MBA: May Be Annoying

There seem to be a lot of books, courses, and programmes on the market riffing on the term ‘MBA’. Since I’m about to embark on a ‘real’ MBA and will be sweating over it for a year-plus, I’m not sure whether to be annoyed at all these freeloaders, or heartened at the extra kudos these wannabes give the MBA ‘brand’.

This guy Josh Kaufman has written ‘The Personal MBA’. What exactly is not ‘personal’ about a real one? Writing a huge cheque for tuition felt pretty ‘personal’ to me. The real one is likely to add zeroes to my net worth and and letters after my name. In fact, there’s nothing more selfishly personal imaginable!

Ecademy stalwart Fraser Hay has his ‘Lead Generation MBA‘. He assures me it stands for ‘Marketing by Action’, to which I reply, ‘Whom are you kidding’ – the inference is obvious. What’s worse is that ‘MBA’ is precisely the wrong way to describe a focussed, specialised programme of anything; the whole point of the qualification is that it helps you generalise, broaden specialist skills into a wider set of circumstances. (I’ve suggested he renames it ‘Lead Generation CSE’ but he hasn’t responded. :))

There’s a Millionaire MBA programme too, and worse, it’s sold at ‘The Red Shop’. Jeez.

There are also countless books ‘about’ the qualification that pretend to be ‘as good as’ the qualification. Take this one, this one, or this one. An MBA in ten days? How about one day? How about.. your lunchhour?!!

Worst of all are those that present the MBA as some sort of unattainable ideal conferring sagehood, like ‘What the best MBAs know‘. Once again, putting the qualification on a pedestal is dishonest; it’s a practical course that gives business actions a theoretical underpinning, nothing more. I’m doing it because it’s a useful way to fill in some gaps in my experience, not because I want to strut about waving a certificate in everyone’s face. I do enough strutting already.

Google and you’ll also find ‘parenting MBAs’, ‘programming MBAs’, and even ‘lovemaking MBAs’. Now there’s a course I’d enrol on, but that’s beside the point. It’d be wiser to call all these latch-ons ‘NVQs’ rather than ‘MBAs’, since at least an NVQ is a practical skill.

Bah, humbug. Where’s something red I can buy?

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