Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What Do MBAs Learn?

This is a question which a lot of us want to answer before we do an
MBA, while doin an MBA and also after we have completed an MBA.

However, it is very useful for somebody who wants to take the decision
to do an MBA.

I found this question answered for all of $11.5 on Google Answers

The links in the answer are worth checking for someone who seriously
wants to understand the question.

Another interesting answer.

Positive Quotes about MBA

Some information on Canadian MBA programs

About MBA Types

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Finishing Touch

The difference between "professionals" and "amateurs" is the Finishing touch.

I used to go a "training school" for hairdressers when I first came to Adelaide. It was for obvious reasons. Saving money. Then I started last week (after I got my job here) to go a professional hairdresser and the difference is simple.

The training school ones where decent ones. Some of them were good, they had the natural ability, knew the styles of cutting the hair, talked to you some time (small talk) and tried to do it at a fair pace. However, the major difference was how the professional took that extra time to show me my hair in the mirror, ask me more than a couple of times if I was satisfied, used the hair blower to set the hair and made some minor changes to the 'locks' to make it look good.

All these small changes and extra last effort - what you can call the 'finishing touch' made all the difference between the professional and the 'amateur'.

I see the same thing in the MBA classroom while submitting assignments. Some of the experienced guys go with that extra oomph. Colours, binding, graphs, stats and great proof-reading and presentation.

Just that last effort, that finishing touch made all the difference between them and mine.

I learnt a lesson the hard way and the best way to compete was to "be great at finishing".

Friday, September 16, 2005

M&A and Strategy

There has been these huge mergers and acquisitions going on in the last week in the world of tech.

Today, the rumour is that MS is buying AOL.

As usual I get my info from SlashDot. The best thing about Slashdot is the comments, they are insighful, information and funny!

Like the one below:

Oracle buys Siebel.
eBay buys Skype.

Ballmer: (to Bill via bad cell phone connection) Billy-boy, what are we going to do? They're getting more press than us this week.
Gates: Eh? Oh hell! (AOL) ( as he spills his coffee on his lap and hangs up)
Ballmer: Well, ok if you say so.
This is so funny.
I do not see how Oracle can become better buying something like itself, which is what Siebel is.
Ebay and Skype. I cannot fathom what you can get out of those synergy except that the founders and VCs make a lot of money and Ebay is moving into an unknown field.
And AOL and MS is frankly I don't know what you can do other than having better numbers.
Imagine AOL starts and wins the first war of ISP in US, and then buys Time Warner for cheap (inflated bubble share price) and changes its name to AOL Time Warner and then to AOL and now AOLMSN. Sucks!
This comment has more info on Synergy:
And let's recap the failures of Time Warner with AOL. Time Warner corporate failed to get Time Warner Cable to carry AOL as its premiere ISP, which was the #1 reason why AOL pursued the merger in the first place. Time Warner corporate failed to take any initiative to getting Time Warner Cable to make a deal with TiVo for set-top DVRs even though through AOL, Time Warner held a large stake in TiVo. Time Warner failed to leverage AOL's WinAmp property combined with the Warner Music Group interests...not to mention failing to envision an actual online music store like iTunes and instead relied upon nobody's favorite company Real to make MusicNet a success that it never became. I could list much more, but I'll end it with settling with Microsoft for less than $1 billion the antitrust case that AOL easily would've won the $10 billion they were demanding (and had that figure trebbled) had they committed to fight for the eventual ruling and a good 5 years of appeals.
I can never understand how this kind of stuff can be taught in MBA schools! Impossible.
This bit is even more amusing.
MSN and AOL team up? Yeah - there's a marriage made in heaven.
How'd you like to be the poor stiff in Bangalore sorting out the crap that's
certain to result?

Caller: Hi. I have MSN and my AOL account doesn't work.
In fact nothing works.
Banglaore Tech: And sir did you turn the computer on
Caller: Oh. right.
Bangalore Tech: Very good sir. Now kindly go
fuck yourself sir. Thank you for calling MSN/AOL tech support, you knuckle
dragging imperialist asswipe sir.

Writing, Learning, Studying, Working and Living

I have not been writing on this blog for sometime now. This is for a couple of reasons.
One, I have been terribly busy. Two, I thought about if I am adding value by writing this blog to anyone, including myself.
I will be finishing my term this week and done with "Leadership Dynamics" and "Creative and Accountable Marketing".
In Leadership, the most important learning for me has been that it is all about yourself. It is how oneself can become a better person and become a better leader.
I have read a wonderful book called "Synchronicity" by Joseph Jaworski. One of the best books on personal leadership.
I found this amazing quote in the book which sums up the entire idea. It is
The Way to Do is To Be - Lao Tsu
It is such a profound statement. I cannot tell you how much it made a difference. "Being" is "Doing". In a way it is not the tools that you learn, the ideas that you have, the position that you are in. It is all about "What you are as a person" and that will influence the people around you, the ennvironment etc.
However, everything starts with "Being".
I realized that 'learning' is all about what you can do and not what you can be taught. It is minimal any teacher can teach you. I have come to the MBA here and doing it in a way to enrich myself. I am using the course, the course facilitator, the facilities, the environment, the peer network to create the environment for me to study and learn, about myself and about the world.
This is what is making the difference.
For Marketing, the University and the course is concentrated on "fast moving consumer goods" or the stuff you get in your supermarket. I am not interested to do that hence, I have decided to do a General MBA with no specialization and fill up my electives with some subjects which will be important in the long run. More about that later.
In terms of working, I got a job now. At last. I am working as an "Environmental Project Officer" in the Dept. of Families and Communities in the Govt. of South Australia in implementing the "Greening" program. My job is to create and implement an action plan to conserve energy, water and waste to start with. In a way going with my weblog -
I will be writing now more regularly for a couple of reasons.
One, I missed writing the blog. Two, like the comments the previous post there have been others who mailed me about missing the blog! That is a big motivation to know that there are people who value what you write.
Look forward to more posts.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Teaching Entrepreneurship

I have decided that since Entrepreneurship is an essential activity of every business (atleast the successful ones) Entrepreneurship is something I should do.

I will write more about it later. Check out the teaching of Entre timeline at HBS.

Yes, I know I have not been writing for sometime now....will write about that later.