IE Business School Online Masters
Ram Parasuraman
June 22, 2010
As you can garner by the decreasing frequency of the blogging, things are heating up down the stretch! But we're continuing to have fun! It is much more involved now, and this is where we hit top gear, thinking as managers, not merely hustlers who are out there to close a sale. We now have to think beyond transactions, beyond a single line of products, beyond just the competitive landscape. We have to put these things together! 

One such course that employs all our skills to date is our Operations Management course. Since Operations is all about converting a set of inputs into a finished product or service, it involves multiple sets of basic business skills that we have learned during the first half of the course. Putting it all together has insofar only spanned sessions within a course and like watching David Villa score 2 goals against Honduras in 3-D, there is a new dimension added. 

Each of us puts things together in a different way, drawing our own skills and experience with our favorite courses. We then apply our learnings from Marketing to Strategy through Quantitative Methods and Accrual Accounting into a simulated game, where we manage our own factories. It is very interesting to see how each of our approaches differ. It has been an immense learning experience already. Those of us that have been only used to service industries are getting a taste of the challenges in the manufacturing sector and those in the manufacturing sector are getting to see real world implications on metrics such as Marketshare and Demand Service levels based on their decisions. We find out how simple and silly mistakes cost us dearly and how accidents actually help us as well as how to deal with adversity and totally unexpected and uncontrolled situations.

Can you imagine the level of discussion and tug of war that can result when people with different backgrounds and different cultures are involved in a pricing decision? It is intense! Risk appetites vary, strategies range from protecting the turf to attacking one's home base. It is all just like the World Cup that we are enjoying at this very moment. Some teams dominate on offense, others on defense. Some strikers are repeatedly flagged for "off-side", whilst others do very well advancing the ball with short and quick passes.

As they say, the real experience comes from putting things into practice. I would add one step in between putting and practice. Putting things together and then putting everything into effective practice. Multimedia and Distributed computing has indeed worked wonders for those that are willing to learn. Happy to be a part of these times and thanks to all my Classmates for making this experience a very rich one indeed!

The IE Global MBA from Debt-Laden California GMBA Q&A

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