By Linda Chang & John Garvie
Teach-Us-Something-in-7-Minutes is one of the keystone introductory projects of CCA’s DMBA program. The project, TUS-7M, as it came to be called, sets up students in pairs to develop a subject of compelling interest to be presented at a public event in CCA’s Timken Auditorium. The constraints were that we address something in the domains of communication, design, business and/or sustainability, that we consider the difference between “telling” and “showing,” and after 7 minutes, we would be cut off, whether we were finished or not. Our presentation, The Girl Who Woke Up in a Knot, was a metaphorical story about knots. Knots represent not only complicated problems, but also interpersonal entanglements that come from our most important conversations – personally and professionally. We wrestle with knots as difficult problems to be solved and unsnarled, but they are also “the ties that bind,” connecting us to what is essential.
As we write, at the end of 2009, the crisis of the American economy remains an open question. Jobs are no longer being shed at the astounding rates of the last year-plus, but unemployment percentages remain at double-digit highs. Meanwhile, expert economists have claimed that the economy is growing again, yet the Federal Reserve has pledged to keep interest rates “exceptionally low” for a foreseeable “extended period.”
Most would agree that the cause of The Great Recession of 2009 has been an overarching institutional focus on short term gains, in place for decades, not just a cyclical few years. People stopped being people and became merely opportunities for companies to make a quick buck no matter the social cost. People who were supposed to have been America’s best-and-brightest, people who should have known better, were seduced by easy money and quick returns. Meanwhile, most others seemed to have lost sight of being citizens first, consumers second.
Regardless of whether the economy bounces back, the focus on short-term goals with simplistic growth paradigms needs to change. So, how can we make the shift? We need a new way of thinking and acting within business. Like many, we desire a strong business community that integrates new priorities.
We can start with a new kind of MBA. After one semester of learning, growing, stretching our minds and asking questions in our DMBA program, we would like to propose here a view of management for the future and what some of the outcomes may be when managers and businesses start truly cultivating a conscious form of capitalism. Click to continue reading »
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