February 27, 2012

Growth and Comfort Do Not Co-Exist

The rules of the game have changed. We often hear about terms such as globalization, triple bottom line, more for less for more, disruptive innovation, sustainability, technological revolution, social responsibility, ethics, governance and the list goes on. 

To keep abreast with these dynamic changes, there is a dire need for students to develop a global mindset, hone their leadership skills, greater awareness of self and context, holistic thinking skills, develop empathy and ethical perspectives and Soft Skills. This means stepping out of the comfort zone.


Also Read : How to Get Internship at Google

Some of the key aspects that will change the game for nations, corporates, communities and individual opportunities are listed below. You need to check for these newer metrics while scouting for the Business School of your choice and your personal aspirations. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Quotient Sustainable models to transform lives in various sections of society (people and geographies) that have not been reached out to yet Inclusiveness, Diversity and a Holistic Approach Sensitive to changes and opportunity readiness owing to Internationalization and T-shaped professionals

As quoted by President and CEO of IBM "Whatever business you're in, it's going to commodities over time, so you have to keep moving it to a higher value and change". Hence as students it is imperative that evaluation parameters for measuring B-School suitability for future ready careers moves beyond percentiles to holistic personality, physical infrastructure to mind structure, faculty ratio to quality of engagement. 

This is surely the way to move from a package-driven career choice to a career choice that leads to overall quality of life. 
Some of the key initiatives that we at Welingkar have initiated towards preparing our students for these key game changers are: 
A focused approach to nurture students as Global citizen managers and our AAA approach is a step to further advance in that direction. 
AAA is an acronym for Acquisition, Application and Assimilation of knowledge. 

The approach emphasizes students to learn through application of acquired knowledge and as the next step delve deeper to make meaning of the knowledge acquired and experience by understanding one's roles and responsibilities towards business, relationships and society as well as understand one's beliefs and values which influence/guide one's actions and decisions.

Include courses such as the "Integrative Manager" wherein through team teaching, multi-disciplinary concepts are taught to nurture an integrative thinking mindset. Establish an innovation lab: "Innowe" our innovation lab has nurtured and incubated several students' new ideas/ projects; which have been well appreciated by Industry and this has been possible through integrating the philosophy of design thinking and innovation across all programs at WeSchool.

Provide students' with global and rural exposures and opportunity to engage in several projects and initiatives such as DMagics, GRLI, SIFE, Udaan and Munijan have sensitised them to their role as an individual to make a difference and give back to society. The "Speak for Smiles"

Series gave students a golden opportunity to learn from stalwarts such as Dr. Nitin Nohria, Indra Nooyi, K V Kamat, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Paul Polman, just to name a few. It is our earnest desire to disseminate our knowledge and experience with not only WeSchool students, but to society at large.

Professionals of the future need to have the depth of domain knowledge and the width of overall perspective and sensitivity of the organization and community. So it is not about asking if you should focus on specialization/business sector or overall perspective. It is about having both of it. More often than not we hear that an HR professional to be successful, he needs to understand business needs and challenges, and so on for other functions. So check if the BSchool you are evaluating is focused on BOTH.

At WeSchool, students have the choice of a large bouquet of programs, within which they can pick a specialization and also have a vertical / sector that they want to focus on. My favorite example is that of one of our alumni with a Bachelors in Management Studies background, who chose the E-Biz program, specialized in Marketing with vertical specialization in Retail. This got her off to a successful and fulfilling career with Infosys. Customized and specific combinations are what the future is about: about nurturing T-shaped professionals. However, "Growth and comfort do not co-exist.", so you will have to make some difficult choices and unlearn and relearn the new paradigms of career development through management education.

The author is Prof. Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of WeSchool
To avail more information on the two-year full-time PGDM program for 2012-14 intake call on 022 24718300; Extn 4739,4740,4741 or log on to www.welingkar.org Visit http://blogs.welingkar.org/
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