Critical Business Skills for Success

Course No. 5800
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Course No. 5800
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Course Overview

Everyone wants to know: What does it take to reach success in business—the kind of success that lasts? It all comes down to a solid grasp of the fundamentals of business—the same kind that are taught to MBA students in many of the world's most prestigious business schools.

Our comprehensive five-part, 60-lecture course, Critical Business Skills for Success, is designed to give you just this kind of integrated, accessible introduction. Bringing together five prestigious and renowned business professors from some of America's top business schools, each of this course's five parts is a detailed look at a particular skill:

  • strategy,
  • operations,
  • finance and accounting,
  • organizational behavior, and
  • marketing.

Here in one place is an authoritative guide to the five essential disciplines that everyone, entry-level employees and CEOs alike, needs to master in order to reap rewards in today's complex marketplace.

In each part, you'll learn about everything from key terms and methodologies to research-backed strategies and case studies involving some of the world's most influential companies.

This kind of well-rounded business education is useful to anyone who works in a company of any size. Whether you're in a leadership position, just starting out, or somewhere in between, these skills will help you understand all of the functions of a business, not just your area of specialty. It's also a great resource to have even if you already have an MBA, as you can return to this course again and again for advice and clarification.

Bringing the MBA experience right to you, Critical Business Skills for Success demystifies the secrets of business and gives you insights that will help you achieve your goals.

Part One: Strategy

Where, and with whom, will your business compete? What will you do, and not do, as a company? How will you create advantages that put you ahead of the competition? You can have the world's greatest product and the most effective marketing for selling that product, but if you don't have an effective strategy underlying your business or organization, a template for how it should run, you'll find it hard to stay on top of the business world.

Why is a crystal-clear strategy an essential piece of the business puzzle? In the words of popular Great Courses Professor Michael A. Roberto of Bryant University, it's because businesses can't do everything. "And so you have to be very clear about how you're going to use your resources in the most efficient way possible, both to serve the customers you intend to serve and to serve them better than anyone else."

Now you can learn straight from an award-winning business instructor the secrets to developing, executing, and managing powerful business strategies with Critical Business Skills: Strategy. Award-winning Professor Roberto’s 12 lectures provide you with a research-based framework for understanding how strategy works and how to apply it.

Get Two Angles on Business Strategy

Business strategy is one of the business world's most crucial activities. It's the template for how your organization should run, and comes before anything else. Throughout these lectures, you'll explore strategy from two fundamental angles:

  • You'll examine the world of business unit strategy, focusing on how particular companies use strategic frameworks to beat their rivals in a particular product market.
  • You'll also take a step back and explore the concept of corporate strategy, and how multi-business units and diversified companies strategically operate in a variety of product markets.

But most important are the many specific strategies you'll learn how to formulate, wield, and apply to your own unique business situations.

Take On Tomorrow's Business Challenges

Professor Roberto, using his years of experience in the business world and his piercing insights into business strategy, includes in each lecture of Critical Business Skills: Strategy stories of real-world successes (and failures) involving major companies of the past decade, including J.C. Penney, the Walt Disney Company, Target, and AOL Time Warner. An eight-time winner of Bryant University's prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award, he knows how to make this subject, and the research behind it, undeniably captivating and essential for any well-rounded understanding of how great businesses succeed and how poor businesses fail.

Part Two: Operations

Some people think of operations as a specialized aspect of business, usually overshadowed by a focus on corporate strategy and marketing. But without effective operations, which work hand-in-hand with the other core business disciplines, you have no goods or services. In short, you can't deliver on your promise to your customers, your employees, and your shareholders.

Operations Demystified

Professor Goldsby's Critical Business Skills: Operations is your accessible guide to everything you need to understand—and utilize—operations and operations management. In 12 thorough lectures, you'll explore a range of topics related to supply chains and logistics, including inventory management; performance measurement; new trends in, and research on, strategies to enhance agility and sustainability; internal and external resources companies use to mitigate risk and thrive; and much more. And with this course, you'll be able to break through the intimidation of a specialized subject and start using operations to improve the functionality of your organization—wherever you stand in the hierarchy, in any kind of business.

Tying his operational insights to case studies of major national and international companies and corporations, Professor Goldsby makes Critical Business Skills: Operations an invaluable resource and reference for anyone interested in a thorough mastery of business administration.

An expert in Six Sigma techniques and logistics management, he delivers fascinating insights into why operations is the key (and often overlooked) component of success in business, and how it can help your company—whether you're looking to eliminate waste from processes, measure your operational performance more effectively, or ensure that your business strategy covers the supply and demand requirements of your organization.

Part Three: Finance and Accounting

To succeed as a businessperson in today's fast-paced, global marketplace, one of the essential business skills you need to master—whether you're a top-level manager, an investor, or an entrepreneur—is a firm grasp of how finance and accounting work.

Accounting is the language in which organizations communicate their performance. Finance translates this language into smart, savvy business decisions. And no matter how honed your corporate strategy, how intricate your operations, or how ethical your organizational behavior, if you don't know about the business side of money, you cannot dream of building or growing a business. Knowing the fundamentals of finance and accounting—key terms, concepts, methodologies, real-world examples, and applications—is knowledge that can make all the difference in making wise decisions, whether you're looking to raise capital for a bold new venture, value once-in-a-lifetime stocks, or build a better investment portfolio.

These 12 informative lectures make a seemingly intimidating topic accessible to learners from all backgrounds, and will help you hone the critical skills you need to finally master the fundamentals of business. With the guidance of award-winning Professor Eric Sussman, a senior lecturer in accounting at the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a licensed CPA and business consultant, you'll soon discover the confidence to understand, interpret, and learn from the vital financial data in your professional and personal life.

Part Four: Organizational Behavior

You have your product, you've developed your business plan for selling that product, and you've spent invaluable time and money securing the top talent to help you reach your goals. It's all smooth sailing from here, right?

Unfortunately, it turns out that some of the costliest mistakes within an organization stem from a critical misunderstanding of how organizations work, and how to operate effectively within them. If you don't have a workforce that’s operating smoothly to accomplish your organizational goals, there's no way you'll succeed in business.

  • Why are some leaders more effective than others?
  • What makes a team or department so productive?
  • Why are some initiatives received enthusiastically, and others met with apathy?

Questions like these are at the heart of organizational behavior, a field that contains powerful strategies and best practices that everyone in the business world should learn. Professor Clinton O. Longenecker, an award-winning business instructor from The University of Toledo and an active business management coach, has created Critical Business Skills: Organizational Behavior to answer these questions and more. Whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or an entry-level employee looking to climb the ranks, in these 12 engaging lectures, you'll expand your understanding of business by exploring the key psychosocial and behavioral issues that impact our ability, as employees and leaders, to get work done. Tapping into the science of human behavior, along with numerous case studies and research from Professor Longenecker's professional experience, you'll come away from these lectures with refined skills and an essential list of tools, tips, and techniques for putting yourself in a position to succeed.

Professor Longenecker delivers powerful lectures that explore in depth what he calls "power factors" that can help you achieve better results for your organization.

  • Effective leadership: Effective leaders can impact innovation and creativity, productivity and efficiency, workplace motivation and job satisfaction, and other important performance variables.
  • Emotional intelligence: By recognizing your own emotions and those of others, you can better cultivate productive relationships in the workplace.
  • Teamwork and cooperation: Failing to leverage cooperation in a business setting is essentially a failure to utilize a source of competitive advantage.
  • Power and influence: Where does authority come from? What are the common mistakes people in authority positions make?

With Professor Longenecker, named by The Economist as one of the top 15 business professors in the world, you're getting critical business school insights from a master of the subject.

Part Five: Marketing

Here's a surprising truth about business: The best product doesn't always win. It takes more than just a great idea or a clear-cut strategy to succeed in business; you have to know how to sell that idea to consumers, each with their own tastes and values.

True marketing, according to consumer psychologist and award-winning professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University, is a methodology; a series of skills that should be applied to every stage of business, from initial conception to product development to brand management. In his words, it's "what turns something with the potential for creating value into something that actually creates value for the customer—and the company for selling it." And it all revolves around being able to answer three fundamental questions:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What do they value?
  • How can I give them what they value better than competitors?

Regardless of your professional role in an organization knowing the ins and outs of marketing is a surefire way to help your company create value, both for itself and for its customers.

In Critical Business Skills: Marketing, part of our comprehensive series on the five essential skills in business, Professor Hamilton has crafted an informative, accessible lecture series that introduces you to the fundamentals, the concepts, the tools, and the applications of effective marketing. Filled with intriguing case studies, expert insights, and helpful strategies, these twelve lectures are crucial for anyone looking to market a product or idea, develop lasting relationships with customers, and strengthen their business savvy.

Acclaimed by Emory University M.B.A. students for his award-winning teaching skills, Professor Hamilton makes the field of marketing fascinating and relevant to all audiences. At the end of this course, he leaves you with a packed toolbox of practical marketing tools for everything from expanding your business to diagnosing weak sales to building more effective relationships with your customers.

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60 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    Strategy: Strategy Is Making Choices
    What do we mean when we talk about business strategy? Start thinking more smartly about strategy with this introductory lecture that covers four key facts about competition and the two drivers of profitability: industry structure and competitive advantage. x
  • 2
    Strategy: How Apple Raises Competitive Barriers
    Five essential forces shape any business strategy, and together, they create a framework that can help you better make key strategic choices. Central to this discussion of these five strategic forces: Apple's meteoric rise to the top of the market. x
  • 3
    Strategy: The Danger of Straddling
    Professor Roberto introduces you to the three paths that lead to competitive advantage and four basic competitive strategies. Then, using case studies including JC Penney, IBM, and Dell, he explains both the dangers of straddling between competitive positions. x
  • 4
    Strategy: What Trader Joe's Doesn't Do
    Passionate customers, tremendous profits, happy employees - the Trader Joe's grocery chain is a powerful business success story. Discover how their secret for success lies in their use of trade-offs to make it hard for imitators and to mitigate the negative effects of the industry. x
  • 5
    Strategy: First Movers versus Fast Followers
    Discover the strengths - and drawbacks - of being a first mover who establishes a market position and fast followers, who can learn from first movers' mistakes. Along the way, you'll consider relevant examples from industries including video game systems and social media networks. x
  • 6
    Strategy: When Netflix Met Blockbuster
    Netflix's ultimate domination of the video rental market is a classic example of disruptive innovation: a serious threat to traditional business - and often the hardest to respond to. x
  • 7
    Strategy: Anticipating Your Rival's Response
    Get a stronger grip on competitive dynamics and the importance of understanding your competitor. Professor Roberto guides you through powerful lessons from three situations where new entrants did battle with incumbents: NutraSweet with Holland Sweetener Company; British Airways and Aer Lingus with Ryanair; and another perspective on Blockbuster versus Netflix. x
  • 8
    Strategy: Why Did Disney Buy Pixar?
    Turn now to corporate strategy, which involves determining where to compete, not how. Explore the corporate strategies of horizontal and vertical integration (and their two types) in the context of Disney's acquisition of Pixar animation studios. As a multi-business unit corporate, why build a particular portfolio of businesses? x
  • 9
    Strategy: The Diversification Discount
    What happens when the whole is worth less than the proposed sum of the parts? You've got a diversification discount, common for many unrelated diversifiers in the United States, and one that has led to many corporate breakups. If you're going to diversify, you need to do it the smart way. Learn how here. x
  • 10
    Strategy: Forward and Backward Integration
    Professor Roberto explains in more detail vertical integration and its two key directions: forward and backward. Does vertical integration make economic sense? Learn about vertical integration's rationales (and risks) by digging deep into interesting stories of vertical integration involving Disney's retail stores and Zara's "fast fashion" strategy. x
  • 11
    Strategy: Mergers and Acquisitions - The Winner's Curse
    Mergers and acquisitions are part of daily life in the business world. Why do some bad deals get done, leaving the acquirer in a trouble spot? When can a hostile takeover be the right strategy to take, and how does one work? What happens if a bidding war occurs? What are some alternatives to merging? x
  • 12
    Strategy: Launching a Lean Start-Up
    Professor Roberto concludes this course with a fascinating lecture on the challenges of launching your own business. You'll learn what makes entrepreneurship different from leading a complex, large organization; how the simple "marshmallow challenge" reveals different approaches to startup strategies; and key questions any entrepreneur must answer before starting. x
  • 13
    Operations: The Power of Superior Operations
    What exactly is operations management, and how can you make it work to your advantage? Turn your attention to operational capabilities: the composite of processes, people, and technology that helps you execute your strategy. Observe a case study featuring both production operations and service operations. x
  • 14
    Operations: Leaner, Meaner Production
    Production operations are the greatest value-adding activity in all of business. Whether you're making the product yourself or through others, explore the decisions involved in successful production operations, and get a glimpse at developments to look for in the future, including 3-D printing and reshoring. x
  • 15
    Operations: Refining Service Operations
    Turn now to service operations, the successful management of which takes into account the psychology of winning customers through great experiences. From the Service Quality Scale to the details of process improvement, find out how to seize the movement where services are increasingly dominating the 21st-century business landscape. x
  • 16
    Operations: Matching Supply and Demand
    Sales and operations (S&OP) planning integrates a company's sales forecasts with the operations plans from the purchasing, production, and logistics departments. Learn how qualitative and quantitative forecasts are used to gather and share information; how the principles of S&OP can help you better match your supply and demand; and more. x
  • 17
    Operations: Rightsizing Inventory
    Master the fundamentals of right-sizing your inventory through inventory management. Specifically, focus on four basic strategies used to maintain just the right amount of inventory. x
  • 18
    Operations: Managing Supply and Suppliers
    Supply management is the one department that accounts for well over half of a company's total spend, and involves decisions that impact its long-term profitability. By examining fundamental questions about what to buy and how to select suppliers, you'll leverage effective supply management practices that can set you apart from the crowd. x
  • 19
    Operations: The Long Reach of Logistics
    Logistics are responsible for ensuring that the right products are available in the right quantities at the right time to meet customer expectations. Professor Goldsby introduces you to three key aspects of logistics, including its role in providing "reach" and the movement, storage, and technology used to meet customer requirements. x
  • 20
    Operations: Rethinking Your Business Processes
    Ways to improve business processes are indispensable to success. Gain simple tools and methods for improving the processes that matter to your organization. Learn how to create and use powerful, yet simple tools called process maps. x
  • 21
    Operations: Measuring Operational Performance
    Why is performance measurement so important to the health of an organization? How do the four dimensions of the "Balanced Scorecard" framework (financial performance, customer assessment, internal business process, and learning and growth) work independently and together? What is the "triple-bottom-line" approach, and how does it measure sustainable business performances? x
  • 22
    Operations: Keeping an Eye on Your Margins
    Obliterate the assumption that all business is good business. Instead, come up with more precise numbers that show how different customers affect your business by understanding the contribution margin. x
  • 23
    Operations: Leveraging Your Supply Chain
    Among the most pervasive developments in business organization over the past few decades is supply chain management. Learn how this discipline, a higher order of operations management, uses your network of suppliers and customers to achieve maximum effectiveness and help you better leverage your company's supply chain. x
  • 24
    Operations: Reducing Risk, Building Resilience
    Professor Goldsby introduces you to the hottest topic in modern business: risk management. How can you overcome perilous situations, or dampen their effects? What are common internal and external risks to an organization? And how will tools like the "Failure Mode and Effects Analysis" help you identify and prioritize them? x
  • 25
    Finance and Accounting: Accounting and Finance - Decision-Making Tools
    This introductory lecture unpacks some key concepts in accounting and finance; dispels some common myths about accounting; and gives you a helpful overview of three essential statements companies routinely prepare to communicate critical financial data to shareholders and owners. x
  • 26
    Finance and Accounting: How to Interpret a Balance Sheet
    Using a balance sheet from Intel as your case study, survey the significance of specific items that typically appear on balance sheets, including current assets and intangible assets. Also learn how to read balance sheets for clues about an organization's financial stability, risk, and liquidity. x
  • 27
    Finance and Accounting: Why the Income Statement Matters
    Income statements are the statements most widely cited in popular business news. First, learn how income is measured under general accounting principles. Then, explore how income statements are organized to reflect everything from revenue to operating expenses. Finally, examine four questions everyone reviewing an income statement should ask. x
  • 28
    Finance and Accounting: How to Analyze a Cash Flow Statement
    What makes statements of cash flows the most important financial statements you'll encounter? Professor Sussman explains the differences between revenues, profits, and cash flows; discusses the three separate sections of a statement of cash flows; and uses two intriguing anecdotes to highlight why analyzing these statements is so important. x
  • 29
    Finance and Accounting: Common Size, Trend, and Ratio Analysis
    Common size analysis. Trend analysis. Ratio analysis. Three financial tools every seasoned businessperson should be able to use. First, learn how each of these tools is used. Then, get a closer look at five key categories of ratios to keep in mind, including liquidity ratios and market ratios. x
  • 30
    Finance and Accounting: Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis
    How does breakeven analysis, or cost-volume-profit analysis, work - and how do businesspeople make it work for them? As you'll discover in looking at both the basic breakeven model and some more advanced variations, cost-volume-profit analysis has far-reaching applications in everything from marketing hotel rooms to pricing concert tickets. x
  • 31
    Finance and Accounting: Understanding the Time Value of Money
    Begin your focus on finance with an insightful look at the time value of money. Along with basic concepts and terminology (including risk and present/future value), you'll learn about the five types of cash flows that should be in the business student's toolkit, including lump sums, annuities, and perpetuities. x
  • 32
    Finance and Accounting: The Trade-Off between Risk and Return
    In this lecture on the trade-off between risk and return, Professor Sussman introduces you to several important financial models businesses use every day. These include the Nobel Prize-winning Capital Asset Pricing Model, which is a means for formally unifying an asset's expected return and risk by studying asset fluctuations. x
  • 33
    Finance and Accounting: How Investors Use Net Present Value
    What exactly do we mean by "value"? First, learn the true meaning of value and its overarching importance in finance. Then, investigate three different approaches for evaluating investment opportunities: the payback method; the book rate of return method; and the powerful investment decision-making tool known as Net Present Value. x
  • 34
    Finance and Accounting: Alternatives to Net Present Value
    What are some alternatives to evaluating investment opportunities beyond Net Present Value? Find out with this lecture on commonly used measures, including the Internal Rate of Return (the discount rate at which the Net Present Value equals zero); and the Equity Multiple (commonly used in venture capital investments). x
  • 35
    Finance and Accounting: Weighing the Costs of Debt and Equity
    Explore the world of trade-offs and learn why issuing debt instead of equity can actually increase the value of a firm; why you should always consider the Weighted Average Cost of Capital of your investments; and how convertible bonds attempt to capture the best of both debt and equity. x
  • 36
    Finance and Accounting: How to Value a Company's Stock
    All investors should know how to make value-creating decisions. Round out your introduction to accounting and finance with a recap of the fundamental tools of the trade. By applying these tools to specific examples involving major companies, you'll cement your ability to make smart and savvy investment decisions. x
  • 37
    Organizational Behavior: Achieving Results in Your Organization
    Start taking control of your professional organizational behavior with this introductory lecture on how to achieve lasting results. You'll explore how to use the S.T.O.P. ("sit, think, organize, perform") method to improve job satisfaction, reduce stress, and enhance your professional performance. x
  • 38
    Organizational Behavior: The Value of Great Leadership
    Professor Longenecker explains the most important things he's learned about leadership. Among these: the definition of effective leadership; the critical role of competency and character; and six leadership schools of thought. x
  • 39
    Organizational Behavior: Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
    What does it take to cultivate great working relationships? The answer: emotional intelligence. Learn how developing emotional intelligence can have a powerful impact on your ability to work well with others. Along the way, you'll learn about different types of workplace relationships, including strained working relationships and non-working relationships. x
  • 40
    Organizational Behavior: The Art of Effective Communications
    Cultivate stronger communication skills with this engaging lecture that covers three burning communication needs in an organization and introduces you to six critically important lessons every effective communicator should follow. x
  • 41
    Organizational Behavior: The Motivation-Performance Connection
    Motivation and performance improvement are two of the most researched subjects in the field of organizational behavior. Using an in-depth study of 60 high-performance organizations across a range of industries, discover what goes into a highly motivated organization and how the "performance equation" provides fascinating insights into improving workplace performance. x
  • 42
    Organizational Behavior: Winning with Teamwork
    You've known about teamwork since elementary school. Now, learn how to foster it in an organizational setting. First, find out what happens when organizations don't cooperate. Then, learn how people with conflicting interests can work together. x
  • 43
    Organizational Behavior: Coaching - From Gridiron to Boardroom
    To keep people in an organization more focused, engaged, and productive, you need to recognize the importance not just of coaching, but of tailor-made coaching. Discover how it works with a step-by-step analysis of a successful coaching scenario and a look at four sets of employees in need of different types of coaching. x
  • 44
    Organizational Behavior: Understanding Power Relationships
    Why is power such a potent aspect of business? What do we mean by "power" in an organizational setting, and what are some of its work-related sources? How can you cultivate personal power within your organization? What strategies can you use to upwardly manage a relationship with your boss? x
  • 45
    Organizational Behavior: Handling Workplace Conflict
    Much of one's success in an organization depends on how well one manages conflict with others. Professor Longenecker guides you through two primary types of conflict and three levels where they occur. Then, he offers ways to avoid or better handle conflict using a powerful management model involving cooperation and assertiveness. x
  • 46
    Organizational Behavior: Ethics and the Bathsheba Syndrome
    Learn why ethical standards and policies are so important within an organization; the specific steps involved in ethical decision making; and the Bathsheba Syndrome, which helps explain why successful people do wrongful things at work. x
  • 47
    Organizational Behavior: Leading Real Organizational Change
    The one unavoidable part of an organization: change. After investigating the three essential ingredients of organizational change, focus on the kind of practical steps you can take to achieve change in your organization. Among them: how to make it about problem solving and how to cultivate a sense of urgency and speed. x
  • 48
    Organizational Behavior: Lifelong Learning for Career Success
    Because the average worker changes jobs between seven and 10 times, workplace relevance and career success depends on lifelong learning and professional development. Finish out this course with a pointed, inspirational discussion on the barriers toward lifelong learning in an organization - and how to finally overcome them for good. x
  • 49
    Marketing: What Is Marketing?
    One of the core tenets of successful marketing is understanding your customer. But often times, you aren't the customer you're marketing to. What can you do instead? Find out in this introductory lecture on "Marketing 101", which also explores four types of value consumers seek: functional, monetary, social, and psychological. x
  • 50
    Marketing: How to Segment a Market
    The first question in developing a strong marketing strategy is figuring out who your customer is. That's where the tools of market segmentation come in. In this lecture, learn the basic principles that underlie solid segmentation analysis - whether you're working with the best market data available or (as can be the case) imperfect data. x
  • 51
    Marketing: Targeting a Market Segment
    Make better sense of targeting, the process of selecting the segment (or segments) your product will best serve. Throughout the lecture, you'll learn key rules of targeting. One rule is: Don't try to please customers outside your target. Another: Always pick a target segment that values what you offer. x
  • 52
    Marketing: Positioning Your Offering
    Many products fail because marketers fail to communicate their true value. Here, Professor Hamilton takes you step-by-step through the positioning process, designed to create and communicate value. Case studies you'll learn from include Volvo in the 1980s, the emergence of DVRs, and a Washington, D.C. bike-sharing program. x
  • 53
    Marketing: Identifying Sources of Sales Growth
    You've mastered segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Now learn how to grow and increase your sales using the 2x2 Ansoff matrix - one of the most powerful ideas in marketing. In the process, you'll learn piercing insights into the interactions between customers (current and new), product development, diversification, and more. x
  • 54
    Marketing: Deriving Value from Your Customers
    Look at some other sources of value that companies can get out of their transactions and start thinking more broadly about the sources of value a company should seek. The specific focus of this illuminating lecture is on three additional kinds of customer-related value: loyalty value, information value, and communication value. x
  • 55
    Marketing: Creating Great Customer Experiences
    Begin exploring the tactics involving in reaching marketing goals with a look at how to design products and services to provide the best possible customer experience. Along the way, you'll learn six rules for effectively managing customer experiences (including getting bad experiences out of the way and empowering employees). x
  • 56
    Marketing: The Tactics of Successful Branding
    What defines a brand? What rules should you follow when building your brand? How do brands create value for customers? With the insights and answers in this lecture, you'll learn how to create a brand that will connect you with consumers - and defend you from the competition. x
  • 57
    Marketing: Customer-Focused Pricing
    One of the most important decisions anyone in marketing will make is how to price your product and service. Here, Professor Hamilton reveals the information marketers use to settle on prices; how customers evaluate prices; and how price discrimination, price skimming, and price wars work. x
  • 58
    Marketing: Marketing Communications That Work
    Add to your "marketing toolkit" some of the principles and strategies of an effective communications plan, with a look at some successful (and unsuccessful) ad campaigns, including the California Milk Processor Board's famous "Got Milk" campaign. Also, get tips on how to command consumers' attentions without turning them off. x
  • 59
    Marketing: The Promise and Perils of Social Media
    Dig into the unique opportunities - and challenges - of social media and word-of-mouth communications. From Facebook pages to viral videos, you'll learn how to navigate today's marketing innovations and tap into their power, reach, and low cost. You'll also learn how to dodge common errors other companies make. x
  • 60
    Marketing: Innovative Marketing Research Techniques
    Research is undoubtedly essential for making responsible, effective marketing decisions. Professor Hamilton concludes his course with a lecture on the importance of marketing research methods whose data is often expressed in helpful qualitative terms: customer observations, focus groups, ethnographies, and projective techniques. x

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Your professors

Michael A. Roberto Thomas  Goldsby Ryan Hamilton Clinton Longenecker Eric  Sussman

Professor 1 of 5

Michael A. Roberto, D.B.A.
Bryant University

Professor 2 of 5

Thomas Goldsby, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

Professor 3 of 5

Ryan Hamilton
Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Professor 4 of 5

Clinton Longenecker, Ph.D.
The University of Toledo, College of Business and Innovation

Professor 5 of 5

Eric Sussman, M.B.A
University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management
Dr. Michael A. Roberto teaches leadership, managerial decision making, and business strategy as the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He joined the faculty at Bryant University after teaching at Harvard Business School for six years. Previously, Professor Roberto was a Visiting Associate Professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. Professor Roberto earned an...
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Professor Thomas J. Goldsby is the Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation Professor of Business and Professor of Logistics at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Marketing and Logistics from Michigan State University. Professor Goldsby is the coauthor of four books, including The Design and Management of Sustainable Supply Chains and Lean...
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Professor Ryan Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, where he has taught since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. In 2013, he was recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most productive young scholars in his field. Professor Hamilton also has received multiple teaching...
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Professor Clinton O. Longenecker is the Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo, where he has taught for over 30 years. He received a Ph.D. in Management from The Pennsylvania State University. Recognized by The Economist as one of the top 15 business professors in the world, Professor Longenecker has received over 40 teaching...
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Professor Eric Sussman is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Real Estate at the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management. A licensed CPA in California, he received his M.B.A. with honors from Stanford University. Professor Sussman is the winner of 13 Teaching Excellence Awards, voted on by Anderson's M.B.A. students, the Citibank Teaching Award, and the Neidorf “Decade” Teaching Award....
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Critical Business Skills for Success is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 48.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Critical success factors I have listenen to 5 lectures so far and found them insightful and to the point. We purchased 2x DVD and one audio CD instead of stream audio thinking that when we get to profit and loss discussion there will be value. That will remain to be seen. I am already a part owner in 3 companies and have marketing ang sales experience, so i hope those reading this have some perspective i am not green at business. I purchased 3 copies of this for myself, and “green” management.
Date published: 2019-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic course! I purchased this course when I was in the early stages of starting a business and it ultimately provided the motivation and foundation for pursuing an MBA. The instructors are fantastic across the board and the material is thorough and very well organized. The depth and detail of much of the content rivaled that of my graduate course work. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2018-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great information! I purchased this after I finished my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and I still learned a lot. I imagine much of this information is at a Master's degree level. What makes this so great is you can listen to the sessions over and over, unlike taking a college class. Looking forward to their Entrepreneur's Toolkit!
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very thorough! I'm still in the midst of this course, so I guess I can't review it in its entirety, but so far it is fantastic! LOTS of information and much of it directly applicable to the running the businesses I already own.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Series Very professional series of powerful business topics. Highly recommend this for any business professional.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Virtually Attending Business School Very informative. I've already earned a B.S. in Business Administration and this course has discussed topics not presented at the college I attended.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Optimizing Brain Fitness This course is a must-have for any student, young or old.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ton of great business material. This is a mini MBA course online. All of the educators are first rate, communicate well and are passionate about their respective topics: Strategy, Operations, Accounting/Finance, Organizational Behavior and Marketing. I'm certain people have spent $10,000's at schools and didn't get as much out of the lectures and course work. This is huge bargain at around $100. You will learn a lot.
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fine Basic Introduction This is an excellent course for those who want to understand the fundamentals of how businesses operate. The teachers are very capable. The class is well presented with good content.
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finance & accounting Only watch this section so far . Very informative provided information that I was looking for. Great
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pleased to have discovered this resource Listening to courses while Commuting an hour and an half each day has been a great stress reliever. Instead of feeling frustrated over the loss of time in my day or traffic snafus, I turn on a course and feel I am productive. I bought 6 different courses at a great price point covering both personal and professional topics. Just in the first one but pleased with the quality of content and presentation so far.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I learned a lot! I am a business owner, and I have listened to the 60 lectures while commuting to and from work. As I've listened, I've implemented what I've listened to. The lectures were inspiring and insightful, from looking at financial statements, to leading employees, and understanding marketing. I am currently reviewing all the material in the books and taking notes. I'm lecturing on a business topic at a national meeting, and I'll recommend this set.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Marketing Section is superb I purchased this course specifically for the Marketing section, and have to say the price was well worth it just for that portion of the course. I can't really comment on the other section...
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great title. The material was read in part & assimilated, or so I thought. A nice touch, beyond what is presented, would be a quick review after each lecture. This review could take the form of a few questions referencing thought provoking scenarios regarding the lecture. This process would help install the important aspects of the lecture to memory in an enhanced manner,
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have been in business many years and found Critical Business Skills to be very useful. These folks know what they are talking about and I was able to apply the lessons. I watched more than one of these lessons multiple times. That is true value and benefit.
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I ordered online and within 5 minutes I got the opportunity to view the video for the course so I watched lesson 1 and 2 right away, and within 3 days I had my hard copy of the course outline....WOW.
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love to learn I like he things I learn from all the Great Courses I get.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TIMELY AND PROFESSIONAL This material is presented in a professional lecture like setting. The information isn't dated, rather it is very current ( which surprised me).
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Critical Business Skills for Success Great CDs to listen to while I am traveling in my car to and from work. Keeps me thinking and provides helpful insights that I can transfer to my business.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good for the entrepreneur A lot of business 101 review, which is good for those of us who haven't been in business school for many years. A lot of items that one can use as a checklist for their business or dept. to make sure they're on top of things. There's material for all business sizes, so a lot of people can benefit from the course.
Date published: 2016-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond Amazing for Business Skills Wow, what a tremendous and great series on business skills. To say that I've learned a lot is an understatement. This is not an exaggeration coming from someone who has had a serious amount of science education but no formal business education. Yes, it was actually easy to follow along on all the five sections, but the finance part took a little longer. ( It is important to review the public company financial reports that the finance professor was referring to). The business value contained in the lecture series is probably not found elsewhere in the classroom or virtual web world. To have five experts who happen to teach extremely well educate an audience that could possess different business backgrounds in their very field of expertise is ingenious. Here's my advice: write down all the ideas that each professor refers to in the "Tool Kits," they are truly invaluable.
Date published: 2016-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Five-Part Course This five-part 60-lecture course ranks among the very best of the 70+ TGC courses I have taken over the past twelve years. The course masterfully delivers on its promise to provide the foundations of an MBA curriculum and allows the student to gain a firm understanding of the fundamentals of how businesses plan, strategize, and operate. Each 12-lecture section is well-chosen, and each professor is dynamic and engaging. I enjoyed every lecture, and the course never dragged. Perhaps most tellingly, I finished the 60-lecture course in less time than I have finished many 24-lecture courses. I opted for the video version, which I think made an important difference only in the finance and accounting section, where understandably the lectures were heavily dependent on visual images. I also think each professor has succeeded in making the course relevant to business novices and experts alike; in true Goldilocks fashion, the novice should not fear the course, and the MBA should not reject it as too elementary. My highest recommendation!
Date published: 2016-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Set of Five Mini-Courses This course epitomizes why I listen to the Great Courses. This is really five "mini-courses" rolled into one covering six key business topics: (i) strategy; (ii) operations; (iii) finance and accounting; (iv) organizational behavior; and (v) marketing. Each mini-course covers twelve lectures. Each is extremely well-taught and effectively covers a lot of ground. This course is perfect for anyone in business regardless of whether you work for a large company or small business. The course works equally well for businesses in the service industry and those selling products. Every lesson was worth the time, and I gleaned something of value from each. Speaking of value, each of these classes could stand alone but bundling them together makes this course a tremendous value. This ranks among the best of the Great Courses.
Date published: 2016-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Critical Business Skills for Success This is one of the best courses I have taken with the Great Courses. I have taken these courses since the beginning of Teaching Company so that is no small praise. I received my MBA in 1979 but this course brings me back to much that I learned and brought me up to date to what the new MBAs are now learning. The book can serve as a reference on its own.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Critical Business Skills for Success This course covers material very similar to material for an MBA which is one of the reasons I chose this course. It is everything I expected. The professor is succinct and the content is easy to grasp. Reading the material before listening is highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiration on Steroids Got ideas? This course puts it all into perspective and will inspire both the new as well as seasoned entrepreneur to hone in on straegy for laying a great foundation. It is pesented in an engaging and thought provoking manner that will challenge your mind and assist you in strategic planning . The time I invested in watching, note taking has already resulted in great dividends of opprtunity and challenged me to be more productive in business pursuits.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enlightenment I have a business degree from a fairly well regarded university (non-ivy), and for the many years I have been listening/watching teachco lectures, have been frustrated by their lack of coverage of business and economics. Good news is in the last 3-4 years they have started working at seriously addressing that. So, this course. This is not a mini-MBA. It's coverage of critical topics, especially in finance is well short of the necessary. The staggering failure tho, is in technology. I did my entire career in IT and finance, and have lived (since 1971) the transformation. Competence in technology now determines everything. Your CFO sits on that jet with a laptop and spreadsheets deciding your capability. Your marketing guy is desperately trying to get his product to surface above the noise. If you're making things and haven't yet linked your MRP to your vendors' and your clients', you are already dead. Outsourcing your stuff to SAP or Oracle or India is a strategy only for those who are already capable. Doing it when you are not is simply making you a pigeon to be plucked by Ellison and his raiders. Given how poor TeachCo has been at technology in the past, I guess that should have been anticipated. That they are now attempting to fix their failures should have resulted in the course designers having something of a clue to the importance. In the 70's everyone became a marketing company. In the '90s everyone was a financial engineer. Today you better be a geek. Ask the former head of Target about the impact of cyber security on the income statement.
Date published: 2015-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent resource for entrepreneurs I'm in the process of acquiring a small business. This course has been helpful in preparing me for the succession of the business. The professors give a superb presentation and the content is first-rate. I've been doing a lot a research in other places and this course is well rounded covering all the necessary topics. My only argument is that it is geared towards bigger businesses and large corporations in places, especially in the financing section. Despite a focus on larger companies in places, I could still make the content relevant to small businesses. It would be nice to see the Teaching Company make a course tailored to small businesses.
Date published: 2015-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely first rate I start an MBA program in the next few months and wanted an overview of what to expect. I am also actively involved in strategy and operations of our hospital. I found this course invaluable and have already convinced our administration to buy multiple copies for all mid and upper level managers and leaders. It is that good! All 5 professors are stellar, articulate, well-versed in their field and use plenty of real life examples to drive home pertinent points. They are certainly among the best in the TC faculty. The sections on strategy, organizational behavior and marketing do not need any prerequisite knowledge. They are very clear, informative and downright fun to listen to. The 12 lectures on organizational behavior were simply masterpieces that apply to everyone, business oriented or not, as they cover self organization, communication, social interaction, coaching and leadership. I certainly hope to see more courses from this professor in the future. Operations is a bit more difficult and a basic knowledge of microeconomics may be helpful though not essential. Most likely you will need to hear this section twice to take in all the valuable information. The most challenging section is Finance and Accounting. I had already taken such a course before and was impressed that the professor covered topics deemed 'beyond the scope' of my previous course, namely how to calculate the 'discount rate' for net present value. Also be warned that finance is like math. It is tough to understand the material unless you actually do some problem solving. It would have been nice if this section contained problems that the student would have to work through. I think students without previous courses in accounting or finance will find this section difficult, but the effort is still worth it. In any case, I highly recommend this course to anyone needing to sharpen their managerial skills at work. I also strongly recommend supplementing this course with TCs 'The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal' and 'Mathematical Decision Making: Predictive Models and Optimization' for a complete mini MBA eduation. Well-done TC! More courses like this please!.
Date published: 2015-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's like an entire first year MBA curriculum I will be recommending this series to every manager in my organization, whether they already have an MBA or not. I listened to the audio version, and I was enthralled and amazed by these wonderful professors and this incredibly ambitious series. It is essentially the entire core first year MBA curriculum, spanning 60 lectures, with 5 professors taking on the core requirements of the typical MBA: Management strategy, Operations Management, Accounting, Finance, Organization Behavior, and Marketing. I have an MBA from a top business school, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in the classroom, and any good business manager knows that you can never stop learning and reviewing the fundamentals. So my perspective listening to this series was that most of the concepts were not new, but all of it was valuable, and every section offered helpful new frameworks for me to use in thinking about my organization, my management style, and the business issues we all face in the 21st century. It should not come as a surprise that the sections on management strategy, organizational behavior, and marketing were the most entertaining (and most suited for audio), while the sections on accounting and operations had their dry moments. From my perspective, this is the nature of the beast, and in no way a reflection on the professors, each of which is excellent in his own right: Management Strategy is taught by Professor Michael Roberto, who has taught at NYU, Harvard, and Bryant. If you have watched or listened to The Great Courses titles on Transformational Leadership or Critical Decision Making (both excellent), then you already know how great Professor Roberto is. You’ll be happy to know that his lectures n this series are not redundant at all with those titles. You also will not be surprised to know they are highly organized and entertaining at the same time. He offers a fresh framework for thinking about business strategy that should be relevant to anybody from entrepreneurs to middle managers to Fortune 500 executives. Every one of Professor Roberto’s lectures offers the winning formula of a logical framework for the principles at hand plus real world stories that you can repeat to help remember and spread the wisdom in your organization. The lecture on The Danger of Straddling may be my favorite. Operations Management is taught by Professor Thomas Goldsby from Ohio State. Goldsby spends a lot of time at the beginning of this section defining operations and describing the critical role it plays in business success. He does a great job, and for the inexperienced manager, this is critical. For me, this part was a little too much review; but once we got into the details of things like inventory management, business process reengineering, and performance measurement, I was hooked and learned a lot about how operations managers approach these topics, and some of the common pitfalls encountered. Most of what I remember from my Operations classes is learning linear programming models. This series, for what it’s worth, offers a higher-level strategic view of operations management. There is math in some lectures, but it’s more about the types of metrics one would use to measure operational effectiveness. The subjects of Accounting and Finance are taught in tandem by Professor Eric Sussman from UCLA. I never would have believed that you could cover these topics effectively in an audio series, and no doubt this is the one section where you might wish you'd opted for the video version, but still, Sussman amazingly pulls it off. All of the examples used are actual financial reports from companies like Apple, Intel, and Walmart. Accounting and Finance are of course important both for the business manager and the personal investor. Professor Sussman provides both perspectives, making this section different from the rest of the course. For my purposes, there was a little too much emphasis on the investor point of view, though all of it was relevant. To be clear, if you’ve never seen an income statement or balance sheet or cash flow statement, then you will no doubt start to get lost with the audio version, or at least would want to have examples of these financial statements in front of you, or refer regularly to the guidebook. If you have been exposed to these types of statements in the past, and can follow simple math in your head, you'll be OK. Organizational Behavior is taught by Professor Clinton Longenecker at the University of Toledo. Wow. What a find he is. I’m not surprised that he has won over 40 teaching awards. The field of organizational behavior can be tackled from a variety of angles. For these 12 lectures, Professor Longenecker switches the tone of the course towards a very direct advice mode, much in the same vein as the outstanding Great Courses titles “The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal” and “Art of Conflict Management.” If you haven’t enjoyed those series, trust me; this is high praise. Any one of these 12 lectures is worth the price of admission, whether you are just entering the workforce or leading a staff of hundreds or thousands. It is a switch in tone from the rest of the series, and honestly not what I expected, but as somebody who has both studied organization behavior and worked in a variety of management roles, I found the content to be outstanding, and words to live by. Highly relevant whether you are just starting out in the business world, or a top executive looking to lead, motivate, and communicate effectively. Marketing is taught by another brilliant find – Professor Ryan Hamilton, a Northwestern/Kellogg School PhD now teaching at Emory University. This is a field I know well, so I was prepared to be critical, but Professor Hamilton knocked it out of the park with this highly-organized and entertaining set of lectures on the fundamentals of marketing. He presents a highly thoughtful, highly organized framework that should be taught in every business school. While most introductory marketing courses start with the “Four Ps” framework (product, price, promotion, and place), Professor Hamilton starts instead with marketing strategy – how to segment a market, target a segment, position your offering, and create value for your chosen segment. This marketing strategy section addresses common misperceptions about what marketing is, and is an outstanding bookend to Professor Roberto’s strategy lectures that opened the course. Professor Hamilton then turns to tactics, pointing out that the four Ps – and even branding itself – are simply tactics. There is much to learn about these tactics, but they are meaningless in the absence of a strategy based on segmentation, targeting, and positioning. It would be impossible in a survey course such as this to delve deeply into the science and art behind all marketing tactics, but Professor Hamilton provides a clear framework for thinking about each tactic, the roles they play, and common pitfalls in execution. Like Professor Roberto earlier, Professor Hamilton peppers his lectures with real world case studies and cautionary tales that help make things entertaining and memorable. All in, an epic series that I will recommend to others and certainly return to in years to come.
Date published: 2015-05-22
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