Comprehensive course analysis
Who should attend
- Individual contributors interested in transitioning to leadership
- New managers
- Professionals who need to fill gaps in business fundamentals
- Professionals with work experience but no formal business training
- Professionals transitioning into roles within a corporate environment
- Small business owners and entrepreneurs
About the course
Mastering the fundamentals of business management is critical to success in any industry, whether you work in a large organization or run your own small business. No matter the size of your budget or staff, you need to manage your money well, market your product effectively, and make sure the right people are motivated and supported to help achieve your goals. Perhaps most importantly, you need to be able to adapt based on new information and ever-changing market conditions.
The courses in this program are designed to give you a broad view of the key functions at the heart of any organization so you can make better decisions and accelerate your growth as a leader. You’ll come away with a strong foundational understanding of business that you can apply to your work, whether you’re starting your career, changing your current career, or even creating a new career.
Finance and Accounting Principles
At the heart of any business is the ability to track, invest, and manage money. Without the ability to do these three things successfully and honestly, a business will not survive, no matter how good their product or service is. A clear understanding of how money flows into and out of an organization allows us to attract investors, identify investment opportunities, decide with what organizations to form relationships or partnerships, and even manage your own personal finances.
In this course, you will examine the different roles of accounting and finance and how each influences a business. You will analyze the financial documents used by accounting and finance in all businesses: the income statement and the balance sheet. Understanding the numbers on these documents will allow you to interpret financial information to inform decision making in numerous personal and professional capacities.
Marketing is more than just an advertisement; it is the intersection of numerous decisions that allow a product or service to exist in the world and be purchasable.
Whether an organization plans to serve individual consumers or other businesses, they need a plan for how they are going to discover, keep, and grow their customer base. In this course, you will be introduced to a systematic way of thinking about marketing all products and services. You'll discover how to define your target market, how to focus on their needs and wants by providing the right kinds of value, and how to attract them (and retain them) as customers. A three-part course project to create a strategic marketing brief will give you practice in performing all of the valuable activities that enable you to discover, target, reach, acquire, and retain your customer base.
Strategic Business Planning and Forecasting
As the saying goes, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." It's not enough to simply have a product or service worth buying; there are many factors you need to consider, such as: How many choices do customers have for a similar product? How many competitors do you have, and what are their strategies for competing with you? If you suddenly need a new supplier, will it interrupt production or force you to raise prices? How likely is it that new competitors enter your market? Answering these questions requires careful planning as well as a thorough understanding of your competition, your suppliers, and your customers.
In this course, you will identify the three major strategies that your company can select as it competes in the marketplace, and you will examine the characteristics of companies that pursue each strategy. You will also identify the various activities involved in supporting your chosen strategy alongside the complexity of acquiring raw materials and converting them into products for the end customer. Additionally, you will conduct an analysis to help assess your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Finally, you will balance your planning against the often conflicting needs of a company's stakeholders, its shareholders, and the society in which it operates.
Operating as an organization takes coordinated effort. Companies need to structure themselves in a way that supports their goals. They need to describe job duties clearly so everyone knows how their role supports those goals. They need to attract and support the right talent, and determine how employees can best influence each other to achieve their common objectives. It takes a lot of work to get — and stay — organized.
In this course, you will examine the various organizational methods that help support a chain of command. You will also analyze, describe, and specify a job position to help ensure that everyone knows how their role supports overall company goals. You will design an HR management process to recruit the right potential employees, identify the best candidates, welcome them to the organization, and support them as they work. You will describe the organizational culture of a company and determine its role in helping employees do their best work. Finally, you will describe the uses of power in organizations, as employees influence one another in pursuit of common goals. In the five-part project, you will develop an organizational brief that considers each step of organizing a firm so that you can better structure the inner workings of a company to support its goals.
Leading Without Authority
Leadership is not just for leaders. Whether you have formal leadership authority or not, everyone faces leadership challenges. At heart, companies are people, and many challenges in the workplace come down to how to inspire, support, and reward people.
In this course, you will explore several different strategies to help motivate and lead people. Initially, you will distinguish between factors that increase job satisfaction and factors that decrease job dissatisfaction, as research shows these are not always connected. You will also design strategies to influence motivation, effort, and job performance. You will identify the types of capital in a group or team and explain how this capital can help build and support high-performing teams. Finally, you will design conflict resolution strategies and employ negotiation tactics when conflict inevitably occurs in the workplace.
Navigating the Global Business Landscape
Today's business world is dramatically different from what it was 20 years ago. We communicate faster, more frequently, and with more people than ever before. We're expected to sift through massive amounts of information in very little time, come up with valuable ideas constantly, bring them to market quickly, and solve problems rapidly.
In this course, you will practice using the skills needed to succeed in changing global markets. Keeping up with change requires sharing good information with colleagues. This course will help you practice communicating formal and informal messages to various stakeholders in order to make sure that messages are clear and that misunderstanding is minimized. You will also create a personal networking strategy that helps focus your professional development. Additionally, you will explore the entrepreneurial process of ideation and describe the transformational power of disruptive technologies in industries, firms, and occupations. You will also select and categorize a business according to its stage of globalization and evaluate its strategy. Finally, you will examine various business actions according to different ethical frameworks.
Key course takeaways
- Define organizational vision and establish strategic goals to set the path for long-term success
- Read and analyze financial statements to help inform business decisions
- Develop a marketing strategy for an organization
- Create an organizational structure and assign appropriate job roles to make sure that the right people can help achieve business goals
- Select motivation strategies to lead employees, whether individually or in teams
- Practice the skills necessary to thrive in rapidly changing global markets
Pedro David Pérez is senior lecturer of applied economics and management at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. He teaches large format introductory courses to business management and entrepreneurship at Cornell since 2001. He has degrees in chemical and industrial en...
David Taylor, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Business Management/Marketing Communications at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. His research focuses on consumer behavior and the marketing-leadership interface across cultures and has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Marketing and the Cor...
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