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21st Century Leaders – White Paper for Chartered Management Institute

About this project

How do we best meet the growing demands from employers for more business-ready graduates? Building on its extensive relationships with business skills, CMI joined forces with the Association of Business Schools and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to review how the curriculum of business schools can be enhanced to better equip graduates with the skills that they will need to become outstanding managers of the future. This report is a summary of that research.


Employers want business schools to produce graduates who have a business- ready mindset. This mindset entails having an understanding of business ethics and values, self-awareness, mental exibility and openness, resilience and a commitment to life-long learning. These are skills that business and management graduates will need to possess to navigate the complexity and ambiguity that marks modern business. However, CMI’s survey found that nearly 80% of UK employers believe business graduates have unrealistic expectations and are poorly prepared for the workplace. This criticism still applies when graduates are at MBA level. Therefore, employers want business schools to do more to help their graduates to develop a business-ready mindset.


21st Century Leaders