A recent seminar on “Marketing in a Slowdown” triggered a thought, “What about teaching in a slowdown?” As faculty in a business school, do we even need to ask ourselves this question? Is it necessary to modify my actions as a faculty only because of the now hackneyed global economic crisis?
I think so! So what can we do??? Let us see………
Keep the Morale Up
I am sure the worry bug will have bitten most of us by now! Consider this that the students listening to my eloquent exposition on global strategy is scared that she may not land up a job and even worse may not bag one at all. In such a case, my words, demeanor and actions in the class is definitely either add to their anxiety or if I am sensible, moderate their fears.
In this case the biggest disservice I could do would be to let my anxieties add to their fears. I guess, it will be worthwhile if I and my colleagues consider this before stepping into a classroom.
Realistic but Ambitious
They came to us because they were ambitious. We promised them the sky and made them pay for it. The number of jobs and the CTC figures being offered to management graduates is on the wane. Even the IIMs and ISBs of the world have had to face this unfortunate situation.
Will it not them become my responsibility as a faculty to keep talking to my students and explain the cyclical nature of business and the existing downturn. Of course we al do that but do we consider the impact of our “technical” explanations on young impressionable minds???
Can we find some way of moderating their expectations but nurture their ambitious spirit??
Value of “Value”
The word “value” is perhaps the most important yet most underrated concept in B schools. When we come across students expecting the heavens when their skill sets and abilities may not justify it, we should know that we erred on two counts:
1. We have not made them “value creators”.
2. We have not explained the concept of value to them.
That is where the answer may lie. Students are incredible packages of bundled energy, ambitions, insecurities, confusions and fears. It really is a no brainer to say that we better get talking to them if we are really serious about them developing the right attitude. At least what we think is the right attitude. In the absence of our talking to them, they will talk to others and we may never know what the “others” might give them as inputs! Anyhow we know what credibility they attach something to what you and me might say as compared to what an unemployed senior might tell them!!
Can I do All This??
Now to the bottom line.
Do I, as a faculty have enough knowledge, competence and ability to actually control my classroom sessions to reflect the macroeconomic climate of the markets?? Do I have enough control over myself to adapt my behaviour to maximise chances of my students achieving “their” goals??
Let us begin the effort by believing, “I Do!!”