Author: Andrew

What is an MBA for?

What is an MBA for? What did you learn?

What is an MBA for? What did you learn?

“Good theory helps people to steer to good decisions – not just in business, but in life, too.” -Clayton M. Christensen

What are the degrees of bachelor and master of science business administration for? How about the MBA? Case studies and presentations, workbooks and journals, group assignments and lectures? All pursuing to provide most innovative and novel ideas for managing businesses and leading people.

What did you really learn?

In business school you read and write about marketing, accounting and finance, strategy and organizations, management and leadership. Business concepts come and go like outfits at Hennes&Mauritz. But the fittest of them survive.  Like the white dress shirt SWOT analysis will never go out of fashion. Please name another one – you got two seconds!

If you did your MBA at the university it’s easy to remember the parties – the networking part. It’s difficult to name many concepts you learned off the top of your head. Still, the business school definately taught you  the language of business, the way of thinking. Depending on the industry you currently work for the real life surely follows the academia severeal years behind. You might have easily left behind the learnings until they reach you in corporate life.

Basic concepts provide clear support for your work and career. As I have seen personally it is beneficial to rehearse the key learnings from the business school. Having real life business challenges at hands one has something concrete to relate to.

Putting the literature in the context of your business and organization and their challenges is usually most fruitful. Once you are hands on with the real life you begin to relate and reflect to the theories you have studied.

I drank more beer during my first four years in the work life

In business school it’s easy to be mistaken about the importance of the studies. In real life business all about relationships. To accomplish the business activities you are involved in, you are dependent on the relationships with the people. Whether they were your internal or external customers, subordinates, team members or superiors.

Businesses care about and nurture their relationships. Customer satisfaction surveys, CRM systems and ever-increasing account managers (a.k.a salesmen) are living proof of how companies seek transformation to be customer oriented.

In the process of writing my own theses, both bachelor and masters, I drifted into a topic of business relationships, partnerships and creating competitive advantage out of them. Very basic but still so complex.

While introducing myself to dozens, or maybe a hundred, of journals and articles I noticed that the theories talk not only about business relationships but they also apply to my private relationship as well.

It took me a while to make that connection. When I first started to swap the words in my mind, I was laughing. Instead of thinking about buyer and seller, company and customer or manufacturer and distributor, I thought about man and woman.

From business to relationship – rMBA

I was deeply buried in the business partnerships, but the thought experiment of replacing “business” with “relationship” took me forward. When this blog moves forward we will elaborate to the connection deeper.  Part of the purpose of the blog is to help a business professional to master private life as well as work life.

The blog intended to propel your life in both. Like an eMBA aims to bring further a career of experienced business manager, rMBA is a support function for anyone who believes in power of analytical thinking.


If you didn’t attend a business school, don’t worry. You might as well read the Personal MBA from Josh Kaufman. John has found several same books useful for a person without a formal degree who wants to learn more about business. Many entrepreneurs are self taught and have mastered commercial skills by trial and error. By taking action. That’s what you need to do in a relationship too. To learn about yourself and the significant other. Little theory usually helps to avoid common pitfalls and lets you reflect analytically.


(photo courtesy of stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net)

Continue Reading

The purpose of the blog

Avoiding daily rush

Running around always rushed always late.

Three lofty goals

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin

Relationship MBA pursues to bring together business and relationships in a way that creates true value innovation. If you came to find ideas how to improve your relationship, you will have at the same time an opportunity to meet up with the most recent and classic business matters too. We talk about efficiency improvement here!

The goal of this blog has several idealistic and practical grounds. First, the idea originated from my own need. Without a real framework to comprehend happenings a relationship,  I simply wanted to better understand the dynamics of the union of two people.

Second, shortly after I had stabilized my relationship and taken the first steps in my career, I found several shortcomings in my business knowledge. Obvious way to fill those holes was to find out the smartest authors and their top titles. In my personal development I concentrated on business literature. When you are hands on in work-life it’s easy to push behind the wisdom you have collected during your studies.

Natural human behaviour is to adopt the customs of the industry where your company operates and the culture and ways of doing business of the company you work for. Theories which are tools to analyze and simplify complexity of real life tend to fade to the backstage. Without refreshing your business knowledge your thinking might regress to a level where your business practices have a lack of healthy criticism.

Third, this blog is aimed at helping the busy businessmen and women to find the balance between work and relationship. In today’s hectic and stressful pace of work-life we tend to neglect the most valuable part in our lives. Family. By rehearsing the fundamentals of business theories one can make more sophisticated decisions and lead people with confidence. That will eventually release time for your life outside business.

By understanding dynamics of relationships, both business and private, one can avoid common pitfalls, maneuver efficiently in different kind of situations and enjoy private and work life as the relationships prosper.

Tackling everyday challenges

“Look at us running around always rushed always late, that’s what they call human race.” -Hollywood movie “The Switch” (2010)

Today couples and families where both grown-ups are pursuing challenging careers are more and more common. This phenomenon creates pressure on division of time of the families. Without a doubt common reason for argument is the question of how free-time, household work and childcare is divided in the family.

How the couple supports each other in the stressful challenges of two careers is fundamental for the well-being of the relationship. Work and life balance is one of the most tedious questions of modern career builders. This blog is aimed at helping busy families, to maneuver in the hurry of everyday life.

Catering humour and respect

Happy relationships require always a piece of laughter. So does a good blog. I was planning to write this blog in a humorous manner. Then – rather quickly – I understood the complexity of such task. With your mates it’s rather easy to chat and joke about business and women.

The serious discussions with your partner  about the state and future of your relationship often contain limited amount of humour. Every attempt to joke could be held against you. Making fun might be seen as an undesirable attitude considering the seriousness of the topic. The importance of relationships does not allow humour in all instances. Taking the challenge into account I hopefully manage to maintain enjoyable level of humour.

In this blog I refer to many authors and their groundbreaking work. My intention is not to undervalue their input for every business and businessman. Vice versa. Journals and literature that are referred to in this blog are masterpieces of business literature and academic research. I have read them all to educate and develop myself to be better in my job.

The complexity and extent of the topic, applying your MBA at home, is vast. The limited processing power of my brain makes it difficult to teach you to gain a level of professorship in all of the concepts presented later. After introducing yourself to the most influential authors and their ideas here the reader can dig a little bit deeper on his own to the topics that are personally most relevant.

Most of the great authors and books quoted in this blog are borrowing and combining theories and studies of many different areas of science. It’s nothing exceptional. To be quoted, referred and shared is the main driving force of science. Game theory is a very good example of a theory that is used in several fields of science, biology, economics and psychology.

As an example Amy Sutherland made a book about her experiences of training animals and how those skills can be used in marriage (What Shamu taught me about life, love and marriage, 2008). In this blog reader is going to meet a true hybrid theory too. I think that makes the most fun about it.

Takeaways:

  • Great learnings usually come from the places and sources you least  expect.
  • Pursue to have a good laughter and don’t quit having fun.
  • Give respect to the people influencing your life and work. After intensive usage t at work, don’t forget it at home.
Continue Reading

No framework for relationships?

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” – Jay-Z

World is full of business theories and concepts that explain how businesses compete, succeed and evolve. Students of business spend years of their youth to study Porter, Kottler and Mintzberg to understand business and its management. Academics and practitioners have developed their models to structure the complex reality of business and economics.

There are fewer theories that explain why private relationships work as they do. Too rarely we reflect how and why our private relationships work as they do. Inevitably both business and private relationships face their own challenges. What can we use as a framework for problem solving and development in relationships?

From caveman theory to…

Wait a moment, I hear you saying. For sure there are indefinite amount of literature that explain reasons behind the behavior of men and women in relationships. The existing literature is usually building on the differences of female and male genome that evolved during thousands of years of human history. Often they are known as caveman theories.

They explain, for instance, why men are generally less talkative than women? Why men are able to concentrate on one thing at a time or why senses of women are sharper? I’m sure you have noticed that females enjoy caressing slightly more than males do.

…Interdisciplinary approach

In the end, how genetical differences give us a full answer how relationships really operate as they do? At least I didn’t find an understanding. Luckily, I drifted into a solution through my interest in business. The better I understand business the more I can understand what actually happens in my relationship.

This blog unites business and relationships. Business is cold and relationhips are warm. Theories, examples and conclusions of this blog might awake controversial feelings.  The words are highly influenced by the fingers of a man and the straightforward brains moving those glumpsy fingers on the keyboard.

This blog is primarily written for men by a man. For that I must express my sincere apologies to the dearest female readers. Without a particular woman this blog could have never been established. Therefore I sincerely hope that also female readers decide to proceed with the blog. In most instances it’s applicable to replace words  “she”, “her” or “hers” with words “he” or “his”.

What is it in for me? Better work-life balance

As this blog is as much about business as it is about relationships I allow myself to include a brief advertisement in the beginning. Send out a link to your partner for fun or perhaps as a gentle tip. Relationship MBA started as a humorous idea and thus, hopefully, makes a smile appear time to time. The blog will work as a guide book for self-development for it’s author and all like minded people out there.

Relationship MBA is not just for businessmen. Future pieces of writing can work as a business crash course to an engineer, lawyer, doctor or another professional. Nowadays understanding of business and financials is never undervalued. The drive of economics is ever increasing in all fields of society. That fact creates work pressure in every sector from engineering to health care. It’s another reason to rehearse how businesses and relationships operate.

Continue Reading