Book Review: The Ten-Day MBA by Steven Silbiger

Most of what you need to know to succeed can be learned in much less time than a typical two-year MBA program costs.

If you want a taste of a business degree without committing to the time and money required, The Ten-Day MBA (1993) by Steven Silbiger is for you. Far too many prestigious educational institutions place more emphasis on maintaining their illustrious names than on actually educating their students.

Silbiger summarizes the core concepts taught at Harvard Business School, the Wharton School of the College of Pennsylvania, and the Booth School of Business at the College of Chicago to give you a comprehensive MBA education.

You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book review will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.

At the end of this book review, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Lesson 1: The financial position of a company can be seen from its accounting records.

The ability to understand one’s business requires up-to-date financial data. Financial data is used in business for strategic planning and evaluation purposes. Management approaches, production techniques, and personnel decisions can be adjusted in response to economic feedback. Accounting reports could be used by the marketing department to evaluate past campaigns and plan future actions.

In addition to informing investors, creditors, customers, and community members about a company’s financial health (or lack thereof), accounting data are useful in describing the company’s current financial condition.

Accounting standards were established to make it easier to compare companies. Although some companies’ accounting practices may differ from others, all companies agree to follow the same guidelines from year to year in the interest of clarity and consistency.

Accountants, like everyone else, have habits they adhere to. Remember the concept of objectivity. Before recording an accounting transaction or an entry in a general ledger, accountants always verify the accuracy of the transaction.

Patents and other forms of intangible intellectual property are often difficult to record in accounting records because there is often no way to prove their value. Accountants are usually cautious people who prepare for potential losses and overlook potential gains until they actually occur.

High-level summaries are presented in financial statements. Balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements are the three main types of financial statements. The balance sheet is a snapshot that shows a company’s assets and liabilities.

This data reflects the current state of a company but does not tell much about its history or future. More detailed information about a specific time period (month, quarter, or year) can be found in the income statement. The purpose of a cash flow statement is to provide a snapshot of a company’s liquidity by summarizing its income and expenses.

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Lesson 2: Solid human skills are essential for solving organizational problems.

When faced with a challenge, a leader first thinks about the big picture and what is best for the organization. However, it is equally important to develop a view that puts people first. The ability to communicate effectively and empathize with others are two of the most important soft skills to have in the workplace, and both are emphasized in organizational behavior courses.

Identifying a problem and conducting an analysis are the first steps in implementing behavior change in an organization. This provides insight into the nature of the problem, including its causes and potential side effects, which is invaluable to management.

After a thorough analysis of the problem, a six-step strategy can be implemented. First, goals must be established, which vary from problem to problem. One goal might be to mend fences between employees or between different departments in an organization. Next, all major tasks, assets and accountability structures must be cataloged.

The third step is to create a detailed timeline for implementation, and the fourth is to predict outcomes and consequences and create contingency plans in case things do not go as planned. The next step is to develop a more comprehensive strategy by focusing on targeted action levers such as incentives or planning structures. The final phase is about putting what has been planned into action and then seeing how well it has worked.

To analyze and improve organizational practices, it is important to know what drives individuals. Expectancy theory is useful for this because it states that people are motivated by both financial incentives (such as salary increases) and intrinsic rewards (such as feeling good about their work). Another method is job design, which is based on the premise that productivity is higher when workers have a better appreciation of the importance of their efforts than when they do not.

Recognizing the dynamics of influence within an organization is another important step in assessing its culture and practices. These forces fall into five broad categories. Violent authority is based on intimidating others into submission.

Positive incentives such as commendation and financial reward are examples of reward power. Referential power is an innate charisma that encourages others to follow your lead. A formal job title that commands respect and obedience is a prerequisite for legitimate power.

Last but not least, there is expert power, exercised by those with unique expertise. Those who know the different types of power and influence and how to use them effectively have an easier time navigating office politics.

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Lesson 3: To evaluate competing approaches to a problem in a fair and systematic way, quantitative methods of analysis can be invaluable.

Business decisions are notoriously difficult to make. Executives can use the tools of quantitative analysis to keep an open mind and a pragmatic approach as they weigh their options.

Decision theory is a method of quantitative analysis because it provides a structure for breaking down complex problems into manageable parts. For example, managers can use a decision tree diagram to weigh the pros and cons of possible courses of action. To create a decision tree, first note all conceivable options and the possible consequences of each option.

The next step is to assign a monetary value and a degree of uncertainty to each possible outcome. Then, think about things like strategy that are not directly related to money before making a final decision. The decision maker benefits from this method because it allows them to eliminate emotional factors. There should be no hidden assumptions in any decision, and a monetary value must be assigned to all possible outcomes.

Cash flow analysis is another technique for quantitative investigation. This technique is used to analyze investments and their costs and profits. In this type of modeling, only monetary outcomes, such as the possibility of revenue, are considered.

Probability analysis, the third form of quantitative analysis, is based on a statistical study of various forms of uncertainty. Probabilities of occurrence are calculated for each possible outcome.

The fourth and final method of quantitative analysis is predicting the future. A decision maker can use tools such as regression analysis to examine past cycles and trends. To estimate how many ice cream cones will be sold on a given day, an ice cream parlor might make a prediction based on the weather.

Lesson 4: The pursuit of wealth maximization is at the heart of finance.

Buying and selling are the only two true financial activities. By comparing the potential pros and cons, financial analysis helps plan investments in securities such as stocks, bonds, and derivatives. In most cases, you get what you risk. Similarly, the lower the risk, the lower the expected return.

In the United States, there are three different legal forms for businesses, each with its own advantages, disadvantages, and tax benefits.

Each business is owned by a single person or a couple. The more people involved in a partnership, the greater the potential for disagreements and different responsibilities if the business fails. The financial affairs of the many shareholders in a corporation are handled separately from those of the shareholders themselves.

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Lesson 5: A five-step process can be used to solve operational problems.

The field of operations, which includes the production of goods and services, usually requires knowledge of engineering, accounting, and management theory and practice. During World War II, scientists worked with the U.S. government to improve military production through the use of a new methodology known as “operational research” (OR). Currently, OR applies a five-step process to solve most operational problems.

The starting point is “capacity,” which is about production limits and quotas. Capacity analysis can consider the “six Ms,” i.e., methods, materials, labor, machinery, money, and messages, i.e., the means by which information is transmitted, for enterprises that produce goods.

In general, production lines can be optimized for mass production of narrowly standardized goods and services. A company such as Jiffy Lube, which specializes in oil changes, can perform them faster and more cost-effectively than a general auto repair store.

Second, schedules must be established by determining when each production step should take place. To maximize productivity, a production process should be carefully planned and the work of several people should be carefully coordinated.

As for the third point, inventory, you should calculate the optimal level of inventory. If a company wants to save money, it should have a minimum inventory level. However, in terms of sales, it is better if products and services are available immediately. It can be difficult to find a balance between these two conflicting requirements.

The fourth principle concerns the establishment of benchmarks, which may be internal quality standards or external laws and regulations. Similarly, the fifth point, control, should ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are met. The end result must satisfy the company and the customer, even if it is not ideal.

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Lesson 6: A firm’s relationship to supply and demand can be better understood using microeconomics and macroeconomics.

There is no such thing as a flawless economic model. But even flawed economic analysis can shed light on how consumers interact with a firm’s goods and services.

The driving forces of any economy are the laws of supply and demand. What companies are willing to sell (supply) and what consumers are willing to buy (demand) are two sides of the same coin. It is the combination of these two factors that determines market prices.

There are times when consumers are particularly price conscious. Demand is elastic when customers are more price conscious, as in the case of fast food promotions; when the price goes down, consumers are willing to buy more fast food.

Demand is inelastic when consumers are less responsive to price changes, as is the case with essential goods. For example, an addicted smoker will not respond to price changes in cigarettes in the same way as a fast-food eater.

In microeconomics, market forces are analyzed at the level of individuals, small groups, firms, and entire industries. Inflation, recession, interest rates, exchange rates, economic growth, and globalization are just some of the macroeconomic forces that must be analyzed at a very high level. A full understanding of the market forces affecting a business requires both perspectives.

Macroeconomics is primarily concerned with four market structures: monopolies, oligopolies, monopolistic competition, and pure competition. Monopolies exist only when a firm offers a truly unmatched product.

In the United States, there are many monopolies when it comes to public services. Oligopolies exist in markets where multiple firms compete for a single good, such as in the airline industry. When multiple suppliers flood the market with essentially the same goods and services, even if they use different distribution channels, the market is said to be monopolized.

Knowing that they are the only supplier in town after normal business hours, the owners of a copy store that is open 24 hours a day might charge higher prices than their counterparts who operate from 9 to 5. In a purely competitive market, marketing has no effect on the price of a product. Materials such as gold, wheat, and corn fall into this category.

About The Author

Silbiger has an MBA degree and is a certified public accountant. His book was inspired by notes he took while studying for his MBA. In the book, he provides a comprehensive overview of the major areas of business.

While the chapters deal more with practice than theory, there is a relative lack of real-world examples and case studies. Silbiger does, however, provide an overview of historical figures such as Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, who are particularly important in business school curricula.

How To Get Rich By Reading and Writing?

You must be an avid reader who is hungry for knowledge if you are reading this book review. Have you thought about making money using your reading and writing skills?

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