The Business in Practice program centers around the development of soft skills, but rather than working from a list of soft skills, we decided to take a different approach. Since many of the skills are the outcome of a learning process, we believed that it was necessary to first identify a list of outcomes that are more general in scale and scope. This took on the form of what we call the intelligences. The intelligences are illustrated in the diagram below.
In today’s global economy where responsibilities often span continents and jobs are constantly changing almost as fast new technologies are introduced on what seems like a daily basis, the need to navigate complex social relationships and a wide array of environments (Social Intelligence) is crucial for success. The ability to communicate effectively, work or lead teams, be flexible in thought and action, understand what it is to work hard and work through challenges to achieve success embody what we mean by social intelligence.
As information technology becomes a part of every facet of our lives, the amount of data that can be (and is being) collected is astonishing. Decision making at all levels within an organization is now being driven by this wealth of information. Those solutions and strategies most likely to form the foundation for success requires a graduate who is capable of using data to analyze and evaluate ideas (Analytical Intelligence) and then apply them in creative and innovative ways. We want to develop graduates who are active problem solvers capable of creative thinking, can rapidly prototype ideas, and form a coherent narrative from a vast array of data.
Markets have grown more complex as the composition of customers and competitors has changed with the emergence of a truly global marketplace. Understanding these changes and forming the appropriate response (Competitive Intelligence) is required for achieving success in today’s economy. Students need to understand the diversity of people and interests that will influence the mechanisms and culture within a company, what products are produced and for whom, and how the complexities of the global economy will play an important role in determining success or failure.
Applying discipline-based knowledge for use in actual business situations is a skill itself. The BiP Program is designed to enhance a student’s ability to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in a thoughtful and meaningful way (Professional Intelligence) to problems/situations/data/projects that exist in the world of practice.