TIME TO RELY MORE ON EX­PE­RI­EN­TIAL LEARN­ING

Business Today - - THE BUZZ -

PRO­FES­SOR ASHISH NANDA is a fac­ulty mem­ber at Har­vard Busi­ness School where he had joined the Strat­egy Unit as Se­nior Lec­turer in 2017. From 2013 to 2017, he was Di­rec­tor of In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, Ahmed­abad. He cur­rently chairs the Strat­egy Teach­ing Group in the MBA Re­quired Cur­ricu­lum. Nanda, in an e-mail in­ter­view with Busi­ness To­day’s E. Ku­mar Sharma, says that to pre­pare their graduates for to­mor­row’s world, man­age­ment schools must en­sure that their stu­dents un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­ni­ties, chal­lenges and nu­ances of tech­nol­ogy and en­trepreneur­ship. Tra­di­tional meth­ods of class­room teach­ing, whether lec­tures or case dis­cus­sions, he says, are not ter­ri­bly ef­fec­tive in these two ar­eas. Man­age­ment schools must, there­fore, in his view, “rely more than be­fore on projects, ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and in­tern­ships.” Edited ex­cerpts fol­low:

Q. Man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion to­day, some would ar­gue, is good at pro­duc­ing busi­ness lead­ers for es­tab­lished and ma­ture sec­tors and not quite for some of the new-age busi­nesses where the line be­tween a prod­uct and a ser­vice is blurred. In the light of this, how should man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion change?

A. For the last few years, man­age­ment school graduates glob­ally have been grav­i­tat­ing to­wards two in­ter­sect­ing sec­tors: tech­nol­ogy and en­trepreneur­ship. Both have rel­a­tively greater risk pro­file than some of the es­tab­lished, ma­ture sec­tors such as fast mov­ing con­sumer goods and fi­nance. But they of­fer sig­nif­i­cantly greater value gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties as well. Busi­ness mo­men­tum is also in­creas­ingly in­flu­enced by these two sec­tors. To pre­pare their graduates for to­mor­row’s world, man­age­ment schools must en­sure that their stu­dents un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­ni­ties, chal­lenges and nu­ances of tech­nol­ogy and en­trepreneur­ship. Tra­di­tional meth­ods of class­room teach­ing, whether lec­tures or case dis­cus­sions, are not ter­ri­bly ef­fec­tive in these two sec­tors. Man­age­ment schools must rely more than be­fore on projects, ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and in­tern­ships.

As the na­ture of work is chang­ing, so is the com­pany’s struc­ture. There is a need to look at gen­der eco­nom­ics and equa­tions, elim­i­nat­ing bias and a work­force that prefers a flexi work sce­nario.

Hu­man cap­i­tal is an in­creas­ingly crit­i­cal con­trib­u­tor to en­ter­prises, labour mar­ket mo­bil­ity is in­creas­ing, and the younger gen­er­a­tion is seek­ing mean­ing in the work it does. All these trends sug­gest that pur­pose-driven or­gan­i­sa­tions with thick cul­tures an­chored in strong val­ues led by com­mit­ted lead­ers will dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves and out­per­form oth­ers on the ba­sis of these “soft” as­sets.

How can schools pro­vide that edge for a stu­dent to be bet­ter ready for the VUCA world that some call the new nor­mal to­day?

Through their ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes, schools must en­cour­age stu­dents to be de­ci­sion ori­ented, re­spon­sive to ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment, and will­ing to change if cir­cum­stances so de­mand.

As In­dian com­pa­nies go global, man­agers have to in­creas­ingly op­er­ate in dif­fer­ent cul­tures... and what’s ac­cept­able in one isn’t well re­ceived in an­other. How can man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion ad­dress this chal­lenge? Un­der­stand­ing how dif­fer­ent parts of the global econ­omy in­ter­re­late and in­ter­act af­fords stu­dents the ca­pa­bil­ity to suc­ceed across borders. Ex­po­sure to dif­fer­ent ways of or­gan­is­ing and op­er­at­ing builds an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of di­ver­sity. There­fore, if stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion that builds breadth of per­spec­tive, then as man­agers they are likely to suc­ceed in var­ied con­texts.

“THROUGH THEIR ED­U­CA­TIONAL PRO­GRAMMES, SCHOOLS MUST EN­COUR­AGE STU­DENTS TO BE DE­CI­SION ORI­ENTED, RE­SPON­SIVE TO EX­TER­NAL EN­VI­RON­MENT, AND WILL­ING TO CHANGE IF CIR­CUM­STANCES SO DE­MAND”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.