joins hands with Utah State University, which sees Thailand as the hub of Southeast Asia
NATION UNIVERSITY and Utah State University (USU)’s Jon M Huntsman School of Business will jointly hold executive education programmes in Thailand.
This venture results from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed yesterday by Nation University president Pongin Rakariyatham, and Dwight Israelsen, director of international academic initiatives at Utah State University’s Jon M Huntsman School of Business. The ceremony at Four Seasons Hotel was also attended by Nation Multimedia Group editor-in-chief Thepchai Yong.
Israelsen, also an economics professor, said the university had provided many courses to its counterparts in China and other Asian countries but this is the first time it will be offering executive education programmes in the region.
USU is ranked as the top public university in the western US and is in the top five in the whole country. It is also in the top 2 per cent of prestigious graduate schools in the US. Among its alumnus is Lars Hansen, who won the Noble Prize for economics last year.
Israelsen said USU views Thailand as the hub of Southeast Asia, while it views the upcoming Asean Economic Community as the “Asean Education Community”.
“We know that the economic community will create opportunities for Thailand to grow. But in the long run, economic growth also depends on investment in human capital.
“We intend to be here for the long run, to help Thailand realise its potential in the AEC, both as an economic community and as an education community,” he said.
The first joint executive programme is likely to be offered in September, while a study tour is being planned from December 3-10, which will include visits to leading technology companies in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City such as Google and saleforce.com. Participants will attend lectures at the business school on the topics of “Modern Management and Leadership Strategies” and “Business by Design.”
Randy Simmons, a political economy professor and director of the Institute of Political Economy, told a seminar – part of the partnership signing ceremony – that it was crucial for today’s executives to have a kind of “designer thinking”.
“Your business faces wicked problems for which there are no obvious solutions. There are only a lot of possibilities.
“Business school students are trained to find the single right answer, while designers think there are a lot of answers out there,” he said.
Designer thinking is also about the capability to find clarity in chaos, and understanding that “you don’t know the end from the beginning”.
“If everything has to be proven, we’ll never make the likes of iPod,” he said.
The steps to the knowledge system and tactical process improvement are dubbed as “TRICK”, which stands for the following: Thinking (abductive logic); Resolve (discipline); Innovation (new knowledge discovery); Collaboration; Kinetic energy (acquired increased capacity to strategically and tactically propel you past your competitor). Abductive logic means the ability to realise the possibilities of what could be.
“If you want to innovate, you have to ‘design’, if you don’t want to be a Blackberry,” he warned.