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London Monty Portrait

Outstanding Faculty Award Winner - London Monty

London Monty is currently a Senior Brand Lead & Product Strategist for a search engine and data firm called Spokeo as well as an Adjunct Professor at FIDM. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business as well as a degree in Psychology with a Business Administration Specialization from UCLA.

A seasoned innovation leader, London works at the nexus of marketing, product development and strategy. His body of work includes icons AB InBev, Samsung, Revlon, and IBM among many notables. His experience spans industries that include creative agencies, media, technology, finance and nonprofit.

In addition, London produces music for TV & film as well as volunteer teaching at the Achievement Institute for STEM Scholars.

What classes do you teach in the MBA program?
At the grad level I teach Strategic Marketing Management. This course builds on the undergrad course I designed called Marketing Management and the Case Studies in Business Management: Analysis course that I also teach. In these courses, students learn how to examine a company's marketplace, value chain and finances and then dive deeper. In the Marketing Management courses students build their "customer obsession" as they learn to build customer segments, develop innovative products, test their ideas, develop brands and branding, go-to-market (GTM) and then establish the key analytics to understand success. At the grad level they go the extra mile by exploring pricing models, lifetime value (LTV) forecasts, consumer insights, cost management and a wealth of advanced real-world case studies. There's also a heavy emphasis on developing their leadership practices.

What makes the FIDM MBA program unique?
Given that we are FIDM, every faculty member and student has an artistic soul when you get down to it. So the students are naturals when it comes to design thinking. Across the program we get students of all backgrounds into a managerial mindset and then guide them through practices that include everything from strategy and finance to luxury brand management, product development, supply chain management and much more.

Given the amount of entrepreneurs we attract, creative minds are empowered with the skills to make their ideas a reality. It's also amazing to see how many students go onto major fashion and beauty brands or land in new verticals they never before had imagined. Our students open themselves to a wider range of possibilities than they would in some of the more traditional finance-based programs.

What are some of the significant learning outcomes that students gain from the classes you instruct?
We are basically building strategic management generalists that can walk into any organization, big or small, map a plan for their team and company and blaze a trail forward. When it comes to Marketing Management classes that means they will truly come away with customer obsession, the driving force of every organization. They will then be able to translate that into products and services that drive value in a competitive market. The way I ask students to envision their outcome is as a hub-and-spoke model where our students are at the center (the "hub" so to speak) and they are able to deftly communicate with and lead the rest of the key areas of the organization - from product and design to finance and distribution and so on - what we might call the "spokes".

What type of student would be the ideal fit for the MBA program at FIDM?
If you’re a creative person at heart who aspires to turn your innovative ideas into reality by stepping into a leadership role, the FIDM MBA program is for you. If you're a person who envisions new opportunities around every corner and you're looking to gain the skills that will help you guide a business towards success then FIDM should be a strong contender on your list. FIDM is a place where you can immerse yourself in both design thinking and general management principles that will open doors to places you might not have imagined existed otherwise. Whether you are an entrepreneur or want to work in a large organization or lean startup you will come away from our program with a fresh approach.

Do you currently work in the industry?
Absolutely. My current role is in brand and product innovation. This involves uncovering key customer segments in an ever-changing marketplace and figuring out how to deliver something they'll love and value. In addition, I maintain my consulting practice where I work with large clients and startups advising on creative, product and strategy. Being able to relate the lessons learned from these experiences helps students not only learn new methodologies but also gain a deeper understanding of how they are applied in the real world. Most of all, they learn that in the real world there are always tons of "moving parts", "levers to pull", and personalities to balance out.

Describe a favorite class project.
Case method. In our classes we use world-class cases and students are asked to break down situations that are occurring for well-known companies such as Tesla, Best Buy, Sony Playstation, Burberry, StockX and more, use the managerial best-practices we've taught them and develop actionable plans and recommendations. It takes some thinking to figure out the root causes of the problems and then suggest ideas that will turn them around. Students present these as "reports to senior management" both written and as decks. While many students have said these projects are challenging, we've seen them gain a level of mastery that they've taken into the real world after graduating. It's wonderful to see.

Do you have a particular style or philosophy about teaching?
There are two major ideas that guide my teaching practice. The first was taken from medicine and it's the idea of teaching evidence-based practice, which in short, combines research, experience, and then experimentation to find solutions. In our case, we apply it to market-based thinking. The second is a teaching method I learned about called 'inquiry-based learning' where students are encouraged to form hypotheses, question ideas, and even question the instructor. We learn through debate. The goal is to engage in best practices, uncover better opportunities, and balance tradeoffs in an organization. This helps them get away from leaning on so-called "expert" opinions and ask what will really work and why.

What is your favorite memory teaching at FIDM?
The discussions in the classroom reach some impressive heights. I love when students push back with different perspectives or interpretations of an idea or situation. I've often come away with students leading each other (as well as myself) to see things in ways they've never seen before.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM?
The most common refrain I hear from our most engaged students is that they "want to be pushed". I love hearing this! They are actively seeking challenges and inspiration. This has led to a path that has opened up career opportunities. It's an honor to then be asked to coach and mentor them as they prepare to interview for positions they've eventually landed. Playing a role in students turning their learning into real opportunities is the height of being here.

Find out more about FIDM’s MBA program.

Categories:  Business Administration Business Management Faculty