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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Value of an MBA in the Economic Crisis of 2009

Is an MBA as valuable in the first quarter of 2009 as it was in the first quarter of 2007? According to Matthew Stewart, an MBA is "...overvalued piece of paper." I happen to have earned the degree, and while Mr. Stewart hasn't, he makes an interesting point.

His statement that short term, with the contraction of the financial and consulting markets, MBAs are going to be hurt, is generally a fair statement. It is also true for mortgage brokers, commercial Realtors, and bank personnel in general (Goldman Sachs). Executives & Professionals: Changing Jobs?

However, MBAs can be very successful as entrepreneurs. A thorough understanding of accounting, finance, marketing and broader management topics provide a one of three critical pieces for a successful business. While speaking with a major VC firm, the firm stated that they would invest in a company that had a "B" business idea, if they had an "A" management team. Further, they would not invest in a company with an "A" idea and a "B" management team. The VC firm continued that the management team either had to have significant experience and success or had to have at least one MBA with a less experienced team. Elite Jobs for elite professionals! Let Doostang help accelerate your career.

In this financial crisis (2009), MBAs can also be success in leading restructuring or streamlining activities. They can also use their academic knowledge of quantitative and qualitative management to help develop new products, strategic vision, as well as train existing personnel on any number of business topics. Personally, having an MBA in difficult economic times is a strong differentiators in a field crowded with candidates seeking work. Try RingCentral Fax FREE for 30 days

Does this mean that everybody should run out and start an MBA program? No! An MBA is an expensive and time consuming investment. If you can't justify the expense, as it won't relate to your current or desired field, spend the time and money getting the training that will. I am a proponent of broad, life-long education, but I am not a fan of wasting money. Cheap? No. 100% Free. Trade stocks for free on The Free Trading Community.

This economic crisis will end and companies like Goldman Sachs, GE, and McKinsey will start to hire MBAs again. There will always be a need for people skilled in qualitative and quantitative analysis, as well as financial management, human resources, and supply chain management. While some will argue that an MBA is not particularly valuable, they may a true statement in a limited context. However, in a broader context, they may be even more valuable in the economic and financial crisis we face today, and will face in the future.

The best jobs for elite graduates are on Doostang.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Brand is Your Responsibility

We all know what a brand is. Whether its beer, a car, or a maker of industrial chemicals, each company's brand helps define the company in the market place.

As managers and employees, we are called to protect our brand vigorously, and insure that our work matches what our brand represents. However, many people don't understand how their actions impact their brand. Save $50 on Trademark text and logo search

Most brands aim to communicate quality, price, customer service, or some other differentiating characteristic. Below are some examples of how to protect and promote your company's brand.

1. If the company's brand emphasizes quality, managers in every department, from Finance to IT can remind their employees that their work should be of the highest quality. This commitment to quality mirrors what the company communicates not only to its customers, but also to its suppliers, partners and competitors.

2. If the company's brand emphasizes price, managers can encourage employees to find the highest value at the lowest cost where possible. Buyers should work with suppliers to insure value. The IT department can be encouraged to find the best freeware tools. However, don't focus solely on price, but on acquiring and using those things that make your business run most efficiently.

3. If the company's brand emphasizes customer service, managers can set up role playing sessions where employees act as customers, seeking service from the company. As employees experience what a customer experiences, they should be encouraged to make things better. Try RingCentral Fax FREE for 30 days

In each of the examples above, the simple focus of the brand can and should be demonstrated by all employees of the company. Focusing on and exercising the brand value creates market differentiation and thus competitive advantage in the market place. However, when employees lose brand focus, the market quickly recognizes it and customers begin looking at the alternatives. Brand protection and promotion is every one's responsibility.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time for Training

If there ever was a time to encourage and go to training, during a recession is just that time!

Employers and employees need to stop looking backward, and instead look forward to where they want the business and its employees to be as the economy rebounds. Executives & Professionals: Changing Jobs?

As the executive leadership builds its vision of the business, managers and employees need to identify the necessary skills to meet this vision and then get the training.

This may seem counter intuitive, given that budgets for training have been cut back, or eliminated entirely. What is required to overcome these budget hurdles? Creativity! Many vendor partners are more willing than ever to provide training, free, if they believe it will mean more sales now and in the future. Additionally, many traditional training providers are cutting prices. If your business can get a group of five or more employees, the deals just get better. Try RingCentral Fax FREE for 30 days

Training doesn't always require looking outwards, but rather inwards. Many larger companies have educational materials online, such as CBTs (computer-based training) courses. Additionally, many vendors have online classes and labs for their partners. Further, in large companies, there may be a one or two real experts on a particular topic. As business drops off, encourage those experts to deliver courses in their specialty. This goes for executives also!

Executives and managers, as well as employees such as CPAs, lawyers, MBAs, etc., can train topics such as leadership, accounting, contracts, finance, as well as job-specific courses. Further, during slow times, a review of the fundamentals of the business and occupations help to focus both the business and employees. Save $50 on Trademark text and logo search

Continuing education is essential in good economic times and bad, though particularly in bad times. Training helps employees to better understand their jobs, and to prepare for new ones. Training also helps executives and managers to consider new possibilities. Training doesn't have to be expensive, as in most cases, trained personnel are readily available in the work force. Dont' waste time hoping for a budget, get out there and train!

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