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MBAs don't run companies!

17 Sep 2015 at 05:48hrs | Views
Chinotimba . . .active in Parliament.
YOUR degrees and titles don't run companies. If they did then governments could be richer than companies all over the world. Even universities will be better run than some businesses. How many Sirs, Drs, CAs, Profs, PhDs, MBAs and MPhils do we have in governments and universities all over the world? All these qualifications do not run companies, they never did. Good companies are a result of good and practical managers at the fore. We are not saying do not get these qualifications but after you have acquired them be a good and practical manager in your day-to-day activities.

In other words be knowledgeable to increase your relevance. Complacency has had a detrimental effect to the cause of business. A piece of paper is not sufficient to run companies efficiently and effectively. You need to be a super hero to run these companies in a manner that shareholders will get a return on their invested funds and be socially responsible while making human capital happy in a dynamic environment.

People are primarily being taught to be trainable so that they can run these businesses successfully. It is one thing to get a qualification and another to get things done at business level. One needs to get the requisite experience to employ and apply their skills profitably and this can only be measured by results. Failing is part of the learning process to harness the superior competence in the chosen field. Unfortunately the luxury of failing on the Zimbabwean business landscape is not there as of now due to harsh socio-economic challenges.

Simply put, you can't afford to fail right now. It will be utter disaster, you may never recover forever. There is no margin of error in this environment. Failing is great and worth the experience but unfortunately as we speak it's unthinkable under these conditions.

Our education is great but it could have been greater if it really prepared the graduates on what to expect after completing their studies. Business is worried that graduates at post graduate level are failing to measure up to the current challenges that our business environment offers. We say challenges offered because if you get it right you will have redefined business survival given what we are experiencing as at now is unique and humongous.

If you get it right we will celebrate you now and your legacy thereafter. Our finishing graduate school of business has a challenge to make these graduates relevant to the current scenario. You can repeat undergraduate but surely you can't repeat post graduate school but maybe you can do refresher courses to jog the rusty memory. Maybe the case study approach will equip our students with the requisite knowledge through simulation of our business challenges.

Pure vanilla textbook approach to solving Zimbabwean challenges would not cut it. These extraordinary times are immune to bookish managers.

Even fasting and praying for a better tomorrow has to be backed by tangible practical steps towards achieving just that. If you want to suffer trauma and stress as a manager then use the book to manage your business.

Theoretically you can have winners but practically the business environment is unique, complex and no textbook has been written about this.
It's a new challenge that requires flexible business acumen first time all the time.
We have examples of college drop outs that have exceptionally made it in business or managed to overcome. Facebook founder was a college dropout, Bill

Gates was, and so is Kanye West but they now run the world. Donald Trump wasn't the smartest in class but he wants to be the leader of the "free world" having conquered business.

Nigel Chanakira and Strive Masiyiwa were never tops in their classes at university. Joseph Chinotimba is very active in Parliament under the green carpet.  Moses in the Bible couldn't speak well compared to the 'kids' from certain private schools but he co-led a nation to the Promised Land where other people already existed.

Joshua Malinga (physically disadvantaged) was once the Bulawayo Mayor. They only mastered the art of being practical managers of their businesses or their circumstances. Make no mistake, children under 21 please seek explanation for this lest you get the wrong meaning. This Zimbabwean environment requires a business manager to be very real time knowledgeable. The need to adapt at lightning speed can never be over emphasised.

You have to be a super business manager with all your degrees. Given the lean number of employees in some companies one has to be able to multi-task. Managers need to assume any role as the need arises. One has to be flexible but assertive.
Think like a dealer but act like parastatals, that is, maximise your profits but still be socially responsible. Managers need to see opportunities where there is none.

This is crucial as seeing opportunities now where others see eventually will keep you in the game as it were. Just like chameleons managers are required to simultaneously learn and adapt and blend with the respective environment but still dictate the pace in their area of business.
From the above it is crystal clear that no school can teach this thus managers just need to be leaders. It's the leadership talent that will carry the day. Some people are born leaders, they will lead no matter what their circumstances. Some people can be groomed to be leaders and we have schools that can do that. It is the "graduate" leaders (not necessarily degreed) that naturally, instinctively or training wise fully comprehend business environment and their challenges that will deliver for business. When you take your son through rigours of your business that is more than a business school can do because it's practical and that experience is invaluable.

Zimbabwe is in need of transformational business leadership that is open minded, acts outside the box, acts in other terms, dreamers, innovative, bold/brave, smart, aggressive and have patience. A blinkered manager has become a liability to business and the practical ones are assets worth rewarding and showering with praise. MoB Capital is saying those that will deliver for us in business circles the reward for that is just PRICELESS.
If you can deliver in this environment (assuming you are playing fair) then the entire world is your playground. Remember one Phillip Chiyangwa used to boast of having a PhD in common sense.

Guess what, that which is not considered naturally common is now being required of you and required in abundance for business survival. And for this you don't need a certificate or be state registered because business will know you by name and that honour is beyond measure.
We need practical managers that build future global brands that will exist way after demise of founding members.

Morris Mpala is managing director MoB Capital (Pvt) Limited, a microfinance institution offering loans, micro-insurance and advisory services to small to medium enterprises as well as individuals.

Source - chronicle
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