It is interesting to see just how divergent the academic and business worlds are. In once case the business world is focused on producing products and meeting deadlines. They are focused on making things work from a practical standpoint. Academics, on the other hand, are strictly focused on “creating new knowledge” or “expanding the worlds knowledge.” Their products are papers and the results of research and trying to explain the world around us and how it works.
I think the key people in areas are those who can find the research and apply it. Those who have the time to sit and read the research and then apply it to the real world. There are a few people who have been able to this, such as Clay Christensen and Jeff Dyer. Those two have been able to sit in the academic world and publish papers while also working on books and articles which are consumable by the rest of the world at large.
For my part, that makes places like Harvard Business School even more appealing. Those places are the ones where I think the marrying of the academic as well as the practical can be great places to incorporate the theories and model with the practice. From what I can see, it appears that MIT may be trying to do something similar. They have created a partnership with HBS and they are starting their own Sloan Business Review, something similar to the Harvard Business Review. Both of those things look appealing and I can see how they are moving in the direction of marrying pratical and theoretical learning.
I see the same thing happeninng with specific people as well. Just in different fields than just business. For example, Cal Newport has tenure as a CS professor but also has written numerous books that can be helped and applied to the business world. His book on Deep Work is a good example of teaching people how to get into focused work and not letting distractions get them away from creating some of their best work.
Are there other people or orginizations out there as well doing this same thing? If you know of somebody else, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to learn about them.
Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash.