It is possible to grow from one quadrant to another and one of the easiest ways to learn the skills necessary for this is by sitting under the strict yet indispensable teachings of business schools. As much as we may love to enjoy the beautiful lies of denial, our universities are hardly equipped enough to build the kind of entrepreneurial-based talent-driven society that we need to thrive in the world today.
It is widely believed among professionals and recruiters that an MBA is part of the criteria for professional and business success. According to a Harvard Business School publication, the case study method of teaching boasts a unique ability to make complex concepts accessible and develop students’ leadership skills, all while creating an engaging intellectual atmosphere. A “case” is a short narrative document – a story – that presents a particular challenge facing an individual or organization. Each case reflects the information available to decision-makers at the time and builds to a particular decision point, but without revealing what decision was made. For each class, students are asked to read the case and to put themselves in the shoes of the actual decision-makers to consider what they would have done given the information available at the time.
This method of teaching has worked so well that certain company academies have also adopted this style in training managers, staff members and even marketers. It aids full class participation while helping students assimilate proven problem-solving methods.
In his book RICH DAD POOR DAD, Robert Kiyosaki explains the mindset difference between the rich and the poor. While the poor thinks he must study hard so he can find a good company to work for, the rich think he should study hard so he can find a company to buy. Please note that poverty here is not the absence of money but the absence of mental wealth that can produce future bankruptcy. Mr Kiyosaki explains in this theory that while the poor thinks “I cannot afford that”, the rich think “how can I afford that”, the poor man says, “play it safe” but the rich man says, “learn to manage your risks”. The rich understand that it is better to acquire assets than liabilities.
Conclusively, it is the role of business schools to reframe the mind of these talents to suit the requirements the 4th industrial revolution would demand. Institutions like the Lagos Business School cannot, therefore, be removed from the equation of solving the Nigerian entrepreneurial problem. It rests largely on them to take the raw materials and shame them into exquisite finished products. On this note, it may not also be out of place to persuade the Nigerian government to partner with these business schools to make Nigeria great again. After all, the popular saying goes “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”, well “show me your mind and I will tell you how successful you will be”.