The educational institutions where future business leaders are being trained must be transformed dramatically, claims Danish researcher Johan Roos. Business education needs to revise its goals and teach new sets of skills: sustainable global thinking, entrepreneurial and innovative talents and decision-making based on practical wisdom.
History of business education
The early business schools sought to provide the tools and skills required to become a successful business person, like bookkeeping, manufacturing and contract law. The criticism was that there was too much engagement, too little research, too much practice, too little theory.
The subsequent recasting of business schools along the lines of serious academia served its purpose for decades, embedding a level of intellectualism into business education. However, we re now stuck with a system in which business schools re deaf, blind and dumb to a completely new emerging world. Performance has become the most dependent variable in management research. Too much emphasis is now placed on theory vs. practice, which results in an incapacity of graduates to deal with the complex problems of the world that companies actually inhabit.
New generation of leaders
The organizers of the Global Drucker Forum have called for a ‘great transformation in management’. Former president of Copenhagen Business School Johan Roos claims that this transformation should include a radical new synthesis and approach to business education throughout the world. During the yearly Forum he will argue that we need to educate a new generation of leaders. Business leaders who will succeed in the coming decade will be notable for their holistic thinking, global perspectives, international experience, multilingual capabilities, technological familiarity, entrepreneurial mindset, creativity and ability to deal productively with complexity, chaos and paradoxes. Many corporations already claim that they cannot find the type of employees and leaders they need, so business schools should start preparing for the future.