I acknowledge with gratitude this superb cartoon that exemplifies what i’ am about to talk about.
In business, as in every other human activity, there are people who talk and only talk; and then there are people who have no time to talk, but do what they need to do.
Those who talk, but have never done, teach at Business Schools. They do research on what the doers have already done and present this as their original work.
There are the credulous who pay big money to learn from the talkers. Why don’t they go to the doers?
Worse still, why do these doers recruit people who the non-doing talkers teach, and who the businesses have to retrain at high cost? What’s the value of Business School education?
The Administrative Head of a reputed European Business School told me that Bill gates would not be allowed to teach at her Institute because he had no Ph.D degree. She was extremely serious. When i asked her whose loss it was and if she thought it would bother Bill Gates, she became angry and said i missed the point.
What was the point?
One summer a decade ago, i sat with three important Deans in a top Business School in the US. Over a cup of coffee that they graciously offered me, they explained that their B School was for Research. It had nothing to do with teaching or students. Students were not their customers. The Professors who do research for their own benefit are their own customers!
Students who pass out of these institutions imbibe these principles of greed. They turn unethical and crooked. B School graduates have created the biggest scams in recent times. As i write this post, a group of Wharton graduates and renowned consultants are fighting to clear their names in US Courts on Wall Street scams.
I would like to hear the defense of anyone who believes that the guys who have made the largest stashes in recent times in Wall Street are good human beings. From what i can see and read, these guys have their ethics, morals and social responsibility values turned upside down.
I believe that Business School education should take a large part of the blame. People who run these B Schools and teach there are accountable.
Why can’t we teach business, entrepreneurship and management at High School, along with humanities and social sciences ? Students can learn bout business along with human values. Some European Schools already do this.
Why can’t we involve businesses and business managers in this business teaching effort? Studies show that this makes managers more ethical as well. Some European schools already do this.
Why can’t a fully trained business professional, ready to embark on one’s own or available to work for an enterprise, learn ethical, moral and entrepreneurial values by the age of 21 or 22, eliminating the need for independent B Schools? Some US Colleges already do this.
When qualified practitioners are available at reasonable costs from Schools and Colleges, in whose teaching and development businesses have had a stake, and who need not be trained all over again, why would any business recruit people without values at exorbitant costs?
It’s about time Society and Governments reviewed the way Business Schools do business. It’s about time businesses did a serious return on investment study on value offered by Business Schools.
Is there anything to lose except greedy teachers who produce even more greedy students?