I don’t often buy magazines, but when FM (Financial Mail) caught my attention a week or two ago with a lead story with a title like the one it did, ‘Are SA’s Business Schools too tame?’, they had my attention and the R23.50 it takes to attain a copy. I’m interested because, from time to time, I get invited to join a Business School faculty on various projects with their clients. I really do want to know if Business Schools are delivering the goods? They play a key role in the business landscape and people are influenced by what they’re delivering. If they are too tame I need to know in what way, so I can adjust my delivery to ensure I’mĀ relevantĀ and useful.

I briefly flicked through the magazine and saw 10 pages had been dedicated to answering the question asked on the cover. I made a cup of coffee, turned my phone onto silent and settled down on my hammock to dive into the cover story.

It didn’t take long to realise that FM was going to disapoint me. Surely this wasn’t how they were going to answer their question? I kept reading. Page after page the same formula. They had gone about asking whether business schools were too tame by interviewing only Business School people. What were they thinking?

It’s like asking whether the South African Police are useful in society by interviewing only Police people. Or whether cocaine was bad for society by asking only drug dealers?

Surely to answer a question like this you have to ask:

  • people who have gone through business school education?
  • companies that have invested millions of rands in their people being developed by business schools?
  • managers who have individuals who’s performance and contribution should have changed in some form or another on the other side of a business school programme?
  • critics of business schools?

This article, in my opinion, was an extremely poorly written article and should never have been included as a cover story. An advertorial maybe, but it’s not useful journalism.