With international barriers shrinking, and the world becoming a smaller place, it is a prerequisite for business schools to meet global standards. B-schools have to continuously endeavour to create an atmosphere where students as well as working professionals can learn, explore and emerge as custodians of today so that they can be well groomed into leaders of tomorrow. “Management is much more than mere book knowledge, assimilation and analysis. It is about application and ultimately about making things happen. Thus, to meet this requirement it is essential for management education to be constantly enhanced,” says Ajay Oberoi, General Trustee- AICAR Business School & Executive Vice president-Aptech.
So, is innovation in executive education the need of the hour? “Managers and other personnel seek executive management education to add to their skills in a competitive and rapidly changing environment. They want to add value to the existing roles they perform, to their companies and to their careers. The inputs they need have to be practical, contemporary, and applicable across a range of business situations, impacting both strategy and execution. The existing executive education programmes are just run of the mill. They need a strong dose of imagination and innovation,” asserts Ramesh Venkateswaran, Director, SDM Institute for Management Development (SDMIMD).
“Innovation in executive education is going to be on the delivery. Although there will be little innovation on the content, there will be a lot of use of technology, elements of learning management systems, etc,” says Romit Dasgupta, Director, Globsyn.
Well then, are B-schools taking sufficient measures to help define management education in a better way? Lectures coupled with case studies, interactive sessions, workshops, seminars and presentations are the most ideal forms of teaching. But it is certainly becoming imperative for B-schools to effectively combine traditional methods along with modern day teaching methods.
Many B-schools have innovated and incorporated factors of psychological performance through innovative management games and response tests. Globsyn’s The Asian Institute of Family Business (AIFB), is a first generation entrepreneur's thought leader approach to address the vacuum in the market. AIFB is a research driven institute dedicated to the cause of advocacy and education in the 'Family Business' and Entrepreneurship sphere focusing only on enabling the entrepreneurial growth of family firms and fostering a deep understanding of unique challenges and opportunities being faced by family run businesses, SME sector and new start-ups. “In a world, where 80 per cent businesses are driven by family and entrepreneurial instincts, there is a strong need for research based, business cases driven, education edifice that not only provides a sharing based platform, but helps entrepreneurs excel and successfully navigate the various challenges that they come up against as they progress on their entrepreneurial journeys,” says Dasgupta.
AICAR (Asian Institute of Communication and Research) Business School has initiated a special program called ‘Discover success with Leaders’ wherein guest faculties from varied fields are invited to share their knowledge and experience about the happenings in the corporate world. “As part of our management education curriculum, we have introduced this unique program that will help prospective candidates challenge preconceived notions, discover new ways of thinking and evolve into independent learners/thinkers,” notes Oberoi.
Adding further to this he says, “We also have a unique concept called ‘Learning by Doing.’ The concept is beyond classroom teaching and includes live projects and simulation models. For example, creating a role play, where prospective candidates play the role of a director, executive, etc. and come up with solutions for the given problems.”
With the help of such innovative approaches, B-schools today are helping professionals in ascending the success ladder as a reflection of their ability to adapt to the ever-changing business environment, and transforming them as leaders in their future endeavours.