segunda-feira, 2 de maio de 2011

Business must be a liberal art

In a recent Finantial Times article (There is more to business than analytics), professor David Bach, IE Business School dean, makes an alert for what is happening in universities. Are really them training business students for life, for reality, for real market? Professor Bach thinks not and says: «Frame a challenging problem, then get out of the way!» What means doing what liberal arts does.

«Liberal Arts colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth or Williams have trained leaders for centuries, not because they anticipate better than anydoby else what students need to know, but because their curricula focus on the timeless skills of critical inquiry, independent thinking, intellectual flexibility, connection making, problem solving, judgment and communication. By means of these, they prepare students for challenges that may not even be on the horizon yet.»

Professor David Bach
Take a look of this type of questions: What is the value of a human life? What would a world economy led by China look like? Are Islam and democracyt compatible? What does it mean if behavioural biases trump rational insight in financial mardets? And how can I be an effective leader despite my weaknesses? «The answers are not to be found in textbooks, yet those who wish to lead others in an interconnected worl cannot escape them. College students in liberal arts programmes ponder these questions, Why not executives?»

So, instead of staying focused on content, analytics and on tools, business schools are to adopt the frame of art disciplines: what is important is the way students think...