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Blake Melnick, KMIC's Chief Knowledge Officer will be taking part in exciting new pilot program entitled Advanced Strategic Integrative Practice Program at Royal Roads University in Victoria B.C.
"This initiative is a major step in modernizing the MBA program at Royal Roads University, It is a move away from the traditional case-based approach historically used by MBA schools across around the world"
"The problem with the case study approach is it asks students to work on "old" problems" - problems which have already been addressed and in some cases solved successfully and in others not so. Students are assessed by comparing their strategies in relation to what the experts have done, rather than actually performing as experts themselves. We need students to tackle problems which reflect the realistic needs of the emerging and constantly changing knowledge based economy. In other words problems which have yet to be solved; Problems which due to their complexity and changes in the markets, may never truly be solved"
Dr. Terry Power, Professor of Strategy Studies, Faculty Management at Royal Roads University and a member of KMIC's Advisory Council is spearheading the initiative.
"Students, adopting roles as members of consulting teams, will be presented with a problem(s) by a client. The problem will be ‘messy’ and ill-defined, but will be fairly representative of the types of situations graduates are likely to face as mid-and ‘C’ level executives. The student teams will identify and clarify the focal challenge(s) presented, and determine what further steps they will need to take in order to offer the client solid recommendations to address the challenge(s)"
"Terry and I had often spoken about the potential for using, problem based business simulations to enhance the learning experience for students, while at the same time, having them work on authentic problems - the same problems their peers and counterparts are working on in the field"
Two large companies with billions in assets under management, two very different industries, both facing significant with varied yet similar challenges over the next 5 years.
Senior executives from each company have presented their challenges to the MBA students in video interviews in advance of the 3-week simulation exercise. Representatives from each company will be on site to engage in the problem solving exercise with the students, Students will work in consulting teams to analyse the issues and present back to the companies, proposed approaches and potential solutions.
During this process, students will have access to Strategic Mentors (SM): professional consultants and faculty chosen for their competencies in specific disciplines, the needs for which emerge from analysis of the focal problem. The Strategic Mentors are prohibited from providing advice on how to handle a problem, but rather they are to answer and raise questions that will guide students in their inquiries. It is anticipated students will also draw on their own experiences and acquired MBA Program competencies throughout the 3-week exercise.
" Welcome to the Knowledge Age. This approach serves to reduce the historical gap between theory and practice and learning and work and it is equally relevant to learning institutions and companies - leveraging intellectual capacity, creating new usable knowledge to continually improve best practices, all driven by the need to solve real problems"
Follow Blake's tweets @bmelnick from the event starting on Dec. 13th, 2011