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BW Businessworld

Cultivate In-depth Industrial Perspectives

A key ingredient to develop in the students is the listening skills that balance exuberance and individual thought processes

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The B-schools across the country seem to be recognising the need to change, be more efficient and future-ready. They have been consciously making attempts to transform curricula, methodologies, practical exposure, and transitioning between pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy on one hand, and getting the right faculty and resources on the other to gain an edge in the war of employability. However, barring few centres of excellence and top schools, the direction of this change largely remains a challenge.

Consequently, more often success in the corporate world is achieved by students by virtue of their individual learning agility, levels of adaptability, sharper IQ, knowledge, courage and conviction rather than a wholesome long-term systemic and effective intervention. Top schools continue to dominate this landscape by their student intake process, which filters in the brighter ones on the above -mentioned traits.

Pending the carefully crafted induction programs, on-boarding and smooth initial transition rolled out by most corporates, many campus hires would experience a cultural shock while entering into the corporate world. The missing synergy between what was taught versus what they are supposed to deliver in the real business world leads to this situation. Corporates are often forced to give a thought on whether they should make or nurture the young talent, and wait for the long gestation period of output, or simply acquire experienced lateral talent who is expected to deliver from day one of their inceptions.

The question is what B-school version 2.0 requires in terms of competencies, capabilities & character to develop high-quality talent and reduce employability.  Firstly, the ability to cultivate a perspective needs to be strengthened on the big picture at the business level: how organisations are created, how businesses are run, how is profit generated, what are the basics of ROI, a holistic view of business not limited to functional know-how, key success factors, how to keep a tab on fluctuating fortunes of such factors, managing internal & external environment vis a vis a larger vision and purposefulness. Such an input by default facilitates entrepreneurial behaviour or at least intrapreneurship. Intertwine this with in-depth industrial perspective, a deep dive on how these industries evolved, succeeded and then became redundant over a period of time, and developing a foresight to be able to be future-ready.

Another input deserving a revamp, where many corporates struggle, is on building emotional maturity of students by focusing on managing self, having a balanced perspective, nurturing work-based interpersonal relationships, self-motivation and resilience. A refined focus here would go a long way in building teams, a spirit of collaboration, the right balance of independence & interdependence, minimising interpersonal conflicts, boosting productivity and laying the foundation of future leadership. It could be worthwhile to explore lab-based, self-help enabled and empowered student group approaches to develop this crucial professional & life skill. A key ingredient to develop is the listening skills that balance exuberance and individual thought processes, especially when students have grown up believing that success is more determined by speaking, interrupting and dominating others’ thought processes. 

Students need to be acquainted with the latest hands-on applications, languages and programmes. All along the B-schools have to be cognisant of adopting the technology, ways and means of how the current generation imbibe and process knowledge.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Navneet Trikha

The author is Head of HR, Godfrey Phillips India

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