Whole systems for whole persons

Whole Systems for Whole Persons, The Future of Executive Development Jay Ogilvy, a co-founder of the Global Business Netowrk is a wonderful one-pager on what's wrong with executive development programs and what to do about it.

    Most current programs for executive development are deficient in three respects: First, they fail to see things whole, in systemic, inter-dependent terms. Second, they fail to treat their students as whole persons with minds, bodies, and emotions. Third, they fail to treat their students as if they will have both careers and a life. This article treats each of these deficiencies in turn.

Isn't this the truth?

    Trouble is, when it comes to doing business in the real world, you don’t find the economy located on one block and the politics on another, or markets in one place, logistics in another. In the business world of today and tomorrow, whole systems, rich with interdependencies, confront strategist and marketer alike.

Ogilvy addresses executive education. This enables him to keep down the word-count. After all, most of us are familiar with the structure (and foibles) of MBA programs. Reflecting on it (I've just read Ogilvy's piece three times) makes me wonder if this is not appropriate for all business training:

    All three of these recommendations for the future of executive development—a new emphasis on whole systems, whole persons, and whole lives—are within reach. The tools are available and the need is real. Whether business schools and executive development programs rise to the occasion is largely a question of will and leadership. If we accept the challenge, both our businesses and our lives will be the better for it.

Posted by Jay Cross at January 1, 2004 12:30 PM | TrackBack

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