What Life Is Like In The First Year Of B-School


11 Crucial Lessons That Everyone Learns in Business School

“Pick the right team.” “Don’t stray from core competencies.” “Growth requires tradeoffs.”

You’ve probably hear those maxims. In fact, they probably seem like clichés by now. In business school, the case method breathes life into those tired truths. Here, students learn the mindsets that blinded leaders from the obvious – or helped them identify opportunities most couldn’t imagine. More important, they witness the consequences of culture, strategy, and hubris on companies ranging from Blackberry and Kodak to Apple and Cisco.

Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle resurrected a piece from Business Insider on the best case studies taught at many business schools. After tapping business professors from Duke University, the University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University and INSEAD, Business Insider compiled a list of 11 leading case studies – and the lessons that students can learn from each of them. Here is a sample:

How Bad Communication Nearly Ruined a Manager’s Career

Case: Erik Peterson

Key Takeaway: Playing politics can be unavoidable.

What Happened: The case, which has several fictionalized variations to hide identities, follows Erik Peterson, a recent MBA graduate who is the general manager at a subsidiary of a large scientific materials company in the mid-2000s. Peterson’s group is developing an innovative piece of surgical equipment but is behind schedule. He offers a plan to meet a revised target, to be reviewed by headquarters.

Though hard working, highly educated, and competent, Peterson has trouble playing office politics and struggles dealing with his manager. He does not know who exactly he needs to report to and personnel problems accumulate amid the confusion. Peterson tries isolating himself from the chaos and works harder and harder on his own — while his team falls apart.

Eventually, the company gets restructured, and Peterson gets the boot.

Looking for a refresher – or want to better familiarize yourself with the case method? Check out the link below, which includes studies on reinventing staid brands, defining ethical conduct, entering new markets, and recognizing limits.

Don’t Miss: Thunderbird: A Case Study in Organizational Decline

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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