Can you learnthe "Living Organisation" s          Part of anything frommanagement education?    Management    education te...
Colleges and universities teach us how to learn. They allow us to advance our ownknowledge by building on the work of othe...
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Can management education teach you anything?

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People are often highly critical of formal management education. They claim it constrains innovation and entrepreneurial behaviour. But let's put this is some perspective.....

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Can management education teach you anything?

  1. 1. Can you learnthe "Living Organisation" s Part of anything frommanagement education? Management education teaches you how to learn and build your own knoweldge Useful or Limiting?Dr Norman Chorn | norman.chorn@centstrat.com | www.normanchorn.com | www.centstrat.comIt’s become quite fashionable these days to criticize the value of our education system.And I don’t mean the criticism focused on lifting Australian educational standards to matchinternational best practice. This is necessary if we want to retain our place as a trulycompetitive nation.No, I’m talking about the criticism that is leveled against the value of formal managementeducation in driving innovation and creativity. The argument suggests that the structureand theory learned at college and university make people risk averse and unwilling tocreate new opportunities. They point to people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Dick Smith andKerry Packer to suggest that formal education serves little purpose in creating successfulbusiness enterprises.Let’s get some perspective on the issue. Yes, there are some dud management collegesand university courses where the qualifications aren’t worth much.Yes, there are many graduates from management courses and degrees who actually can’tdo anything useful.In general, however, bright and exceptional people (like Jobs, Gates, Smith and Packer)will usually succeed, with or without formal education. They have a natural ability to learnand adapt - and they generally identified opportunities early and didn’t bother finishingtheir education.But most of us have to learn how to learn. We have to learn how to assimilate, integrateand analyse information to make intelligent decisions. We have to learn that correlationdoes not imply causation. We have to learn how to interpret outlier data. We need to knowthe history so we can build on what has gone before and not reinvent the wheel.
  2. 2. Colleges and universities teach us how to learn. They allow us to advance our ownknowledge by building on the work of others. Once we have learned, it is our naturalprogressiveness or conservatism that comes to the fore. Our personality will thendetermine whether we seek to play it safe or go out and create new things. Now, maybecolleges and universities attract a high proportion of those who want to play it safe in thebelief that an education will give them security. But that is quite different to alleging that amanagement education through college or university will suppress innovation andcreativity.Management education is an important ingredient in improving the overall effectiveness ofAustralian enterprise and our overall levels of productivity.Norman is a Future Strategist and Organisational Architect. He believes in the valueof management education and informed decision making. Norman conducts workshops in strategy and organisation design. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and blogs norman.chorn@centstrat.com

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