Rethinking Business Education 商业不是纸上谈兵!商学院重新思考商业教育

赖彩云 Jessy Lai Chai YunRethinking Business Education
[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Rethinking Business Education

More than a decade ago, Roger Martin, the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, had an epiphany that would inspire many business schools today.

Martin’s son’s elementary school was a great success under the guidance of its principal. After an interview, he discovered that the key to the school’s success was the principal’s ability to adapt to situations with creative solutions, instead of sticking to textbook strategies or pre-planned solutions. After research, Martin also realised that this ability to reframe problems and think critically often separates good managers from the great ones.

That insight led Mr. Martin to begin advocating what was then a radical idea in business education: the skill of critical thinking and creative problem solving is just as important as the skills of finance or accounting. More specifically, business students needed to move away from rigid frameworks, and the conventional way of focusing solely on one skill set is outdated.

This idea is also supported by David A. Garvin, a Harvard Business School professor who wrote the book, “Rethinking the M.B.A.: Business Education at a Crossroads.”

Moreover, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford also adapted their curriculum a few years ago. They included more emphasis on multidisciplinary perspectives and understanding of cultural contexts, as they realised how critical these skills are.

I am in strong support of this evolving trend in business education, and I believe many would agree with me.

A quick conversation with any business school graduate, and they will tell you that their tertiary education often does not equip them for the complexities of workplace. For example, an overemphasis on skills such as accounting, business models and finance takes away from the ability of students to learn soft skills such as how to negotiate deals, how to network and how to look at problems from different angles.

Many employers have similar complains. In fact, a research in 2015 by jobstreet.com found that 70% of respondents said that the standards of fresh graduates were just average, while 24% believed that they were bad and only 6 % said they were good. The poor ratings were not generally linked to their academic qualifications, but rather their poor attitudes and communication skills shown during interviews or at work. This problem needs to be addressed if we want to reduce youth unemployment in the country.

I believe it is time for business schools to revise and update their way of teaching. Most business students do not have the luxury of hiding behind a computer screen—their job requires them to constantly communicate with people and come up with creative solutions.

There are many models that we can use as a reference to improve business education. The Stanford School of Business, for example, now includes a class called “The Global Context of Management and Strategic Leadership.” First-year students also must take a course called “Critical and Analytical Thinking.” In Rotman School of Business, first-year students now take “Fundamentals of Integrative Thinking,” which focuses on understanding and analyzing how people use models in their everyday lives.

If business schools in Malaysia can adopt such models, I believe our future generation will be much better equipped for the workforce. They will also be more able to generate creative solutions to the problems in our society, creating prosperity for everyone.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/business/10mba.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1267708135-51W0Fy3KGYCgziAufV6PSA&_r=1

http://www.jobstreet.com.my/career-resources/employers-fresh-graduates-unrealistic-expectations/#.V027XWYaDrF[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]商业不是纸上谈兵!商学院重新思考商业教育

 

十多年来,加拿大多伦多大学罗特曼管理学院(Rotman School of Management)在院长罗杰马丁(Roger Martin)的带领下,培育出许多商业英才,这些商业英才如今也商界各领风骚,成就非凡!

马丁的儿子就读小学时,在其校长的指导下取得很棒的成绩,马丁非常常好奇儿子的校长的教学方式,于是充满诚意的访问他,才发觉校长的成功秘诀是创意!

这位校长极力打造一个充满创意与巧思的学习环境,鼓励学生在面对问题时,比起死守教科书教条或是死板板的先预想对策,在面对危急情况时,更应该要活用知识与创意。

在于校长一番恳谈后,马丁豁然大悟,原来活用才是解决问题以及批判性思维的关键钥匙,若领导者不“活”,将不会是一位优秀的领导者!

有先见之明的马丁下定决心要改变当时已然僵化的商业学术与教育思维,大力提倡活用教育,鼓励商业系学生应该像专研经济与会计技巧一样,用心学习具有批判性思维以及创意解决问题的能力

更具体的解释是,商学系学生应该跳脱长久以来教育所建构的框架,只专注学习以专注学习一种技能的思维模式已经过时了。为了跟商界接轨或是欲在商界立足,就要学习方方面面的技巧,装备自己以面对千变万化、不可预测的商界。

英雄所见略同,戴维加文(David A. Garvin)的想法不谋而合,在他的著作《MBA教育再思考》(Rethinking the M.B.A.: Business Education at a Crossroads)进一步的透露了他认为先到商学系以来到一个分叉口,学术界应该重新思考商学教育的方式,不能再墨守成规,因为如此一来,商学系毕业的学生将不能适应真正的商业世界,逐渐被社会淘汰。

马丁与戴维的观点非常正确,其实早在2008年全球金融危机之后,雷曼兄弟前CEO迪克·富尔德(Dick Fuld),美林证券公司首席执行官约翰·塞恩(John Thain)等华尔街精英饱受指责,同时培养他们成为商业领袖的世界顶级商学院也遭到批判。

人们开始好奇,除了建立人际关系网络,这些商业精英在商学院究竟学到了什么?除了追逐个人利益,顶级商学院是否也教导他们要承担企业和社会责任?只重视公司短期利益的他们,如何配得上商学院招生宣称的“有远见、有国际视野的高管”称号?这直接促使欧美MBA教育机构近几年来开始深刻反思自身的理念和做法。

我非常赞同两位教授的思维。

毕竟信息、资本和贸易在全球范围内的流动,已是不可回避的现实。巴西、俄罗斯、印度、中国和南非等新兴市场国家近30亿的人口,正逐渐成为全球市场的消费主体;为此,企业必须学会适应各国、各地区的法律、制度、商业惯例和社会规范来满足这些消费者的需求。商学院的MBA教育绝不能再沿用传统的课程计划和教材,把抽象的理论教给学生,而是应该让学生更细致地了解在不同社会、组织和商业环境下工作的要求和挑战。

若你不相信,你可以问问身边商学院的朋友,他们会回答你,学院所学的技巧无法让他们在竞争激烈的职场上找到立足之地。我打个比方,在学校我们重点学习会计、商业模式或是经济学,但我们却忽略了例如交际技巧、从不同角度审视问题等软技能(Soft Skills)的重要性。

而许多主管也对此颇有微词。根据Jobstreet去年进行的一项调查显示,70%的Z主管认为社会新鲜人的程度普通,24%的主管认为他们很糟糕,只有6%的主管认为他们很好。

这样的数据充分显示,主管们注重的并不是你的学术成绩,而是在进行面试时或是获得工作后的态度与沟通的技能。

这样的问题需要被重点检讨,尤其是在青年失业率逐年增加的情况下,更应加快解决毕业生在这方面的不足。

作为一位领导人,我非常鼓励年轻的新血加入企业界,而我的劝勉是,你必须要认清现实,因为商业的世界真的不是纸上谈兵这么简单,真实的商界是变幻莫测的,纵使你成绩再好,若不具备随时应对挑战的技能与态度,你将会被现实给淘汰。

所以深切地认为,大马的商学院应该要重新思考商业教育以及改变教学技巧以追上市场的变化。商学院的学生不应只会死读书,而是装备自己,因为未来他们加入职场后,主管会更注重的是沟通技巧以及创意解决问题的能力。

大马大专院校或许可以参考史丹佛商学院(The Stanford School of Business)的做法。史丹佛最近开设了一个名为“全球化语境下的管理与商业策略”( The Global Context of Management and Strategic Leadership)的课,大学一年级的学生也必须修读“思维分析”(Critical and Analytical Thinking)的学科。

而罗特曼管理学大学一年级的学生现在则必须修读”整体思维基础”(Fundamentals of Integrative Thinking)的课程,人们在日常中运用什么模式过生活。

若大马的各商学院愿意参考国外最近的MBA教育模式,我想我们的下一代将会变得更具挑战能力,也会有无限创意,对正在发展的马来西亚来说,未尝不是一件好事![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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