Thursday, October 27, 2005

Why you have to do an MBA

I’ve read a lot about being able to move up fast in the corporate ladder without being an MBA. That’s bullshit. If you aren’t an MBA, you have no idea about the ‘Art of verbicide’ [I trademark it, but I love Open Source].

Here’s a compulsive reason why you simply have to do an MBA.

A couple of us started this argument over a tea-break when we were particularly ‘vela’ and were free-wheeling our thoughts. I guess the presence of a Dilbert book by our side butterfly-kissed our thought process, but that’s beside the point.

I am a Dilbert fan. I was one four years back. Despite gaining so much of corporate wisdom through Dogbert, Catbert and Ratbert, I never really did understand what my superiors [the ones really high-up in the ladder] spoke. Umm, I guess my English wasn’t all that bad, if that’s what you are thinking. Picture this: I was ‘just another programmer’ who was busy with my own life, but once happened to stumble upon the speech of one of the Vice Presidents of my previous company. I was enchanted at the whole prospect of seeing one of the topmost guys speak. He, to the question of how the company was planning to improve profits, replied that the strategy was to “increase the value proposition of our products and moving up the value chain, and serving the customers even better”.

The trick with that kind of a statement is that it means everything and nothing at the same time. Naïve as I was, I guess I was impressed and fell hands-down for it. If the tea-topic discussion that followed the speech was any indication, I wasn’t alone. Pondering over that statement over the night, I made a vain resolution to further improve my English skills.

That’s the proof that management jargon works. With many of the top-guys communicating in that language, you really have to understand terms like ‘synergy’, ‘proactive solution’, ‘value add’, ‘touch base’ etc to even communicate. Yes, it’s like using pneumanoultramicroscopicsilicovulcanoconiosis instead of a 'lung disease', but tough luck, that’s how it works. You got to be a Roman in Rome.

An MBA might not really be about what you learn in the books. If people say that, it’s probably crap. It might not even be about what you learn in all those infinite case discussions. I’d say it’s all about listening and understanding all the jargon that people play around with, especially when content is as hard to find as an oasis in sub-Sahara, and separating content from intentional verbicide. That brings a funny line I heard somewhere: “MBAs know what paradigm means, while others don’t.” One trade secret revealed: paradigm means bullshit. Verbatim. For learning about the rest though, you got to catch up with an MBA degree. If you thought life was easy, take a hike.

Net-net, the communication ‘learning curve’ [pun, if any, unintentional] is like this: Basic skills + Hardwork = Good skills. Good skills + MBA = Knowledge about the ‘Art of Verbiage’.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the tipping-point for sliming and sliding up.


At Thursday, October 27, 2005 5:18:00 PM, Anonymous Vinaya HS said...

Good one! I understand what you mean having been in this industry for four years. There is a game called Buzzword Bingo! Ever heard about it?

At Thursday, October 27, 2005 7:13:00 PM, Anonymous Lumbergh-in-training said...

By definition, jargon is only for a specific group to best describe what they do. Just like we have computer jargons, engineering jargons, medical jargons etc. Obviously, people not in that group would resent that exclusion. This doesn't mean jargons are bad. Only when they are not used properly do they become bad! Like, when the executives say something - it makes sense to us, but it has no mean to prop up those sentences. Executives are notorious for their sparse usage of words, but only when they give commands or when they are reading some report. If they are talking to a group, it is very difficult to stop them. DO you know the difference between the minions and executives? They wouldn't be talking like I am writing, and they would be writing like we speak!!

At Friday, October 28, 2005 11:48:00 PM, Blogger thennavan said...

You echoed my thoughts. MBA means nothing more than a "Make Believe Audacity". The only way to kill an MBA is by clinically removing their part of the cortex relating to communication and that's it, ho gaya :-)

(Before others want to flame me, I am also part of your ilk, if only with a so-called US Univ "muddhirai" to go with it) :-)

At Saturday, October 29, 2005 5:53:00 AM, Blogger Prasad said...

hehehe :-) ... i liked this post! when you are talking about these kind of things, you should also think about those kind of things.

At Saturday, October 29, 2005 9:06:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Vinaya: Haavent heard that, but Im moving along the learning curve. Will 'develop' soon...

@Manoj: Yeaah, Jargons, but the problems is: biologists and doctors rarely use 'their' vocabulary with others, while MBAs almost always use them.

@Thennavan: LOL!

@Kida: I did align my thoughts to synergisitically improve my thought process to reach up to the low hanging fruits. Duh! I suck at this.


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