Transversal Skills and Knowledge for the Businessmen of Tomorrow

On the academic side of the business world, many voices speak of how should the future business gurus of tomorrow look, what they should be taught, what talents should they be tested for and what paradigm should be used to train them.

In the last year, there has been quite a debate concerning the benefits and drawbacks of the GMAT testing and business school MBA programs candidate selection methods, as many experts drew the attention on the flaws the GMAT scores may induce. Authors such as Raj Aggarwal and other deans and MBA selection committees members in business schools all over the world consider that the GMAT scores and paradigm don’t take into account the holistic approach of a candidate and his or her future as a business person, paradigm which demands from a candidate to have solid business practical experience, more interpersonal and transversal skills, knowledge and talents, ethics, vision, organizational intelligence and many other competencies that are not usually tested by standard methods. You can click here to get more information about it.

The controversy is easy to understand from all points of view: the economy and business of today doesn’t look like the one from 10 years ago and won’t be similar with the one we will witness in ten years from now. However, those supporting the GMAT testing as a reliable indicator for one’s ability to do good business state that some set of skills will always be necessary, being perennial and transferable to all aspects of the business. The GMAT testing was indeed improved last year and the Integrated Reasoning category is very appreciated by teachers and prep tutors. There are also prep programs, such as the one provided by veritas prep which make sure their candidates learn and develop the best skills to pass GMAT testing with flying colors and there are B-Schools still considering the scores as powerful indicators for their candidates’ academic success.

On the other hand, the voices rising consider there is a terrible lack of transversal knowledge and skills that are neither tested by the GMAT nor taught in business schools. In an article for Entrepreneur Derrick Boone lists a series of “skills” and knowledge the business schools don’t teach their students, not to mention their MBA candidates (maybe because it is supposed that these ones know everything there is to know).

Among the transferable and transversal knowledge, the author speaks about there are some that in an academic environment are skipped as class content, in the benefit of business theory and practice, of course, but which are nonetheless essential for the future business representatives of the future. What is interesting to observe is that among these ignored skills and abilities, the author counts the understanding of how companies and employers understand business dress-up and business schools fail to pass this education, which is transferable to all sorts of life aspects. It is more about self-discipline and organizational responsibility and culture than just a whimsical approach. In real life, companies expect their employees to understand the subtle details of the office code and the best place to learn and be prepared for your next job is the school.

Other such transferable knowledge many other authors insist on are developing real communication and negotiation skills, but ones that go beyond the book theory. Even if the world of business seems to have found a comfortable place in the online and virtual background, person to person interaction is still the quintessence of good business and good negotiations and besides learning SMM in school, the young ones also should be taught real communication skills in the business environment, because they will need them.

Apart from understanding the concepts of communication and organizational psychology, the young ones, and especially the ones preparing for the future GMAT and MBA’s should be taught how to manage a business relationship on all levels and even with difficult counterparts, how to receive and give criticism and feedback, because the business world revolves around them and even how, when and where they should make use of modern technology depending on the context.

Some business schools teach all these, more or less formally and many graduates become those ideal leaders many authors are speaking about. However, just as the universities which gave up on counting GMAT scores when selecting candidates say, in this ever uncertain and changing world of business, the world needs not only strong academically prepared people but people who are flexible, responsive, adaptable and witty.