Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't boil the ocean

Today was a long day ... I had classes and then two sessions, first one by Sanjiv B, founder of and second one was conducted by the Boston Consulting Group.
Sanjiv's talk on Entrepreneurship cleared some of the myths surrounding entrepreneurial life. I really liked his practical approach and no frills lecture. Despite making it big now, he presented the real tough life of the entrepreneurship - aspects like peer pressure, financial struggle and yet the urge to do something meaningful in life were put in a very truthful and believable manner. It was inspiring as well. Being an IIMA alum, he could have taken a high paying job and could have comfortably enjoyed life, but he chose a path full of struggle. With more and more sessions on entrepreneurship, my old dream of being an entrepreneur is reviving itself.

BCG session was one of those gyan session I have got used to now. It was beneficial to ppl who had doubts about consulting life. I have already had my share of these gyan sessions with alumni and hence, had good idea about this gyan. Nevertheless, it gave some good information about BCG, kind of projects they take, culture at BCG etc. Rohit, an ISB alum was a part of BCG team and I got some time to talk with him about life, consulting and ISB. He gave some good insights about his analysis of studies at ISB.
The phrase that sums his approach is "Don't boil the Ocean". It is similar to work smart philosophy.When you know what you want to achieve, estimate how to achieve it and plan methodically the steps you need to take. Instead of trying to work hard and boil the ocean, try to just identify the little steps you need to succeed. This was thought provoking and I really felt that I could have done much better at ISB with this approach. I always think that I am a smart worker but here at ISB I missed that approach a couple of times. Hmmmm .. The notion of working smart is an old one, yet so difficult to understand and implement.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Set of Tools

Our Managerial Accounting Professor keeps reminding us that the course is just a set of tools and we have to use to them to solve different problems. I think exactly the same way about MBA. Education can just provide a set of tools, paradigms and concepts that can be used to handle business decisions/problems, but ultimately the individual matters the most. Given a situation, the decision/solution is very subjective depending on one's perspective and preferences. Different ppl using the same tools and same process of analysis can come up with very different decisions.

That's the beauty of world of management, its all about our thought processes, our baises and our intuition. MBA education can provide a structured way to think about problems, best practices and different metrics to measure success, yet the crucial aspects of decision making can be developed only through application. I am not underplaying the role of education, what I want to reflect is that education can take us to a certain level, beyond that its individual's ability which matters.
MBA becomes essential because it equips us with some skills in a real short time and helps us take our thinking to a next level.

Bottomline, MBA is essential but not the only way to succeed in life.Doing an MBA can't guarantee success(though it can increase the probability) because ultimately its all about individual's application skills.