We are living in interesting times. Brexit just happened a few days ago. Earlier last month, President Trump proudly proclaimed the success of his policies in Davos. Leaders of some other countries are now looking to follow the examples set by the leaders of the USA and UK. Many are calling this the decade of deglobalization. In this context, it is ironic that the coronavirus, first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan is now reminding us that we live in a global world. Our problems are common and the solutions have to be found in a coordinated way globally.
Thanksgiving and the holiday period in December provide us with opportune moments to reflect on our lives, both personal and professional and be grateful for all that is good in our lives and also strengthen our resolve to work on areas where we need to improve. So I thought that I would use this last blog note of the calendar year 2019 to share a couple of reflections with you, especially as they pertain to business education and GBSN.
Education reform should be high on the agendas for governments and societies in both developed and developing economies. Business schools and universities are stubbornly resistant to change, often due to resistance from multiple stakeholders including faculty. With a rapidly decreasing half-life of knowledge, education has to be retooled to become affordable, effective and flexible. This will help our alumni to smoothly transition from one job to another and make education a nimble, lifelong endeavor. The GBSN community, as an engaged group of business school leaders should strive to take a leading role in helping our alumni (especially women and minorities) transition effectively across jobs and create satisfying careers for themselves.
I was invited to participate in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Annual Meeting of the New Champions which was held in early July in Dalian, China. Also, I was pleased to be part of a high profile launch of the Global Innovation Index in New Delhi on 24th July. I will use this blog to share some of my reflections from these two professional engagements.
Returning to China after a gap of some months is always interesting as the country seems to continue to change at a fast pace. I had taken part in several prior editions of the WEF’s Annual Summits in China and it is interesting to see how the WEF China Summit has now become focused exclusively on technology and innovation. This is not surprising per se as China’s rise in the technology domain is now recognized by many.
While the acceleration of innovation presents a formidable challenge for most business school leaders, it also presents an exceptional set of opportunities for the few who dare to innovate and change. The few who are inspired to re-imagine the future and take risks. The few who are disciplined to execute with determination and resilience. So how should business school leaders react to these accelerations in the pace of innovation?
The OECD held the 20th anniversary Forum in Paris on 20-21 May. The Forum has grown significantly over the last couple of decades and brings together a wide range of government ministers, leaders from the public and private sectors, representatives from civil society including not-for-profits and college students. Each year, the OECD chooses a theme for the Forum. Perhaps aptly, the theme for this year was “World in eMotion.” It was a play on words to emphasize the rapid pace of change being brought about by digital technologies. The Forum had a rich agenda with many sessions exploring different facets … Read More
Education as a sector has proven stubbornly resistant to change. Despite significant progress in technology, classroom instruction remains largely unchanged from decades ago. While students have rapidly adopted social media, online collaboration and learning tools are poorly utilized in most courses. While the consumerization of other slow-to-change sectors such as healthcare is in full swing, educational technology systems remain cumbersome to use and are far from the ease of use and embedded customer focus seen in online leaders such as Amazon and Netflix. The big data and analytics revolution is sweeping multiple sectors, yet education operates in an environment characterized by poor data and the rare use of analytical tools. It is no surprise that educational institutions today are under pressure to both improve the effectiveness of learning outcomes and to provide more personalized learning delivery in a cost effective manner.
It is time now for business school leaders to start investing significantly in digital innovations. Like any organization, going through the journey of digital transformation requires a focus on integrating digital DNA into the organization. Based on my own research and personal experience, here are some suggestions for business school leaders:
It has been about a week since I returned from the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. It takes a few days to recover from the hectic pace of speed-dating type of meetings, chance encounters in the corridors with business titans, listening to global leaders opining on the state of the world and a large number of competing cocktails and dinners each evening. I still have a long list of to-do items from last week that need attention. The Davos meeting has been criticized for being an exclusive meeting of global elites who are disconnected … Read More
After exactly a decade, GBSN returned to Nairobi for its 13th Annual Conference on November 7 – 9, 2018. The conference, co-hosted by Strathmore Business School and the Chandaria School of Business, USIU focused on how innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship can transform business. Over 100 management education, development and industry professionals from 34 countries convened to explore innovations in education and business. The GBSN conference provided me with a perfect setting for speaking about the innovation successes and challenges of Africa. For over a decade I have been editing the Global Innovation Index (GII) Report (www.globalinnovationindex.org). Extending beyond the traditional … Read More