Dr. Kendrick Scott Embraces Change in Business and Teaching
Dr. Kendrick Scott, soon-to-be chair and director of graduate studies for the online MBA program, is passionate about preparing Lynn University students for the future of business. The courses he currently teaches as an associate professor span undergraduate and graduate levels, including Leadership and Management of Organizations, Business of Innovation and Business Strategy. But Scott’s signature course is the MBA capstone, a Strategic Management Seminar. Its focus is on business strategy, covering everything students need to know about how to strategize and mobilize a business to be successful.
Coronavirus and how it has changed business operations remains an important topic of discussion in Scott’s courses. As he has told his students, up until the current pandemic, we had been running businesses, including the way we meet and work, in the same way we were in the 1920s. Back then, before the invention of phones, computers or video conferencing platforms, it was necessary for people to maintain normal office hours, working from 9:00-5:00 with a lunch break, in order to collaborate with coworkers.
Now, we see that remote work can be done effectively and efficiently.
“The world is flat. We are rewriting theories because transformative issues like the pandemic have changed the way that we see the world. We’re building strategies that will compensate for issues that arise,” Scott notes. “And I see that as a good thing because, now, we are using all of our resources. We are using more of who we are.”
Scott expects businesses will develop strategies to flourish and take better advantage of where we are as a society as drastic shifts continue around the world.
Teaching Philosophy and the Lynn Difference
As remote work became the norm for businesses, universities also felt an increasing push to offer more virtual learning opportunities. Lynn University was well-prepared for this adaptation, with over 20 years of experience in online education, and with the online MBA specifically designed for the virtual environment from its inception.
Scott’s teaching philosophy, which he breaks into three components, is applicable to the online MBA and beyond:
At the Lynn University College of Business, and the MBA level in particular, he notes students are at the center of their teaching philosophy.
“We are small enough where you will get to know your professors,” Scott mentions. “That’s what I really love about Lynn University: our openness and ability to have these relationships with our students. We’re small enough that we can do that, professor by professor, student by student.”
- Showing different perspectives on the world
Scott wants there to be more of a discussion around ontology and epistemology. All students have unique world perspectives and make decisions based on where they’re from, the people they surround themselves with, the things that they’ve read and seen, and the places they’ve been. With that in mind, he doesn’t try to tell students what they should think but rather exposes them to different viewpoints.
“What I really want to help the students be able to do is have their listening ear out and be able to change. Because the world changes. We have to be these agents of change,” says Scott.
- Making sure students keep trying
Scott stresses the importance of trying, even though it may lead to failure because it can also generate innovative ideas.
“The highest form of failure is to form conclusions about outcomes without trying,” he comments.
When asked how the Lynn University online MBA stands out from others, Scott responds, “Where we flourish is our ability to adapt and our ability to reinvent ourselves as a business school.”
The faculty of the online MBA program ensure teaching modalities and course content correspond with what’s going on in the industry.
“We are very capable of changing and adapting. Whatever is new, whatever is innovative, whatever the student needs to succeed today – we are constantly refreshing what we do and how we think,” says Scott.
This comes from dialogue between faculty members and with the students. And it isn’t something that they wait to evaluate after the semester ends; Scott mentions that he’s taught classes where they do this on a daily basis.
Faculty make sure that not only are they teaching theory in the online MBA program but also practice. Along with covering literature on important topics like strategic management, business management and operations, the goal is also for students to learn in a real-world atmosphere. With that in mind, many classes feature industry professional guest speakers.
Scott wants prospective students to know that in the Lynn online MBA program, they’ll receive a quality, rigorous education they’ll be proud of.
“I’m happy about what we do. And I’m more excited today than I was even a year ago about where we’re headed in the future,” he adds.
On Running a Business and Being an Author
Scott’s future plans didn’t always involve becoming an educator. He didn’t make the decision to complete a PhD in Organizational Leadership until he’d worked in state government for 15 years. Scott simultaneously started a job in human resources with Florida State University (FSU), his alma mater, with the intention of pursuing a career as a diversity chief. However, after earning his PhD, Scott became an adjunct professor at FSU’s College of Business, teaching a contemporary leadership challenges course. Scott says he “got bitten by the bug of being a professor,” and took another adjunct position at Husson University, where he taught a course in human resource management. These experiences inspired him to continue down this new career path and eventually led him to Lynn University.
In addition to his academic duties, Scott helps shape companies as president and CEO of personal development company K Scott Global Research, LLC. He draws on the skills he developed as a motivational speaker, along with his leadership training and human resource experience managing individuals to help companies and individuals change. For businesses, this could include analyzing their performance and distinguishing features compared to competitors in their space, ethical considerations or looking at culture.
Many times, Scott notes, companies aren’t immediately aware of what their goals are.
“The company I’ve created helps organizations build from the inside out,” he says. “We help them think through important questions: ‘Who are we? What are we doing? How do we support our overall mission, vision and values?’ If we are able to have their goals trickle down through the organization, then we see it become more successful.”
Scott also loves writing and publishing, viewing it as a way to leave his mark on the world. He is author of “It’s All Inside: How To Discover That Everything You Need Is Within Your Reach,” a book designed to help people see the opportunities in their lives from both a personal and professional perspective. Scott comments that most people look back and think they would have done things differently if they had the knowledge then that they do now.
“What that means to me is that we had opportunities, but we didn’t see them. So, how can we see opportunities today and in the future? How can we mitigate some of those mistakes? That’s what this book is about,” he says.
The book also provides examples of specific events. Referencing the Netflix pitch to Blockbuster to buy them for $50 million back in 2000, Scott notes, “If they had known then what they know now, they probably would have taken that offer.”
He’s also trademarked “Your First Day®,” a series in development that features people’s stories from a variety of first days, including business school, marriage, divorce, losing a pet, leaving the military and more. Scott wants this compilation of articles to inspire people and give them hope.
About the Lynn University Online MBA
The Lynn University online MBA prepares individuals with the managerial and decision-making skills they need to be successful in today’s business world. Featuring 11 specialization options, the program offers an accelerated curriculum that can be completed in just one year. Students get to know their professors and classmates thanks to small class sizes. Lynn is an Apple® Distinguished School for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. Upon entering the program, students receive an iPad. No GMAT or GRE is required for admission.