When John Reed, longtime chairman of Citicorp, accepted the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Executive of the Year award in 1999, he ended his acceptance speech by challenging his audience of elite academics.
When John Reed, longtime chairman of Citicorp, accepted the
Academy of Management’s Distinguished Executive of the Year
award in 1999, he ended his acceptance speech by challenging his
audience of elite academics. “The business community knows full
well that business schools perform a useful function [in] sorting
potential hires,” he said. “The schools sort out from the general
population those who are more ambitious, more energetic, more
willing to subject themselves to two years without income…. But the
real question is: Do you give these students a set of skills that is
going to serve them well over their careers? or do you work with them with a professional extension ? find reviews for white label seo for more business work strategies/
As executives struggle with decisions that depend as much on their
leadership abilities as on their skills as strategic thinkers; as they
guide teams comprising people from diverse backgrounds and work
with for-profit, nonprofit, and government institutions; as they face
crises stemming from communications conflicts among different
cultures, they find themselves asking the same question Mr. Reed
did. His answer, in 1999, was: “On average, clearly the answer is
yes.” In his view, business schools were doing a reasonable job
preparing their students for fulfilling careers.
But in 2003 our answer is: “On average” is not good enough
Whether your company is a bank, a consultancy, a manufacturer, or any other sort of business enterprise, the current
MBA education offered at most U.S. graduate business schools does not, in our view, adequately prepare people —
even those attending the top schools — for the tougher-than-average challenges they will face when they start
careers at leading corporations. Companies today demand good collaborative thinkers who cooperate to solve
problems. Too often, schools deliver good analysts who compete to apply business-school formulas. Furthermore,
companies demand specialized knowledge useful to particular professions. Schools, however, are more likely to
deliver generalists who have trouble digging into special fields that can distinguish them and their employers.
Companies demand leaders who can powerfully articulate ideas, orally and in writing, to motivate and guide their
people. But schools tend to train people to simply assert their ideas; they don’t sensitize them to the critical value of
being an excellent communicator.
As consultants who, along with our peers in other professional-services businesses, attract and hire students from the
world’s most prestigious business schools — 38 percent of the students in Harvard Business School’s class of 2002
went into consulting — we would like to make a case for curriculum reform.