Lol and Learn…

Could something as tedious as Financial reporting and Analysis be fun? If someone asked me this question two and half months ago, I probably would responded with a big NO. Before I joined the course, I was told by many about the formidable nature of the course. Given my quantitatively challenged brain, I had nightmares about the subject and at times, seen “D”s lurking around the corner. While the going wasn’t exactly easy, there are several concepts that I have internalised and the credit for all of this goes to our professor of Finance. Who would have thought that humour, especially in subjects as tedious as some of the ones taught in an MBA program could be so effective in teaching concepts? When I look back at Term 1, it seems only natural that certain terminologies and facts will stay with us forever. Mostly, because of the references the professor made in class. For instance, “clans” in an organizational context and “channa batura”(most quoted food item in class!) are sure to stick in our heads.

Politics in Organizations was a half day marathon program run on a  Saturday. I was sure the hangover from Friday night’s party along with the “I have seen it all in my organization” attitude was sure to put me to sleep. Not only was I up all through the four and half hour session(almost an involuntary reaction), I also enjoyed every minute of it. Professor LP’s high voltage energy and hilarious analogies threw light on several concepts.   Timing was critical here…The right amount of theory, supported with examples, a liberal dose of laughs and in between all of this, managing to get us to think about how would we react if we were faced with situations like this in real life. In nine months, we are going to be out of here and will be part of new organizational setups, leading teams, units and these are going to be our tools for the future.

Every class of Competition and Strategy was preceded by an air of suspense; wagers were placed on who was going to be the “Bakra”(Scapegoat) for the day. Invariably, it was the person who had prepared the least, sometimes it was the person with most experience in the industry that was relevant to the case being discussed. I dont think we cracked the professor’s strategy on that one. Peak Speed Performance Output(PSPO) and Polyurethrane Foam(PUF) as branding mechanisms were eye openers,more so because of the context of the discussion. Actually, every concept in strategy was examined in detail and with loads of fun, entirely during the classroom sessions.

One of the most important aspects of the MBA program is understanding that everything is not about numbers and data. There is a sufficient amount of intuition, experience and wisdom that goes into being a leader of the future. As one of our professors quoted, “Numbers are like bikinis – what they reveal is interesting, what they conceal is vital”.

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