"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Management Education in the 21st Century

When we talk about management, first question that comes to mind is what is to manage? Are we talking about just managing people, teaching them strategies, human resources and so on? Or are we talking about managing materials, physical resources and so on? Is management a concept or is it a practical action? Or is it a combination of both? 21st century is about diversity, collaboration, cooperation, and it’s about maintaining balance! There are no longer black and white decisions or picking sides. A lot of the time, decisions lie in the grey area encompassing multi qualities and multi factors. This focus is continuingly being revised and we can see promising progress developing beginning in the last half a century.

Personally, I believe there’s more to change in “education” than in “management.” Education should no longer reflect the traditional teacher-student relations but should aim at collective knowledge and sharing of intelligence. Everyone has different specialties, and everyone has knowledge to contribute in certain areas. Instead of taking traditional text book-lecture classes, why not engage in simple exchange of intelligence among colleagues, among friends, even among families. There are more than enough opportunities around us. A conversation with a lobby receptionist may tell you a better floor plan for customer reception; a conversation with a young newcomer may tell you what's hot on the market and what types of advertisement is catching; a conversation with a janiter may tell you a better budgeting strategies... It doesn't matter how big or how small is your role, a simple conversation with anybody will teach you something new. Let's put it this way, if you can skip a 3-hour strategy class and talk to Dr. Henry Mintzberg for 30 minutes would you do it? What you learn in a class might not be as useful or direct as a thought or a story from someone's first-hand experience. Now that's the new education in 21st century should be like.

I believe it has come to the time of multidimensional-approach management. The above is an idea. How it should be and could be realized. This is a new challenge for management education in 21st century and it is up to your creative mind to solve it.

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