About a year ago, I posted a blog called: “Networking, a Soft Science? Only to College Professors!” OK, I’ll admit it–I was on a rant about how we don’t teach networking in colleges or universities. But in my defense, there were many, many, people who identified with this frustration according to the numerous comments posted on that blog.
Today, I’m here to tell you that there may actually be a change on the horizon. Yes, a university dean who believes that social capital is a relevant topic in business. “Not possible,” you say? Well, that’s what I thought, too, until I met Ibrahim Helou, the new dean of the School of Business & Public Management at the University of LaVerne.
As crazy as this may sound, he actually believes that emotional intelligence and social capital are relevant topics to cover in business school. To make this even more amazing, Helou’s background is in accounting and finance. Wow, I don’t know what to say. This just shakes up my whole world view about academia.
According to Helou, business should focus on issues relating to long-term organizational sustainability. He says that the “three pillars” of organizational sustainability are: people, planet and prosperity.
The “people” part includes long-term employment, social capital and empowerment. The planet involves social and ethical responsibility and prosperity is about the long-term financial success of the organization.
Did you notice that “long-term” is a recurring theme here? I did. He believes that there has been an overemphasis on short-term profits to address monthly or quarterly revenue reporting in corporations. This short-term view has helped lead us into some of the current financial issues we are experiencing today.
Well, Dr. Helou, I’m impressed, especially with your interest in social capital and emotional intelligence. Now all you need to do is convince the faculty. Let me know how that works out for you. 🙂