MBA in Curiosity

Last month I got invited to be part of a small group of Businessmen/Entrepreneurs/Consultants/CEO’s that meet once per month to talk about technology and innovation. We’re calling it Mix 2.0 for some reason.

Our first meeting was Wednesday. We met at (ironically) Bar20 at VIA Corporativo, which is one floor beneath my office. There were about 15 of us and we had the place all to ourselves. We sat in a circle, and to get things rolling we introduced ourselves.

The 2nd person to introduce himself is an inventor. Among other things, he worked on the Nintendo Wii controller about two years before the Wii came out. As you can imagine he’s a very interesting person. He spent about 10 minutes talking about his career. This set the tone for everyone else. I soon started thinking: Let the I-out-credential-you begin!

The next round of people went all out, talking about how they got their MBA’s or PhD’s from this or that school. Some just couldn’t hold themselves back from stroking their ago a little bit. Yada-Yada-Yada…

Next up, me. I was the second-last so I got to listen to everyone before they knew anything about me. I said something like this:

First of all let me make myself clear. I don’t have an MBA or a PhD like most of you here. And this is important because if we’re talking about innovation, I’m proud to say I don’t need them. Because while I was in College studying Computer Engineering, I would sit in on classes from bio-chemistry, electrical engineering and industrial engineering. Everyone thought I was a little nuts.

My parents begged me to get an MBA. My mom said that by having one I could go on and become the CEO of Disney (I love Disney). This was a persuasive tactic but it never rubbed off on me. Pretty soon I got tired of hearing the same old explanation, and one day I simply said: I don’t need an MBA or PhD because I have an MBA in Curiosity.

Bang! Everyone laughed.

It’s no disrespect to anyone who has an MBA or PhD. I know more than a handful of people with some serious credentials (on Twitter mostly) who I have learned a lot from, and highly respect. It’s just that, I think curiosity has no boundaries.

If you want to learn about something, educational material like books and people are only a click away these days. It’s easier to learn today than it ever has and I wish I had access to this amount of knowledge back when I was in school. Truth is, we’re still learning. If anything I think the whole educational system is being shaken from its roots. But that’s a topic for another post.

The point is, the inquisitive mind has no boundaries.

For now, these group meetings look like they will be interesting. Overall, it was good. It was entertaining. It was nice to know (up front) that there’s some intellectual firepower in the group.

I know I got their attention.

 

 

  • Anamaria

    Fabulous!  and what a culture shock for MBAs everywhere!

  • Kevin McFarthing

    Hi Jorge – great, you’re right, curiosity is key.  It makes people ask “why?” or “why not?”.  It drives challenge, creativity and as a result, innovation.  It’s like the classic “T” profile which is ideal for innovators.  They are people with a depth of knowledge in a few areas and a breadth of shallower knowledge in many more.  They also have similar networks and can make the connections necessary to successful and differentiated innovation.

    Kevin (PhD……)

    • Hi Kevin @innovationfixer:twitter ,

      Just can’t stop asking questions. It’s also one of the reasons I started http://creativegeneralist.ning.com/ with @arnoldbeekes:twitter

      There are a handful of people with MBA’s and PhD’s there too. You should check it out. We’re all over the place haha!

      Thanks,

      Jorge