Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Talk at Hyderabad Business School, GITAM

Thanks to Dr. S.S. Prasada Rao who heads the HBS and who is highly pro-student development, I got an opportunity to interact with the MBA students of HBS.

Expectations from the course
I asked what the students' expectations were from their course - mostly it was about 'good' jobs or starting businesses.

How to Equal the IIMs
There's a way to equal the IIMs and other premier MBAs.

Mindset - New Psychology of Success
The 'growth' or 'learning mindset' is the key - learn (not about showing that you are smart), take up bigger challenges, set higher standards, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the route to mastery, take negative feedback positively, get inspired and learn from the successes of others. Purposeful and organised effort required to reach higher was established.

Measure Effort
IIMs put in 3000 hours a year (an approx calculation based on 10 hours a day and 300 days a year though the students felt that they put in 15 hours a day). The average MBA puts in 300 hours a year (taking a one hour a day standard). The gap over two years is 5400 hours.
Combined with the preparation already gone into the making of an IIM student, quality of faculty and the sheer pressure of relentless work, they are bound to be ahead.

To catch up with them, it is essential that the same number of hours are put in and high standards set.

Putting in 5 hours a day
Start by putting in 5 hours a day in an organised and purposeful manner. Hours during travel (2 hours minimum), social media time, college time - can easily be used purposefully. Students seemed reluctant to cut down on sleep of 8 hours though.

The 10,000 hour rule to expertise
We discussed the 10,000 hour rule to expertise (Eric Andersson) and Malcolm Galdwell's 'Outliers'.

How to learn anything new in 20 hours - TED talk by Josh Kaufman
Viewed 'How to learn anything new in 20 hours', a TED talk by Josh Kaufman. 20 hours is all it takes to learn anything new, provided we 1) deconstruct the skill, 2) learn enough to self-correct, 3) get rid of practice barriers and then 4) put in the 20 hours.

Where to use the 20 hours rule
The 20 hours can be effectively used to to improve 1) oral skills 2) listening skills 3) writing and 4) presentation skills, 5) core business skills, 6) quantitative skills and other desirable skills sought by the industry from MBAs.

Getting into the top 10%
Only 10% MBAs are considered employable according to some studies. By putting in 5 hours of purposeful work in developing desirable attributes, the students can easily get into the top 10%. All extra effort will get them higher.

Prescription to success
Effective utilisation of existing resources of time (6000 hours?) and energy in the two years at college, importance of clarity of goal, maintaining a journal to measure progress, making notes on patterns of success and failure, maintaining mentors and teachers to seek help, gathering new experiences, taking initiative and responsibility etc.

Learning attitude is about saying 'I don't know'
Say 'I don't know' when you do not know (and stop acting like you know). Ask for help from a person who knows the subject and the process.

It was 90 minutes well spent. The ride however takes almost 75 minutes either way.  

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