Each year, prestigious schools end up producing thousands of business professionals prepared to run an office of eager employees. Instead of a yearly injection of alternative thinkers and innovative creators, the business world is constantly being re-filled with “management material”. And that is precisely the problem.
The characteristics of a successful businessman have been redefined. In the past, the ability to manage and run a company was hailed as the hallmark of success, but the world has changed, and creativity is king. Managing and creating are drastically different skills, and they are developed in completely different ways.
From the traditional, academic direction, young business professionals enter the corporate world armed with textbooks, strategies, and ideas from their business courses. The books they’ve recently read are often a mixture of those written by their own professors and the hottest new publications by burgeoning corporate kings. Their teachers over the past few years have been tenured professors who are likely distanced from relevant business practices of the present by both time and space. The dogmatic lessons of business education could often be called “
The World According to Professor”, because their content is the unchanging business world seen through the analytic and disconnected eyes of the academic community. Therefore, when those students graduate, they are full of ideas and concepts about what “should work”, because it worked in the past, with little tangible experience of what “does work” in the present. Perhaps they had a handful of exciting guest lecturers who had a genuine connection with the business world as it currently is, but those lecturers came and went, leaving the students to be educated and indoctrinated by outdated academics and staunch believers in traditional business practice.
From the more modern, alternative direction, hotshot Internet sensations and “idea men” are coming up with unique products, marketing techniques, and revolutionary ideas by thinking outside the box. They might have little to no formal business education, and have instead relied on their life experience, ambition, and personality to reach their position. They learn about new techniques moments after they are released on the Internet, they share knowledge and concepts with their coworkers, and they have a youthful vigor and an unadulterated way of approaching business. They were never taught the “fundamental rules of business”, so breaking them in order to innovate and rejuvenate operating practices is never a problem. These people also tend to write books, explaining their unusual path to success by outlining their vision and approach to modern business. These books are very popular, and are quickly consumed by other young professionals, but they often act as motivational stories, intensely personal and persuasive, yet lacking any firm guidelines for readers to follow.
Between these two philosophies of business, there is an unavoidable gap. The traditional business education tends to create managers that are able to run a business, rather than creators that are able to innovate one. Formal business education often overlooks the role of spontaneity, versatility, and openness to learning in alternative ways that have come to define modern business. On the other hand, the generation of self-taught business pioneers constantly focused on creation might not be able to organize, manage, or implement their industry-shaking ideas without someone to facilitate and guide them in the process.
A balance must be struck to close the gap between the traditional and modern approaches to business education. They both have valuable components to offer, but neither can be successful without the other, so a flexible balance of power must be reached. Without the unified strength of administration, innovation, and cooperation, business education will become completely obsolete, the practical aspect of operating businesses will disappear, and the vehicle for innovation and societal advancement through industry will cease to function.
Learn more about the importance of business education only at the University Canada West, one of the best universities in Canada, offering various business and management related programs.
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