Post MBA Leadership Lab (Wisdom Lab)

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What is the Wisdom Lab?

The Wisdom Lab is 5.5 day residential executive development program developed exclusively for senior executives who are MBA Alumni. It offers a globally unique experience where a contemporary Human and Social Sciences curriculum is integrated with the diverse advanced business experience of the exclusive cohort.

The Wisdom Lab has been developed out of a five year project to adapt and integrate knowledge from the Human and Social Sciences into mainstream Executive Education. The project took an experimental approach beginning with a prototype program that blended part Humanities and part Business School and experimenting with each cohort. To date 200 executives have helped shaped the Wisdom Lab.

By November 2013 the prototype design had become robust and the outcomes could be predicted. From this milestone the project focussed on fine tuning and radically expanding the Humanities content and guaranteeing its relevance to all complex modern organisations.

Why the Human and Social Sciences?

The project arose out of a controversial point of view; that global Executive Education remains grounded in a reductionist model of the “rational worker” and that this model is no longer good enough for the “knowledge worker” of today.

The famous Nobel Prize winner, Prof Daniel Kahneman coins the idea of an “Econ” that he defines as “a fictional human species that behaves exactly as an Economist believe humans should behave”. Kahneman is suggesting the “rational worker” is fictional.

Bringing the Human and Social Sciences into Executive Education expands the universe of knowledge available to organisations across the whole of academia. No new model is needed as people have been studied in these faculties for centuries.

The idea is so obvious, it has the potential to become a Black Swan Event in global Executive Education.

Why is the “Rational Worker” model not good enough?

The Rational Worker model was thought up before the 1990s when someone felt it necessary to summarise the whole world with one acronym - VUCA which stands for Volatility Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. The economists of the 20th century built their theories before VUCA. Meyers Briggs was developed before VUCA. The Rational Worker model is profoundly reductionist.

Why should we NOT blow up HR?

The July/August edition of Harvard Business Review proposed building something new. This idea is absurd. How long would that take? No, we need to ask HR to go do more homework and research in the Human and Social Sciences because there is a lot more there than they took the first time around.

Why was the Rational Worker model thought up?

Some logic would suggest that scientific and consistent production required rational and consistent workers. Another interesting idea is that no one wanted to be looked at to be closely or exposed at work so a simple model was agreed to by all. Well, pervasive feedback tools have already put paid to that hope.