Friday, March 27, 2009


As a follow up to Mike's post yesterday entitled Leadership and Business Schools, I wanted to add comments on the partnerships that need to be formed between business and business schools.

The article written by the Villanova Dean was excellent. I agree with his comments that B schools need to be innovative, agile and creative. He also commented that the faculty is the heart and soul of every business school.

I have been fortunate to be in classrooms with Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Tulane and Villanova business school professors. They are a group of true professionals. Their research and depth of thinking on the issues coupled with their professionalism as educators is outstanding. They can really engage the minds of anyone in the class room.

However, most of them have never run a business. They have never had to make many of the decisions they teach others to make. When Mike and I have worked with them, I see the synergy occur every time. We bring the practical business experience, which is very powerful when matched up with the professors' skills.

While most all business schools offer executive education to corporations, there are very few true partnerships. This is where I believe the unique power exists for the future.

True partnerships between business and business schools would not only offer the mix of academic and practical skills but would also allow the businesses to better reinforce the lessons in ongoing reinforcing corporate training, but would provide fertile ground for significant innovation, creativity and agility.

Leadership is the differentiator between the best and worst performing businesses. All the technical skills in the world can not compensate for poor leadership skills.

I believe that the universities and businesses that create true partnerships will create something unique and powerful.Better leaders!

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