An argument to stay young... or at least think that way.

“How business schools are adapting to the changing world of work.” I just finished reading this and it got me to thinking, and apparently to typing. In short, it offers a commentary on how business schools are changing what (and the way) they teach to prepare business students for the new world of business.


If you happen to be curious about what’s happening around you it doesn’t take long to feel the onslaught of information that suggests change of a profound scale is upon us, and will shake the very foundations of who we are, what we do, and how we will survive — AI and robotics will put hundreds of millions of people out of work (leaving them with little purpose), liberal democracy, although not out, is down for the count, our environment is cascading to a place that may not be able to sustain the world’s population, and our mastery of the gene may change what it means to be human. Is it all as dire as the collective has made it out to be? I really don’t know. Although I do know that there is a very good chance that the scope and scale of these changes will be greater than anything we have seen for quite a while.

I think we can all agree that impactful change is“afoot”.

The premise of the article, aside from still needing technical skills, was to impress that creativity and adaptability are now the cornerstones of business education; it went on to suggest that creativity, grit, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision-making skills are crucial for long term success. I’m not entirely convinced some of these actually can be taught, but that wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. What came to mind was that when we’re young we possess these skills, and in turn, have them suppressed or broken by social and institutional endeavours — and after they are crippled and broken, have the same social and institutional endeavours suggest they can help develop them in your time of need. Why not just nurture these in the first place? Simplistic yes and maybe even trite, but nonetheless resonant.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty [ˌkrēāˈtivədē] NOUN : the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

grit [ɡrit] NOUN : courage and resolve; strength of character.

team·work [ˈtēmˌwərk] NOUN : the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.

communication-effectiveness [kəˌmyo͞onəˈkāSH(ə)n,iˈfektivnəs] NOUN : A two way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party.

de·ci·sion-mak·ing [dəˈsiZHənˌmākiNG] NOUN : the action or process of making decisions, especially important ones.

I don’t really know how impactful the coming changes will be but I do know I will work through them; I’m also not really in a position to speak intelligently regarding how our social and institutional endeavours encourage conformity and suppress anything innately outside the box of, and frankly I don’t even know if these are skills we are born with. What I do know though are these two things —

  1. When you read you learn something, you’re encouraged to think, and ultimate encourage others to do the same.

  2. Creativity, grit, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision making skills are definitely crucial for anything you will ever do, and this includes adapting to the changing world of work.

And because I can’t help myself, I have to say we are born into this world hardwired for challenge so we definitely come with grit, and if you have ever sent a group of kids outside to play you know they will come up with something interesting (so I suppose they have creativity, teamwork, communication effectiveness and decision making skills in their young tool kit). At the very least this reinforces how important they are.