Kellogg World Alumni Magazine
Will Garrett '90

Executive Education

how executives
Learn and Develop

McKinsey veteran Will Garrett '90 takes the helm at Kellogg Executive Education


orthwestern runs through Will Garrett's veins. "I got my undergrad from Northwestern. I'm also an alum of Kellogg … I have purple blood," he jokes.

So when Dean Sally Blount asked him to leave McKinsey & Co. after 17 years and fill the role of associate dean of executive education, Garrett jumped at the chance. "The opportunity to come back, it's a dream job for me," he says. "It's given me the opportunity, at this point in my career, to come back to a place that had a huge impact on my life."

Strengthening Kellogg partnerships

Garrett has already identified areas in which to re-energize Kellogg's executive education program.

"Kellogg has a great executive education program — great faculty, staff and facilities," he says. "It has historically been a leader in the industry, and the current program offers a great foundation from which to build. Having said that, there are ways to focus more on how we partner with companies and individuals in executive education that will allow us to have greater impact."

His goal: to make Kellogg the world leader in executive development. "That means partnering with companies to help them in the development of their executive teams over time and partnering with individuals in their professional development over the course of their career. The individual classes we offer are part of an overall journey for executives, and we need to help them, and their employers, think through the development of that journey's road map."

Kellogg's executive education program is exclusively capable of delivering these types of partnerships, according to Garrett.

"I believe the way in which Kellogg approaches executive education uniquely positions us to help transform how executives learn and develop. We are not a one-size-fits-all program. We have been a leader in offering different educational alternatives for companies and individuals based on differing needs."

Kellogg's challenge is to push companies and individuals to couple different educational options with individual work experiences to create a development road map over the course of a career. "Our challenge is to take our level of customer focus, collaboration and innovation to an entirely new level in supporting companies and individuals in these development journeys. We don't view executive education as a class, but as an integrated, long-term element in an executive's career-long development plan."

Weathering a volatile business market

Garrett says through Kellogg's executive program executives and companies can weather the changing winds of business.

"On-the-job apprenticeship is no longer sufficient to provide the breadth of knowledge and experiences necessary to succeed as an executive. Executive education will play an ever more important role in preparing the next generation of leaders to deal with a volatile world.

"As companies look to attract and retain the best talent, a long-term relationship with Kellogg in executive education can become a significant competitive advantage. The growth and development opportunities provided by Kellogg to a company's executives provide a reason for the best and brightest to choose to work for, and stay at, a company."

— By Meg Featheringham