Showing posts with label business education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business education. Show all posts

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Power of Perceiving - The Secret of Entrepreneurship

Perception is a powerful way to create opportunities. It is so powerful that it can change lives and spark opportunities in abundance. Entrepreneurship is about perceiving differences and then capitalizing on those differences through applicable market solutions. Perception is created by years of hard work that culminates into a moment of clarity and innovative inspiration.

Entrepreneurial insight is derived from connecting lots of information together in a way that creates new products or services. This development relies on experience with the product, exploring uses of the product, and finding ways to improve the product. When education, experience, motivation come together, a new perception is created that leads to innovation.

Perception is not a passive process and requires the full engagement of the individual. Finding innovative market solutions relies on gathering and interpreting information. Information can come from formal research or experimentation with different solutions. The more someone is familiar with a product or issue, the more they can perceive areas of improvement.

Entrepreneurship actively interprets information. People assume that the body takes in information from its senses and passively records that information without interpretation. Perception is strongly influenced by experience, education, cultural values that interpret information from the body’s sensory receptors (Curry, Meyer, & McKnney, (2006). Our past experiences help us create meaningful use of information.

Two people can look at the same problem and see different solutions precisely because they are interpreting information differently. Entrepreneurs have developed cognitive models that allow them to find potential solutions through a process of connecting and deconstructing information to find similarities among elements. Reconstructing elements creates new products and services.

The problem-solving model they use is learned over years to create an effective approach. This is one reason success results from years of failure. Failure is only part of the learning process of establishing a successful model. Once the model has been developed it can be applied to many other locations with higher rates of success. Thomas Edison was invented thousands of products based upon the effectiveness of his model.

The secret of entrepreneurship rests in perceiving things in new ways and finding that which no one else has yet seen. It is a process of turning the unseen into the seen. Capitalizing on the perception requires the ability to find value in the solutions and market those solutions to others. Once an effective mental model has been built it will continue to use successful processes to detect new problems and find solutions that lead to innovation.

Curry, D., Meyer, J. & McKnney, J. (2006). Seeing versus perceiving: what you see isn’t always what you get. Professional Safety, 51 (6)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Benefits of Hiring Practitioner Scholars in Business Colleges

Academic life is something inquisitive people hope to someday achieve in their efforts to grow and develop as a person. Eventually they make their way through college to obtain a terminal degree, and with some experience, they apply to universities in anticipation of achieving their dreams. With a tough market for professors, not everyone will find their way into a college position. Despite the competitive market, ensuring that universities hire more practitioner-scholars with "real life" experience is important for university development.

In business programs this is even more important than other fields. The difference between a person with only academic experience and one with both academic and professional experience is profound. One understands focuses on theory while the other may also have experience with using theories in practice. Their industry experience helps them understand how theories operate in real life scenarios outside the higher education vacuum. Having a representation of both ensures higher value for students.

Industry knowledge filters throughout everything the professor does. Consider the following benefits of a practitioner-scholars (pracidemics):

1.) Theoretical Explanations: A greater ability to explain theories and business principles in real life form and example.

2.) Research Development: All research must eventually be applied to be of any benefit. Practioners are able to use their understandings of industry problems and find new solutions that have market value.

3.) Administration: Professors who come from a business background also have knowledge of administration and processes. They are not as concerned about titles as they are about skill and performance.

4.) Credibility: Faculty with practical experience have credibility because they know what the student will be getting into after graduation. Students view them as both professors and mentors.

5.) Course Development: Because practitioners have practical and theoretical knowledge they are able to develop content that is relevant to modern industry.

6.) Cultural Awareness: Faculty are pragmatic and bring with them a focus on "what works" and encourage universities that are cost effective.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Emotional Intelligence's Influence on Military and Company Management

Emotional intelligence is as important in the business world as it is in the military battlefield. When times get tough, it is emotional intelligence that keeps the team moving forward to accomplish goals. Executives and officers who show empathy and self-reflection have higher levels of emotional intelligence that can garner support when times are tough. Whether you are at war on the battlefield or the boardroom emotional intelligence can make all the difference.

Emotional intelligence is that which stops us from making quick and irrational judgments without engaging our more rational processes. A surge of feeling can lead to outbursts of anger, berating employees, or a poor decision that impacts the rest of the department/company. Those with emotional intelligence can gain influence through their ability to deal effectively with others.

Emotional intelligence can be dividing into four core competencies that include (Goleman, Byatzis & McKee, 2013):
-Knowing one’s emotions
-Managing emotions
-Recognizing emotions in others
-handling relationships

One must first understand themselves to understand others. Once this understand sets it the ability to understand and influence others becomes apparent. In the military, command and control structures create authority but not the highest levels of performance. Excelling beyond the call of the duty requires leaders with high emotional intelligence that can push people to the upper reaches of effort.

In the military emotional intelligence can influence subordinates in a positive way (Abrahams, 2007). Such leaders can move beyond structure to create inspiring relationships that draw subordinates to help solve problems. The leader can command a level of respect through his/her even keel personality and appropriate reaction to events.

Emotional intelligence is important in both the business and military world where strict organizational structure limits the amount of personal connections that can occur. Information is transferred through these personal connections and those with higher emotional intelligence can maintain their relationships and develop higher levels of performance among their employees by understanding their needs and motivations.

Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee. (2013). Primal leadership, with a new preface by authors: unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Paper back. 

Abrahams, D. (2007). Emotional intelligence and army leadership: give it to me straight! Military Review, 87 (2).

Friday, April 10, 2015

Online Education Encourages Stronger Scholarship Cultures

One of the greatest advantages of traditional education is its ability to create knowledge based cultures through face-to-face communication.  It is believed that on-campus social interaction creates norms, values, and expectations that lead people to higher forms of scholarship.  This is not always the case when negative cultural influences restrict the ability of students to be successful.  New research shows that online courses help to enhance the scholastic nature of colleges by countering some of the destructive norms in society that limit intellectual growth.

When people interact and socialize with each other they create social expectations that can either lead to more scholastic behavior or lessen that behavior. For example, cultural norms can encourage greater research and knowledge sharing or it can socially restrict the transference of knowledge. When negative cultures are developed in face-to-face environments they can be extremely difficult to reverse. Online education offers the opportunity to create egalitarian learning networks not based in preconceived notions.

A paper in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning discusses how online education with Saudi Arabia female college students not only enhanced their learning but also encouraged positive pro-learning environments (Hamdan, 2014). Online education offers an opportunity for socially restricted individuals to own their education and contribute to their respective bodies of knowledge in a meaningful way.

This issue is not restricted to Saudi Arabia alone and can impact American students as well. Consider how cultural norms may subtly restrict minority students from speaking up in class, become highly educated, or contribute to scientific discovery in a meaningful way. The process of exclusion can occur between genders, in/out groups, people who are different, those who have higher intelligence, minorities and social class.

Online education creates an environment where people can speak freely without all of the subtle cues that leave some with the impression their opinion isn’t worth as much as others. Because of the nature of posting to other students, a natural activity among the younger generation, negative social norms don’t hold as much sway. Professors and students may be completely unaware of the race, religion, gender, or status of the other people in the class unless they self-reveal.

Where people may be naturally dissuaded from engaging in class activities in one setting may actually find themselves thriving in an online environment where they start on equal footing with others. Classmates know students by what they think and post versus their social status. The process of bringing forward various opinions into collaborative learning environments raises the transference of knowledge and the potential for scholarship.

Hamdan, A. (2014). The reciprocal and correlative relationship between learning culture and online education: a case from Saudi Arabia. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15 (1).

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Business Schools that Exceed Market Expectations

Meeting and exceeding standards are two different things. Fostering business schools requires meeting expectations and then moving beyond these expectations to create higher levels of performance. According to a paper in the Journal of Business Studies Quarterly there are 10 things business colleges can do to enhance their performance.

  1. Look beyond today’s practices and standards and move toward future trends in business education.
  2. Applying knowledge management practices to create value.
  3. Acting in practice and philosophy.
  4. Accept risk when moving beyond theory and practice.
  5. Hire faculty and deans who think outside the box.
  6. Follow Kaizen philosophy.
  7. Understand the educational needs of the market.
  8. Stay ahead of the market and be read to change as needed.
  9. Develop a unique value proposition.
  10. Listen to the needs of stakeholders.

It matters little if you are discussing a business school or any other type of school. Many of the ideas would apply to almost any business. Moving beyond standards requires finding ways to meet minimum qualifications and then push for growth. By looking to match company development to market needs and ensuring you have the right staff in place to make that happen is half the battle. The other half is getting everyone focused on the same goals.

McFarlane, D. (2014). Contemporary barriers to excellence in business education. A Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 6 (2).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Call for Papers: 2015 International Education Conference in London

Type: Conference
Date: June 7th & 11th, 2015
London, United Kingdom
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 8th May 2015


Please join The Clute Institute for our 2015 International Education Conference in London, June 7-11, 2015 at the Kensington Close Hotel.

The Education Conference provides a forum for faculty and administrators to share proven and innovative methods in teaching at all levels of education. Topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Accreditation
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Blended Education
  • Business Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Education
  • Curriculum
  • Distance Education
  • E-Learning
  • Early Education
  • Engineering Education
  • ESL
  • Health Education
  • International Education
  • K-12 Education
  • Language Education
  • Professional Development
  • Science Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Teacher Education
  • Teaching Methods
  • Tenure

Monday, October 6, 2014

Communication Skills Improve Employment Opportunities

Communication is an important skill that college graduates should develop to enhance their opportunities in the workplace and life. The benefits of strong communication skills reach across employment fields and social demographics to improve graduates employment prospects and chances for future promotion.  Learning to effectively speak and write is a skill highly sought after employers and is generally rewarded in the market. 

Because communication opens doors to a number of different opportunities that wouldn’t have been available otherwise it is important for college students to pay attention when professors provide feedback on papers or comment on speaking abilities. Before getting bent out of shape students should understand that feedback is used for improvement and not for criticism.

Employers want students who communicate well in verbal and written form. Employers seldom find the proper amount of oral communication skills among college graduates (Gray & Murray, 2011). The ability to express oneself and talk to each other to achieve goals is important in social situations to get one’s voice heard.  

Consider the regular use of email, letters, and other electronic formats of writing in the modern workplace. The ability to write and communicate using these mediums is a must for those who desire to successfully navigate the workplace.  Information and communication skills can lead to greater employment opportunities as well as higher pay and promotion (Walton, et. al. 2009). 

Communication also fits with other important skills used on the job. Employers seek candidates with soft skills like communication, integrity, courtesy, responsibility, social skills, attitude, professionalism, teamwork, flexibility, and work ethic (Robles, 2012). These skills are more complex than occupational learning and move a candidate more into the world of professionalism. 

Crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s may not be a whole lot of fun but it can have a significant impact on a person’s occupational success. Communication is a skill that develops over many years and as one becomes stronger at communicating they will naturally find more ears listening. Even though strong communication is extremely important for business graduates who desire to someday be managers its benefits are not exclusive to the business field alone. 

Gray, E. & Murray, N. (2011). A distinguishing factor: oral communication skills in new accountancy graduates. Accounting education, 20 (3). 

Robles, M. (2012). Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75 (4). 

Walton, R. et. al. (2009). Skills are not binary: nuances in the relationship between ICT skills and employability. Information Technologies & International Development, 5 (2).

Sunday, August 31, 2014

How Management Knowledge Improves Military Adaptability

Military training is focused on learning specific skills to create a well-oiled machine designed to be stable under organizational pressure. A paper by Petrufova (2014) discusses many of the strengths and weaknesses of modern military education. In particular, the paper elaborates on how technical ability is strong but broader management knowledge is lacking for adapting to change. 

Adaptable military styles require a broader framework for understanding crisis situations and countering long-term threats. The military relies heavily on technical training to teach soldiers how to complete their day-to-day job functions. Awareness of how their function contributes to the whole and can be adjusted when situations change is lacking.

Management skills are needed for officers that control a number of functions simultaneously that require more complex interaction. The process of promotion from within helps to maintain morale and retain knowledge but doesn’t often afford the opportunity to gain new knowledge. Training becomes a central avenue of gaining new knowledge. 

Military educators can implement additional management knowledge and skills by helping students understand cultural and economic aspects of management. The military has strong values that offer stability but may be lacking knowledge of cultural and economic principles. 

Successful adaptation requires the ability to change when it is necessary. Specific knowledge works well for maximum productivity but general knowledge is better for understanding the overall function of each piece and how to change it. Management teaches the ability to adjust operations to changes in the market which is not something most militaries commonly deal with. 

The military can learn from the world of business to integrate the best management practices into their leadership style. Providing knowledge of management skills and functions helps officers have a better grasp of their whole operation and provide a framework for adjustment when situations change. Knowledge learned in business schools can be adapted to improve military operations.

Petrufova, M. (2014). Problems of manager competencies and teaching management in the military. Rista Academiei Fortelor Terestre, 19 (2).