Bridging knowledge and practice of management – know your enemy within

knowyourenemywithin-bridging knowledge and practice of management

Disconnect between knowledge and performance or degree and delivery has been a subject of debate for long. Conclusive evidence on relevance of education for success in life and the correlation between individual professional growth and academic performance in universities are still elusive. Undisputed, however are instances of achievers in business and profession who dropped out of college or been only mediocre in academic performance.

Complementary individual factors (skills, capabilities, attitudes, traits, mind-sets, need for achievement, tolerance for risk and ambiguity, preconceived notions, legacy factors, cultural context and so on) play a great role in determining the level of achievement in whatever one pursues.

Our educational system fails to address critical elements essential to effectively put into practice the knowledge from an undergraduate /graduate program. Students of formal programs are handicapped by having no one to ask, not knowing what to ask, even feeling diffident to ask for fear of ridicule.

Real-life situations are visualised only when one is confronted with or when they are presented in a no-holds-barred manner; not presented as gift-wrapped knowledge in classrooms. When people try to apply knowledge from formal education innocently, gaps between the tool and its effective application surface, as surprises.

Such gaps are generally filled in by a mentor or a coach, on the job, during apprenticeship, who interprets situations for the intern in the context of the theory and extends comfort / confidence to carve a judicious just-in-time amalgam of concepts, apply them, interpret the outcome and continuously tweak to arrive at desired results.


employability ppt 310815

Employability is beyond possession of knowledge. It is the ability to use knowledge in complex, demanding, undefined, stressful, risky situations where one has to work with poor visibility, uncertainty, people with conflicting motives / hidden agenda and deliver results. You may even have to redefine and sell what constitutes results and prove that what you did constitute results. Very thin line divides perception of results…..

Learning to Challenge Unlearn And Innovate on What is Taught in Your MBA Classrooms

Learning to Challenge Unlearn And Innovate on What is Taught in Your MBA Classrooms

Except for some fundamental time tested quantitative techniques used at application level in management (operations research, optimisation, statistical analysis, forecasting, business mathematics), most management concepts taught in business schools are borrowings from the western world, with decades of lag, overwritten, disowned, criticised or conceded as misplaced and irrelevant, by theorists celebrated as management gurus, in a different era.  

Most theories originated in military application during the 2nd world war and were adopted in business management for their utility. Management is application oriented; an amalgam of borrowed concepts. MBA students are victims of a double lag: teachers carrying outdated knowledge, lacking practical experience and students becoming victims of survival needs of outdated MBA teaching community. Syllabi under the university system is a creation and preservation of faculty whose primary interest is safeguarding their employment, leading to graduates not finding relevant employment commensurate with their degree and expectations.

MBA students, to safeguard their interests, should embrace classroom concepts with caution, recognising these are subject to change driven by environmental changes or even their own innovation, use them with care and caution.

So as an MBA, you have to believe that you don’t have to think like others, including your teachers, to be right. You can be right in your own way. But have a logic of your own to support your conviction of being right

What one should and should not expect from an MBA Program

An MBA is not a mere tool / route for grabbing a lucrative employment with an MNC or a decorative feather on the cap to impress the significant others. An MBA, at best prepares one for a disciplined rational approach to analysing and comprehending situations in career and life in general. This approach help evaluate a basket of opportunities and choose the one that best fits one’s skill set, life / career goals, market opportunities, personality traits, passion  and need to achieve happiness and meaning in life.  It helps to see things in perspective and venture into unchartered territories. One should desist from carrying a myopic view.

MBAs tend to be more confident and see life in a different light due to the diversity of exposure one gets.

Traversing an MBA program many times endorses ones’ own secretly views that one would have held close, for fear of ridicule, disapproval or out of sync with the fashion of the day and thus reinforces independence thought process and self-confidence. It gives an opportunity to see your diverse experience in life through the glass of variety of disciplines (finance, economics, behavioural science …..).

Management is common sense applied logically and rationally, seen through a structured filter of multiple disciplines taught in a MBA program. A disciplined approach brings consistency and predictability, enhances confidence and acceptance levels leading to results. It helps take a rational view than a temporal emotionally charged knee jerk reaction. One would be able to see the woods in addition to the trees that make up the woods. This approach brings maturity in understanding and decisions in complex situations.

Quality MBA programs should induce participants to be incisive in their analysis and understanding, questioning on possibilities (eg. negative interest rates) and implications, holistic evaluation on consequential fallouts of decisions, contrarian thoughts, new possibilities and experimentation; not mechanistic skill acquisition for its unadulterated deployment.  A mechanistic approach only helps in transactional management (maintenance) and not transformational and creative. What is significant is, to develop a questioning mind, searching for answers, introspection, debate, evolving new paradigms and standards.  This is possible only if one is constantly in sync with environmental developments (an open system approach) and being able to predict emergence of new models and interconnections. Product of quality MBA programs should expect to nourish their entrepreneurial competence fed by unhindered exercise of their mind. Ability to see the invisible would be one of the most valued contributions from a quality MBA program. One need to develop the skill to reconcile contradictions.

  • MBAs are not meant to be robots but those who conceive, develop, deploy and exploit robotic capabilities to achieve goals.
  • You will discover and educate others more as you go along in your career!!

    Demise of University Education

    Are we scripting the Demise of University Education

    Falling educational standards, creeping questionable academic and professional integrity, increasingly frustrated student aspirants, declining connect between education and employability and increasing cost of formal education; availability of free online content, demonstrated  competency expectation of clients /employers and entrepreneurial awakening of youngsters seem to be driving the shift from certification oriented expensive university education to self learning, experimenting, risk taking and entrepreneurship

    Prime Consulting Group offers online tutoring on management  to enable learning as you go, that is relevant, value for money, appropriate and non interventionist