When you are in the middle of an MBA course, without a doubt this postgraduate course offers you the opportunity to review your deepest aspirations, to enable a career change or to develop a business activity.
All MBAs aim to provide a long-term vision in global management to create value for stakeholders and society in the broader sense.
What makes an MBA powerful?
Change mindset. It implies that you are prepared to exercise leadership roles from day one. To this we must add the importance of the ability of an MBA postgraduate to create value. It is important to understand the creation of value and a good choice and adjustment of strategies in a global and interconnected world. In other words, an open mind, value creation and then (all this is a simultaneous process that we divide into phases for purely analytical purposes) the ability to innovate. Consequently, MBA postgraduates are in a better position than anyone else to learn the methodologies and tools for product development, entrepreneurship and innovation in any sector of the economy. And added to all this, an alumnus of an MBA is sure to be in a better position than the vast majority of young professionals to face a crisis.
Essential Crisis Management Skills You’ll Learn By Studying An MBA
Crisis management is an absolutely essential leadership skill. If the coronavirus outbreak has shown anything, it is that the modern business world, with its razor-thin margins, global supply networks, and reliance on volatile markets, is much more fragile than we thought.
While MBAs have different areas of emphasis, such as digital marketing or sports science, they all cover a core set of skills that enable future postgraduates to excel in times of crisis. Let’s see which are the most important:
1º) Management Skills
Management skills are essential in times of crisis, when the need to coordinate employees in the face of the company’s new objectives is more pressing than ever. Good managers bring together a diverse set of skills to motivate, organize, train, track, and assist teams in pursuit of common goals. Crucially, middle managers and managers also need to understand the nature of the relationship between a typical employee and the company as a whole.
As more companies move online and begin to rely heavily on remote work, e-learning, and increasingly collaborate with freelancers and contractors, middle managers unfamiliar with the nuances of digital management will find themselves at a great disadvantage. This has certainly proven to be the case, for as long as the pandemic lasted.
2º) Organizational behavior
Organizational behavior is the study of human behavior in corporate settings. For business leaders caught up in a crisis, a deep understanding of how employees respond to different processes, environments, and incentives is invaluable. The best entrepreneurs invariably possess a deep and well-developed understanding of human psychology and how it manifests in an organizational context.
Organizational behavior is an evidence-based search. Managers rely on both quantitative and qualitative data to tailor decisions and implement processes that are consistent with changing employee sociocultural expectations, technology, and company goals.
3º) Human Resources Management
When the phrase “human resources” is mentioned, most people instantly think of a drab office with uninspired employees doing routine and uninteresting tasks. But HR is an exciting field. And an essential one from a crisis management perspective.
Human resources, now perhaps better known as people management, talent management, or even employee experience, encompasses a broad set of disciplines related to finding, retaining, and inspiring employees. It includes training, mentoring, compensation, legal responsibilities, conflict management and more.
Importantly, effective human resource management also has a significant ethical component. Many managers and business owners do not realize the moral dimension of their decisions, which is always a mistake during emergencies.
4º) Global economy and supply chains
The business world is more connected than ever. A common product like a mobile phone, for example, requires parts from more than two hundred vendors spanning a myriad of countries, time zones, and languages.
Important business activities, especially in times of crisis, take place in a global economic context. Therefore, it is essential that decision-makers have a solid understanding of topics such as global supply and demand, government policies, financial systems, and more.
Supply chain disruption is perhaps the biggest contributor to business failure in times of crisis. And leaders who understand how to build flexibility into supply chains that span countries and respond quickly during times of disruption are much better positioned to weather any storm.
5º) Communication and Negotiation
Communication is an essential skill on multiple levels during a crisis. Leaders must understand how to use existing channels and systems to spread time-sensitive information to customers and employees as quickly as possible. Likewise, the quality and persuasiveness of those messages will be an essential aspect of your success.
But what about negotiating skills? Surely these will take a backseat during an emergency? Many things will need to be altered during tough times, including business agreements, employee compensation, supply chain arrangements, partnerships, and more. All of these examples highlight the need for well-developed negotiation skills.
Global crises offer lessons for leaders and MBA students
European managers must adapt to the post-pandemic recovery and the existential threats of the Ukraine War conflict, which comes to say to every leader, professional, manager, entrepreneur, and of course, an MBA postgraduate, that Plans must be constantly reviewed to anticipate new realities, which will surely bring with them new crises.
Large corporations like BP have been forced to undertake course corrections, such as divestment from the Russian energy sector.
The current digital transformation and the understanding of artificial intelligence, as well as the good handling of Big Data, are some of the main priorities that current leaders have on their dashboard. But alongside these “hard” skills, organizations and recruiters have shown that there is a marked trend toward seeking people with strong empathy and emotional intelligence.
The heads of business schools say that coaching is an area of growing attention, and the change in attitude towards vulnerability can be seen as more of a strength than a weakness in managers. Diversity and inclusion, along with a greater understanding of different generations in the workplace, are also emerging as topics on which executives need new guidance.
While the pandemic has forced business schools to develop more hybrid teaching and offer online access, many report short-term demand for senior teams to meet outside of the online format and again after so many months of working together. remotely, there is no longer fear of face-to-face, neither in companies nor in business schools.
Resume executive education of all kinds
Program directors and their clients alike also indicate a stronger overall appetite for the resumption of executive education of all kinds.
The performance of many business schools appears strong. However, both companies and academics highlight the growing competition from alternative providers: in other university faculties, internally in companies, among consulting firms, and in particular from start-ups with online formats and significant venture capital backing.
Greater flexibility and innovative formats outside of business schools
Business Schools argue that their reputation, academic depth and teaching experience will stand them in good stead. But many potential customers believe their emerging rivals offer more flexibility and innovative formats. Partnerships are becoming more the norm as different types of providers seek to compete and survive.
How MBA students make a positive difference
An increasing number of people with business degrees are becoming forces for social change. Making money and making a difference are often seen as diametrically opposed goals. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
According to experts, an increasing number of people are seeking to change the world through business. While this business-focused approach to social change is relatively new, it holds considerable promise. Indeed, many models of social change now include business-related aspects designed to improve living standards and access to resources. And many of the best contemporary examples of social change programs were developed in part by people with business degrees, particularly those with an MBA.
Some ways and positions in which an MBA postgraduate can stand out
If you’re thinking about getting an MBA degree, here are some ways you can use your degree to create social change:
– Volunteer with a business-focused non-profit organization.
– Several non-profit organizations incorporate entrepreneurs in their missions of social change.
– When you volunteer with such a group, you can help disadvantaged individuals and communities learn how to start and/or run their own businesses by giving them the tools they need to maintain a better quality of life.
– You must recognize for-profit businesses that are committed to embracing environmental sustainability and/or social change, thereby benefiting their communities.
– You can start in a start-up that is focused on solving a social problem.
What skills does an MBA give you?
An MBA requires time, tenacity and total commitment. If you’ve been researching why you should do an MBA, you already know that qualifying opens doors to career advancement and a larger pay package. But that is not the only value of an MBA.
There are many other attributes that give an incalculable value to an MBA and to you as a postgraduate, a boost whose strength you do not know to enhance your career:
1º) Communication and interpersonal skills
At this point in the game, no one doubts the importance of people in organizations, not only those who run them, but also those who make up the entire organizational structure. The success of the efficient functioning of the system depends on each one of them, on their behavior, attitudes and, especially, skills. All the parts work because the system demands precision in the tasks and responsibilities of each link in the chain. Having the ability to understand what motivates people and why they behave the way they do is a skill in demand in all organizations. This soft skill helps build productive, collaborative, and engaged workplaces. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report, “soft skills can make or break a company.”
Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that both effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential to increasing productivity in an organization by up to 25%. On the other hand, hours of productivity can be lost due to misunderstandings, mistakes, lack of collaboration, lack of accountability, and inability to resolve issues, all stemming from poor communication.
This can have serious consequences for the final result. And a surprising fact emerges from this report, which is that, due to loss of productivity, as well as the lack of employee commitment, these two negative factors have a very high cost for companies and society as a whole. Such is the case that in the United States alone it negatively impacts some 7,000 million dollars a year.
2º) Prepare for the challenges of the industry
An MBA trains and trains you to prepare for the challenges of the industry of any sector of the economy. Therefore, an MBA student will have the facility to venture into practical projects and industry-based assessments, in addition to learning the art of persuasion, how to collaborate successfully, and how to implement strong communication strategies. You will learn how to effectively convey your point of view to people from diverse backgrounds by developing your knowledge and competence in:
– active listening.
– Public speaking and presentation.
– written communication.
– conflict resolution and mediation.
– emotional intelligence (learning to identify, evaluate and manage emotions), among other people skills.
3º) As an MBA student you will have the opportunity to explore the impact that your decisions and actions can have on business success
You’ll also have the opportunity to dissect organizational behavior, including analyzing the influence of the gig economy and mobility in the workplace. By improving your communication skills through an MBA, you will meet the requirements of what employers expect of new hires.
4º) Leadership and teamwork skills
Every organization needs a leader who can inspire the workforce. We know that an effective leader knows how to get the best out of his people, while balancing the balance of personal interests with those of the company, because he always guides actions to meet the business needs and objectives of his company. In a study called “Lessons for Leaders from People Who Matter,” statistics show that 98 percent of employees who have good leaders are motivated to do their best.
5º) A good leader begins with a vision and drives his team towards a common goal.
They do this by focusing on people’s strengths, building a collaborative atmosphere, encouraging brainstorming, and upskilling their team with on-the-job training.
Not all business leaders have an MBA, but having MBA skills will help you skillfully manage the ups and downs that occur daily in business, because it is constantly changing. For this reason, an MBA postgraduate is in a position to assume command and leadership responsibilities, because an MBA is designed to foster your ability to:
– inspire people.
– make difficult decisions.
listen to alternative points of view.
– Establish your values as a leader.
By studying an MBA you will discover what it takes to manage people in complex environments and how to exert your influence to achieve organizational goals. You will also learn the secrets of how to energize people every day through values-based and transformational leadership.
6º) Analysis, investigation and risk management skills
No business runs smoothly. It always happens that in any company sooner or later you are likely to experience a technical problem, whether it is your responsibility or someone else’s.
However, having the ability to anticipate or anticipate any potential challenges and taking active steps to resolve issues as they arise can minimize risk and alleviate a lot of unnecessary headaches. While some leaders may be tempted to listen to their gut to help make future projections, it turns out that organizations value analytical skills. This is the ability to review, examine, and evaluate data and other sources of information to make decisions.
Making calculated decisions based on available metrics puts business professionals, especially company leaders, in the most strategic position possible. An MBA teaches students to make data-driven assessments with the ability to make recommendations based on their analysis. An MBA sharpens your ability to:
– Filter important information from non-important information.
– identify possible hazards.
– change focus as needed.
– respond to a crisis.
The MBA emphasizes analytical skills by exploring financial analysis, business research methods, organizational change management, and corporate responsibility around business ethics and sustainability.
7º) Critical and strategic thinking skills
The ability to assess economic trends and be able to identify impending threats and opportunities is an asset in the business world. Organizational leaders who have developed the talent to look into the future with a crystal ball can formulate the best plans of action. This means that they can observe the market forces at play and create changes in their company to remain competitive.
Critical thinking skills and the ability to strategize are two key components that help business leaders successfully draw the right conclusions. Through evaluating facts and figures, leaders develop and execute business plans. These are MBA skills and business skills that help create value in the workplace. According to a Canadian Management Center survey, critical thinking is listed as “the single most important skill for leaders and managers in all organizations.” An MBA develops your competence in:
– reasoned judgement.
– fact-based comparisons.
– address complex problems.
– Problem resolution.
The MBA gives students the opportunity to enhance their business skills by preparing high-level business plans in strategic management. You’ll also examine the strategic factors influencing management and employee choice, as well as looking at unintended strategic outcomes.
8º) Innovation and entrepreneurial skills
Testing, launching, and scaling new businesses, products, or ideas requires both technical knowledge and the ability to think creatively. According to the Harvard Business Review, innovative leaders have excellent strategic vision, cultivate a culture that uncorks creative ideas, and prefer experiments to prolonged study.
Innovative leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset embrace new ways of thinking and look for gaps in the market. They create a culture of innovation that focuses on potential rather than cost reduction. These entrepreneurial skills are invaluable to growth-driven organizations. An MBA allows you to acquire innovative and entrepreneurial skills that prepare you to:
– change the third when necessary.
– boost productivity and creation.
– improve products and services.
The MBA explores how creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship help solve challenges both in the business world and in society at large.