I got inspired by an idea from Greenbiz.com. What if we build an MBA school where students do not need to go to class?
In this school there will be no lectures, no exams, no class activities. The campus will serve as laboratory where students can come and get to work, be with teams, and together collaborate on new ideas to bring businesses into the future. Of course, they don’t need to be in the campus all the time. They go out there and explore the world, where much of the learning must happen.
As part of their requirement we throw problems to the students:—a series of local, national, regional, and international challenges. In the Philippines for instance, what sort of business initiatives can be done to alleviate poverty? How can we make growth sustainable? How can we improve the economy? How can we establish better partnerships among key sectors of economy: businesses, the government, organizations, NGOs, and etc. What do we do to make our businesses more competitive? All these challenges are ones which the country is grappling with. Why not allow MBA students to think of ways to solve them?
Let’s go to internal business problems. How do we make operations easier and more fluid? How do we build sustainable organizations? How do we empower employees and businesses? How do we encourage more people to venture into startups and new businesses? How can we develop better leaders?
Greenbiz has a novel suggestion. "Students accepted into the program would have access to a building with different work spaces and tools to enable them to work on these challenges, as well as to create and test out prototype solutions. There would be access to a range of interdisciplinary resources and experts based on the assigned task. There would be no tuition, rather it would be funded via the businesses and organizations that sponsor projects as well as alumni." (The Future MBA, Week 6)
Rather than training people to become managers, we’re shaping them to be problem solvers and innovators.
What do you think?
I'm passionate about business, art, and technology. For more about me, click here.
Here's a book I co-wrote with a bunch of industry colleagues. Not sure if you'll find it useful, but feel free to check once you can.
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Ateneo Graduate School of Business
University of San Carlos