As a result of the recession, many business schools are pondering the role they played in the largest financial crisis of our generation. One such entity that has taken bold steps to think differently about how to prepare future business leaders is Roger Martin, who is leading a revolution in design and integrative thinking at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Martin is the Dean at Rotman and has written a number of books on the topic including “The Opposable Mind,” which is one of my all-time favorite reads, and has a new book out titled “The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage.”
The New York Times has caught on to his efforts and did a great piece about Martin and Rotman’s innovative practices with integrative and design thinking in this last Sunday’s paper. The article gives some great examples about how Martin and Rotman are thinking differently about delivering a business degree and preparing future business thinkers and leaders (hint: it’s not all about how to prepare a spreadsheet). It’s an engaging read that has many implications for the future of management and how we are trained to use mental models (see Senge).
If you’re interested in the topic of business school reform, there has been much discussion on the topic in the last year and I would highly recommend the following articles:
- NYT: Is it time to retrain b-schools? (March 2009)
- HBR: The Buck Stops (and Starts) at Business School (June 2009)
- BusinessWeek: MBAs: Public Enemy No. 1? (May 2009)
- Fast Company: Reinventing the MBA (November 2009)
What are some other ways b-schools could be reformed? Would you want to see your business school take a multidisciplinary approach to business training? What have I left out?