Essential Business MOOCs For January

Grow To Greatness: Smart Growth For Private Businesses – Part II

School: University of Virginia (Darden)

Source:  Coursera

Link: Grow to Greatness – Part 2

Start Date: January 12, 2015

Workload:  4-6 Hours Per Week (4 Weeks Long – Part 2)

Instructor: Edward D. Hess

Credentials: Professor Hess is a professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business. Over his career, he has authored 10 books and 60 Darden cases, along with appearing in business outlets like,, Business Insider, The Financial Times, Fortune, Money, CNBC, Fox Business, and Dow Jones. In the private sector, he has conducted executive education programs in companies ranging from Pitney Bowes to Cigna. Hess also acts as Executive-in-Residence at Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where he researches the challenges inherent to business growth.

Graded: Students will receive a signed Statement of Accomplishment for completing the course.

Description: This two-part course will expose students to the growth challenges businesses face after being successfully launched. In Part 1, students witnessed how businesses can struggle in weighing various alternatives, implementing consistent processes, prioritizing initiatives, and establishing a plan instead of operating day-by-day. In Part 2, the course will focus on driving and measuring employee performance, establishing cultural mores that reward the right behaviors, and building a strong leadership team.

Before each session, students will read assigned articles and case studies. During the weekly session, studies will watch videos that will expand on this content. The videos will also present workshop exercises, where students will provide strategies to a new business each week to help them solve issues like whether they should franchise their business to grow. Afterwards, students will learn which strategies were adopted – and whether they worked.  Students may organize course communities through the Discussion Forum to help students interact and learn from each other.

Review (Part 2): “Second half of a 2=part course that gives entrepreneurs a case study approach on IF and HOW one should grow after the post start-up phase. This portion deals with the people issues of growing past the founder stage when one might need to dump the initial staff who aren’t able to change with the scale of the company or adapt from being doers to managers.

The professor is engaging, enthusiastic, and in both classes pushes an admirable “treat your customers well philosophy” It might seem dated but iis welcome in a world of box stores that throw customer service and worker well being under the bus just to create low prices with inferior products made with foreign slave-like labor.” For additional reviews of this course, click here.

Additional Note: It is not a prerequisite to take part one in order to complete part two.

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