Strategy and leadership excellence are two critical components in today’s increasingly complex, integrated and interrelated global business environment. Future strategists, business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs need to acquire and sharpen their skills relating to these two critical areas in realizing their individual and organizational goals. Established in June 30, 2016, the Department of Organization Strategy and Leadership (OSL) of the University of Dhaka will provide quality education and training to develop a pool of future strategists, business leaders and entrepreneurs. These pool of human resources with their enhanced knowledge and expertise on strategy and leadership will explore various business opportunities, analyze and lead to exploit those opportunities in developing products and services, effectively implement those opportunities through innovative solutions and achieve organizational sustainability and growth.
The OSL department, with its holistic & interdisciplinary education, rigorous & practical training approach, in-depth & impact oriented research & advocacy, and strong collaboration with different stakeholders including the private sector, government, development organizations etc. plans to prepare the students to provide strategic direction of their respective organizations, and help the organizations to attain strategic advantage in a complex & competitive environment.
Bangladesh, a recently graduated Least Developed Country (LDC) has just started it’s journey to become a Middle Income Country (MIC) by 2021. Keeping Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind and planning for their actualization by 2030, this rapidly developing country has made an overarching vision to gain the status of a developed nation by the year 2041.With it’s stable economic growth; strong macro-economic outlook, population dividend and an excellent and timely vision, the country is indeed in right track to become an innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial nation. In this journey, we need effective strategist and organizational leaders who will guide the enterprises towards right direction with proper policy development and their effective implementation.
While the current unemployment situation in the country is alarming and runs the risk of being on the rise in near future due to technological advancements e.g. the adverse impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), there is also a shortage of employable skills necessary to get a job in the competitive market. With two million graduates entering the national job market annually, a recent study (BIDS 2016) shows that there is a significant shortage of skilled workforce in different industrial sectors (e.g. there is a 76% shortage of skilled workforce in the agricultural sector only). The situation is also alarming in other important economic sectors such as Information and Communication Technology (40%); light-engineering (35.97%); Construction Sectors (shortage of 200,000 skilled workers); Ready-Made Garments (shortage of 119,479 skilled workers); and leather sector (shortage of 62,246 skilled workers) etc. In addition, Bangladesh has rather poor global rankings in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, Bangladesh’s position in Global Entrepreneurship Index, Global Innovation Index, Global Competitiveness Report, and Doing Business Index are 133, 117, 99, and 176 respectively.
This data show that Bangladesh needs to take careful and timely approach to educate its emerging leaders with necessary strategic and leadership skills. These skills will help them to better cope with future challenges and exploit the opportunities arising in the global market. Department of Organization Strategy and Leadership, University of Dhaka has started its journey in 2016 with this vision of preparing excellent Strategist and Organizational Leaders (Souls) of organizations.
Given the backdrop of competitiveness and complexity, there is a significant gap in strategic & leadership orientation in our organizations. But appropriate strategy can make a difference between extremely high growth organizations and crises ridden losing organizations. For example, only in the RMG sector, expatriate top executives remit around 4.5 to 6 billion USD per year. This provides an indication of the potential of OSL graduates’ employment market.
The graduates of OSL, with emphasis on the focus areas, are likely to have a holistic edge in entering into any sector. Besides, at the entry level (in organizations with strategic orientation) OSL graduates shall contribute in the strategy development and implementation process; at the mid-level, they shall lead & drive the development, implementation and change management process; and finally, at the top level, they shall formulate strategy and lead the organization to new heights of sustainability and growth. In this complex and competitive environment organizations must adopt a strategic orientation.