For me this brief interaction pointed to three interesting developments in management education. First, it provided an example of the blurring boundaries between what companies and business schools do. Second, it revealed some of the key advantages of ‘learning by doing” to develop managers and leaders. Third, it demonstrated the importance of context in creating meaningful and effective learning experiences.
If you could change anything — anything at all — about your business school, what would it be? In one form or another, that basic question is placed before every business school leader. Whereas “nothing — nothing at all” might once have sufficed for the sake of continuity and tradition, it’s no longer viewed as an acceptable response. Business school leaders, like the rest of us, live and lead in an economy described by terms and phrases such as disruptive, exponential growth, Fourth Industrial Revolution, automated, and VUCA. The time to think that business schools can continue teaching what they have, the same way, to the same people, in the same places, and with the same faculty is over. This article is about how business schools are stepping up to the challenge of change and what rankings can and can’t do to support them.