Thursday, September 21, 2006

Breaking Down Silos at Yale

While curriculum discussions generally bore me, this one is the exception for the size of the changes and the potential ramifications. Yale's business school has done a major facelift to its offerings. Some look-ins thanks to Business Week:

Breaking Down Silos at Yale:
"...not just at Yale, but at any of the curricula that you would look at any of the major business schools, they were broken down by functional silos: a course in marketing, a course in accounting, a course in organizational behavior. But if you talk to any leader of a major corporation, they will tell you that the real value to be added is in working across those silos, and the disciplinary delivery got in the way of educating students in a way that could maximize their ability to add value to the organizations of which they are a part."
and also:
"We now offer a course on the customer rather than a course in marketing, a course on the investor rather than a course in finance. All of them are multidisciplinary in both their design and their delivery. And then we have a course called the integrated leadership perspective at the end which sort of brings together all the different perspectives."
While I am not taking any position on the new design, I will say that even in a traditional finance class it is important to understand the other functional areas. Indeed, every class I teach starts with that discussion AND it is yet another reason why no matter what your major is, there really are no "blow off" classes. You just never know when the material from a class is going to be valuable later in life.

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