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B-schools don't teach the art of negotiation
Rakhee Nagpal | October 04, 2006
The first thing I learnt is that your client is not your professor. There are no second chances in the competitive landscape of the software industry.
Customer satisfaction and relationship management is key to a successful business model and if you can't cut it, there's always someone else who can.
I think the biggest challenge in the shift from education to business is learning to sift through the jargon and theory and implement it properly in the real world. You need to apply the wealth of knowledge you have been taught to the market realities to allow you to make successful business decisions. Change is the only constant.
The market is dynamic and you will also need an approach that is appropriate and flexible. B-schools don't give enough emphasis to the art of negotiation.
While communication is taught, negotiation is learnt only on the job. And negotiations are not just about clients, but also about incentivising your employees and your partners.
Management education is also incomplete in one critical aspect. B-school projects can be completed. In the world of business, the real work starts after the project is implemented. That's when you need to work towards retaining the customer.
Also, in B-schools, your interaction is mainly with students and peers who are in the same phase of life as you. At work, you are not only faced with a diversity of ideas and opinions, but also ages. You may be leading a team, which has several years' more experience in the industry.
That's where a fine balance has to be struck. Being a leader is not just about making decisions. It is also about learning from your team and using their unique talents and experience to ensure the best possible solution. And, unfortunately, B-schools can't teach you this.Rakhee Nagpal is managing director, Dynamic Vertical Solutions. She graduated from Kingston University, London, in 2001