What’s the most important thing we’re not learning/teaching?


Combine a bit of Design Studies with a bit of thinking about the future of the MBA with a bit of disruptive thinking by Umair (in particular his ideas on edge economy, and this post on rethinking Detroit, and this one on hacking the industrial economy) and next thing I know I'm pondering on what I have never thought about. Literally. What don't we think off? And why?

This week we had two presentations on the MADS course, on of which was on 'What's the most important question we're not asking?' Great question. Tough to answer, but what a great question. Got me thinking on what's most important, the questions or the answers? What are the right questions? And why are we not asking certain questions? Because we can't think of them (If you don't know you don't know, how can you ask about it?), or because we think they're not relevant?

I have also been thinking about the MBA and the future of the MBA, and what we get taught as part of the MBA curriculum. As I've mentioned earlier, I've taken a course called Creativity and Personal Mastery (aka CPM, what's with the acronyms today?) at London Business School. I've not really talked much about it, since I find it hard to describe what it is or what I've learned. I've met some wonderful people, had and still have great conversations about everything under the sun, I've learned some tools that work for me in enjoying life more. Many people say this type of course shouldn't be part of the MBA curriculum. I disagree. Vehemently. Any course that allows you to think about who you are, what your values in life are and how you want to live your life should be part of the curriculum. What good is it teaching people the technical skills (the HOW) but not have them think why they are learning them (the WHY). The why I find more interesting than the how. The how is easy, the why takes a lifetime. Again, I'm thinking about what questions we're asking and not asking. About what subjects we get taught and what we don't get taught. And why questions like these ruffle so many feathers (see also me ranting about the LBS vision).

Then Umair comes along with his thought provoking posts. He's a master in uncovering the questions we're not asking. And poking and prodding to see why we're not asking them. I think he's ruffling quite a few feathers and I'm loving it. High time we start thinking about the world in a different way. 

Looking back over the past six months, I'm connecting the dots and seeing that it's all about what questions I'm asking. And what questions am I not asking, and why not. The quality of the questions count. What questions are you not asking yourself? What are you not being taught, or not learning? Why not? 

Get that label off me!

2413515872_a9e3d1c02aI am
an MBA
a design student
but not a designer (or am I?)
a brand strategist
a project manager
a lady geek
a blogger
a writer
an ex tech-consultant
an ex management consultant
an alumna

And that’s without even going into the personal labels I stick to myself (or get stuck on me). Labels make it easy to talk to people. "I’m an MBA from LBS" seems to open some doors or at least explain in a concise way what I am. "I’m a postgrad at Central St Martin’s" usually opens other doors (weird how you say MBA from LBS but not MA from CSM). And sometimes even mentioning you’re a blogger works magic! But at the same time, these labels make me feel uneasy sometimes, especially when others refer to them (or when I do) in a way that excludes another one. I feel like that a lot when it comes to business suits versus designers/creatives. Somehow there’s this perception that that’s an either/or situation. Either you’re a suit, and bureacratic and a management-speak spouting, tailored suit wearing MBA, or you’re a woolly creative, dressed in all black and sporting blackrimmed glasses, talking about negative space. I’m a bit lost I think. Where do I fit in? I haven’t worn a suit in years, and gave up glasses about 8 years ago. Is being both a suit and a designer a compromise that is the lowest common denominator of both and thus a bad thing. Or does it mean I can do both, and both reasonably well I hope, and that’s a good thing?

Interesting to see that this labelling happens on all sides of the fence. MBAs think designers are as weird as designers think MBAs are aliens. So maybe that’s what I am. Weird AND and alien!

This is a timed delivery

You know the drill. Been busy. Extra busy. Ultra busy. Insanely busy. With work, and school and life. And everything.

But that doesn’t explain why I haven’t written in a while here. I’m always busy. Somehow, this medium wasn’t the right one for getting my thoughts out of my head. Don’t know why. And don’t know if it will be in future. Suspect it might be. Actually, I’m pretty sure it will be. But not quite sure when yet.

So, if you’re still interested, hang in there. I say that out loud, as much to you as well as to me. Hang in there. I’ll be back. With something more substantial than this. Because ‘I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while’ posts are just lame. I know.