Be a Hub.
Business schools have the potential to contribute to learning opportunities for a wide variety of individuals, at different points in their career life cycles. Fostering greater educational access will likely require business schools to accelerate their move beyond the bounds of traditional degree-based education as well as the traditional markets served by degree-based education. Schools will need to redefine themselves within campus, community, higher education, and talent management systems.
As “hubs” of learning, business schools will partner to deliver learning in conjunction with other schools on campus and with other business schools, industry clusters, and organizations within the public and private sectors. They will be defined less as isolated units and more through the connections that help them achieve their knowledge creation, education, and community-building missions.
Furthermore, by looking beyond the view that “employers are the ultimate consumers,” business and business schools can explore new ways of facilitating knowledge exchanges that enable mutual learning from, and collaborative development of, customized courses and programs for specific organizations or within corporate universities.
The shift toward more experiential learning and business engagement will mean that business schools may be seen increasingly as learning laboratories rather than as the traditional classroom learning environment. And their doors may become revolving, with models helping their alumni successfully respond to the business, leadership, and ethical challenges that emerge over a career life cycle.
In pursuing these opportunities, business schools may transfer responsibility for some activities to others in the learning and development ecosystem. By embracing complementarities with the emerging institutions that spread and, in a sense, “retail” the intellectual underpinning provided by business schools, business schools can be proactive in shaping their roles as democratizers of best practice in business management.