June 29, 2006

Relationships

No, this is no boyfriend-girlfriend post. I am in the mood for gyaan, especially given the fact that I have some free time today and that I haven't posted regularly for quite some time. So here goes.

Business is driven by relationships. Think about it. Good relationships with customers get you loyal customers. Good relationships with bankers get you better financing options. Good relationships with suppliers eases working capital requirements. Good relationships with employees increases your productivity. You get the drift?

Sadly, almost all B-Schools in India (I dunno about B-Schools abroad) do not have a single input on how to manage relationships. There are tangential courses on Personality Development, and most are electives to the streams of Human Resources or Personnel Management. There is a course on CRM (Customer Relationship Management) but as far as my knowledge, it has been classified as an Information Management elective.

So what does that leave us with? Management graduates who are more attuned to quantitative models and methods rather than relationship builders. It does not help that the large number of MBA's we generate these days are engineers, who love to play around with math. Management unlike math is about ambiguity. As managers you got to make the right decisions from very hazy scenarios. There is no 2+2=4. No exactness. There are many soft issues which need to be taken into account.

But engineers (most of them) hate subjects on the topic of Human Resources or Organisational Behaviour. There are two schools of thought. One, the freshers who cant understand jackshit of how HR / OB concepts are applicable. Two, experienced guys who have cursed their HR Dept. all their working life. At the end of the day, walk into any class on HR / OB and you'll see bored faces. This is compounded by poor faculty in many parts of the country who cannot relate theory to practice.

There is hope though. In my interactions with fellow MBA students over the past one year I have been able to feel a latent opinion that networking is important. How to go about it, and establish strong relationships from nominal contacts is something that has yet to take off. So unless you have it as an internal attribute, you may never develop or hone your relationship management skills in a Bschool. It may take you years of being close to customers, employees, partners before you manage to establish relationships with all of them. And if I can do that over that long a period of time, even after going to a BSchool whats the point in spending time in one.

As I said earlier, think about it.

1 comment:

ameya velankar said...

please donot go bald!!!... request from Ameya