It seems like every six months or so, I see a new book that promises to give readers the amount of knowledge that took an MBA student two years to learn. Certainly most people would rather have one fairly short book that provides all the content of an MBA degree. So yesterday, while I was browsing the shelves at Barnes & Noble, I had a thought. We should team up with our Portuguese translation service, Japanese translators and Russian translation specialists to come up with a 12-minute MBA course for our clients. This would allow them to gain valuable knowledge, save money on a bunch of textbooks and improve their chances of landing a great job and the promise of big raises. But then I had another thought. Why offer this when I could offer an even shorter course?
Granted, a five minute MBA program doesn’t -and can’t exist anywhere. But just as a builder sets out the specifications of a building before beginning building and selling it, we can also map out the specifications of a graduate business program. In a summary, the objective of an MBA is to provide managers with the knowledge and skills they need to run successful companies, so with some help of a few translation professionals we began our outline with some common characteristics of successful companies. In particular, all successful companies are able to create demand and sell it profitably.
Our Portuguese translation team immediately began summarizing how to create demand. What they defined was that truly successful organizations are expert at identifying, creating and supplying products and services that bring new customers and keep old customers coming back. But this is only possible when a company is more efficient than the competition at providing lower prices and/or higher quality products.
How To Become Profitable
Whereas the Portuguese translation group worked on defining how to create demand, the Russian translation team researched creating profitability. It was decided by the Russian translation group that a business organization must set its prices at a level that will adequately pay investors while covering costs. More often than not, it doesn’t suffice for a company to have the lead in market share and be only slightly profitable. As a result, it can be extremely difficult to satisfy investors and customers at the same time. Many managers earn MBA degrees because of the difficulty in meeting these needs.
So far, I think we are still on track to providing the world’s first 5-minute MBA. It was reassuring that the Russian and Portuguese translation experts showed a deep understanding of the competing demands of customers and investors. But while the task is challenging, companies such as the ones on Fortune’s Most Admired list are able to keep their customers and investors happy.
As the Russian and Portuguese translation teams were at work, our Japanese translation group set out to define business attributes that make up a successful organization. The Japanese translation team put forth the idea that successful businesses hire highly talented people at all levels. They iterated that business leaders must be able to create strong business strategy; managers must be able to motivate others and make sound business decisions; and employees must have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to carry out their jobs. Japanese translators also stressed the importance of maintaining strong relationships with investors, customers and external suppliers. Finally, the Japanese translators underscored the importance of having sufficient funds to conduct business and to carry out long term plans.
And here we are, coming full circle, having put together a 15-minute graduate business course that can easily be taken in five minutes. And, the best part is that it is free.