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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Innovation in Higher Education During the Time of Crisis

 A Couple of years lower back I was once invited to attend an International Conference in Kolkata (formerly acknowledged as Calcutta), India hosted mutually by way of two very prestigious Indian Institutions on the theme "Innovative Business Practices in a VUCA world." I used to be excited and felt a deep experience of pleasure to be given this invitation to attend as a keynote speaker for two reasons: The theme of the convention was once very shut to my coronary heart as I continually felt that uncertainties are the father of innovation, appreciation dynamics of commercial enterprise uncertainties is the core to success. Secondly, the metropolis of Kolkata. A charming & bustling city. The City of Joy. Famous for its culture, character, foodies (puchka, rosogolla, mistis, biryanis etc.) and intellect. Nobel laureate Gunter Grass staunchly mentioned in 1975 "If Calcutta is dying, then each metropolis is dying." This is true. People in Calcutta are constantly alive with a range of issues and challenges they face each and every day, however they dislike criticism about their agony. I like the metropolis very tons and is one of my most favored cities in the world as it is the place I can get my foremost happiness and end up oblivious of the different matters of the universe, roaming round the dusty roads, bypassing small roadside tea stalls and listening to extra Bengali sounds, you experience strolling thru the grungy layers of time.



The contemporary world is overly complex, unpredictable, and adverse to all of us except we locate a special concord to stay in and adapt so to the situation. The contemporary outbreak COVID-19 delivered that actuality to all of us. This is one of the biggest crises of humanity and we are experiencing it first-hand. Individuals, communities, and country states are struggling to cope with this unknown, unpredictable, and invisible enemy that is inflicting serious human fatalities and miseries worldwide. While this is real that lights will come after these darkish times, and we all will overcome this crisis, it truely will exchange the behavioral patterns of the entirety for the foreseeable future. This disaster will allow humans to experience one of a kind with higher integration. Different in that experience that human beings will have excessive confidence, higher competencies sets, turn out to be extra succesful and extra perception on how to deal with a complicated situation; and higher integration in that feel that humans will be extra focused, their emotions, feelings, rationality, attitudes, empathy, cooperation will come to be greater built-in to obtain some thing for better. I am assured that post-COIVID-19 surroundings we will all be capable to reply one of the most indispensable questions "how this VUCA world is shaping our lives, societies, international locations and the world? And how Institutions have to reply to the challenges we are facing?


It is a scenario of a new 'normal' that we are dwelling in a VUCA world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and of direction ambiguous. The remarkable adjustments we have viewed when you consider that the 2nd world conflict is incredibly significant, however the cutting-edge outbreaks of this generations of implausible and idiosyncratic. Today's commercial enterprise context is very turbulent and uncertain, from time to time very adversarial & complicated and it is necessary that enterprise wishes to evolve, learn, and innovate to survive. Organisations that do no longer include modifications are doomed. Change is paramount for brand new dynamic situation. We have viewed a range of models, tools, theories, and strategies to address a range of challenges we have been going through or to reply enterprise dynamics. In some cases, we are successful, however many instances we are not. Be there some thing else we can observe to recognize this dynamic nature of commercial enterprise and reply adequately? I strongly feel, one of the many choices to apprehend the social adjustments are the thought of evolution.


The evolutionary idea gives a customary framework for appreciation social change. 

However, in this article, I am now not going to talk about the achievable contribution of the evolutionary techniques to dynamic enterprise method and how strategic dynamism can be addressed, however as an alternative my dialogue will focal point on some principal challenges all Higher Education Institutions are going through in VUCA world unique in reference to COVID-19 and the responses we need. Institutions should adapt and exchange in accordance to the context and its new conditionality to continue to exist & prosper in a complicated world. I suggest that Institutions ought to now not alternate their last desires or imaginative and prescient instead they must be given new paths to gain them, establishments have to embody new scenario with terrific responses. Innovation is the last answer for overcoming any disaster or uncertainties.


Walking round brilliant cities round the world like London at any time, if you appear up, we will regularly spot signal of tremendous thinkers of the previous & humans who have contributed to the development of mankind. Two years back, whilst I used to be strolling via central London, I was once pleasantly amazed to see a Blue plaque marking the truth that Mahatma Gandhi had lived a few instances in London. Just suppose about this. Mahatma Gandhi, a exceptional parent of India and the world, residing in London forty two years earlier than the Indian Independence. What delivered him there? What did he analyze from it? Who did he meet? How he was once influenced later in his outlook, having then visited the most capitalist metropolis on planet earth!

It virtually should have legacy. 

Just as he left the legacy on the world. We can't overlook the previous that formed the nation, equally we should seem to be ahead with the key reference factor in the background. They are truly there in the outlook and in the totality in mankind knowledge. He added the simplicity, he dreamed with clarity, a visionary and in the end delivered the freedom for the millions. He taught us that to live, live on and prosper, revolutionary practices are imperative whether or not it is in politics, firms or in any elements of life. He talked about the adjustments skill innovation.


With this reference I felt that I must recall every other classical thinker who talked about innovation and simplicity. I am sure, you may additionally wager who this character is. A super thinker- Ernst Friedrich Schumacher a German statistician & Economist who is fantastically acknowledged for his e-book "Small is Beautiful: A find out about of economics as if human beings mattered" posted in 1973. This is one of the most influential books in the world. The e book targeted on the Western/capitalist financial shape in a modern way. He used to be in opposition to the advent of large corporations. He challenged the doctrine of economic, Technological, and scientific specialisation and proposed a device of intermediate technology, primarily based on smaller working units, possession ought to be communal with regional places of work that utilises neighborhood assets and labour forces. He realised the hazard of massive companies and the future hegemonic world order. The so-called globalisation is one of the strongest ideologies after the disintegration of Soviet Union began to emerge in all elements of our lives and civil society members, intellectuals, country actors, companies generic the notion as one of the most essential stimulus for nation's boom & development.


The key message of "Small is Beautiful" is applicable to my dialogue and that is smallness, simplicity, and innovation. When he talked about education, he realised Education is one of the most crucial of all resources. He blamed the academic device when a civilisation is in steady of crisis. He located a salient reality in Gandhi's remark that " Earth gives ample to fulfill each man's need, however now not for each man's greed." The thought of smallness delivered a progressive risk to the current world of financial order what he referred as "gigantism." What Schumacher desired used to be a people-centred economics. In the instructional device we desire a sustainable and modern student-centred system.


Gandhi delivered revolutionary practices in politics thru his non-violence movement-a effective device for social protest and modern social and political change. E. F Schumacher challenged the historic Western Capitalist doctrine with his modern doctrine small is lovely which turns into a daring idealism for the world. The equal mantra uttered by way of any other exquisite visionary Austrian Economist Schumpeter. He talked about the modifications and innovative destruction. Creativity comes via destruction. Creativity is quintessential to remain in the race. Creativity is crucial to overcome complicated situation, battle with unknown, unpredictability and a mega disaster like the disaster we are dealing with now.


All these above, three tremendous world thinkers have some thing frequent in them: Change. It is critical and alternate ability innovation.


Global challenges

If we query ourselves to discover the most essential challenges, we are dealing with in this modern world what we will see? We can discover out without problems quite a few challenges from a number of credible sources. Instead of searching at more than a few sources, my lookup corporation despatched out a questionnaire to over four hundred teachers and commercial enterprise leaders to discover the 5 most essential challenges. However, in our surprise, primarily based on response from 250 of them, Education is discovered as most essential venture for the world. It reminds me once more to recall Gandhi's Buniady Shksha (Fundamental Education)- Education is that which liberates. He noticed cautiously that proper training is critical now not the know-how of information to make democracy function.


Need VUCA chief for VUCA world

According to the Research performed through the Boston Consulting Group (2011), corporations that are adaptive and agile are extra possibly to thrive all through turbulent times. To lead and thrive in a VUCA context, leaders have to be greater adept than in the previous at complicated and adaptive questioning abilities, such as speedy studying and problem-solving, self-awareness, remedy with ambiguity, and strategic thinking. Indeed, even the most skilled greater training leaders might also be taxed in addressing the challenges of an ever-changing (VUCA) environment.


Bob Johansen (2014), distinctive fellow at the Institute for the Future and the writer of the e book "Leaders make the future" (2012) proposed an antidote, coined as "VUCA Prime". A VUCA chief need to have clear vision, an understanding, clarity, and agility Prof. Vijay Govindarajan-A Harvard Prof. described innovation as mountain climbing. In mountain hiking human beings are going through many challenges on getting to the pinnacle of the mountain. Once you are there you have accomplished it and that is moneymaking and exciting. However, the actual assignment starts offevolved as you are coming down from the pinnacle due to the fact of there are extra challenges and dangers. The new state of affairs is unknown for you and you are now not organized for it. We focal point on innovation too tons on one aspect and that is to carry an idea/creativity, however actual assignment ought to be on different facet which is how do you make it happen.


Both men and women and corporations have to center of attention on Innovative approaches. However, to deliver innovation we want to have an progressive mindset. We need to have clear aspirations and needs to deliver changes. It is necessary to apprehend that innovation is the commercialisation of creativity. Therefore, It is no longer an character approach, alternatively it is an organizational collective effort. Innovation inside the establishments can carry many fantastic effects for sustainability. While blessings are clear however it is no longer usually handy to carry new thoughts and progressive approaches of doing things as there are many blockages of enforcing innovation along with bad institutional aspiration, guide and funding, resistance to change, complicated regulatory framework at each local, countrywide and regional stage amongst others. Therefore, it is essential that establishments need to have a clear imaginative and prescient and are equipped to adapt agile applied sciences that allow innovation for the duration of the organisation. Technology can pressure the establishments to turn out to be extra customer-oriented imaginative and prescient of education. Such revolutionary practices can stimulate collaboration and partnerships with different institutions. This is the solely mantra for all of us in the course of disaster and beyond: Innovate, Innovate & Innovate, and alternate the methods to reap our last desires besides altering our destination.


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