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Trouble at brand mba

May 11, 2007

There are all kinds of rumors flying that Google is suffering a brain drain. Some of the brightest and best are leaving the Googleplex because of the stifling bureaucracy that’s emerged at the company in recent months.  

Bureaucracy runs counter to the very DNA of Google that’s thrived on creativity. The finger is being pointed squarely at the invasion of MBAs who are attempting to turn chaos into order.

For many Google watchers the rapid growth of the company was always a cause for concern. No one could understand how the company could possibly maintain its culture , when it’s hiring 100 new employees a week. Now it looks as if the growth might be coming back to bite them and the MBAs are to blame.

This is not a new problem almost every successful new company seems to suffer a cultural crisis as it grows. Perhaps its just part of a company’s natural evolution. The original DNA that created the entity and gave life to the founding idea has to be jettisoned for a new more balanced culture that’s capable of leading the company to maturity.

The problem is rapid growth creates a cultural rift between the old guard and the new guard. The old guard believes they are responsible for success and know instinctively how to achieve it. The new guard lacks the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the old guard and tries to out analyze, resulting in bureaucratic paralysis.

To see fingers pointed squarely at MBAs has to be cause for concern for educators, the MBAs themselves and anyone who believes an MBA is the ticket to success in corporate America.

Brand MBA appears to be in trouble and this has been going on for sometime, in certain circles, the MBA has in been an unattractive stereotype, for at least a dozen years. It’s not as if educators weren’t aware, they have had a decade to course correct. However, it appears the brand is still plagued with the same image problem.

The challenge for business educators is to breed a new generation of MBAs who have the balance of left and right brain skills and can truly embody the  “Whole New Mind’ that Daniel Pink writes about.

However, don’t these people need a new brand, to differentiate themselves from the MBAs?

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