Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Missing Ingredient...

I was sent an interesting little article (hat tip: Errol Phillips) which blames the MBA's from Harvard for America's financial collapse OK difficulties.

It has some good points, but it misses the most important one. The young, confident MBA's from Harvard were put in all sorts of top positions, replacing and supervising those without the fancy diplomas. The more veteran employees had something that most of the MBA's will never get, experience.

Yes, there is an over-reliance on theory, courses and certification in the modern world. It's not only a problem on Wall Street, New York City.

These guys, with the ink still wet on their certificates have been, are being given, top jobs without learning the business from the bottom up, or even the middle up. There are things you just can't learn in school. And how many of these young well-educated graduates can calculate in their heads? If you take away their calculators, computers and Blackberries, they're lost.

Without good experience there's no "gut feeling." The most brilliant have that touch, and it can't be learned.

If everything could be learned, then a computer program could do it all. And if you trust the computer, then you'll have the mistakes which have been discovered in America.

In terms of security, there's the same problem. Armies are investing more in technology to "replace" the ground work. Only experienced soldiers can understand and interpret the information.

Journalism majors may write great articles, but if they're not knowledgeable in history, economics, sociology, biology, political science etc they won't understand what they're writing about and they won't know when the people they are interviewing are lying. We see that here in Israel. Newspapers send writers who have no idea of local history to report.

Teaching is almost impossible to learn. So much is personality. Anyone can learn how to plan a great lesson, but getting the students to cooperate is the tough job. It can't be taught.

Good luck world!

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