Inside the B-school - the Management Gemba!

In this article we shall appreciate the way a Business School, popularly referred to as B-school, creates value for its students.
The challenge
‘Gemba’ is a Japanese concept of continuous improvement designed for enhancing processes and reducing waste. Within a lean context, Gemba simply refers to the location where value is created.
B-school is the place where value creation takes place as the student undergoes transformation from a potential prospect to a multi-dimensional organizational resource! This is imperative as the workplace requires a management professional to juggle multiple things in order to achieve the overall goal.
The Skills Gap
Businesses are complex multidimensional entities that require a wide range of skills to function effectively. The skills required are both generic and domain specific. Generic skills include logical analysis, comprehension, planning, team dynamics & collaboration, time management, stress management, diversity management & professional ethics. Domain specific skills include the ones required for functional competence and are specific to a particular management area like marketing, finance, operations, human resource management etc.B-schools attract candidates from diverse educational and professional streams and bridge the skills gap in a strategic and phased manner. This is manifested in the way in which the management program is designed and executed.
Systems Approach
B-schools work on the systems approach and follow the input-output model. At the input point schools are careful in selecting the ‘desirable’ profile, where there is a strong preference for someone who is willing to learn, is task oriented, has a temperament suitable for team work, has high levels of initiative & energy, and has a capacity to work hard. At the output point is the end-product: the industry ready global business manager!In-between the two points is the processing stage- the process which transforms the input into the output!The breadth and depth of the processing phase defines the way the input is treated to achieve the desired output. This includes the following:-
  • Classroom teaching
  • Campus life
  • Industry interface
  • Peer group interaction
Skills Taught
B-school is a place where students are trained to perform well in organizations. This requires a range of skills, as mentioned below:
  • Data Analysis/Information Processing, which is a key input for informed decision making. Management students go through a lot of case studies which enhance their data management abilities.
  • Multitasking, as reflected in the multiplicity of tasks management students handle on each day of the program.
  • Theoretical Foundation, as laid through various concept classes, covering a wide gamut of subjects related to different management functions like marketing, finance, operations, HR etc.
  • Communication Skills, as reflected in the countless presentations and group tasks which management students engage in.
Apart from the above there is also a strong focus on planning, leadership, creativity, decision making, relationship management, negotiation skills and emotional intelligence.
Most of these skills are enhanced through case study discussions, group activities, industry projects/internships, business simulations etc.
B-schools ensure a near real simulation of the Business World. They serve as good launch pads for catapulting management enthusiasts into the real world of Business!
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