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The Ten-Day MBA

a book review

product linkThe Ten-Day MBA
sub-title4th Edition
authorSteven Silbeger
date reviewed2012.06.05
genreBusiness (Management)
isbn9780062199577

I was thinking of taking an MBA, and a number of people were telling me that all you really need are the books. So I started looking at the books. I asked around and got the reading lists from some programs, and started amassing a little library on subjects like finance, accounting, human resources, leadership, strategy, and so on. One of the first was this book.

I like its tone, and I think it has a useful structure. A "ten days" isn't truly what you're looking for in understanding any subject to a real extent, and its more mechanical than fundamental. There's lots of how but not why in a book of this size.

This is one of the major problems with business school in my opinion, too much focus on mechanics. People with an MBA overwhelmingly know techniques but not how to look at underlying challenges in an organization. It's like they wander around looking at introducing those techniques without comprehending the culture or how to address the challenges in an effective way. They don't understand change theory or that metrics usually only work on small scale patches.

So this book works to give the would-be MBA a taste for the type of thinking that business schools seem to adhere to. This book offers two other things that I think are useful. The first is a taste of the subject that lets people dip their toe before diving in - is this really for me. The second is a series of pointers - how to further develop a study plan that matches your interests and ambitions. You might find that you're interested in HR or financial strategy and reading one of the break-neck chapters in this book might give you a taste for what the job would really be like.

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