Is business school the new design school?

People are often surprised when they hear that I earned my master of business administration degree, or MBA, as a side-hobby while I was a tenured professor at MIT. Even MIT’s human resources department was perplexed that I’'d want to apply for the employee benefit to partially support my tuition costs.

My motivation to do so was simple: I’d spent most of my life in the research world interacting with corporations during my years at the Media Lab, but I often got lost when the business folks would bandy financial or other business terms around me. So I wanted to defeat my lack of knowledge, by acquiring what most of them seemed to have: an MBA.

Fast forward ten years and a few professional changes later, my interest turned back to business schools again. This year after releasing the #2016 DesignInTech Report, it turns out that all of the top ten U.S. business schools have design clubs led by students.

The trend was remarkable, and to give credit where it is due, it was my KPCB partner Jackie Xu who brought this fact to the foreground. So we set out to interview student leaders at three business school clubs: Yale School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Respectively, those schools are represented by Wilma Lam, Anita Wu, and Jeremy Fish in a recent KPCB Ventured podcast. Below are some key takeaways from our discussion.

Design is being embedded into traditional businesses

Fortune 500 companies are beginning to use human-centered design to think about problem solving rather than traditional hypothesis testing, which is why we are seeing more than 10% of Fortune 100 companies place design as an executive priority. Creativity is becoming a strategic lever to create a competitive advantage in the corporate world. That explains why management consulting and strategy services firms are acquiring design agencies at a rapid rate. 42 design firms have been acquired since 2004, half of those in the last year alone....

Read full story: TechCrunch

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