Monday, October 5, 2009

The New York Times's Sunday business section runs a regular column called The Corner Office. Yesterday's entry (interview with Susan Lyne, CEO of Gilt Groupe) posed this question: what courses do b-schools not offer that they should offer?

Lyne's answer is below. Essentially Lyne is talking about persuasion: how do you persuade other people to follow your agenda? This is a topic Nancy Sachs and I take up in our business communications courses. (So maybe Lyne needs to make sure her hires have their MBAs from here!)


A. There are a lot of great courses on managing or developing a strategic agenda, but there is very little about how to work with your peers where you need to get X done, and you need these other three departments to give you X amount of time in order to succeed at that.
The people who truly succeed in business are the ones who actually have figured out how to mobilize people who are not their direct reports. Everyone can get their direct reports to work for them, but getting people who do not have to give you their time to engage and to support you and to want you to succeed is something that is sorely missing from B-school courses.