Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An MBA for entrepreneurs

This is brilliant (Forbes):

Acton inspires this sort of loyalty because of its relentless focus on a single goal: educating aspiring entrepreneurs. The curriculum discards the traditional M.B.A. silos of finance, accounting and marketing to revolve around the entrepreneurial cycle of creating, growing and selling a business. Courses actually sport names like “Opportunity, ” “ Raising Money, ” “ Customers” and “Harvest,” and they are taught exclusively by highly successful entrepreneurs rather than by traditional academics (according to one oft-trumpeted fact, Acton professors have built businesses with $4.5 billion in assets “and counting”).

These volunteers–none takes a meaningful salary–are entirely devoted to teaching. The current roster of ten professors boasts an alphabet soup of advanced degrees from elite institutions (Harvard, Chicago, Texas M.B.A.s; a Stanford Ph.D.; Rice, Purdue M.S.s; a Columbia J.D.), but they publish no research, and Acton grants no tenure. Instead, borrowing a page from Jack Welch’s famous “rank-and-yank” system, the lowest–rated teacher (as judged by student evaluations) is asked not to return the following year. (About 8 % of the students also fail to complete their degree, a much higher percentage than most top M.B.A. programs).

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