In business school programmes such as the MBA, there is a strong teaching emphasis on the so-called “hard skills” or quantitative subjects such as finance, accounting, operations, statistics and economics. Further, students are often taught a theory-heavy and corporate-focused approach to subjects like strategic planning and marketing.
Unfortunately, many students get hit with a dose of reality when they enter the real world of business. Because in the real world they learn that the hard skills and complex theory are not the key to success. And they find out that skills such as strategy design, relationship-building, team work, mental performance, diversity management and branding are actually more important.
Let me introduce you to Strategic MBA – for education and training where you learn important stuff they don’t teach enough at business school.
We teach the skills we consider to be more important and valuable than the “hard” skills and corporate theory. Which is why we focus on teaching the “soft” and creatively-oriented skills such as:
- Design thinking and planning
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and human relationships
- Strategic high-performance
- Mental performance
These skills come under the framework I call Strategic High Performance, which incorporates what I consider to be the 7 most important high performance and success skills. Here is the framework:
In terms of content, what we have done is take important business theory and practice, and strip it down to ordinary, everyday language. So, you won’t need an IQ of 180 to understand what we’re going on about. Put another way, there is no convoluted jargon, or complex business theories and models. That makes the workshops practical and relevant.
There is plenty of opportunity for dialogue. The workshops themselves are customized to meet student needs, and are designed for smaller groups, with typically fewer than twenty participants in a training session. In essence the workshops are like group consultations.
And there is flexibility of design, with the content able to be structured in 2 hour to multi-day sessions.
On that note then, here are some training topics and modules.
Design and Strategic Thinking. Visual Strategic Planning
Any success you achieve in your business derives firstly from your ability to think strategically. Put simply, high-level strategic thinking – which we define as the ability to creatively analyze, and then develop winning strategies and plans – is the main building block to business success.
In 2009 the Wall Street Journal featured a study revealing that strategic thinking is the most valued executive skill. (This survey, conducted by Management Research Group, was global in scale and canvassed the views of 40,000 managers and executives in 144 countries across 27 industries). Further, the skill is taught in major business schools such as Harvard.
And, look closely at the leaders of high-performing organizations and you will find that effective strategic thinking plays a central role in their successes. In other words, high-performing CEOs and entrepreneurs devote significant time and energy to strategic thinking and strategic and tactical planning. To coin a business cliché, they spend as much time working on their businesses (strategic thinking and planning), as they do working in their businesses (operational execution). What about you?
Actually, high-level strategic thinking is not only the hallmark of great businesses and business owners…it is also the key to success for high performing sports teams, sports coaches, athletes, political leaders and even families. Strategic thinking is, indeed, the crucial life skill.
The take home message is quite simple. To get better strategies and tactics, you need more effective strategic thinking
With the Visual Strategy training module you and your team will learn how to improve strategy skills by learning my system. You will be taught how to apply the principles of design and visual thinking to improve your ability to analyze, identify the right strategic choices, set goals, and to develop more effective plans. Specific skills taught include:
- The key differences between “In the trees” traditional thinking and planning versus “Above the forest” visual thinking and planning
- Introduction to Design Thinking
- How to create effective, one page strategy plans
- Brainstyle and its impact on strategic planning.
- What to look for when forming a strategic planning team
- The best ways to gather market intelligence and research material
- Million Dollar Strategy Tools – How to strategize using strategy graphics visual tools such as grids, matrices and process visuals
- How to establish a hard-to-imitate competitive position
- Keys to building an effective revenue stream model
- How to correctly identify competitor strengths and weaknesses
- How to better prepare for, and counter competitor threats
- How to harness the power of Pareto’s 80/20 principle
- Innovative decision-making techniques
- How create simple, yet powerful strategic plans using my Visual Strategy system
Sales & Marketing Strategy Workshops
In this area you and your team will be taught how to strategically improve your sales and marketing. You will learn a process oriented approach to improving sales and marketing performance, which in turn will improve your ability to generate more effective brand awareness, and convert that into sales. Skills taught include:
- How to identify attractive market segments
- How to build compelling business and product/brands
- The formula for creating winning products and services
- Developing a powerful strategic brand
- How to design an effective sales process
- How to generate better brand awareness
- How to improve opt-in rates
- Steps to improving sales conversions
- How to increase your customer retention rate
- How to sell more, more often to existing customers
Work-Life leadership, Health and Fitness and Relationship-building
Specific workshop content includes:
- Work-Life Leadership – How to lead at work and in your personal life.
- How to align your strategy with your personal values
- Why personality and values conflicts can destroy morale and performance – and how to fix it.
- Key strategies for developing and maintaining physical fitness
- How to perform under pressure and step up to the plate when the heat is on
- How to measure and develop high-trust relationships
- Strategic Time Management – How to dramatically improve productivity and save money by taking a strategic approach to time and task management
- How to lead and grow your personal brand legacy and reputation
- How to develop effective performance management systems
- How to effectively lead multi-ethnic teams
More reasons to consider Strategic MBA
Investing time and money improving your skills is a key investment you can make in yourself and your business. So, to make sure your investment in education pays off, Strategic MBA has:
1. Experienced teachers with solid academic backgrounds and practical experience
Finding the right teacher with the right balance of academic and practical experience is crucial. The academic background shows they have the intellectual nous to analyze, understand and develop theory…while the practical side shows how well they have put the theory into practice.
Let me put it this way. Career academics who have spent most of their time in a lecture theatre instead of the real world are not a good choice. And neither are motivational speakers whose main job is to entertain, spin a good yarn, and get the audience into a state of euphoria.
2. Awesome, custom-designed courses
Cheap, cookie cutter courses on a range of topics from leadership to selling are available in abundance. In many instances though the content of these courses is very generic and designed for the masses. So you’d be far better off buying a book off Amazon.
What you need instead? Awesome, custom-designed content that is relevant to your specific needs.
3. A highly effective teaching model and methods
To get the most out of your learning experience, you don’t want to be sitting in a room with hundreds of other students. With large classes there’s little opportunity for feedback…and for you to receive one-on-one instruction.
Just as importantly, your learning should not revolve around sitting in a classroom and receiving traditional lecture-type instruction. Instead, the training should be more practical and hands-on and use a variety of teaching methods.
The best in learning
The late Paul J.Meyer, one of the world’s top personal development authors and speakers once stated that “The best investment you can make is an investment in YOU!” He’s right on the money.
Make an investment in training and education by learning more about our training and education modules…where you will learn important stuff they don’t teach enough at business school.
For questions and enquiries, give me a call on 09 534 9417. Or email ben (at) benmbartlett.com.