Monday, February 28, 2011

The Chairman's response to WSJ's "Harvard Changes Course"

To see the article, click here

On Revamping Harvard:

Requiring students to work in groups of 6 is a good start. The fact they will have to create something is even better. Is it enough to address the source of the problem? Are the appropriate questions being asked to create leaders of the future?

While it is important to learn from case studies and just as important to be competent in finance, a question remains. How do you build valuable products or services that are sustainable or a least malleable enough to continue to produce value?

If Harvard is going to make significant changes to its curriculum, they need to understand there are mental models that are built into every system. If they change what they present to students without adjusting for mental models that perpetuate the existing paradigm that caused the financial meltdown, the paradigm will not be changed. It will be improved or diminished.

It is what happens when the average person wins a large lottery. The person burns through cash because their money management principles remain constant. As a result, the wealthy lottery winner is usually worse off with more money. Will the new Harvard curriculum allow students to justify the same past behavior with a new intellectual spin for why things will be different this time?

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