Cultivate a position at the intersection of academe and practice.
This means being more than just a supplier of talent. Business schools and organizations across industries and sectors will need to engage each other more closely to co-educate and develop managerial talent, to co-create new ideas and understanding, as well as to innovate and establish new business. Growing and developing the rich space between theory and practice will, for many schools, mean building on existing academic rigor and reputation in ways that extend the value and visibility of that effort. For other schools, achieving this outcome will mean strengthening their academic underpinnings to enable even better outcomes from existing strong relationships.
Be a driver of innovation in higher education.
Business schools cannot evolve independently of higher education, but they can help lead the transformation. They have an opportunity to be active participants and leaders in the creation of the new systems, standards, and traditions within which they will operate and compete. New approaches to education, knowledge creation, and outreach will require different faculty and staffing models, educational and credentialing models, and funding models, as well as more interdependencies than independence.
Connect with other disciplines.
No one discipline can single-handedly solve the world’s grand challenges. Business schools should seize opportunities to reinforce the complementarities between business education and other fields, including science, engineering, healthcare, and education. This collaboration will require expanding the models and incentives that support interdisciplinary research and the structures to facilitate interdisciplinary learning. At a more foundational level, business schools will need to think differently about the ways they and their faculty intersect with experts, educators, and innovators from other fields.