I'm participating is something new for me, an extended online debate. I'm a panelist for How to Fix Business Schools, which is being hosted by the Harvard Business Review. Here's the blurb:
Are our business schools up to the job? Many critics have charged
that the values imparted in MBA programs contributed significantly to
the ethical and strategic lapses that led to the current economic
crisis. Is that fair? And if so, what needs to change? How can business
schools regain popular trust?
For the next several weeks Harvard Business Review
will be discussing these and related questions in the HBR Debate: How
To Fix Business Schools. For this online symposium, we’ve invited an
impressive roster of experts to lead the debate—and to try to come up
So there you go. This should be fun: I can't wait to see what many of my co-panelists — many of whom are former professors of mine or individuals whose writing has been a big influence on my own worldview — have to say about the debate topic.
If I write anything particularly meaty or inflammatory I'll make a note of here on metacool.
There is a lot of talk about how to orient the business schools of the future, in particular opening the students up to ‘design thinking.’
This conversation also needs the design schools to meet the business schools half way.
‘Design thinking’ is much more oriented to future thinking about possibilities and how to understand one’s customers. Design approaches are oriented toward innovation, meaning, and creating new possibilities to generate new value.
The design schools generally are not incorporating budget management and business needs. B-schools teach application of resources to achieve business goals, and the necessary measurement tools. B-schools historically were trying to teach how to control an organization and the processes within it.
It is almost as if there needs to be a big table where both B-schools and Design schools can push integration and debate between the two disciplines. The MBA students should meet with ‘designer’s’ and be pushed to innovate solutions beyond where we can currently approach with our separate but expert model.
B-schools would be smart to teach their students about understanding human motivations and behaviors including physical, social, cultural, cognitive and emotional drivers. That is one of the key elements of marketing, understanding your customer. Design schools would be smart to teach their students organizational control and business goal measurement tools. I believe that students have chosen either school because they are passionate about one of the disciplines.
We should NOT be trying to teach MBA’s how to be designers, and teaching designers to be MBA’s. We should be introducing each group to the others approaches so they can be more open to discovering possibilities and opportunities for growth.
I feel it is a discussion of incorporation and understanding. It is important for MBA’s and Designer’s to collaborate. We should focus on what they are passionate about.