The Key to Business School Innovation

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Ida Kesner, dean of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, also named "Dean of the Year" by Poets&Quants in 2019, shares how business schools can continually reinvent and refresh.
Filmed February 2020 at AACSB's Deans Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Ida Kesner: [0:16] I think innovation is a very critical path for every business school today. If you really want to be innovative and you really want to ensure sustainability, one of the best ways to do that is to open up communications with all of the constituents that you serve, and to make sure you hear their voices and their ways of thinking about innovation.

[0:41] For example, our school has regular communication with the Dean's Advisory Council. They share their experiences in their work settings and all of the things they are doing to continue to innovate. An interesting exercise we did recently with this group was we asked them to think about the jobs that our students are going into today, and to cross off any of those job areas that they think won't exist in five years.

[1:10] That turns out to be a relatively easy exercise. Many people can say that whether it's artificial intelligence or machine learning will displace many of the jobs that exist today. The second part of the exercise was much more difficult. That was the question, what will the jobs be five years from now the new jobs that aren't on the list today?

[1:30] That's not only more difficult to do, but it's more important that they help us with the answer to that question. The reason is, because we have to begin planning in business schools today for the jobs five years from now as we intake students and they go through a four year experience, or perhaps a two year experience at the master's level.

[1:52] We have to make sure our curriculum and our programming is in good shape for the jobs of the future. Asking that audience to think about innovation was one of the techniques we used, but we do the same for our faculty. We ask questions of our staff. We go out into the community and make sure that we're responsive to community needs.

[2:15] I think that's the key to innovation, is making sure you hear all voices and that they come in and inform your decisions.

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