Friday Morning News & Notes: MBA Leadership, Tristan Walker and More
Good morning and happy Friday!
Here are a few stories you may have missed from the week that was …
CNBC writers Richard Wellins and Evan Sinar ask a simple, important question; “Is the MBA the most valuable degree in the world?”
There’s no direct right or wrong answer of course, but Wellins and Sinar try to look deeper. Both acknowledge that MBAs earn much more money annually than the average working adult in the U.S., Europe and India. And the employment rate for MBA graduates is very high. However, there’s a slight disconnect when it comes to leadership. The two cite multiple studies that showed MBAs had a dearth of leadership qualities.
The two cite a DDI study that analyzed 15,000 MBA grads and undergraduates without an MBA. “We found that there were significant differences between the two groups,” they write. “As you might anticipate, MBAs rated higher in financial acumen, business savvy and establishing strategic direction—skills that are commonly emphasized and developed in most MBA programs. On the other hand, MBAs were lower than undergraduate degree-holders in coaching and developing others, driving for results and selling a vision. Thus, while an MBA program can strengthen many important leadership skills, it won’t necessarily produce strength in all of the skills leaders need to be successful.”
Speaking with Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and host of the Masters Of Scale podcast, Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA alum Tristan Walker discussed the lengthy trials of attempting to scale a startup. Despite raising over $30 million after three rounds of fundraising, Walker—founder and CEO of the multi-million dollar Walker & Company—says that he was rejected about “99 percent of the time by investors.”
“’Usually what looks like bad ideas are good ideas, and usually what looks like good ideas are bad ideas.’ Walker remembers mega-investor Ben Horowitz telling him. ‘All too often, people try and chase the good ideas, and there’s not much value to be created there.'”
Walker’s initial pitch was for Bevel, a specialized-type of razor built for coarse and curly hair. He eventually turned his ideas into Walker & Company, which specializes in beauty products for people of color. Despite all the rejections, Walker’s Bevel project eventually founds its ways on shelves in Target stores across the U.S.
New findings from the Graduate Management Admissions Council revealed that a majority of undergraduates that have a bachelor’s in business are considering an MBA. However, non-MBA business master’s programs are also statistically rising:
“Fueled by growing candidate demand, non-MBA business master’s programs continue to proliferate. Globally, the percentage of candidates considering only business master’s degrees — such as Master of Finance, Master of Accounting, and Master in Management — has increased from 15 percent in 2009 to 23 percent in 2016. This rise in interest has been particularly strong among candidates from East and Southeast Asia and Western Europe, where now more than 2 in 5 candidates report considering only these program types.”
New Journal Sponsored by Top MBA Programs Tackles Critical Healthcare Management Issues | Harvard Business School
A group of business school leaders recently announced a collective new quarterly journal, Health Management, Policy and Innovation (HMPI). On the announcement, William Mitchell, editor-in-chief of the journal and professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business said, “Our goal is to harness the insights of scholars, business leaders and policymakers to support public and private tackling health care challenges, both in the United States and beyond. HMPI focuses on innovation, supply chains, global health, strategy, entrepreneurship, policy, incentives, and other topics with implications for managerial decision-making today.”
Experts for the journal come from 16 of the biggest schools in the U.S. The group originally formed in 2010 as the Business School Alliance for Health Management (BAHM). The first issue of HMPI features work from members of the Harvard Business School, University of California Berkeley and more.