When "Aha Moments" Make All the Difference

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What makes a seasoned group of faculty members sit up straight and learn something remarkable? It happens when the members go through a process to develop a new product and realize that what (should) happen is not what does happen and that the difference comes from the "aha moments" along the way. In this article, the authors track the development of a new venture start up—of a young entrepreneurial business school, lacking regional or national image, and the process faculty members experienced in creating a highly differentiated potentially brand-creating new executive MBA program. Specifically, they reflect on the design and development phase of "what happened" and "what really happened," which emerged through a series of "aha moments." Along the way, the program's designers and deliverers offer insights and lessons relating to the process itself and examine the application of management theories to a new academic venture.