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The dangers of an MBA


Umm...more than a week of blog-less days. There goes yet another resolution.:)
As one of the reading for this class, I read this chapter (When Talk Substitutes For Action) from this book (The Knowing-Doing Gap).

BTW, isn't Google Print awesome!?

The take-away from the chapter: that business school can be dangerous in that it can leave MBAs believing that victory is merely successfully articulating a good idea. The case method and discussions help foster that view. I've definitely observed that in myself and many (if not most) of my peers. Success is seen in successfully arguing for one's own point of view and intelligence or cleverness is being able to cut down someone else's point.

The chapter also notes the tragedy that it is easier to appear smart by disagreeing with someone rather than agreeing with them. I've caught myself doing (and actually done) this literally hundreds of times. Some of this skepticism is necessary to test the idea on the table, but is some of it just food for the ego and trying to score points amongst peers? If still waters run deep, is the MBA pond being taught to be shallow?

This entire discussion process is necessary as part of the process to come up with the right strategy (which is a pre-requisite to getting stuff done.) The danger, according to the book, is that there is greater focus and energy spent on this process and achieving "victory" here rather than in the implementation that needs to follow. The authors believe (probably rightly) that academics and management consultants can be very guilty of this as well.

Anyway, the hope is I (and a few others I know) can shut up a little more and focus on getting stuff done both now and in the future.

BTW, did anyone else think that my "still waters" comment had a slight "Sex and the City" twinge to it (the monologue that Carrie always has)? No? OK. BTW, apparently since none of the cast has done anything interesting since the show ended the much-rumored movie will actually happen.

Comments

Josekin said…
I think you overstate the reasons to articulate a view point and understate the effects of that on the entire class (thereby making me a victim of the process, haha).

Even though some points are more acknowledged than others, I don't think everybody in class is in agreement with the points made or not made. I also think the class enjoys the debate and learns from more the debate rather than the "final point"...

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