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Towards New Skills and Mindsets

On January 27, 2020, Ceeman, The International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies, hosted a webinar to discuss reimagining management education in rising economies and the new skills and mindsets necessary for this change. The webinar was facilitated by Dancia Purg, President of the Central and East European Management Development Association, and Mette Morsing, a Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. The webinar brought up several points about the future of teaching strategies at business schools.

Innovation and Inclusivity

Therese Norlander brought up the common problem of students attending the higher level business schools for a higher salary, when they should be focused instead on how their business might help those around them. Success for a business should be when it makes a positive impact on the world. The mindset of business schools must change, so that the next generations will prosper from a more innovative and inclusive experience. Arnold Smit, a professor at the Stellenbosch Business School, emphasized that we live in a society with interconnected challenges, and business schools are connected with many others in our society; so they should be used as convening spaces for deliberation about controversial topics such as responsibility, sustainability and ethics. He also mentioned how there needs to be a focus on the boards of business schools and corporations as well — if the board does not accept these new ideals, then the entire company or school will not follow suit.  Norlander pointed out how business schools already were shifting to more socially based skills, such as analytical thinking, innovation, social influence, creativity and active learning. These socially based skills can lead business schools to teach with a more inclusive mindset — one that was especially learned during the COVID-19 pandemic — that we’re all in this together, and must advance cooperatively or risk not advancing at all.

Purpose Driven Leadership

Norlander stressed the importance of how leaders in business schools and various corporations must know that others are not at their service — rather they are at the service of others. Danica Purg, the panel leader, agreed, saying that in purpose driven leadership, the leaders of businesses and business schools needed to learn to unlearn. This means they must learn how to accept the changes that are resulting since the pandemic and realize their duty to challenge the bribing and nepotism present in today’s corporations. Purg went on to elaborate how business schools need to be more self-confident and not be intimidated by the business schools in the United States and Europe, as learning can happen in many places and is not just confined to the four walls of a classroom.


Jikyeong Kang, president of the Asian Institute of Management, highlighted how the businesses that are resilient will learn how to strategize and survive, as they were forced to do during the pandemic. However, businesses that cannot learn how to receptively change according to their environment will perish. A skill deficit has emerged as a result of VUCA, Industry 4.0 automation and COVID-19. However, several new skills and developments have emerged as a result of this disruption in traditional education formats such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, new collar jobs, and educational technology. Although much has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, not all of it has to be bad. Sometimes, change is needed to catalyze the emergence of a reimagined system, as with the evolution of present day business schools.