What would you remove from current business training and education, what would you replace it with and why?


I would replace the outdated leadership and ethics courses with a cybersecurity and ethical leadership course, which would reframe the business world and provide the definitions for the new normality. Risk management education would be holistic and cover all risks to an organisation. Digital strategy would be taught as a productivity and innovation driver. Leadership would be stressed because innovation at an incredible rate is critical in this new world. Decision-making has to be far more informed with powerful digital artificial intelligence engines.


Most leadership education programmes prevalent today were designed for a bygone era and have undergone little or no change despite the epochal change in the reality of our times. Such flawed education is continuing to produce business executives with no understanding or appreciation for the modern networked digital world. In such a world the normally understood definitions of even simple concepts such as crime, war, politics, and business communications and collaboration has been radically changed. However, these executives have no understanding of this sea change. There are two major deficiencies in this thinking.


First, the stress is on management and the idea of authority and control. There is a concept of a controlled work environment. This treatment of business leadership stresses control, process, hierarchy, bureaucracy, and views people as cost centres. Technology is viewed as an automation driver and a replacement for human labour. Leadership is taught as a matter of choosing from a wide range of styles - most having 20 different characteristics. Of course they say you have to have charisma but this all outdated nonsense. Leadership in the new world is the simple act of helping other people succeed through sharing knowledge. Knowledge sharing is the new source of power and influence. Modern leadership also helps shape a culture through values. Therefore leadership starts with values. Management stifles innovation, while leadership inspires innovation.


Second; discussions of risk management in current business education is limited to financial risks. Digital risks and risks to information, data, and intellectual capital - particularly through the loss of knowledge workers are not captured.

However hierarchy in a digital networked world is different. Management concepts do not work in this world. What works is knowledge-based leadership and perpetual innovation done by as many people as possible. There is no concept of a controlled workplace. People work from where they are and collaborate and come together in work swarms.


Leaders will need to be able to filter out and differentiate between the digital truth and digital lies because adversaries will be competing in the digital world with false information - even wars and regime changes would be accomplished with digital tools. If you just examine the past two years you will note that everything is different; war, fighting terrorism, politics, news, communications, journalism to name a few. A large proportion of executives in power are completely unprepared for this world.


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