Transforming learning into business impact

Tomorrow’s world requires impactful leadership. Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Ignacio de la Vega outlines four areas of focus for business educators and 10 top leadership skills that they should seek to develop in their cohorts

In a session of the AMBA & BGA Global Conference 2021 that was streamed live from Mexico, Ignacio de la Vega, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Faculty and Internationalisation at Tecnológico de Monterrey, discussed his research on the topic of transforming learning into business impact.

De la Vega explained that capitalism isn’t sufficient to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, or even to mitigate its impact, arguing that it is up to all of us to work towards improvement and to harness the positives of the pandemic’s disruption. For example, he argued that the pandemic has helped the ‘world to heal’ and that people’s confinement within their homes has improved the planet’s environmental health, due to a reduction in pollution and waste.

‘The future started many years ago and the pandemic accelerated this disruption,’ he said. For Business Schools and many other educational organisations, the disruption has led to a ‘new model’ of learning during Covid-19, with programmes going fully online. However, this new approach has not been embraced by all, due to a number that include a lack of the appropriate equipment, funding and access to the internet.

De la Vega believes that to build the leaders of the future business educators must have a real purpose and impact on societies and communities through technology, science and research, while also keeping up to speed with trends. For him, four key areas of focus stand out:

  • Building new skillsets and mindsets
  • Fostering lifelong learning
  • Democratising executive (and all) education
  • Contributing to finding solutions to the world’s ‘wicked’ problems

10 top leadership skills for the future

Summing up the session, de la Vega looked ahead to 2025 and predicted that 10 key skills will become paramount for our leaders of the future:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Complex problem-solving
  4. Critical thinking and analysis
  5. Creativity, originality and initiative
  6. Leadership and social influence
  7. Technology use, monitoring and control
  8. Technology design and programming
  9. Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  10. Reasoning, problem-solving
    and ideation

For business educators, the biggest challenge will be to keep these at the forefront of their minds and to infuse them into the DNA of their Business Schools, he believes.

Ignacio de la Vega is Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Faculty and Internationalisation at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. He also leads its entrepreneurship centre (Instituto de Emprendimiento Eugenio Garza Lagüera). Previously, he served as Dean of EGADE Business School and Dean of the Undergraduate Business School at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

This article is adapted from a feature that originally appeared in Ambition – the magazine of the Association of MBAs.

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