Friday, April 13, 2012

MBA Debate Ignited

Walla said some points which brought another reader, whom I respect and is an avid reader of the blog, to bring forth his views. His views are in blue, pretty solid points. My previous reply to Walla in yellow.


:33 PM
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Blogger walla said...

It's the old academic-practical question. But there is a difference. The MBA can with observation and mentoring become more street-smart but the street-smart without proper training cannot do the academic things the MBA can.

Kuok was a savvy commodity trader during his days. But if he is to present at an analyst conference today, he won't be able to answer with industry-wide terms the questions they will throw at him.

The last part of what the blogger wrote to say the street-smart can do this and that ..actually how many nonMBA street-smarts think enough like that to be able to know what to do next to get quantitative answers to acceptable levels of confidence?

Unless what is being pushed here is some zen-like qualitative personal insight seared out of big-time losses rehashed as street-smart wisdom.

But street-smart wisdom is about three chapters; MBA is at least three-hundred. And that's how investors have been looking at proposals since they have to answer on what basis they would plough in billions.

A lot of the success stories is by reverse engineering. Karma, luck, and dogged persistence lead to one big killing out of fifty, and it's success to be reverse engineered into some nice homilies.

In the end, arc knowledge-practice with culture. Then imponderable forces will be the only variable left.

No links, this one.
5:50 PM
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It's the old academic-practical question. But there is a difference. The MBA can with observation and mentoring become more street-smart but the street-smart without proper training cannot do the academic things the MBA can. Where is the basis for this comment, where is the data to support the supposed fact that the street smart with no proper training cannot do the academic things the MBA can. Whats so difficult, clever and/or unique that the MBA can do because of their academic training that the street smart cannot muster the common sense to master, after all is it not a fact that most of MBAs supposed knowledge and brilliance is simple cut and paste or unoriginal plagiarism. This is a world full of copy cats... ask Steve Jobs, lol.

Kuok was a savvy commodity trader during his days. (Well, MBAs trades on information and knowledge) But if he is to present at an analyst conference today, he won't be able to answer with industry-wide terms the questions they will throw at him (The Kuoks of this world make up the top 1% to 5% of the world population, they do not need to do the presentations themselves. They surround themselves with people with brains to do the work, as Henry Ford once said, " You do not need to have brains to run your business, you can always hire them").It is the brains and killer instinct to build the businesses from scratch that the MBAs lack and would take a lifetime to acquire cos there is such a thing a information overload and over analysing an issue to death before one musters the courage to make the killing before it is too late or someone swoops in.

The last part of what the blogger wrote to say the street-smart can do this and that ..actually how many nonMBA street-smarts think enough like that to be able to know what to do next to get quantitative answers to acceptable levels of confidence? Why dont you provide the answer if you are so smart, and please quantify and support it with solid scientific data from your so called skilled academia schooling.

Unless what is being pushed here is some zen-like qualitative personal insight seared out of big-time losses rehashed as street-smart wisdom. Pompous sounding goobledigook.

But street-smart wisdom is about three chapters; ( the 1% to 5% Kuoks of this world are more focussed on making things happen and creating real emplyment and multiplying wealth and adding value to the world they live in, unlike MBAs who have too much time on hand to wonder how is it they are so brainy and yet they are left behind to ponder what has actually happened, and then with hindsight, write thesis about the art of management and leadership as if they know better than the rest of the world) MBA is at least three-hundred. And that's how investors have been looking at proposals since they have to answer on what basis they would plough in billions.

A lot of the success stories is by reverse engineering. Karma, luck, and dogged persistence lead to one big killing out of fifty, and it's success to be reverse engineered into some nice homilies.In the end, arc knowledge-practice with culture. Then imponderable forces will be the only variable left.No links, this one. (Pompous assertions yet again with no basis and solid scientific data to support, how disappointing coming from a supposed highly trained mind).

Fair comment Walla, (More like smart arse comments to me from a probably very clever guy but a career lifer who has reached the zenith of his profession who doubles up as an expert pedestrian commentator).
I am not into bashing MBAs, its the rote learning of methods that removes the fine art of business dealings. The inability to use their tools for the softer skills required. (Why be defensive, nobody saying you were bashing MBAs. you were only making a statement of fact)

Its true, you probably can find 1 or 2 out of 10 MBAs who are also street smart. You would need 100 street smart personnel to get four or five that can do what an MBA can without getting one. (Ambivalent statement I am not smart enough to comprehend).
True or not, most MBAs end up working for the street smarts. You are spot-on here.


7 comments:

bruno said...

MBA or no MBA,one has to be street smart to survived on the streets.Every MBA or no MBA has to rolled up their sleeves and feel the real pain over and over and over again to learn to survive.

Maybe the Market Wizards and New Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager would offer an insight full of traders,the likes of Erkhardt,Drukenmiller,Larry Williams and Jim Rogers etc.

CK said...

I'm NO defender of anyone.

Walla's previous last comment deserves another read.

'Maybe it's because the street smarts are stupid enough to take plunging and quantitatively unsupportable big risks while the MBAs analyze until paralyzed.

Or maybe street smarts are more observant and manipulative of human behaviour but MBAs conduct their activities like ossified ostrichs?/

Though much too codified to the liking of the street-smarts & nicely big-worded for the MBAs, sum the situation up!

For the street-smart, nothing lost in undertaking impromptus risks with minimum forward considerations. He/she lives on the edge of surviving, so to speak, as a namesake! As many examples have proven that many a time a single reward out-shines the hundreds of failures taken.

Meanwhile, the MBA is just too much into the numerical analysis, that risk taking becomes a lost art. Prime example - Long-Term Capital Management L.P. (LTCM). Those involved were not MBAs, but they did train a few, so all could be said to be in the same camp.

Bravo, guys - a refreshing discourse from the norms!

Cina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
clk said...

One must look at the successes of entrepreneurs in numbers. For every Branson or Kuok, thousands or millions other attempts have failed.

We tend to remember the successful ones. Others have limited successes along the way, some remain small shopkeepers for 50 years, whilst others have closed and move on and, one eventually becomes a Quek, Yeoh or Kuok success story.

MBAs or Uni graduates however rate of success are generally better..few do become ultra rich as well but many remain fairly good managers.

Which is better..well you get mixed success everywhere depending on the individual. MBA or School of Hardknocks both have their failures and successes.

solomon said...

Totally agreed on the risk appetite; risk taker will be always the street smart while MBA has it's own world but taking wide spectrum of theory to calculate the risk.

As most of the corporate is chasing for ISO certified bla bla, you need MBA or certified specialists to run the shore. As usual, this group of people will not often become self employed because of the mindset they have.......

This is the ecosystem we have in Asia....slowly we are changing this, hopefully we can be the SiliconValley one day...we are simply lack of gut to try....our education system again, perhaps had failed us in certain ways.

ronnie said...

What happened to the photos of beautiful girls?

Have you become pro-establishment? S. Dali a conformist?

This is a sad day for all of us.

Icosa096 said...

At the end of the day, MBA is only a one-or two year of your life.

In a way its just like the debate whether you should go to university!

Why is it even relevant in the first place?