“Why Business Schools Need to Teach Experimentation”

Originally posted in our September 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter.

To close out our thoughts on re-evaluating learning, we turn to high education. Specifically, in business school, we are finding much evidence that a new type of learning is essential: Experimentation.

A concept often thought of as something for scientists or theorists, experimenting (read, trying lots of things, and learning from what does or, more importantly, doesn’t work) is increasingly relevant to business training. Experiments create more inspired and innovative teams and also provide autonomy for workers. And, as we have seen, autonomy is a necessary piece for fostering motivation in the workplace.

While experiments are clearly valuable, individuals who know how to run them well are often missing. How are we validating our findings? Companies are solving this need by hiring professionals such as Ph.D. economists. But this reveals a value add that anyone with experimentation experience can fill. Therefore, to remain relevant, it only makes sense for business schools (or any schools) to instill experimentation into their curriculum. Thinking like a scientist with a critical lens is an invaluable skill in a world of constant volatility.

What do you think?