A class in progress at the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai (Photo: Getty Images)
BUSINESS AND SOCIETY GO HAND IN hand; the health of one depends on the vigour of the other. The most successful leaders in any field know how closely communities and organisations are related. Our current reality is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), so efforts that rely on established solutions will not help us achieve our goals. The path forward requires bold innovation. But the novelty and often unforeseen consequences of innovation can make bad situations worse, or create new problems. Therefore, we need to advance a specific kind of innovation. At SPJain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), we call this “wise innovation”.
Wise innovation is a conscious attempt at every level (individual, corporate, NGO, and government) to design solutions that have broad economic, societal, and environmental benefits. These benefits contribute to the so-called triple bottom line (3P). Creating such 3P solutions requires individual innovators and organisations to apply specific wisdom mindsets and practices in innovation mindfully.
The magnitude of the issues we face today calls for leaders who can advance organisational objectives while facilitating progress on significant societal issues. SPJIMR makes students more engaged with meaningful issues, globally and in their communities, more rigorous in capitalising on the best data and ideas, and more attuned to their impact on all those around them.
Our programmes train future leaders who can thrive where business and society meet—whether that takes the form of launching a company that can refashion its market, promoting far-reaching and rigorously considered policy initiatives, or steering a multinational corporation that is aware of its impact on employees, communities, and the environment.
At SPJIMR, we aim to advance wise innovation at scale by shaping the innovation practices of our stakeholders—the thousands of participants in our full-time and modular programmes, the hundreds of corporate and NGO partners who rely on us for talent acquisition and ongoing development programmes, and a select number of high leverage entrepreneurial communities or ecosystems that we support through our centres of practice.
The participants in our programmes master contemporary innovation practices, such as design thinking, the lean startup method, and agile management. But more importantly, they dig deeper into the foundational enablers of innovation, such as critical thinking and systems thinking.
Participants develop a wisdom mindset of intellectual humility, reflection, contextualisation, compassion, and responsible action; we enable these with our curriculum and through carefully curated immersive experiences that develop societal sensitivity. Participants continuously put their knowledge into practice, designing novel solutions in various contemporary contexts of product management, entrepreneurship, resilient supply chain design, customer journey management, and social sector interventions. Our participants then advance wise innovation in their organisations, communities, and ecosystems.
Business education is primarily influenced by the community in which it is offered, where ideas can be shared, and lasting connections are formed. SPJIMR sensitises students for future corporate roles so they may rise above biases while taking important decisions.
Most of our participants have a decent understanding of certain types of diversity. So, as educators, we get to build on a solid base of goodness and fairness that our students already have. We try to place these concepts in a business context—looking at not just the inherent rightness of diversity and inclusion practices but the benefits they bring, such as enhancing organisational morale and creativity. By exposing our students to diverse perspectives, including those from rural and urban areas of India with lower privileges, we try to make them even more open-minded.
WE ARE AMONGST the best in the country in terms of meeting student aspirations regarding placements. But aspirations are continuously evolving. At this time, joining a management consulting firm is a popular aspiration, as are evergreen options such as brand management in FMCG companies. However, as India continues its transition towards developing homegrown technology products and technology-enabled services, product management and product marketing are becoming aspirational roles. We are responding to such aspirations by expanding the pool of companies we bring on campus and preparing our students through coursework and extracurricular activities.
We introduce nearly half-a-dozen new courses yearly, and additionally tune a dozen other courses based on feedback from internal and external stakeholders. New or significantly modified courses over the last year or two include Management and Capitalism, Design and Innovation, Digital Product Management, Product Innovation Lab, Systems Thinking and Dynamics, Gamification, User Generated Content Analysis, etc.
As India continues its transition towards developing homegrown technology products and technology-enabled services, product management and product marketing are becoming aspirational roles. We are responding to such aspirations by expanding the pool of companies we bring on
campus and preparing our students through coursework and extracurricular activities
Share this on
What defines an institute is its people. Over 10,000 alumni across SPJIMR’s programmes embody our mission. Their careers, and the impact they have on the people and communities around them make the values we stand for more than just words.
The pandemic did more to further digital transformation than all prior management efforts combined! From a management education perspective, we learnt that education must be timely, bite-sized, and delivered whenever, wherever, and however the recipient wants it. There will be a continued shift in how and what education means in the coming decades. At a societal level, the critical skill a management education should provide students is the ability to navigate and shape this complex world since we are all part of a worldwide interconnected web.
This coming decade requires us to be more creative, adaptive and resilient. We must come up with ideas that will save our planet, increase prosperity and the quality of life for people worldwide, foster unity instead of discord, rebuild society’s trust in businesses, and foster unity instead of discord.
SPJIMR is an institution steeped in tradition and history but also one that is constantly adapting and evolving. We are guided by our mission: ‘to influence practice and promote value-based growth’ and strive to educate future leaders for business and society.