Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Education can learn from Business?

Okay let us say, you as an individual are a well established company or a well established brand. Everything you are involved in is like a business transaction. This includes your personal life, family, work life and most importantly your education. Because you need immediate profit you cannot waste time on unnecessary transactions or unnecessary meetings. This includes the education you have received:-

So what can Educational Institutes Learn from Business?

a)         A business must add value or solve a problem - When you stop adding value, your company dies. But in education we are allowed to consume content for years without bringing any actual value. We are dependent for the first twenty years of our lives and do not bring actual value to the lives of people around us up to then. Also the most successful companies are the ones that solve a simple problem. For instance, Facebook helped get the world more connected through an online social platform.

b)         Businesses will always work on things that are currently relevant –  You will not see a business working on an outdated idea or project. Most enterprises have to adopt new trends in their industry. If they fail to do so, their competition will and this will effect their customer base.

c)          Business will always adopt latest technology – This includes new inventions in other fields apart from technology that will bring actual value to the company. The television was invented in the 1940’s, but it came into classrooms only in 1980’s. But if the technology was relevant to a company, it would be adopted immediately. For instance lots of companies have taken up digital marketing strategies between 2010 – 2013 because that is the need of the hour. They cannot afford to adopt it twenty years from now.

d)         Every business functions at the very edge of thinking of their particular industry -  Every company in the world functions with this principle, ‘How do you take your industry to the next level’. You will never see a food manufacturing company that does exactly the same thing that another food manufacturing company does. There will be some difference or the other, even if they offer the same product or service. And a food manufacturing company is forced to work at the very edge of thinking in the food manufacturing industry. It will not repeat the mistakes of food manufacturing companies in the past. The entrepreneur or business person will study the food manufacturing industry in detail. Then they ensure that whatever they start off, to an extent is a creation brought to life after a complete study of the sum of knowledge ever created by all entrepreneurs, companies, related industries of the food manufacturing industry. In most educational institutions, this approach to learning is not encouraged, because it is not immediately necessary. You are expected only to study how much is require in the curriculum and nothing more. But if you looked at your life as a company, it is absolutely necessary you study as much as possible about your industry, otherwise you will not survive.

e)         Businesses have to Differentiate themselves – The next time you are at a shopping mall, observe all the retail and wholesale stores around you. You will notice that no store looks alike. Even if they are both garment stores, there is a clear differentiation in branding, marketing and general feel of the brand.

f)           Business Companies have to build and sustain their own culture – A business spend several years building their work culture. Zappos for instance is an American online shoe retailer that is know as one of the best places to work. Employees are mostly selected based on whether they will fit in with the company culture or not. They are regarded to have one of the best customer service offerings of any company.

g)  Scalable Quality - If you observe some of the technology businesses that have been accepted world over. They create a good core product. Then find a way to make this strong core product available to the masses. But they ensure that the basic core product retains its quality. This happens because the team working on this core product has the expertise and passion to ensure the quality of this core product. They are incentivized to do it. We can compare this strong core team and core product to a group of passionate teachers working in classrooms.

Business has found a way to incentivize innovation and progress. There is something to learn from this efficiency in functioning, strong core team, and the idea of scalable quality.

Let us Learn Together
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