During my recent interactions with management executives and management students I realized something that has been bothering me for a while. All our education (not just for management but for other streams as well) is about learning things and processes and procedures that happened in the past. Case studies, analysis, facts, listings…students are taught about how to look at the past. They can find material, look for articles and celebrate people who have performed.

What is missing (and in my view that’s a big thing) is how to look into the future. How to learn from the past and use that to create a future. They are missing the art of looking at trends, forecasting and predicting. I also find that most faculty does not understand this concept either. In my view this kind of education will only produce good followers and will not create leaders.

Regular but simple classes and lectures on design thinking can bring about a sea change. Students need to learn to experiment, and accept that failure is an important part of learning. They need to be taught to be comfortable with fuzzy concepts.

Unlike the past, the future is not one definite concept; it is open and free. We can make the future happen. I hope more and more colleges will try to integrate creativity and design thinking workshops into their courses.

Published in POOL 39, http://www.poolmagazine.in