was amazed at how much I benefitted from the course. Whether it was exposure to language and techniques of financial analysis in Fundamentals of Finance for the Technical Executive, or Steven Eppinger's fantastic Product Design, Development, and Management class, MIT Sloan has enabled me to be out in front of many opportunities in my career. For example, I have used Design Structure Matrix analysis and principles of modular product design to take cost and cycle time out of new product development efforts. The result? A new product that was the fastest selling new product in our company's history, developed in about one half of the time. I have also introduced and implemented globally the X-Team concept from Deborah Ancona's Transforming Your Leadership Strategy class.
I now lead a global R&D organization, and I frequently refer back to my training at MIT. I often find myself sharing many of the principles I have learned at MIT with my colleagues, and I commonly will pull out the course materials to strengthen the credibility of whatever case I am making at the time. After completing my certificate, I have continued to come back for more because I find it so valuable and energizing. As long as the quality of the professors and courses remains high, I will keep coming back. I have even made it a point to send my junior-level managers to the Managing Technical Professionals and Organizations program that I took so that, as a team, we all are drawing from the same playbook.