Doing a Better Job Teaching Values

Though my time at CEIBS teaching a course on responsible leadership I have been fortunate to meet peers at other schools and within the corporate world who are teaching their students and employees values and issues of society, economics, and the environment.

It is a process that at times feels like climbing a sheer faced rock, and given the fact that many schools are still hesitant to say their model is in any way broken.. or that the economic model they have been proponents of is somehow flawed…  , but as the pressure on corporate and political leadership grows, so will the calls on business school deans to make material changes to the core of their curriculum, professors, and students.

A process the Rich Lyons of Berkley believes begins with the incoming student application and selection, as mentioned in the Fast Company article What Happened When UC Berkeley’s B-School Cherry-Picked Students Who Personify Its Values

Applicants to the Berkeley-Haas school are now asked to address the four values in one way or another in their application. The admissions class of 2011-2012 is the first class in which all were exposed to the values-influenced application. Dean Richard Lyons, the chief culture builder, challenged the admitted to consider that “the business school choice is lifelong–don’t make lifelong choices that don’t fit.”

Which resonates with a comment that the former COO of Wal-Mart made to my class.  that before firms can speak about, and take action on, issue of sustainability, they must first build a foundation of ethics.  where people understand their own personal role within the greater context and are going to actively engage into the process.

At CEIBS, through a number of initiatives we are seeing that the constant marketing of CSR and sustainability related content in the curriculum is driving a new breed of applicants, and I can only imagine the same is true for Berkley.

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