personal management

by Kavita

For long i have had an aspiration to have my own firm which i used to believe needed an MBA…

But thanks to the time i gave myself before i took the plunge .. much against my friends and well wishers opinions who felt i had a flair to be a manager and be self-employed ..

i waited to first give IT a shot and then slowly watch as to whether getting a formal degree was as important… With time , my thoughts on management not requiring a formal training strengthened every day….

atleast it doesnt suit me…

The Do-It-Yourself MBA

Proponents of self-learning say that B-schools are a waste of time and money. Traditional MBAs say there’s no substitute for the Halls of Ivy



    DO YOU really need to spend upwards of $80,000 in tuition and take two years off to become senior management material? The supporters of an alternative method, the Personal MBA (PMBA), say no, and it’s an idea that’s developing some traction.
    According to the advocates of the PMBA, all you have to do to measure up to the pricey MBAs turned out by B-schools is to keep gaining experience, read a series of books at your leisure, and talk about them with an online community. The organised B-school community, of course, maintains it’s not so simple.

    The PMBA, essentially an online list of reading material and accompanying message boards, is part book club and part online community, where participants tackle the reading list a book at a time, then exchange thoughts and insights on the website personalmba.com. There is no diploma, dean, faculty — or cost, other than whatever you pay for the books or a library card. Though still in its infancy, the grassroots PMBA is gaining a following — and might be yet another ding in the armour of traditional MBA programmes.
    It all started last March when 119 Harvard MBA admits — and a number of applicants at other B-schools — were denied admission for hacking into the online application service ApplyYourself.com to discover their admissions decision before schools were ready to share them. When Seth Godin, a critic of the traditional MBA and author of the book All Marketers are Liars heard the news, he wrote in his blog that the denied students were lucky to be saving $150,000 in opportunity cost. He added that reading 30 or 40 books, along with some

solid experience, could probably give you the same education as a top B-school.
Godin didn’t offer any book titles, but one of his readers did. After seeing Godin’s posting, Josh Kaufman, a 24-year-old assistant brand manager for Procter & Gamble, made a preliminary list of his favourite business books and published it on his website, joshkaufman.net. Godin, inviting other readers to contribute, then posted Kaufman’s list on his own site. Kaufman’s list more than tripled, to 160, and he spent the next two-and-a-half months whittling it down to 42 books and periodicals, with input from his supervisors and businesspeople who found his site in the blogosphere, as well as current MBA students and alumni.

Less than a year after its launch, the Personal MBA site has at least 1,200 registered members in 25 countries, says Kaufman. That’s over 300 more students than all of the MBA candidates enrolled at the University of Michigan Stephen M Ross School of Business and almost double the size of the full-time MBA class at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The site’s popularity continues to grow. From August, ’05 to last month, the number of registered users has tripled, while the number of visitors to the site per month has hovered around 35,000.
    Those readers discuss the finer points of books like Getting Things Done by David Allen and The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun, which are two that Kaufman and others recommend. Reading business classics like these can have an immediate impact on a person’s management savvy, says Kaufman.
    The idea that reading great books can affect personal development is
far from novel. There have long been programmes centring around a canon of great books. St John’s College, an undergraduate liberal arts institution, was founded in 1784 on the premise that reading and discussing great books stimulates a personal transformation in its students. But David Levine, the dean of St John’s in Santa Fe, says the effectiveness of his programme hinges on the face-to-face interaction and discussion among students. Until PMBA has a live discussion component, he says, it will never measure up to a more formal curriculum.
    At least one academic says the scrutiny of traditional B-school programmes is warranted. Henry Mintzberg, a management professor at McGill University, says that much of what students learn at a top B-school could easily be gained through reading. “The MBA is flawed in the sense that it’s business education pretending to be management education,” says Mintzberg, author of Managers, Not MBAs. “You’re gonna get a heck of a lot more management (education) from

reading this stuff than in an MBA programme.” The best way to learn management, he argues, is to manage and then examine and learn from the experience.
    But don’t expect the B-schools to be running short of students anytime soon. Despite the cost, B-school professors say there is no substitute for the intangibles — most notably the alumni and peer network — that come from a traditional MBA experience. Not to mention the access to corporate recruiters and career advisement offices. “(Kaufman) found what the schools’ competitive advantage should be,” says Jim Patell, professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “It’s a completeness… and that completeness has a price tag.” PMBA supporters find it helps those who never had a management perspective and need it, either for a promotion or to start their own business. Although he had a great technical background in computer systems administration, Simon Janes, a tech entrepreneur who has read between 15 and 20 of the PMBA books, didn’t have the business know-how to direct company strategy. Janes says reading the books helped him see his business through a management lens, instead of the technical one that he was used to.
    Many B-school administrators acknowledge the benefits of a programme like the PMBA but say it could never provide the complete experience of a full-time programme. “The best of the best MBA programmes accelerate personal development. Someone comes at 27 and leaves at 29. But they’ve added five years of maturity,” says Mark Rice, dean of the Franklin W Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
    The PMBA lacks a stable community, and Kaufman cautions that it is not for those looking for a network or a place to be courted by corporate recruiters. Greg Miller, a student in the Marquette University College of Business’ part-time programme, is using the PMBA to supplement his education. He says he expects the PMBA to continue to improve as more people learn about it and contribute to the message boards. “The concept is great, but the organiser needs to think
    about getting people together and what he can do to
    put a curriculum around it,” he says.
    Though a formal curriculum would exceed
    Kaufman’s current budget, it somehow doesn’t
    seem too far-fetched. “He’s very self-motivated,
    with a ton of personal passion,” says his supervisor
    at P&G, Noel Geoffroy. Kaufman’s darkhorse recommendation for the driven young professional looking for some down and dirty management skills? It’s ‘The Bootstrapper’s Bible, Volume 1’ by Godin. And without the high tuition and opportunity costs of top B-schools, the PMBA may become the ultimate bootstrapper
s graduate degree.


I am not sure of my take on this…but was a good read!

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