Success, Productivity & Education

Our goal is to help improve education on behalf of high-performing students. All too often topics such as success, productivity and education are considered separately. Sometimes, as is the case with today’s post, they intersect. When interrelated topics come together benefits are realized. Which is to say, as a current or prospective MBA student, you should look toward the full benefits of an education by understanding what today’s measures of success and productivity actually mean.


“We are living through a period where the very definition of what it means to be productive and successful is changing…This is a pivot point in human history.”

The following excerpts, and quote above, are taken from an interview with Charles Duhigg*, best-selling author of Smarter Faster Better. If, as Mr. Duhigg suggests, we are going through historic change by redefining success and productivity, our education must keep pace. One way to stay current is by evaluating your choice of schools based upon its academics. More specifically, the ability of a school’s academic department to explain all parts of a complete story (i.e., the subjects they teach) through application of research, experience and knowledge.

Charles Duhigg describes it this way:
If you think back to when Malcolm Gladwell published The Tipping Point, it seemed so fresh and new because of the capacity of someone to take research and explain it in narrative form. Academics didn’t know how to do that. Now academics are starting to say, “Actually we should be the ones doing this. It shouldn’t be journalists.”

Academics are being increasingly pushed to come up with ideas that have application in the real world, which is not dissimilar to what happened with biological scientists about 30 or 40 years ago that led to the explosion in new pharmaceuticals.

Click here to read the entire interview with Mr. Duhigg on Heleo.

In closing, here are the main takeaways for MBA students and candidates with backgrounds in the military:
– Learn more to understand how the definition of productivity and success are changing from an employer’s standpoint.
– As you consider or obtain an MBA degree, actively take new definitions of workplace productivity and success into account.
– Always evaluate “academics” or the classrooms and professors at an MBA school. And, do so before you make any decisions on which classes to take or schools to attend.

*While a journalist on assignment in Iraq, Charles Duhigg learned how the U.S. military uses behavioral science to stop riots from occurring. At that moment, his interest in habit formation was born and led to writing his first best-selling book, The Power of Habit.

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