There are currently two action learning opportunities under the MIT Sloan operations umbrella, Operations Lab (Ops-Lab) and Lion Teams. While Ops-Lab and Lion Teams have different project timelines and geographic focuses, both involve pairing students with client companies, and both are true to the Action Learning ethos of applying classroom learning to real-world problems. The Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program helped to develop both of these initiatives.
Operations Lab (Ops-Lab)
Ops-Lab provides MIT Sloan students with hands-on experience in operations leadership and change. Teams of three to five students act as consultants on operations improvement engagements for small- to medium-size organizations in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. Classroom time is used for project reviews as well as material that students can use on their projects. Ops-Lab projects have focused on operations and associated areas such as product development and the marketing-operations interface. Ops-Lab operations projects have focused on areas such as inventory policy implementation, process layout and flow, supplier management, and distribution. All projects have the primary goal of delivering solutions that the companies can implement. Operations Lab is open to Master’s students, LGO students and other programs.
The goal of Lion Teams is to address the important tactical problems faced by businesses with operations in China. Lion Teams are comprised of six to seven students from MIT’s LGO program and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University China Leaders for Global Operations program (CLGO), giving each team a diverse international perspective. As with Ops-Lab teams, Lion Teams focus on identifying solutions to critical problems faced by their companies. Projects are typically four months in duration, with MIT Sloan LGO students joining their CLGO counterparts in China for one week to work on-site at the client company during spring Sloan Innovation Period. At the project’s conclusion, each company receives their team’s recommendations as well as other deliverables. (Note: Lion Teams participation is restricted to LGO students, unless there are too few LGO students to fill the teams.)