A thorough management professional, Prof. (Dr.) Daviender Narang is working as a Professor and Director at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad. He has a rich experience of 22 years in the field of academics and management, especially in the best business and management institutes of India and abroad. He has experience of establishing successful management business schools. He has worked on a World Bank-supported project on capacity-building in Ethiopia for two years. He holds two post graduate degrees in Business Economics and Finance & Control. He has a Ph.D in Economics and his contribution to research focuses on banking efficiency in India. His areas of expertise are security analysis, corporate finance, banking, research methodology and mutual funds. He is also associated with business firms as a corporate trainer on various financial modules. A fine academic and administrator, he is known as an institution builder, an acclaimed teacher, a prolific speaker, an avid researcher, a consultant and a trainer.
The onus of developing young talent for the country is on the academia. The higher education is working relentlessly and using the revamped teaching pedagogy to promote innovation and creativity. The role of teachers is now akin to the facilitators who develop competence and skills in the young budding managers. Innovation and creativity are the need of the hour. The faculty works actively towards identifying the aptitude of learners and nurturing creativity and innovation in them.
The teaching pedagogy has been constantly reinventing itself for decades. The traditional teacher-centred transmission model that had been the backbone of the academia has now transformed towards a facilitative approach. From the “sage on the stage”, we have moved on to “guide on the side.” The instructional paradigm has now aligned itself to a learning landscape rather than an instructional landscape. Higher education, in the current era has been a place to “produce learning” rather than a “place of instruction.” To implement the same, creativity and innovation are required at every step. Let us now understand the need of innovation and creativity in higher education with reference to the Indian perspective. The points given below highlight the need for innovation and creativity in the higher education.
The Unpredictable Needs
The needs of the industry are unpredictable. The product or service that is working extremely well today might dwindle or vanish the next day. This puts the responsibility on the shoulders of the academia to produce young managers who are extremely innovative and creative, who understand the market well and who can design the product and services as per the needs of the current market. Other than this, there has been a paradigm shift in the trends of the market. Be it the digital revolution or the emergence of artificial intelligence, the young managers now need to be extremely adaptable and creative to take up the challenges that are emerging in the industry. Innovative and creative minds can predict the unpredictable and work on it.
Reducing The Skill Gap
One grave problem being faced today by the industry is the skill gap. There is a need of trained professionals to be directly boarded on the job. But the corporates, while hiring new recruits, witness a skill gap among the young graduates. In order to reduce this skill gap, innovation and creativity need to be nurtured in learners. The academia today needs a colossal restructuring. Many of the B-Schools, including ours, is undertaking steps to lessen the skill gap. Be it the courses on Design Thinking that help to inculcate innovation and creativity in students or the bridge courses that are designed to lessen the gap, the faculty is working relentlessly on reducing the skill gap.
Designing Solutions for Wicked Problems
A problem that does not have a ready-made solution is termed as a wicked problem. The budding managers will come across many wicked problems pertaining to the industry they are working in. The customised solution for a wicked problem can only be undertaken by providing an innovative solution imbued with creativity. Today, we see a lot of start-ups launched by young entrepreneurs which are solving the wicked problems in a never-seen-before manner. Take the example of the Indian start-up, Shuttl, India’s largest bus aggregating platform, which has revamped the face of urban intracity travellers commuting from work to home and the other way round. Or take another example of the Indian start-up, Haptik, that has focussed on the problem of customer conversation and has provided an immensely innovative solution to the problem, the solution of automated conversations. This has resulted in increased engagement, increasing conversions and delivering reliable support. Such start-ups are a product of innovation and creativity. The start-ups that are going to solve the problems of day-to-day life with utmost intelligence are here to stay.
Creating A Competitive Advantage in Academia
The institute that imparts the skills of innovation and creativity will definitely gain a competitive advantage over the other institutes. Today, it is paramount to develop the competency of young managers through a curriculum that is relevant for the industry. Continuously upgrading and developing the intellectual capital through interactive pedagogy is the need of the hour. Also, as per the new economic policy, improving the quality of education by giving an equal space to creativity and innovation is needed to accelerate India’s growth and transform the country into a vibrant knowledge society. The institutions endowing the faculty with the autonomy to revamp the pedagogy of their teaching area will definitely gain a competitive advantage. Other than that, the faculty that will be able to give autonomy to the students to showcase their innovative and creative ideas on academic platforms will be able to produce the desired workforce for the industry.
In a country full of young workforce, innovation and creativity have to become a part of the curriculum in the higher education. Creating young managers who are not just innovative and creative but value-based business leaders of tomorrow will take the economy to the expected level.