October 12, 2007


There is a continious discussion about where MBA is going and what it worth. The value of general management education is questioned and this is good. If I would be designing an MBA, I would put the following components alongside with traditional ones on strategy, markeing, etc.

- Acting skills. Drama
Suffice to say that most of organisational life is drama. Stanford already offers Drama as an elective on its MBA.

- Presentation skills
No need to elaborate. Whether we present often or rarely, it's all crucial. We over-rely on technology - show them Powerpoint slides and get the illusion of understanding. More instruction is needed on mini-presentations like a hallway conversation and, of course, sales. Chicago Graduate School of Business asks applicants to send them their presentation slides.

- Technology skills.
There is critical diffference in people. Some people can open Excel and learn its features by going for what their want -- even if they don't know how to do certain thing or if it is possible to do it at all, they go for it and make technology do it in one or another way or approximation. It is like they are building scenarious, nexting about what is possible. I guess this is a distinction of "a programmer".
Other people need to be shown that there is cell formatting function, instead of knowing that it is there (or should be).

- Neurology skills. Apart from general self-development mambo-jambo that you need to relax yourself, yes, hard neurology for people to have an idea about what is going on with their brains. Which hemisphere is likely to be active now, are they confused to the degree of cross-cortical search -- these are useful things to know. At the very least people will start to notice emotions and reactions of others in the same room.

An observation: students' minds do not seem to be very good at linking and integrating concepts of different areas.


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