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.
Hi! My name is Zara and I come from Pakistan. When I applied to Hanken for the MSc. Program in Business and Management, my main motivator was the excellent reputation of the Nordic education system, but little did I know that I was about to experience not just impeccable classroom learning, but also an extra-ordinary peer-to-peer network. Working in groups with people who teach you something new every time is an experience I am truly grateful to Hanken for. One of my classmates taught me some techniques to more effectively interact with people. Yet another classmate taught me a great … Read More
A young man who had spent a good part of his formative educational years dissatisfied with the education system in his country soon found his niche in the world of Finance. Now, studying at the Hanken School of Economics, that very young man sees hope that with his experience he will be able to bring about the change his country so desperately needs. Growing up in a country like Pakistan has never been easy if you do not come from a background of privilege. For the struggling middle class even basic rights such as quality education become a matter of … Read More
How would you describe the work of business schools? Most people go straight to the teaching. Business schools teach business and management through a wide range of degree programs and executive education, helping learners to build and navigate careers as managers. Those more familiar with the industry add that business schools conduct objective and rigorous research to inform practicing managers and policy makers, as well as support teaching. In short, business schools develop skills, insights, and opportunities for organizations and the people who manage them.
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.
Brazil’s Fundaçao Dom Cabral (FDC) is what I call “a business school with a heart”. Ranked 8 th worldwide by the Financial Times for customized executive education, it trains about 40,000 executives from mid-size and large companies every year. All FDC’s activities are informed by a Covenant drawn up in 2006, which expresses the institution’s commitment to ethics in its relations with all its stakeholders. I quote Article VII: “Ethics: concentrating on practicing loyalty, trust and transparency in our relations with third parties while recognizing our mistakes and correcting our paths”. Disasters Last week I was privileged to participate in … Read More
I much enjoyed reading a recent book by a former GBSN colleague and friend, Jim Dean, and his co-author Deborah Clarke: “The Insider’s Guide to Working with Universities. Its tag line: Practical Insights for Board Members, Business people, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Alumni, Parents, and Administrators.” This core of the book – as far as I know the first of its kind – explains to very senior non-academic people, especially corporate CEOs who become presidents, deans, trustees and such, of academic institutions how universities differ from businesses, and what makes them tick. My favorite quote: “From 1948 to 1953 former Supreme Commander … Read More
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.
Much attention has been given to how business schools in emerging economies can develop the quality and relevance of their teaching and research programmes, acknowledging the huge potential such development would unlock for those economies and the world. Some of this attention has, understandably, focused on researchers and the need for them to improve the scope and quality of their publications so that they ‘rank’ alongside those from developed economies.
What if we took a group of high performing managers from Canadian paper mills and placed them in the Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia. Would they succeed? Regardless of whether you answered yes, no, or maybe, your responses to questions like this one can reveal a lot about the work we’re doing at the Global Business School Network (GBSN). Since we were created by the World Bank 17 years ago, our vision has been for the developing world to have the management talent it needs to generate prosperity. We want to achieve that vision by “improving access to quality, locally relevant management and entrepreneurship education for the developing world.” As my experience grows with GBSN, so does my respect for the local relevance part of our mission. Here are three ways that we are prioritizing local relevance in our work.