Positioning Business Schools in the Emerging Digital Ecosystem: Leading Transformation Part Two

2021-Executive Academy-Leading-Transformation

EFMD Professional Development offers a ten-day programme focusing on two aspects of business school transformation essentials: digitalisation and sustainability

The fourth industrial revolution, accelerated by the pandemic, has initiated a new era in business education. Digital technologies heavily impact the way we work, learn, spend our free time and essentially the way we think. They are rapidly transforming whole industries, opening new possibilities, and allowing new players to enter the markets. Management education is certainly no exception.

Digital transformation goes beyond building digital capacity

How do we make sure that business schools keep up with the pace of change and remain relevant in the new digital environment?

Embracing digital transformation and understanding the impact business schools can have if they do it right, is crucial. In the last months, business schools have built a solid digital infrastructure, to ensure continuity for students & staff and maintain the quality of the learning experience. It is important to keep in mind that the work does not end with building digital capacity and that an effective digital transformation goes way beyond replacing face-to-face elements with technology.

Digital technologies open new possibilities, shorten the distances, allow for more diversity, improve accessibility, call for life-long learning opportunities. Digital transformation thus includes rethinking from top to bottom. It affects each area of the school and requires core changes to the management, operations, communication and delivery. It consequently leads to some strategic questions to define how we want our future and the future of our institutions to look like. Technology is an enabler, but it is important to clarify what we want it to enable us.

External players are changing the game for management education

That is the job to be done. And to be done rather sooner than later. The digital revolution has allowed new players to enter the academic landscape. Whether online learning platforms offering degree-level courses and certifications at a fraction of the cost or businesses organising specialised training, these non-traditional academic content providers are changing the game for management education. Nonetheless, a game change does not necessarily have to be a negative development for business schools.

The complexity of the world problems, the increasing pace of change, the constant emergence of new technologies, and the permanent need for re-skilling and content revision make it almost impossible for business schools to keep a monopoly on business education. It is simply not sustainable, at least not if the quality is to be maintained.

This is where partnerships with the emerging external players become incredibly useful and allow outsourcing and creating much more flexible, specialised and relevant content. And since learning is not only about content, higher education institutions can essentially offer a place where all aspects of learning come together.

That is why it is important to dedicate some time now to a thorough soul-searching, establish how business schools fit in the emerging ecosystem, revisit the objectives and consider the partnerships that help reach them.

Leading digital transformation

One of the major barriers to change is not knowing where to start. In the upcoming programme Leading Transformation: A sustainable, digital and personal leadership journey, Jordi Diaz will focus on how leaders can navigate the current digital tsunami, identify the opportunities that are relevant in the unique context of an institution and formulate an action-supported plan to move forward.

We will discuss the power of partnerships, how to build an effective education ecosystem, and how can we work together for a better future.

A successful digital transformation depends heavily on the ability of leaders to cultivate a digital innovation mindset. To make sure everyone knows where they fit in the puzzle and where the institution is heading, the programme gives special attention to personal leadership skills to help attendees successfully manoeuvre and engage in new territories.