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An 8-Hour MBA? Yes, It Exists

Okay, so it's not a real MBA, but the "8-Hour MBA" is a workshop that teaches MBA-worthy skills. You might want to pay attention.
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In the business world, efforts to improve efficiency are endless. So is it any surprise that an eight-hour MBA workshop exists? 

To be clear, no degrees are awarded at the end of the day, but the Maryland-based Business Learning Institute's popular course, which is aimed at managers and business owners, is meant to briefly touch on key MBA components, including business planning, finance, communication, and leadership.

"The business environment is changing so rapidly that we need to be able to learn faster than the rate of change. And this requires technical training, but this also requires success skills like leadership, collaboration and strategic thinking," Peter Margaritis, an Eight Hour MBA course instructor, said. 

The Business Learning Institute, which offers education resources for business professionals, and business management software provider, Sage North America, are offering the course across the US. Sage VP Jennifer Warawa and Business Learning Institute CEO Tom Hood spoke with Inc. about some of the most valuable lessons learned from this specific course (which costs $275). 

1. Communication 

"Understand your audience. Evaluate how they communicate, and then adjust your behavior to be more similar to theirs," Warawa advised. Keep in mind the four different types of communicators:

Analytical. This kind of person prefers discussing just the data and the facts. Spend a little longer talking about fine details with an analytical communicator so that they are assured things are in order.

Amiable. These communicators value maintaining positive relationships. Avoid pressuring this type of person since it won't get you far. 

Expressive. Expressive communicators easily understand the big picture and are outgoing and energetic. The best thing to do is share their enthusiasm when discussing projects. 

Driver. This person wants to know the end results. Cut right to the chase when speaking with a driver.

2. Code of conduct 

It's always important to have an ongoing discussion about ethics within your business. A good opportunity to begin that dialog is by drafting a code of conduct. When getting started, look to other companies you admire for inspiration. The end result should include themes and commonalities that everyone agrees are important. Finally, remember that the code is a work in progress -- it's never too late to make revisions. 

3. Productivity

"You spend so much time having unplanned conversations with people at the office, on the phone, and attending unproductive meetings. Be OK with declining the things that are not valuable," Warawa said. 

In addition, figure out how to manage your email effectively. Set aside just three email checking windows throughout the day so that you're not continually interrupted. And as for improving productivity in the long run, constantly evaluate what you're doing. If it's not benefitting the greater good of the company, then stop doing it.

Last updated: Dec 12, 2013

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.




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