"These are the moments when strategic change becomes a possibility," says Robert H. Lengel, 53, associate dean for executive education at the University of Texas at San Antonio's College of Business -- and one of the brains behind the school's very unconventional executive MBA program.
While the 21-month, $28,000 program offers a healthy dose f accounting, finance, marketing, and other traditional subjects, its curriculum does not revolve around "a petty focus on efficiency," says Lengel
.Instead, this MBA program, called "The Learning Journey," focuses on helping executives understand what it means to be a leader in today's fast-moving, fast-changing, utterly confusing business environment."We integrate two bottom lines -- profit and mortality," Lengel
Forget just running operations, he
argues.Real leaders transform organizations -- and the people in them.Forget a spreadsheetlike focus on short-term financials.
"The Information Age is about knowledge creation," says Lengel
."It's not about having the answers; it's about being open enough with yourself to keep asking questions."
Contact Robert H. Lengel by email (email@example.com), or learn more about the executive MBA program on the Web (http://cobweb.utsa.edu/cpe/emb).
Sidebar: Leadership 101
...Robert H. Lengel, associate dean of the College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is also coauthor of "Fusion Leadership: Unlocking the Subtle Forces That Change People and Organizations" (Berrett-Koehler, 1998).Lengel
believes that leadership is a journey.Here, he
recommends some ways to begin that journey.
But don't read only books about business.Read about art, music, and science to learn new ways of doing things."Consider the art of unrelated inquiry," Lengel
students."Practice not being an expert."
Images can help you sort through dilemmas by depicting what words cannot convey.It's easier, says Lengel
, to critique an image than it is to critique words: "Think of your learning journey as a trip to the gym, and train the muscles of your brain."
Talk to people at different levels, in different divisions, from different companies."Conversation is a simple tool that allows people to self-organize and to generate complexity," Lengel
says."It allows people to reinvent themselves."
Start talking to yourself.
Keeping a journal, says Lengel
, helps you pinpoint assumptions that may hold you back: "Create front porches -- places where people can slow down and reflect on what's happening around them."
Performing a skit or a miniplay is a great way to be honest about what's happening and about how people are behaving."Revel in the fallacy of logic; expose the assumptions that limit you," Lengel urges."Once you've laughed at one another, it's easier to change."
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