In 1984 Mark McCormack wrote “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School – Notes From A Street Smart Executive.” In 1989 Mark wrote “What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School.” I thought of those 2 books when I was researching some trends in MBA education programs. I discovered that there had been some critical elements missing with the MBA education and that there are troubles with newly graduated MBAs. My research indicated that new MBA graduates have really lacked key interpersonal skills, the ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively, teambuilding skills, and an understanding and commitment to business ethics.
So what is being done to address these gaps in the MBA education? In 2005 Jack Welsh was a guest lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and he told the students “just concentrate on networking. Everything else you need to know, you can learn on the job” in response to a question about what should the students be learning. After that lecture MIT began adding more interpersonal coursework. Other business schools have begun to follow suit by stressing teamwork and listening skills.
One of the trends I discovered is that the business schools are listening and responding to the marketplace. Every year since 2002, the Graduate Management Admissions Council has surveyed recruiters and found that several skills employers value most – the ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively – are the ones the new graduate MBAs lack. The University of Chicago requires each MBA candidate to take a communications and teambuilding course and be coached and mentored by second year students.
In 2005 The Wharton School began offering a leadership program with 1-on1 coaching from professional coaches. There has also been a push for a greater focus on business ethics. And The Yale School of Management is now teaching how to plan a career and how to cope with stress.
The news that the business schools are listening to the needs of the marketplace and are taking actions to response to the challenges is very encouraging. And if the changes at the business schools start producing MBAs with the critical interpersonal skills needed, the business schools can proudly proclaim, “We practice what we teach!”
Your strategic thinking business coach encourages you to be a life long learner and to take advantage of all opportunities to engage in educational pursuits. If that pursuit includes a goal of attaining an MBA and you would like to learn more about how a strategic thinking business coach can facilitate and guide you in that endeavor, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at http://www.businesscoach4u.com or by email at [email protected]