MBA courses are designed to shape leaders who are resilient and have the ability to evolve through adversity, says Dr Pratima Sheorey
Living in an era of changes, where anticipating ‘what next’ is difficult, resilience and agility are two very important life skills. MBA courses are designed to shape leaders who are resilient and have the ability to evolve through adversity. When students step into their managerial or entrepreneurial careers, building resilience in their team and modelling their behaviour becomes the key to accept the change process in the organisation.
The current pandemic and the ensuing uncertainty is exactly the kind of challenge that future managers and professionals should be trained for and sensitised to.
Role transitions are common for a fresher. When students enter an organisation, they tend to work on mundane and repetitive tasks. With time and experience, they are promoted as managers or team leaders, managing a larger team of people. Through these transitions, young managers learn how to realign their priorities. During such kind of transitions, MBA graduates learn about leadership practices in a complex scenario.
While such learnings come within the organisational context, an MBA should prepare you for facing the real world. Building personal resilience, the ability to cope with stress and change, dealing with ethical dilemmas, developing new skills, all of it come as a bundle of learnings to build personal resilience, thereby building organisational resilience.
Let us see what are the pillars of building a resilient organisation through the skills learnt during an MBA programme:
Accepting and adapting to the change: The first step to building resilience in an organisation is to accept the change. Understanding how a disruption or change can be adapted to one’s advantage paves the way towards organisational advancement. Adaption will always help an organisation to foresee and reduce negative consequences. An MBA helps you to develop the necessary skills to deal with and manage ambiguity. Courses like Change Management will enable you to create lasting improvements and transform the organisation.
Being cognizant of changes in the market: At times of crisis, anxiety and stress might turn employees away from the external opportunities and changing market dynamics. During such times, stakeholder communication is crucial in order to strengthen relationships. Strategic communication as a part of your MBA course will teach you how to eliminate confusion during tough times, and ensure people are being heard. You will also learn how to empower people, and maintain successful relationships inside and outside of the workplace.
Creative problem solving: An MBA curriculum will always encourage you to be innovative in your thinking and foster creative problem solving skills. Linear or conventional thinking may not help to build organisational resilience. Adversity often brings about innovation, and is the time to think out of the box. An MBA graduate is trained to think strategically yet in a creative manner, to assess what is missing in a business in their field of expertise. Basis the assessment, through relevant tools, they are able to provide solutions.
Accountability: While learning leadership skills during MBA, personal accountability is also an equally important skill which goes a long way. When faced with difficult situations, your own resilience as an individual in order to develop strategies plays an important role. Similarly executing and ownership of a particular task by the entire team helps in delivering desired results even during times of crisis.
Managing business processes: Business critical processes in certain areas must be robust and compliant. This ensures that the internal operations are efficient, incur lower costs and deliver quality. This in turn also builds the trust of stakeholders and customers. Management graduates pursue a discipline that enables them to measure performance and uncover opportunities for cost savings. This is achieved through different tools including analysis of existing processes, process optimisation and aligning the business functions.
These are some of the ways that will help you build a resilient organisation. With this, a lot of moving, changing, transforming will take place. Bouncing back, getting up and fighting strong will be the way out during crisis situations. Armed with the right skills and tools will ensure that you will be in for the long haul.
The writer is Director, SCMHRD, Pune