What does it take to reach success in business - the kind of success that lasts? How do you set yourself apart from competitors or venture out into different markets? What does it take to develop streamlined processes, become a stronger team leader, and work your way up the corporate ladder?
It all comes down to a solid grasp of the fundamentals of business taught to MBA students in many of the world's most prestigious business schools. This fascinating 60-lecture course is designed to give you just that kind of comprehensive, accessible introduction. Here in one place is an authoritative guide to the five key disciplines that everyone, entry-level employees and CEOs alike, needs to master in order to reap rewards in today's complex 21st-century marketplace.
Bringing together five prestigious and renowned business professors, each 12-lecture part is a detailed look at a particular skill: strategy, operations, finance and accounting, organizational behavior, and marketing. In exploring each skill, you'll learn about everything from key terms and methodologies to research-backed strategies and case studies involving some of the world's most influential companies. You'll come away with a well-rounded education you can use to more firmly establish your own successful path in the business world. Bringing the MBA experience to you, Critical Business Skills for Success demystifies the secrets of business and provides illuminating, empowering insights that will help you achieve your goals.
The complete list of lecturers includes Professor Thomas J. Goldsby, PhD.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC
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"Epic! It's like a complete 1st year MBA Curriculum"
This is the audio version of The Great Courses series, an epic series taught by five world class professors. You get the entire series here as one audio book, which is incredible. I will be recommending this series to every manager in my organization, whether they already have an MBA or not.
While the sections on accounting and finance clearly would have benefited from the video version, I was overall enthralled and amazed by these wonderful professors and this incredibly ambitious series. It is essentially the entire core 1st year MBA curriculum, spanning 60 lectures, with 5 professors taking on the core requirements of the typical MBA curriculum: Management strategy, Operations Management, Accounting, Finance, Organization Behavior, and Marketing.
I have an MBA from a top business school, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in the classroom, and any good business manager knows that you can never stop learning and reviewing the fundamentals. So my perspective listening to this series was that most of the concepts were not new, but all of it was valuable, and every section offered helpful new frameworks for me to use in thinking about my organization, my management style, and the business issues we all face in the 21st century.
It should not come as a surprise that the sections on management strategy, organizational behavior, and marketing were the most entertaining (and most suited for audio), while the sections on accounting and operations had their dry moments. From my perspective, this is the nature of the beast and not a reflection on the professors.
The Great Courses is known for finding the world's greatest professors, and this series is no exception. More on each:
Management Strategy is taught by Professor Michael Roberto, who has taught at NYU, Harvard, and Bryant. If you have watched or listened to The Great Courses titles on Transformational Leadership or Critical Decision Making (both excellent), then you already know how great Professor Roberto is. You’ll be happy to know that his lectures n this series are not redundant at all with those titles. You also will not be surprised to know they are highly organized and entertaining at the same time. He offers a fresh framework for thinking about business strategy that should be relevant to anybody from entrepreneurs to middle managers to Fortune 500 executives. Every one of Professor Roberto’s lectures offers the winning formula of a logical framework for the principles at hand plus real world stories that you can repeat to help remember and spread the wisdom in your organization. The lecture on The Danger of Straddling may be my favorite.
Operations Management is taught by Professor Thomas Goldsby from Ohio State. Goldsby spends a lot of time at the beginning of this section defining operations and describing the critical role it plays in business success. He does a great job, and for the inexperienced manager, this is critical. For me, this part was a little too much review; but once we got into the details of things like inventory management, business process reengineering, and performance measurement, I was hooked and learned a lot about how operations managers approach these topics, and some of the common pitfalls encountered. Most of what I remember from my Operations classes is learning linear programming models. This series, for what it’s worth, offers a higher-level strategic view of operations management. There is math in some lectures, but it’s more about the types of metrics one would use to measure operational effectiveness.
The subjects of Accounting and Finance are taught in tandem by Professor Eric Sussman from UCLA. I never would have believed that you could cover these topics effectively in an audio series, and no doubt this is the one section where you might wish you'd spent your money on the video version, but still, Sussman amazingly pulls it off. All of the examples used are actual financial reports from companies like Apple, Intel, and Walmart. Accounting and Finance are of course important both for the business manager and the personal investor. Professor Sussman provides both perspectives, making this section different from the rest of the course. For my purposes, there was a little too much emphasis on the investor point of view, though all of it was relevant. To be clear, if you’ve never seen an income statement or balance sheet or cash flow statement, then you will no doubt start to get lost with the audio version. You would definitely want to have examples of these financial statements in front of you, or get the guidebook or the video version from The Great Courses. If you are familiar with what these types of statements look like and can follow simple math in your head, you'll be OK.
Organizational Behavior is taught by Professor Clinton Longenecker at the University of Toledo. Wow. What a find he is. I’m not surprised that he has won over 40 teaching awards. The field of organizational behavior can be tackled from a variety of angles. For these 12 lectures, Professor Longenecker switches the tone of the course towards a very direct advice mode, much in the same vein as the outstanding Great Courses titles “The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal” and “Art of Conflict Management.” If you haven’t enjoyed those series, trust me; this is high praise. Any one of these 12 lectures is worth the price of admission, whether you are just entering the workforce or leading a staff of hundreds or thousands. It is a switch in tone from the rest of the series, and honestly not what I expected, but as somebody who has both studied organization behavior and worked in a variety of management roles, I found the content to be outstanding, and words to live by.
Marketing is taught by another brilliant find – Professor Ryan Hamilton, a Northwestern/Kellogg School PhD now teaching at Emory University. This is a field I know well, so I was prepared to be critical, but Professor Hamilton knocked it out of the park with this highly-organized and entertaining set of lectures on the fundamentals of marketing. He presents a highly thoughtful, highly organized framework that should be taught in every business school. While most introductory marketing courses start with the “Four Ps” framework (product, price, promotion, and place), Professor Hamilton starts instead with marketing strategy – how to segment a market, target a segment, position your offering, and create value for your chosen segment. This section addresses nabt misconceptions about what marketing is, and is an outstanding bookend to Professor Roberto’s strategy lectures that opened the course. Professor Hamilton then turns to tactics, pointing out that the four Ps – and even branding itself – are simply tactics. There is much to learn about these tactics, but they are meaningless in the absence of a strategy based on segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Like Professor Roberto earlier, Professor Hamilton peppers his lectures with real world case studies and cautionary tales that help make things entertaining and memorable.
All in, an epic series that I will recommend to others and certainly return to in years to come.
"MBA skills well explained"
I am a recent MBA graduate and I should say that you could listen to this audio book and save your college tuition.
"The peak and the end? The peak is the end!"
I didn't bother to remember their names and they didn't stick either. I can tell you this. The first and the last lecturer were great. In fact the last was phenomenal. The second to last I couldn't listen to anymore so I had to skip about 2 or 3 hours of listening to him.
The hilarious thing about this review is that I was prepared to rate this 3 stars until the last lecturer. Part of his lecture talks about feedback that people leave being most influenced by the peak and the end of an experience.
Good introduction to the concepts. I benefited from the course. Would recommend to any entrepreneur who needs an overview of the basic knowledge.
Yes, I will listen to it again. It is so filled with information, I will have to revisit it just to take it all in.
At 31 hours, not a chance.
Rarely do you find a book or information source that delivers exactly what you are looking for. I have learned more about how business works in the first seven chapters than I have from any mass market book.
"This is a tour de force in business know how"
Although I enjoy some of the professors more than others, I have to say that this is a gold mine of business knowledge. I have listened to several of the professors' lectures several times. I pick up more each hearing.
If you are serious about learning the theory and many practical applications of business knowledge, buy this course. Your efforts will be richly rewarded. Kudos to the Teaching Company for producing it.
Incredible information with great presenters and a ton of real world examples to solidify the information.
This got me hooked and even after 30 hours of listening I didn't want it to end. The presenters are fantastic to listen to and put everything into great context.
"Great Info and Engaging Delivery!"
Absolutely! I have already recommended it to all of my business friends and colleagues.
LOVE all the case studies that support each lecture.
The marketing section was my favorite. Applicable to ANY profession/business.
"Annoying! Stupid jingles!"
Very good book and lessons. Excellent content and narrator. However, the Jingles at Start and End of each chapter were extremely annoying and I couldn't hear some of these amazing conclusions. Stupid idea to put sound jingles in an Audiobook. Very stupid
"Great timely examples"
This was of course only an overview, but very well done. All the examples were from surprisingly recent events.
"3 of 4 Professors"
Enjoyed all but Roberto. That may be because I was looking for business concepts and Roberto offered interpersonal skills in a business environment, certainly worth including (may be more a question of motivations than content). Overall there's a lot of great content and something for anyone interested in business skills.
"one of the best"
I'm listening to it for the second time now. There is a lot of information that I find very relevant. It's is hard to take it all in the first time. Of course it is not as engaging on the second listen, but it is worth the effort for me at least.
It gives an comprehensive overview of relevant and up to date business skills.
I'm sure the normal book is fine. Audio format suits me better for many reasons.
It made me think. It made me understand more about my own work than I expected.
The audiobooks on Critical Decision Making and Transformational Leadership are also very good in my opinion.
Full of information - lecturers engaging & provide applicable information.
From memory, I particularly enjoyed the interpretation of accounts part (for the content and the clarity of information - I should declare an interest here, I am an accountancy student) and the interpersonal relations part (for the conversational, engaging style the narrator used).
I think that the subjects for each 30 minute lecture have been very well picked and are presented in a logical way. These topics are presented passionately and without unnecessary jargon.
If I were forced to find a fault it would be that some brand examples mentioned are unknown to me in the UK, but you can get the general ideas they are getting across through subsequent elaboration.
I learnt lots from all the sections and I shall be listening again, and recommending to people I know.
Well worth the time and money.
Would recommend to anyone interested in business.
Listening to this has definitely helped me improve my own business. I really do wish I had started listening to these type of books sooner.
"A* highly recommended"
MBA style teaching and material. Long but highly practical, insightful and useful. Highly recommend this course.
"Marketing section is amazing, even for an engineer"
Great audiobook and amazing value, taught me a lot of different approaches to business. Accounting sections less interesting as predicted. Recommended without a doubt.
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