Thinkers360

John Beck

Phoenix, United States

244 Followers

John C. Beck is President of the North Star Leadership Group, Senior Fellow at the IAFOR Research Center at Osaka School of International Public Policy, Senior Research Fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, and Senior Advisor to Cambodia's Minister of Public Works and Transport. Previously, he was Chief Innovation Officer at Arizona State University (where he is still a Sr Advisor to the Provost) and founded Hult Labs where his research on business school curriculum redesign has won awards and press acclaim. He also served as the Dean of Globis University—the first non-Japanese to lead a bilingual professional degree program in Japan—and as a Professor and Senior Advisor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. He was formerly Director of International Research at Accenture and a Senior Advisor at Monitor Group. Dr. Beck has been a Professor of Global Management & Dean of Research at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

John earned his B.A. in East Asian Studies and Sociology summa cum laude from Harvard University, and was the first graduate of Harvard’s integrative Ph.D. program in Organizational Behavior. He has been a Visiting Professor at IMD (Switzerland), IPADE (Mexico) and ESMT (Germany) and the International University of Japan. Dr. Beck has also taught at numerous other universities like: Harvard, UCLA, USC, and the Ivey School in Canada. He was the originator of The Economist’s Business Professor of the Year award. Dr. Beck has advised several presidents and prime ministers during his career.

He has hundreds of articles and ten books including the business best-sellers: The Attention Economy and The Kids are Alright. His books have been translated into eleven languages. He has appeared on CNN, CBS Evening News, BBC, Fox News and National Public Radio. He is quoted and cited in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Atlantic and other leading papers and magazines. His latest book was Good vs Good, which was named one of the Best Books of Year, and was one of only five business/economics books to receive a starred review from Kirkus Reviews in 2013. Currently he is working on building video games to replace entire MBA programs and holds provisional patents in the field.

John BeckPoints
Academic0
Author100
Influencer2
Speaker0
Entrepreneur0
Total102

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Areas of Expertise

Industry Experience

Publications

20 Article/Blogs
Development-based: redo levels or episodes as often as necessary to master the material
LinkedIn
January 29, 2018
The point of education built around knowledge-acquisition (which is what almost ALL of our educational is designed to do) should be “getting knowledge.” That sounds like a tautology – and it is. But it needs to be stated loudly and clearly. Currently, too much of the system is about assessing short-term memorization within a specified time limit. That is not knowledge—that is test-taking.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Complexity: students learn “success” is getting multiple-choice questions right … no wonder graduates are stunned by the intricacy of real life
LinkedIn
December 15, 2017
Simplicity is a virtue, but the world is complex. Education is all about “rules of thumb” and elegant models of relationships; but if students cannot apply those in real life—with all its messiness—then the simple teachings are probably less than helpful.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Editable: Students cheat ... those that do not, worry that others will ... ergo, any assessment tool must be quickly and easily mutable
LinkedIn
November 15, 2017
Ten years ago, a group of us tried to develop what has now become Interactive Learning eXperiences (I-L-X). It didn’t work. One big reason for the failure was that we could not figure out a way to discourage students from “gaming” the game.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Foundational: schools are all about memorization of concepts; success in life is about the application of mental models.
LinkedIn
November 08, 2017
Somehow, during the time I’ve been a professor, higher education slipped into being all about concepts. I remember a time when syllabi were built around topics. Some of those topics were what we call concepts today, but others were topics about actually being able to do things.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Grounded: we cannot effectively get children into adulthood until we get the ivory tower out of higher education
LinkedIn
October 25, 2017
Education lacks reality. This is not a profound insight – for more than a century the phrase “ivory tower” has denoted a place or people with no real grasp on reality. And while the original “ivory towers” had nothing to do with universities, our institutions of higher learning quickly became the biggest and best examples of such fool’s paradises.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Hypothesis-driven: good strategists develop hypotheses, then test them to see if those chosen strategies can be successful; do you?
LinkedIn
October 19, 2017
After meeting with the Prime Minister, my consulting team gathered in the hotel pool (with drinks) to discuss how we should create a strategy for a nation. This was not the first time we had done this.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Individual: I confess that I have given passing grades to hundreds of students who did not deserve it
LinkedIn
October 14, 2017
As I was already in a career in business while I was starting my teaching career, I knew that management had very little to do with passing tests on theoretical knowledge. It has everything to do with working with other people to make decisions (using theoretical knowledge, if that helped) and implement effectively.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Judicial: education IS feedback; student decisions must be constantly critiqued, not just “scored”
LinkedIn
October 10, 2017
University instructors don’t give feedback. Sure, a grade is given, but real criticism—the kind designed to change behavior during a teacher’s tenure with a student—has an incidence asymptotically approaching zero in most universities.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Kinetic: to engage students keep plot, place, and people constantly on the move – our brains learn and retain more in unfamiliar settings
LinkedIn
October 07, 2017
When most of us think of video-games, we think of powerful lifelike graphics and expensive sound engineering. But Interactive Learning eXperiences do not require these. To learn, you really don’t need them – in fact to get education to those who need it most, these elements of video gaming have to be left out – they require expensive machines and serious bandwidth.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Logical: many graduates do not know how to make a coherent, consistent argument and defend it – but even in the Attention Economy, it must be taught!
LinkedIn
October 04, 2017
Over thirty years of teaching, I have seen a gradual decline in graduates’ abilities to develop clear compelling, consistent arguments. I have seen hints of this in in-class discussions where students seem confused if I suggest that one part of their argument does not fit with another, but even more powerfully when they are asked to write anything.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Managerial: new graduates are awful at dealing with real people in real organizations because universities are not equipped to teach those skills
LinkedIn
September 27, 2017
know I should not admit this, but I have wanted to slap a lot of my students up-side-the-head during my teaching career. There have been many catalysts for this desire, but a common one is a student opining thusly: “Well, if you want to get X done, you just have to walk into the CXO’s office and say ….”

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Nurturing: real education is constant feedback from mentors who want the student to succeed
LinkedIn
September 19, 2017
Think about the teachers who had the biggest influence on you. I’d bet almost anything that those teachers really cared about you – and somehow, they communicated that to you.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Organic: solving business problems the way you would in “real life”
LinkedIn
September 15, 2017
Two of my biggest pet peeves about our higher educational system today are 1) the lack of reality; and relatedly, 2) the coddling of students. Both of these are partly behind my decision to never be a professor again. With these two characteristics, universities do a huge disservice to their students and society.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Puzzling: solve problems, get dopamine, and learn
LinkedIn
September 12, 2017
When we achieve something (almost anything), it feels really good. Ever wonder why? It is because our brains release a dose of dopamine (described questionably by one colleague as: “feel good juice”). Turns out, our brains LOVE a good challenge and then being able to sort it out … dopamine flows and synapses form.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Quirky: our brains love surprises; use them in education
LinkedIn
September 08, 2017
Try this experiment: remember a time as a child you learned something new – where there was an “ah ha” moment for you. The unexpected learnings are the moments you probably have retained into adulthood.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

The rigor no longer found in most formal education may be the cause of some of our biggest societal problems
LinkedIn
September 05, 2017
If citizens of any country are unable to agree on baseline facts and the actions that fit with those facts, chaos will ensue. Rigor about consistency of data, thought and action is missing from most classrooms in America. This may explain many of our current social ills and conflicts. But education can (and must) do something about it.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Synapse-building: for decision-making and action … not rote memorization
LinkedIn
August 30, 2017
Our educational institutions are terrible at making knowledge useful; and if we cannot use knowledge, where is the value? But we graduate millions of young people a year who have memorized knowledge (long enough to take a test, anyway) with no ability to use it; surprisingly few synapses have been formed.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

Time-constrained: time is a limited resource forcing choices in what we do and how we think
LinkedIn
August 28, 2017
I have long argued that what matters, really, is not the time constraints in life, but our attention constraints. When I joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), I was dismayed to find that I had to fill out a time sheet every week. I was in the “think tank” – it really did not matter what I was doing with my time, what mattered was what new ideas I was coming up with.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

UBIQUITOUS: THE VERY BEST TEACHER IS A MENTOR WHO ASSESSES AND ADVISES CONSTANTLY
LinkedIn
August 24, 2017
Employers have many issues with the education system that produces their new employees. But one common theme is that the system is completely divorced from reality. Secondary and tertiary school assessment systems—in an effort to be “fair”—have become unwieldy and, in many cases, useless.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

VICARIOUS: IF YOU REALLY WANT TO LEARN, YOU HAVE TO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH SOMEONE ELSE’S EYES
LinkedIn
August 21, 2017
During twenty years of my career, I have conducted over a hundred “war games” for organizations. While I really did get bored with these eventually, that point did not come until I was arguably the world’s expert in using this military “technology” for non-military purposes.

See publication

Tags: Edtech

2 Books
Good vs Good: Why the 8 Great Goods Are Behind Every Good (and Bad) Decision
North Star Books
January 28, 2013
If most of us want to be good, how is it that many of us can seem so bad?
Drawing on the disciplines of brain science, management, moral philosophy, public policy, and psychology and filled with original research, surveys, and case studies, Good vs Good explains how we each prioritize the 8 Great Goods in completely disparate order. In surveys of over 2000 Americans, 1750 gave a unique sequence for their Goods. Yet, when we encounter people with whom we do not share the same prioritization of Goods, our natural inclination is to resist them and their views.

See publication

Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

The Attention Economy : Understanding the New Currency of Business
Harvard Business Review Press
June 01, 2001
In today's information-flooded world, the scarcest resource is not ideas or even talent: it's attention. In this groundbreaking book, Thomas Davenport and John Beck argue that unless companies learn to effectively capture, manage, and keep it--both internally and out in the marketplace--they'll fall hopelessly behind.

See publication

Tags: Customer Experience, Innovation, Management

Blog

Opportunities

Share Profile

Contact Info

  Profile

John Beck