P1100030.JPG開學的前幾周主要課程是Understanding General ManagementData Analytics for management.

 

UGM主要是用專案討論的方式進行,教授解釋說,和其他學校標榜全部以Case study方式進行的差異在於LBS在討論CASE上會提供較多的導引,對於我這種沒做過CASE討論的菜鳥來說,應該是很好的開始。 

這門課的教授是丹麥籍的Louise Mors

她的背景如下,我很欣賞他帶領討論的技巧,她總是能在一個接著一個問題丟給大家後,讓大家討論出一些先前讀case完全沒想到的想法。 

(MBE (Norwegian School of Management) PhD, Assistant Professor of Strategic and International Management, Strategic and International Management)

 

我運氣很好,位子在第一排,大家都舉手搶著要方言時,我佔了個優勢,嘿!

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UGM的六堂課,每堂課讀一個Case,大致的課程內容請看下面,每堂課大家都發言踴躍,真的能在 MBA的一開始就體會到同學的深度,教授的工作就是透過提問和引導讓同學們在討論中激盪出火花。

其中我最欣賞的是第三堂和第四堂是Joint Sessions,一整天密集的上下午都上課,算是開學以來最操的一天,不過整個過程真是太精彩了! 跟大家分享一下。

是一個Simulation的競賽,在有限的時間內透過電腦程式,模擬經營一家廉價航空公司,我們要做出每季的經營決策,控制五個變數(價格,員工雇用人數,服務品質,行銷費用,新飛機購買數),電腦系統會提供十幾個報表的資訊讓我們做分析,包括財務報表,市場調查,員工雇用狀態等等,我們要靠著有限的資訊和諸多報表訂定36季的決策(九年每年四季),程式會馬上寶出做完決策後的股價變化,目標是要達到最高的股價,最後會以第九年的最低股價作為各組競爭的依據,而贏的那組可以得到高價香檳一瓶。

首先的一個小時各小組(Study Group)帶開到討論室工作,在時間壓力下,可以清楚看到小組員討論和溝通的風格,有人一開始就常是帶領大家設定Long term goal,也有人催促大家趕快開始做決策,先試再說,團隊討論真是很能近距離了解大家阿!

我們這組一開始花了很多時間在溝通策略,最後時間緊迫下還把最後一季的時間搞錯,以至於股價還沒被激勵到模擬程式就結束了,大家一陣失望一小時候公布結果,我們這組的股價才五塊,別組已經到了三百多,真正得比賽是在下午,大家吃個飯再回來討論策略。

這次我提出了要在廉價航空中採高價策略,有了收入才有錢購買新的飛機並砸大錢在行銷費用上,股東對我們的認同才會反映在股價上,但有同學提出完全極端的策略,要走超低價路線,精彩的討論後,我們決定把比賽時間一分為三,第一部分試高價策略,第二部分是低價策略,累積了兩次模擬的經驗後,第三次預計在最少的時間中做最終模擬,取三次中最好的成績來比賽。在最後的幾分鐘中,真是很緊張,沒想到我們第三次模擬的股價還比不上前兩次,大家只得在倉促中匆匆結束了模擬,取前兩次的股價送給教授。再前往會場的路上,大家除了有種鬆了一口氣的感覺,回顧整個過程,發現我們經過前兩次模擬成績很不錯後,大家太過自滿和貪心,於是第三次的模擬就太過大膽,以至於出現意外的股價下跌,講到這,大家都露出莞爾一笑,有人開玩笑說以後誰請我們駔當CEO,誰要小心了,在一陣互相取笑中,也互相擁抱鼓勵我們大家做得很不錯了。

這是堂很有趣的課,我從同學身上學了很多。

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(最後被這組贏走了香檳,他們的股價衝到一千多! 真是太強了)

 

Ps. 六堂UGM的大鋼

Session 1: Introduction to General Management

Case: Honda (A)

Class discussion preparation questions:

1. Why was Honda so successful in invading the US motorcycle market?

2. Based on the case, how do you think that Sochiro Honda spent his time? How

did he add value? What kind of person was he?

3. What messages does the Boston Consulting Group’s report on Honda (from

which this case study is extracted) send to top managers?

Session 2: Building Commitments

Case: Apple Computer

Class discussion preparation questions:

1. What factors explain IBM and Apple’s different fortunes in the PC sector up to

1990?

2. Why did John Sculley fail to halt Apple’s “glide-path to history”?

3. What might you have done differently as CEO?

3

Sessions 3 & 4: Framing Decisions

Readings: News Clippings on Airline Start-Ups.

P. M. Senge: “The Fifth Discipline” (Doubleday, 1990), Chapter 5, A

Shift of Mind.

Class discussion preparation questions:

1. How attractive is the market for low price airlines?

2. What does it take to succeed in this sector?

3. What competitive threats might you face and how would you address them?

Session 5: Inculcating Work Processes

Case: Harvey Golub: Recharging American Express

Reading: Abraham Zaleznik: “Managers and Leaders: Are they different?”

(Harvard Business Review, March-April 1992)

Class discussion preparation questions:

1. What was Harvey Golub’s inheritance in late 1991?

2. What was Golub trying to accomplish through American Express’ process reengineering?

3. What challenges would Harvey Golub’s successor have to face?

Session 6: Engendering and Imposing Values

Case: The Body Shop International

Class discussion preparation questions:

1. How did the Body Shop become such an outstanding success?

2. What is your evaluation of Anita Roddick’s management philosophy and style?

3. How suitable is Anita Roddick’s philosophy for businesses other than the Body

Shop?

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