During the dot-boom of the late 1990s, it was not uncommon for a student at a top business school to hatch what he or she thought would be the next great innovation, line up funding, and drop out of school to build that dream start-up. The problem was that many of these businesses never succeeded - and top business schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford did not allow the students to return after their dot-coms went bust. Of course, some of those business school drop-outs now lead the largest and most successful social media and search engine corporations on earth.
But why did so many students during that era take the enormous risk of leaving a prestigious business school that was incredibly difficult to gain admission to, in the first place, in order to build their own enterprises? Looking back, ample funding in the form of venture capital and private equity fueled this phenomenon. But so did the fact that dot-commers were known for creating new types of business models, new kinds of businesses even that revolved around downright fun and open workplaces. It was all about finding a problem worth solving and going right ahead and solving it. To many of these business school students, getting an MBA and then a job at a traditional, siloed, 100-year-old conglomerate was a dismal prospect.
The 2015 edition of a talent shortage survey of nearly 42,000 hiring managers located in 42 countries around the world reported a rise in the proportion of employers struggling to fill jobs, from 36 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2015. This figure was the highest since 2008. The problem was severe enough for more than half of the employers surveyed to say that it was hampering their ability to serve the needs of their clients. Which is why ensuring talent sustainability ranks among enterprises' pressing priorities everywhere.