CCAD MDes and Otterbein University’s MBA programs collaborate to develop stronger business leaders

Master of Design, Black and Red Otterbein Logo

Eric Lloyd is director of the MBA program at Otterbein University (located in Westerville, OH, a suburb of Columbus). Being responsible for developing a comprehensive curriculum as well as recruiting new students to his program, Lloyd spends a lot of time listening to business and community leaders and learning about the challenges they face and the talent they need to recruit.

Lloyd's active listening has led to a budding friendship between Otterbein's MBA program and CCAD’s Master of Design in Integrative Design. It’s not uncommon for MBA programs and Master of Design programs to collaborate. The Maryland Institute College of Art and John Hopkins Carey Business School have an official partnership in its Design Leadership program, a dual MBA/MDes degree.

We sat down with Lloyd to discuss the collaboration between Otterbein's MBA and CCAD's MDes.

You meet often with business and community leaders to discuss their challenges. What have you learned?

Companies today need to be more innovative internally to stay competitive. Success in business used to be about companies operating most efficiently — stretch the margin, lower costs, produce faster. Today, it is less about efficiency, and much more about true differentiation through innovation.

How does this inform your plans for Otterbein’s MBA program?

Traditional MBA programs focus heavily on the financials and the process of building a scalable company. But today’s business leaders need to be more consumer focused. It’s apparent that today's business successes come from concentrating on the human aspects of business. We want our students to think about the customer experience first — not just consider the bottom line.

So where does CCAD’s MDes program fit?

I see it as a collaboration where our students can learn to think more strategically, more creatively, and more holistically. Businesses don’t benefit from silos anymore. We need to teach our students how to be collaborative, and how to consider the systemic effect of an idea or innovation. CCAD’s ability to teach design thinking is really important to achieve these goals.

For CCAD, our role is to expose their students to the systems of business, as well as engage them in the MBA curriculum — scalability, financial planning, sourcing, operations, and more.

What do you see as the future of this relationship?

It’s early in the collaboration phase. For the near term, continuing to talk and inviting CCAD faculty to teach our students is our good goal. In fact, Mike Compton is teaching a course on brand management, called Advanced Brand Management, that offers an in-depth introduction to current professional management concepts for building and managing brands, as well as measuring brand equity.

In addition, Otterbein is sending two of its MBA students to CCAD to engage in a current MDes Future Narratives for Smart Cities project class.

For more information on Otterbein’s new “Advanced Brand Management” course, contact Eric Lloyd. Interested in the intersection of strategy, creativity, and leadership? Learn more about CCAD’s Master of Design in Integrative Design.