Mini-MBA: Business Essentials Curriculum

Business Law

To be an effective manager in today’s complex business environment, a manager must have an understanding of how the law impacts the bottom line. This module addresses legal areas in which every manager should have a level of familiarity, focusing especially on contract law, tort/consumer law, antitrust and competition law, corporate governance and governmental regulation.  Topics will include current trends in the law. The intent of this module is to ensure that each participant understands the impact of these areas of the law on business decisions, and to be aware of, and manage risk associated with the legal aspects of his or her daily business dealings.

Business Strategy

Business strategy involves how a firm chooses to grow its business. Options include geographic expansion and new product offerings, among others. Where a firm grows and how it will win its customers in the future are critical strategic decisions. This module focuses on such critical issues as understanding the business model that enables a firm to be successful with its targeted customers, the strategic capabilities and cultural requirements to deliver the strategy as intended, and the relationship between brand and organizational culture.


As organizations constantly transform in an effort to maintain competitiveness in a dynamic and uncertain business environment, effective leadership often makes the distinguishing difference between success and failure.  This module explores the human dimension of work and considers both the theory and practice of leading and managing people in contemporary, successful organizations.


Marketing plays a key strategic and tactical role for product and service companies. The complexity of planning, managing and implementing marketing programs for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries to maximize profit, improve customer satisfaction, and generate brand loyalty will be examined. Topics include marketing management, strategic planning, relationship marketing, competitive analysis, the marketing mix, customer satisfaction, consumer behavior, product development, branding, direct marketing, pricing strategy and marketing communication.

Achieving Innovation

How do you move an innovation from idea to adoption? In this module, participants will explore two of the biggest impediments to achieving innovation: Habit and Risk. Participants will learn how to deconstruct and alter habits to effectuate change, while at the same time developing tools to analyze and mitigate the risks associated with that change. Participants will also learn a framework, by which to evaluate an innovation, in order to determine if it will create long-term value for their organization. Key concepts in innovation such as disruptive innovation and open innovation, as well as lean and agile methodologies will also be covered.

Supply Chain Management

In the global marketplace achieving a competitive edge is essential to survival and success. This module focuses on case study discussion and analysis of how Supply Chain Management (SCM), a business integrating process, can be used to create and sustain a competitive advantage. SCM holds the key to productivity and quality improvements, cost reduction and innovative customer servicing.

Financial Statement Analysis

Reading and analyzing financial statements and understanding the underlying story they tell is the focus of this module. Topics include the balance sheet, the income and cash flow statements as well as fundamental financial analysis using net present value, time value of money, rate of return and other measures of investment attractiveness, trade-offs between risk and return and making effective capital budgeting decisions.


Changes in policy variables such as tax rates, interest rates, and deficits influence employment, earnings and output and form the backdrop against which businesses need to formulate long-term strategy. The objective of this module is to provide participants with the tools necessary to analyze the consequences of fiscal and monetary policies and, to some extent, to “demystify” the effects of macroeconomic policies while formulating strategy for periods of recession as well as recovery at the corporate (or personal) level. Current and recent policies in the US, the EU, Japan, Argentina, China and India will be analyzed.


We are all in the business of sales. No matter what you were hired to do or what you think you do, you are in the business of marketing and selling your ideas, as well as your organization’s products and/or services. Without salesmanship your brilliant idea may flounder instead of turning into a golden opportunity; same goes for your company’s latest innovation. Unfortunately, many professionals do not fully understand how to influence others by encouraging decision makers and buyers to take action on their ideas, products, and services. This module covers the fundamentals of business sales including effective strategies and tactics that work.


This module looks at multiple facets of our communication starting with communication frustrations, barriers and clarity around what effective communication is with specific techniques to enhance your interactions. Participants will take an assessment to gain clarity on their communication style and understand the nuances of interacting with the various communication types. The course concludes with five tips to improving communications and the development of an action plan.

Sales Strategy

In this module, you will learn the most up-to-date and effective sales and business growth strategies. Whether you sell products or services, the skills you will learn will help you penetrate your market and maximize revenue while positioning your business as the only viable option in your marketplace. You will also discover how to build solid relationships with your clients and your sales team.

Corporate Governance

The last two corporate crises in the US were largely due to managers making bad decisions hidden from the eyes of shareholder, regulators and investors. This session will describe the latest corporate governance mechanisms designed to help ameliorate these types of problems. In doing so, the session will incorporate the evidence from the latest large-scale empirical studies of corporate governance into a practical how to list. Finally, we will use a case study to show the importance of corporate governance and how it might optimally work.

Human Resources Management

This module will introduce and overview the major practices, issues, and trends in Human Resource Management (HRM). HRM is a fundamental component of the competitiveness, effectiveness, and sustainability of any organization, as it influences who is hired, how they are trained, evaluated, compensated, and what steps are taken to retain them. In turn, HRM plays a critical role in predicting employees’ engagement, motivation, attitudes, and performance. In other words, if an organization wants good people, it must practice good HRM.

Program Overview

For an overview of our Mini-MBA: Business Essentials program plus program benefits and outcomes, please click here.