How The MBA Encourages Strategic Thinking

How The MBA Encourages Strategic Thinking

One of the great benefits of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) is its unique curriculum that sees students study all key areas of business. This includes everything from marketing and finance, to leadership and logistics management. As such, MBA students graduate with a holistic view of the business environment and are able to provide significant value in areas where they previously could not. Every subject encourages strategic thinking through the application of theory in assessments, teaching students the importance of creating business plans, thinking long-term and applying problem solving skills. Learn how the MBA encourages students to be more strategic in their careers below.

Problem solving skills are mastered

In many areas of life, we as humans are known to put issues into the ‘too hard basket’. In a business environment however, issues cannot be avoided, but must be approached with a strategic plan in mind. Throughout the MBA, this is exactly what students are encouraged to do in their assessments when tackling problems and using theory to determine the best approach moving forward.

AIB MBA graduate and Business Solutions Director at Emprevo, Leigh Herbert, explained that after the company he was working for lost its major customer, he drew on the knowledge gained from his MBA to create a plan in order to turn that around. He said, “the MBA allowed me to craft strategies that saw the company turn its fortunes around. We increased our customers by 25% and our revenue base by 40% within just 12 months”. The MBA equipped Leigh with the skills to tackle the issue head on and contributed to the success of his planning.

Strategic management is a core focus

One of the seven core subjects that each candidate of the MBA will complete when they study with AIB is Strategic Management. The subject provides an in-depth knowledge of the strategic management process and gives an exposure to the concepts and theories of competing in international markets. Topics include strategy development, competitive environment analysis and strategy implementation, prompting the student to think strategically in future business endeavors. Students are also asked to create a strategic plan for a business unit or department, which sees them think innovatively and apply concepts to a specific workplace setting. This subject not only encourages strategic thinking in the workplace, but also sets the student up to approach their future subjects with a strategic focus.

Planning is approached holistically

In any planning activity, the more that you understand about the topic, the better the plan will be. This is no different in business – those with an understanding of how organisations operate are in better standing to strategically advise. According to Marketing and Communications Manager at Loan Society Pty Ltd, Leanne Lenassi, the MBA helped her gain a unique bird’s-eye perspective of business. She said, “I can now go into organisations, take a view of their whole operation and be able to look at ways that we can actually make improvements and move their business forward.”

The MBA helps students see how each business function can work together, and trains them on how they can provide more value in areas outside of their own. The MBA also trains students to think in in multiple time frames, to understand what must be accomplished over time, what has to happen now, and how to execute that plan. It encourages strategic thinking from a whole business perspective, which in turn, sees the business benefit from a more tailored direction.

What do you think?

Have you experienced how the AIB MBA encourages strategic thinking through course content and a holistic curriculum? The ability to think strategically and lead an organisation into change is not to be overlooked. Comment to share your experience.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.  

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