Career Conversations: Mat Chow ’14, Director of Design for Change at IDEO

Episode 2: Mat Chow ’14, Director of Design for Change at IDEO

Mat Chow ’14 is Director of Design for Change at IDEO. He is interviewed by Katherine Cole ’19, a second-year MBA student. Katherine is a former nonprofit consultant interested in innovation, human capital, and organizational behavior. A Design + Innovation club leader, Katherine is interested in helping people and organizations move forward with authenticity and purpose.

Mat Chow on organizational research (00:04): “I always talk about organizational research and prototyping a bit like a pinball game. You probably just wouldn’t sit and stare at the pinball game and study other pinball games. What you’d probably do is drop a pinball in, see what happened, and then drop another pinball in.”

Mat Chow on the first post-MBA job (03:49): “I think there’s so much pressure in business school about the job and the brand that job represents and the reflection of your personal brand that represents. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I think a lot of my peers have realized that for one reason or another that job wasn’t the perfect one. That’s been healthy. It’s helped them find the perfect job. That’s something I didn’t know going in, that so many people would probably switch in their first year, second year, third year out of school, and for the most part now that I’m five years out, people have found something that they're really happy with and good at and engaged in.”

Mat Chow on organizational culture (12:27): “It was with a big apparel company, a global brand, that I am really passionate about and inspired by, and they were thinking about the culture that they’re creating. They’re asking themselves the question of: is that an inclusive culture, and obviously that’s diversity, inclusion, equities—a hot-button issue certainly still in Silicon Valley right now and all over. But I think the way that they were approaching that was really inspiring. It was the highest level of the organization, and they hired IDEO to essentially listen really deeply to their employees and be forthcoming about the things we told them about their culture. An inclusive culture really does start with listening.”

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Learn more about IDEO

Design + Innovation Club at Yale SOM

About Career Conversations

In this podcast series, SOM students sit down with alumni for a series of candid conversations about career paths, industries, opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics including work-life balance and creating a meaningful impact in business and society. This series is produced by and recorded at the Yale School of Management.