Shaping Educational Organisations for Tomorrow

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Shaping Educational Organisations for Tomorrow

Directly or indirectly the educational institution becomes responsible for the success or failure of professionals in the real world.
Educational organisations are expected to shape students of the future and if we talk about professional education, in today’s context, the expectation is crystal clear. In fact, the vision for educational organisations engaged in professional education like management, engineering etc. has already been set by the industries and society in a one line statement- To transform students into good professionals and responsible citizens. But we have seen that achieving this vision is not an easy task for the organisations because they don’t seem prepared themselves. To achieve this vision, educational organisations also need to shape up and prepare themselves appropriately to successfully execute the appropriate mission for this vital vision statement. 
In this article, I have tried to discuss the elements of this “shaping up” aspect in the light of the changing scenario in today’s professional world. 
Organisations today, in this dynamic environment, are awash with various complexities and pressures to sustain themselves in highly competitive markets and hence get diverted, unnecessarily and unknowingly, from their high set vision and get cornered by short term goals of relatively lesser importance which arise out of changes and challenges, on day to day basis. As a result, this diversion makes organisations a “me too” category organisation in  the market. 
In the context of professional educational institutions, this diversion from the laid out vision can prove disastrous not only to themselves but also to their output, i.e. professionals going to markets to face challenges from industries. When the output from educational institutions becomes a “me too” category, it becomes difficult for such professionals to handle the ever changing challenges of the market. This generates a serious threat to today’s demanding markets which look towards educational institutions for “industry ready professionals.” 
This finally leads to a starvation scenario despite the continuous increase in the number of educational institutions. The lack of “good industry ready professionals” forces the industry to look for alternative solutions in the form of deploying professionals from neighbouring countries and consulting global firms. If we see this aspect in the context of Nepal, it is a bitter truth to digest in a changing world order.
The world has changed and is changing continuously. Change has become an insatiable feature of our future and it applies to our industrial scenario too. If we talk about Nepal, it is on the verge of witnessing rapid industrial change and the only question arising here is, will we be able to prepare our industries to take care of the implications that change brings or not? Will we be in a position to provide the “industry ready” professionals to face emerging global challenges and changes? 
Industries look to institutions for such vital input which is important for their performance. Good professionals are the back bone of any industry for sustainable performance and success. Hence, directly or indirectly the educational institution becomes responsible for the success or failure of professionals in the real world.
 In this backdrop, it has become imperative for educational organisations as well to shape up for the future challenges in terms of output. The role of educational organisations is too crucial in terms of developing and providing good professionals. This is an industry where the input is “a student” and output is “a professional.” How the output is shaped in the “transformation process” decides the fate of that professional. 
This further makes the role of professional educational institutions even more important in the context of the student coming out of school and becoming a professional to perform in industries. Under today’s changing and challenging scenario, organisations also need to shape up and gear up to handle this challenge of developing good industry ready professionals capable of handling challenges. 
To shape and prepare the organisations of tomorrow, contemporary teaching practices and strategies need to be innovative, correct and have room for improvisation to sense and face the challenges of the future. Doing the right thing at the right time in the right manner will always be the keynote but being creatively distinct has become the differentiating factor and the value proposition for the better organisations.
When students leave school, they are filled with unrealistic dreams. They are not aware of the limits of their own competency, vision and USP. A change of environment brings about a change in their attitude, behaviour and personality as they are unaware of what is actually expected of them as professionals. So, the professional educational institutions need to foresee, understand, plan and act accordingly to make them learn the fundamentals of professional life and develop the mindset of industry ready professionals, by the end of the course. 
Today, an “industry ready professional” must have a few of the core prerequisites and an organisation getting him/her ready for the future must acknowledge this and be in a position to teach them during  the three to four year transformation process. Such prerequisites, in my opinion, are:
1. Knowledge to perform responsibilities effectively
2. Attitude to excel in performing responsibilities
3. Personality to deliver the results in performing responsibilities
4. Behaviour to be a good professional and a responsible citizen
One thing is also very clear. Organisations have to work hard themselves with a holistic approach to achieve this. Preparedness, foresight and correct strategies are the basic tools required to embark on the journey of success and sustainability for a genuinely geared up educational organisation. Performance with accountability is the key to sustenance. The key punch line here is, ‘envision the future and plan the strategies to meet challenges.’ 
To achieve the vision of this statement and to guide the youth in the right direction, it is recommended that educational organisations follow a four-fold approach such as the one below:
From socialisation to innovation- every country, every organisation in the world has relied upon value based learning. No occupation has ever become a profession without learning through experience. The need of the day is to prepare for the future and educational organisations have a crucial role to play by making future leaders responsible and productive to the industry as well as society. This can only be done by guiding them on the lessons of life-long learning and turning them into confident performers with a winning instinct. 
This can only be achieved by getting ourselves ready.
"The onus is on the educational institutions to shape up their students in a way that they are globally relevant and yet sensitive to the needs of the local socio-economy.” 
The writer is Professor-Marketing and Director CRE Kathmandu    College of Management and can be reached [email protected]

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