Sunday, February 12, 2006

Formal Education

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education

Read this quote on Pagalguy. Now as I am going ahead in Management Education, I am realizing the truth of this statement. This thought is triggered by two incidents today.

1)I was chatting with Khanna, my friend from IITB. He told me that he wants to open his own startup and asked me do he need to do MBA for this. I tried to convince him of utility of MBA for this but couldn't find compelling reasons. Finally I gave in and confessed to him that doing a MBA is actually detrimental to his entreprenureship dream.

2)In the break(ya we do have classes on sundays), the topic of discussion shifted to Paritrana. One of my friends here at IIMC told me that he was skeptical of success of this effort. Then he gave me 10 different reasons why the party is doomed to failure.

Now it is important in life to consider ifs/buts(not butts). But one must not go to the extreme of being totally risk averse. And this precisely is the problem of Management Education. In the case studies that we do, we have to spot a problem/difficulty even if none exists. We are taught to go beyond the obvious and in the process we miss out the holistic aspects of the design and look for problems in individual parts. Here we miss out on the beauty of life, the craving to do something new, the burning desire to change the world.

If Bill Gates had gone for all the documentation(B-Plan, Impact Analysis, Marketing design et al), I am sure he would never have dared to do what he has done. Nor would Gandhiji have ever opted for Salt satyagraha because the odds were clearly against this. Nothing can be perfect in life. But the importance lies in atleast trying. Management education kills that spirit of adventure. It destroys the philosophy on which Alchemist is based.

In one of my previous posts, I hypothesized that importance of placements leads to the herd-mentality in a MBA grad. But now I feel that whole concept of Management Education is responsible for this. Here we analyse a case so much from all perspectives that we tend to detest every new idea, concept or career. Ya a MBA grad can never fail, but this is because he seldom tries anything. From IITB I see Nandan Nilekani in Entreprenureship, Jayaram Ramesh, Manohar Parrikar and Paritrana guys in Politics, Jagmohan Mundhra in Filmmaking etc., but from all IIMs I just see 1 Harsha Bhogle who had lived upto his dreams.

So lets try to live upto our dreams. It is one time pain to fail, but it is lifelong pain not to have tried. And I have to write this famous quote from Alchemist:
When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true


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3 Comments:

Anonymous Hiren said...

I do beleive that one should pursue one's spontaneous dreams but all the talk about dreaming big is nothing but glib talk.

Dreams have to be tempered with reality. Reality checks have to be there because market profile is something beyond one's hands and there have been several products which have been introduced at one time but been successful some other time.Like other things this business of the universe conspiring is only selectively true because a majority of startups actually fail.

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