Eshumare said that knowledge will increase in the end times; an increase that I dare say is fueled by the love of money and bears the fruit of evil. Are we not already witnessing the manifestation of this sign? I am referring to the avalanche of books by pro-oyinbo authors claiming to offer one advice or the other. These are mostly business books which are in my opinion the result of an overemphasis on MBA qualifications. There are so many books out there in addition to articles across various news media – websites, newspapers and so on – that I have since got sick of reading them. Some offer repetitive information, others offer what is just plain obvious for anyone who is perspicacious. Steve Fritzinger of BBC Business Daily recently referred to the frustration that comes with this avalanche of “if I have to win you have to lose” books as self-help fatigue or advice fatigue.
The MBA qualification has become so generic, like using paracetamol to treat all kinds of pain when there is an abundance of specific medication for various types of pain. It gets annoying when I see that various oyinbo-culture organizations all over the world require MBA qualifications for staff advancement. For instance, I have wondered, why should professional services and consulting firms like BCG, KPMG and Booz and Allen harbour a preference for MBAs when the jobs and assignments entails the MBA learning outcomes? Employees should rather pursue expertise in their individual niches while both employers and employees focus on bringing these expertise to bear on their work input and output. The MBA learning outcomes could then be integrated into the organization’s in-house staff training schemes. Such would catalyze the emergence of novel insights that make the job more interesting instead of generic and boring. Thus someone with a bioscience background could apply the redundancy and resource allocation across various levels of biological organization to organizational behaviour and strategy. Such a strategy would cut back on the number of MBA graduates who are saturating and polluting the labour market but have no real and long term solution to poverty and the unequal spread of wealth.
Thus far, quite a number of them proffer ideas aimed at “grabbing all I can, as early and as quickly as I can, while ensuring that only I can and others can not.” In short, they promote a very selfish and myopic ideal, the kind that values profits (money) over lives and which is popularly known as capitalism (Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company aptly described it in his article, Capitalism for the Long Term). For instance, many drug discovery and development companies in the United States pursue drug targets primarily for raking in profits while relegating the overall good of improving healthcare delivery to the background. I pity the victims of rare disorders who are asked to chunk out large sums for drugs that do not cure. Of course if these drugs were cures then the market would not be profitable. Another example is the malaria drug industry. The World Health Organization recommended the use of artemisinin derived drugs for malaria treatment. Artemisinin is derived from a plant that is native to the temperate region and is thought not to be natural to the tropics which has the highest malaria prevalence rates. However, people have lived in the tropics for millennia all the while using local treatments for malaria. That being the case, why would drug companies not target these tropical solutions? Most medication used in the tropics are manufactured in the temperate zones where the nations that are oyinbo-dominated and thus said to be technologically advanced are and host most of the drug manufacturers, thus promoting technology centralization. But it seems not to matter to them that their activities place profits over a drastic cut in malaria mortality. It is also worth knowing that most of the top business schools are outside the tropics.
All these because of the love of money… The biblical Paul did note that the love of money is the root of all evil. But what can we do to counter this venomous brand of capitalism that also seems to have become cancerous? Many of these business schools are neck deep into preaching the use of knowledge in ways that do not profit all. They are setting up campuses in other countries, seducing gullible citizens who have brainwashed themselves into believing that an MBA is needed for a successful career and a perception in their societies as go-getters and successful in life. This indoctrination continues despite the fact that a lot of billion dollar companies in existence today including Twitter, Skype, Apple, Facebook and Google and so on were started by people without MBA degrees. The indoctrination teaches the valuation of one’s neighbours based on what they can do way over who they are—human doers versus human beings. Hence I am trying not to believe that the MBA is for schmucks. To answer the question of what palliative measures can be taken, we can try the following:
- Like I mentioned earlier, people should specialize in their respective niches while organizations include MBA learning outcomes as part of their in-house staff training. Organizations and MBA programmes should focus more on activities that profit all, not just the business owner. A way of achieving this is to reduce the cost of doing business—including research—while profit maximization becomes relegated in order of priority. An organization that is efficient at business cost reduction or operative cost effectiveness, profit for all, and profit maximization, would in my opinion be perceived as a beautiful business.
- Dismiss and avoid hiring MBA graduates. They have caused so much global and avoidable disasters like the recent global economic recession, bullying across nations, conflicts, and the so-called looming currency wars. They are also very bumptious and snooty as if theirs is an exact science. It is worth noting that some have repented as evidenced by the students of the Harvard Business School who came up with their own version of the Hippocratic Oath, the MBA Oath . Okay, the dismiss part could be seen as harsh. How about not showing them any preferential treatment.
- Re-orient the Human Resources Department – people should be hired based on who and not what they are. HR personnel should also do their utmost best to try out measures to bring out the best peculiarities from employees while eliminating hindrances in this regard.
These would help ease the friction between business and society, heal the wounds caused by MBA-derived knowledge, and promote the perception that the MBA is not for schmucks. In the short run, it may seem like I am contributing to advice fatigue but the long term benefits could be the emergence of a beautiful way of doing business—a beautiful MBA.