The number of concepts and tools that schools need to teach business students within a one or two year programme is increasing. Programme officers and faculty work to try to fit it all in, but is all of it really needed? How do we ensure that what students are taught is useful and relevant, but also encourages them to think about business in different ways instead of just teaching new generations to do things the same way they have always been done? How do we teach them to look at the bigger picture?
The Future MBA will have a space both on and offline to question the concepts brought up in different courses, in particular core courses. These could be theories, frameworks, rules, established practices that are taught to MBAs year after year without any thought as to whether they are still useful, relevant or even right.
Students would have the opportunity both during their programmes and after they graduate to comment on specific tools and their validity and usefulness. Inputs by students could be in the form of comments, a score out of 10 or a general feel of usefulness indicator which may change over time. The platform would then provide a measure of the general mood around a particular tool, if it is fundamental, if it was inspiring for students but not so useful after etc. The platform would encourage students to question these concepts, comment on whether they helped clarify their thinking or complicated it further.
This information would allow lecturers and programme offices to be able to refine what is being taught in the classroom to ensure that time is allocated to those skills that students want now, and need later as alumni at all stages of their careers. The platform could also provide a fascinating insight into widely held management beliefs and whether they are as useful and relevant as they are widespread. It will also enable students and faculty to see trends around the new kinds of skills and knowledge that are increasingly needed by students and tailor programmes to include these.