Future Of Management Education
I think the one thing you've touched on, perhaps I'd like to say one or two words about is the question about the future of management education. And I think that's a very important topic. I really do. Some of what I say would not necessarily be not everybody would agree with what I am about to say. But I think management education is, let me use the word I use before, it's about schools for management, we have to get closer to those other entities whether it's in Singapore or whether it's in Mozambique or wherever it is I would be working. So I think there is understanding the broader role of what management is about is tremendously important. And therefore to lose the liberal concept of management education would be a huge mistake. I see too many people going back to what I call a wasteland of vocationism, making the courses, you know, well they fit the job, therefore they must be right. I think the way we tried to redesign the MBA program was right. We were talking about mindsets that people need to use in managing. I think the VUCA courses are right because we were trying to talk about mindset in managing. So I think the future in management education is such that, I would predict the demise of the MBA program, except in the very elite schools. I think the MBA program is passed its sell by date. It was novel. When I had gotten an MBA in the University of Chicago, there was hardly anybody. I mean I got more job offers than I had hot dinners and I dined on their hot dinners. I went and listened to everyone's job offers and actually went to places in Chicago I wouldn't otherwise have gone to. So I think the MBA program served a purpose right through from about 1960s to 1990s. I mean that was the golden age of management education in my view. Now I think we have to focus more onÖ I think the undergraduate programs are tremendously important, I think the liberal side of the undergraduate program. If you take an African context, you know, the remedial side of undergraduate programs, the matriculation rate for example in South Africa is 38%. So what's the first year going to be about? Well it's remedial math, science, English. There has to be linkage between K through to 12 and the university. And our elite business schools was the solution to the problem of management. In a lot of emerging countries, they are not. There about more to do with strong undergraduate programs, and strong high schools. And building an ethos and a tradition there. So I think the MBA program will die, because these people were more mature, they're in jobs, they know what they want to do. The problem with the MBA program is, you know, in the golden age, you're getting job offer after job offer after job offer and the kids thought well, five years time I am going to be the CEO. I think now they are lucky to get a job. And that is very very different. And so I think we as scholars, and educators should be thinking about what degrees we offer our people. I think the Master of Management degree is a much more sane alternative. It gets people job-ready, executive education needs to be much better developed. And I think what I will see is a lot more smart use of technology in education. I mean, this year, just by chance, it turned out that somebody was teaching in parallel with me on the executive MBA program and I couldn't get enough sessions so I turned around, I said to the director of the program, well look, why don't I just tape a few, so I went on elearn and did what you've been doing now. And I discovered I did my introductory lecture without any notes, you know, just 6 slides and it took me 65 minutes. I actually showed my wife and she said, that's not bad. So then I did a wrap up lecture as well. I am actually going through all other lectures and put them on elearn. And what I can do in class will be that, greatly different. But what I am hoping to do is to get them transcribed. There's a publisher in the UK who wants to publish them. I don't want any royalties. I'd be quite happy to, it's only going to be 150 pages or something like that, far more relevant than a 701 page textbook. I mean my text book on strategy is 701 pages. When we were in Warwick, a student came up to Lynn and I when we were in a dance and said, sir I really enjoy your textbook. And I said oh thank you so much and I said what particular part. And he said I should explain and he goes on to explain. That's the true story by the way. You think I am making this up, I am not. He said, recently we had a baby. And he said, I don't know what you call them, cots or cribs here, and he got it from the equivalent of Ikea. But one leg was not stable. So after he put it together, my book was perfect to put it under the leg and he told me his story and he'd had a few drinks. It was a dance. But you know, the metaphor for that, is the book is too long. I mean, you know, give them readable 100, 150-page books, then make the class interesting and participative. That's what we try to do but we don't convey it in the written medium, we don't convey it in this medium that we are working with now. I mean, we could make tremendous more use of it, for example, the projects in Africa which I am absolutely terrific where they're doing exactly that, which is what I would call the massification of education and massification of education has got to come. Some of these courses that have been staples like the MBA program, other than in the very elite schools and a very good state schools and places like SMU, they'll still survive. But in a lot of other places which have put on the MBA program to make money, they will die. And they will die in the next 10 or 15 years. I might not be around to see it, but I think it's true, other courses will come on, a lot more flexibility in learning will come. I'd like to see that happening. And I am writing about it so I will imbue and enthuse somebody to do it, you know, you has just got a some years to live in the and you need so much energy and enthusiasm to push it ... I am trying to persuade others as oppose to do it all myself. It's impossible. That's really the other thing I would like to say and otherwise, I enjoyed it.