All this sets the stage for chaos.
is after all the opposite of chaos, and hence the managers of the future will need to excel at handling the chaos and emotional challenges that this AI era of volatility, ambiguity, complexity, and ambiguity, or ‘VUCA’ in business school parlance, is likely to throw at them, and their teams. It is here that the experience and breadth of cross-functional knowledge that comes with experience become pivotal.
This transition is already underway, as the initial findings of large-scale, international research by IESE Business School (IESE), highlight. In the US, and other advance markets, it is cross sectoral and has been expedited by Covid-19. The share of managers with AI skills in overall recruitment is continuously rising, even as there is a relative decline in core AI engineer jobs. Also, most of these AI focussed managerial postings come from companies
that are either very large or have huge R&D budgets or are cash rich, reflecting how corporate leaders with adequate resources are increasingly looking to embrace AI and seeking mangers who have deep understanding of their business and of key principles of how AI works, to be able to connect two in a meaningful way.
Simply put, it is high time we redesignated or reinterpreted MBA as Management
by Algorithm (MbA), where the students build understanding of AI, its usage and application in business, all the while honing emotional intelligence based soft skills, which would form the core of future human workforce. It is hence critical that the focus of management
learning and education immediately shifts to developing these skills at the individual, business school and larger education system level business school and larger education system level, where aspiring managers are selected based on both qualitative and quantitative skills. Business Schools like IESE Harvard, INSEAD, Oxford universities, are already inculcating AI based management in their MBA courses, to prepare students for the future.
In India, a country with over a half a million aspiring managers produced each year, this has immense implications. The fact that there is only one Indian management institute in FT’s Global Top 25 list (ISB), and that there are thousands of management institutes that do not even appear in India’s domestics rankings, is reflective of the quality of management education
in the country. The challenge would be to make management education
ready for the AI revolution.
It is here that the New Education Policy (NEP), presents a lot of hope, especially in the sphere of management education.
The fact is most of the development and application of AI-based systems is happening in the developed economies and China. While campuses of foreign universities are some time away, content sharing and joint programmes in partnership with existing management institutions, especially from the private sector, can provide the much-needed quantum leap that management education needs both to upgrade standards, and more importantly to be future ready.
To make the NEP work, it is critical to align the selection process with future skills. The Common Admission Test (CAT), which is heavily inclined words quantitative and logical reasoning skills, appears somewhat inadequate.
Most leading management education institutions are offering specialised high quality management programmes like those in healthcare, policy, design, architecture among many others, and it would be advisable that students align their interest, skills and expertise to effectively manage and apply AI systems to gain competitive advantage, as also achieve emotional satisfaction or their Ikigai.
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