Elitism may be an obstacle in choosing the right Executive MBA program

We read almost on a daily basis of the pressing needs of business to reorient executives so that they can…

Home
by Deniz Saral, PhD 18 December 2018

We read almost on a daily basis of the pressing needs of business to reorient executives so that they can formulate innovative and creative strategies to face the major disruptions that the digital transformation process should bring within the next 3-4 years. However, a recent McKinsey report indicates that most companies have made little progress in this direction!

Elitism may get in the way when a manager searches for an Executive MBA program. However, not all can get into Harvard, Stanford or Oxford.

Conversely, these elite business schools may not be the right places for your training needs. The same applies when a company searches for a consulting company. However, the benefit-to-cost ratio should be carefully assessed before accepting a consulting companyʼs offer. This is easier said than done because benefits are hard to measure; they are based on expectations to be realized over time, which presents a difficult-to-measure ROI risk.

The most expensive is not always the best

Consequently, managers often prefer to accept the high cost of the globally famous consulting company in order to minimize this perceived risk. “After all, we hired the best”. Alas, we know by experience that the most expensive restaurant is not necessarily the best.

Where do globally-famous consulting firms source their renewable human talent? Business schools, of course. Employment statistics indicate that the “top MBA talent” from top business schools are scooped up by consulting companies where they are re-oriented before they face clients. The word on the street is that consulting companies keep only the top 10-15% of the MBAs they hire because the rest canʼt measure up or burn out. Hence the term “renewable”. However, the consulting company still recovers their investment in this talent by several-fold, because of the very high prices they charge.

So, if your company needs cutting-edge consulting/training services, inviting the global consulting company may not be your wisest move. Instead, consider the business schools in your country, if not satisfied, expand the search to your continent. Why pay for the same talent a lot more?

Chasm between perceived time and real-time

In fairness, though, one major advantage of hiring an experienced consulting company, is that the manager will not have to cope with the traditional chasm between business facultyʼs perceived time and real time! Faculty, by nature, are interested and engaged in research first (sometimes coupled with teaching and consulting comes second.

Consequently, they may overlook the urgency of the need, or even ignore it. This is one of the major reasons why businesses call their most favored consulting company before they reach out to business schools. 41 North Business School aims to change this attitude because we are private, stand-alone, agile and we have the reach to top-talent global business faculty. Learning- by- doing and Serious Gaming are two learning methodologies that we employ in all of our management training programs.