Harvard Business School - A failure?Tweet
Every now and then I read an article that startles me. It is usually not for the deep insights (though there are many sometimes) but for the brutal honesty and humility. Here's a perfect example. Reading the excerpt below in the latest Businessweek is somewhat shocking. Coming from a 15 year Professor at the Harvard Business School gives it all the more gravitas -
I have come to believe that much of what my colleagues and I taught has caused real suffering, suppressed wealth creation, destabilized the world economy, and accelerated the demise of the 20th century capitalism in which the U.S. played the leading role.
We weren't stupid and we weren't evil. Nevertheless we managed to produce a generation of managers and business professionals that is deeply mistrusted and despised by a majority of people in our society and around the world. This is a terrible failure. - Shoshana Zuboff
The articles goes on to explain that by focusing too tightly on economic value and encouraging students to think about shareholder value above all else, HBS did a disservice to its students and to society. She's probably right and the problem extends beyond HBS too. Interestingly, some people probably feel that we do not have a strong enough alternative model in place. One that can rebuild the trust of Americans (only 10% of Americans trust big business today) in the corporate world.
I believe that trust has been weakened forever. It will never be the same again. That's not bad as instead we're going to trust each other - peer influence is going to rise in importance everyday especially as we're able to organize collectively, tap into each other's intelligence and harness collective wisdom for individual action.
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