Sunday, May 11, 2008

Free e MBA( SM) by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

The Free Micro-eMBA(SM)

Developed by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.

This Complete, Free Development Program Can Be Implemented:

  • By professional and service organizations to promptly provide a business and management development program in their locale. (This program can be adopted "as is" or modified. Guidelines are included herein for carrying out the program.)
  • As a free, self-paced program for entrepreneurs, leaders and managers.
  • As a free, self-paced program for trainers and developers to better understand basic systems and concepts in business. (In conjunction with this program, trainers and developers would also benefit from understanding the competencies needed to effectively consult to businesses, including by working from preferred business-oriented outcomes. The list at the following site may be very useful: Knowledge and Skills Necessary for Competence in Organization Development.)

Program is Non-Degree-Granting -- It's Entirely For Your Learning

To grant degrees or certificates, we would need to evaluate or "grade" the results of your studies. To do that, we'd have to pay ourselves or other evaluators. To get those funds for those payments, we'd have to charge fees. Thus, the program no longer would be free.

Service organizations that adopt this program to provide it in their locale may choose to include evaluation and certification for learners and, if so, guidelines for these activities are included herein, as well.

If You Are Focusing on Nonprofit Organizational Development, Instead of For-Profit:

This program is focused mostly on for-profit business organizations. If you prefer to learn about and/or start a nonprofit organization, see the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA(SM).

Sections in This Topic Include:

Who Can Benefit from Program
Results for Learners and Their Organizations
Nature of Learners Who Will -- and Won't -- Thrive in this Program
Program Design and Format of Learning Modules
Cost of Program and Time to Complete It
Please Tell Others About This Program!
Providing Program Requires Little in Resources and Expertise -- Here's How!
Program Not to Be Used Primarily to Generate Profits
About Program Developer
How Do I Get Started?
Catalog of Learning Modules
Links to Each Learning Module

Who Can Benefit From Program

  • Highly motivated learners who:
    - Wish to understand key principles, concepts and terms in business
    - Have limited time and / or money
    - Prefer to manage, schedule and locate their own learning experiences
    - Prefer highly practical results from programs
  • Leaders and managers:
    - Seeking guidance to understand business, start a business organization or to firm up the foundation of an already established organization
  • Service providers (associations, training centers, etc.)
    - That wish to offer highly accessible and practical professional and organization development programs in their areas
  • Middle managers or entry-level personnel
    - Who desire highly accessible and adaptable means to professional development for advancement in their careers
  • Consultants who
    - Desire better understanding of business and organizations, their systems and practices, in order to provide more effective services to clients
    - Wish to establish stronger credibility with clients by understanding the world of managers and leaders in the workplace

Results for Learners and Their Organizations

Personal and Organizational Outcomes (knowledge, skills and abilities)

Basic understanding and skills about:
  • Self-directed learning and self-management (in preparation for completing this program)
  • Feasibility analysis during considerations to start a business
  • Common structures, systems, cultures and life cycles
  • Roles and functions of chief executive officer and board of directors
  • Building and operating a board of directors (in the case of corporations)
  • Basic, critical skills in management and leadership in order to plan, organize, lead and coordinate activities in an organization
  • Strategic analysis, planning and implementation
  • Marketing, including market research and analysis, pricing, competitive analysis, production, distribution, sales and customer service
  • Financial management, including basics of bookkeeping, cash management, financial reporting and analysis
  • Staffing and supervising employees, including job definition, recruiting, hiring, performance management and personnel policies
  • Business ethics, including practical guidelines for managing ethics, roles and responsibilities, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, policies, resolving ethical dilemmas and training of employees

Program Outputs (tangible results)

Learners in the program produce the following results:
  • Job description of chief executive officer
  • Management and leadership training plans
  • Complete resources to equip board members
  • Training plan and materials to train the board
  • Strategic plan
  • Operating budgets
  • Product marketing analysis
  • Public and media relations plan
  • Sales plan
  • Advertising and promotions plan
  • Financial reports and analysis
  • Customer service plan
  • Policies for staffing and supervising employees
  • Policies and codes to guide toward highly ethical behavior in the workplace
  • Substantial cost savings from continued access to free, complete, online materials for personal, professional and organizational development

Note that the recurring processes that produce the above items are at least as important -- if not more important -- than the items themselves. This program carefully guides the learner through those processes.

Nature of Learners Who Will -- and Won't -- Thrive in this Program

Who Will Thrive

This highly accessible and practical program is particularly useful for highly motivated learners who:
  1. Trust their own ability to manage and carry out their own learning
  2. Understand that in learning, you don't always get what you pay for -- but you get out what you put in
  3. Prefer practical results (along with powerful outcomes) from a program, e.g., results such as plans, policies and procedures, job descriptions, financial statements, etc.
  4. Who cannot afford to pay the rapidly increasing costs of tuition and materials
  5. Who are geographically remote from educational facilities
  6. Prefer to schedule and locate their own learning experiences
  7. Can see the value of self-directed, “homeschooled” learning with the support of peers in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality
  8. Prefer to share ongoing ideas, materials and support among peers
  9. Lastly, learners will thrive in this state-of-the-art program if they have a sense of adventure about new experiences and the patience for learning new ways of doing things

Who Will Not Thrive

Perhaps the best way to convey the nature of people who won't thrive in this program is to point out certain myths about learning that many of us have come to believe over the years. This program will not be appealing to people who tend to believe (consciously or unconsciously) that:
  1. The prettier the content and materials, the more valid the content and materials
  2. The more expensive the program, the more learning that will be accomplished (the fallacy of "executive-level pricing")
  3. The more books and binders in the program, the more learning in the program
  4. Program certification and diplomas represent guaranteed learning that was accomplished by participants in the program
  5. Learning occurs primarily in a classroom
  6. Educators can always manage learners' learning better than the learners themselves

Program Design and Format of Learning Modules

Arrangement of Modules -- From Building Basics to Organizational Fitness Test

The program includes 10, online learning modules. Modules are "courses" through which learners progress in the program. Materials and activities for learning are tightly integrated with each other across various modules in the program. A listing of the learning modules is included in the section Catalog of Learning Modules provided near the end of this program description. The section Links to Learning Modules directs learners through the learning modules in the order depicted in the catalog. Note that learners can choose to complete modules according to their own needs, as well.

Learners Can Start Anywhere in the Program

The program can be highly useful to learners regardless of the order in which they go through the modules in the program. Learning modules are arranged generally in the order needed to develop an organization from the ground up. Learners who are going through the program primarily as a form of training and development can proceed in a sequential fashion through the Links to Learning Modules, and in each module address the a) topics for discussion and reflection and the b) activities to build systems and practices.

Note that the activities required to build and manage a healthy organization are usually very cyclical in nature -- for example, product planning often produces learning that, in turn, polishes previous strategic planning activities. Therefore, learners are guided to revisit certain portions of various learning modules at various points in the program.

Format of Each Learning Module

Learning modules (other than the first and last) have the following format:
  • Introduction -- explains how the module fits into the program and the overall process of business and organization development
  • Specific Materials for Review -- references specific and free materials for review and study; these are needed to respond to all suggested topics for discussion and reflection and to the learning activities required to build basic systems and practices
  • Specific Topics and Questions for Reflection and Discussion -- highlights key concepts to understand about the overall topic of the learning module
  • Specific Activities to Build Systems and Practices -- guides the learner to develop the basic systems and practices to successfully build and manage the organization
  • Assessments -- helps the learner measure and / or evaluate extent of application of that topic to the learner's organization
  • Tracking Open Action Items -- guides the learner throughout the program to consistently record and track any incomplete action items remaining from the current and previous learning modules
  • Reminders to Learners -- poses miscellaneous reminders for learners to ensure they're using information and skills from previous learning modules

Cost of Program and Time to Complete It

Program Costs

The cost of the program depends very much on how the learner chooses to go through the program. If the learner chooses to go through the program on their own (rather than, for example, as part of a group of learners sponsored by a local service provider), the program is entirely free. Otherwise, program costs are determined by the local service provider who sponsors the program.

Time to Complete Program

Learners can go through all of the modules in the program or they can choose their own set of modules and how those modules will be completed. Consequently, the amount of time to complete the program depends very much on how the learner chooses to go through the program. The more time and energy that learners invest in in the program, the more they will learn and accomplish for their organizations and careers.

Many of the learning activities in this program are activities that organizational leaders and managers should do in the workplace anyway to develop a healthy organization. Consequently, time to conduct these learning activities in the program should not be viewed only as "time in the program"; rather, this program helps learners turn their organizations and careers into "learning labs" where they get things done -- and learn at the same time.

As a very rough estimate, learners can spend anywhere from 10-40 hours in each module -- again this amount of time depends very much on how thorough learners are in reviewing learning materials and conducting activities to deepen and enrich that learning.

Certain modules include more learning activities than others. Therefore, the program sponsor and learners may choose to dedicate more than one meeting for these modules. For more information, Suggested Number of Meetings Per Learning Module in Here's How to Provide the Program.

Please Tell Others About This Program!

  • The vast majority of small- to medium-sized businesses have very limited time and money -- yet the majority of these businesses still do not tap the vast reserve of free resources available on the Internet and Web! Please help spread the word!
  • Please print out this program flier and place copies appropriately around your business community.
  • If you know of service providers who will see value in providing this nature of program, please tell them. You might suggest they read the program description at
  • If you're a service provider to businesses and communities, please consider offering this program as a service in your area.

Thank you!!!

Providing the Program Requires Little in Resources and Expertise -- Here's How!

Providing the program in your area requires little in resources and expertise. See Here's How to Provide the Program.

Within certain limits, I can also work with you to customize the program to suit your needs, if needed. For example, you may want to modify certain topics.

Program Not to Be Used Primarily to Generate Profits

This program was developed on a pro bono basis as a service to the management, training and development communities. The study materials for the program are contained in the Free Management Library, also developed as a pro bono service. Because of the pro bono nature of the program and its resources, the program should not be used primarily to generate profits. Specifically, any fees to learners to participate in this program should be no more than the very low costs incurred to provide and operate the program.

About Program Developer

Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, is a Twin Cities-based consultant and co-founder of Authenticity Consulting, LLC, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also founder of the Free Management Library, one of the world's largest collections of free, online materials for the business, management, and training and development community. The Library and this free business and organization development program are graciously hosted by MAP.

Carter has 20 years of increasing leadership and management experience in a variety of organizations including startup, large for-profit corporation, public-private, nonprofit and large university. His background includes internal and external consulting in various areas of management and organization development.

He received the University of St. Thomas 1996 Community Service Award for volunteering over 200 hours a year over four years to area nonprofits. He holds a B.A. in Social and Behavioral Science, a B. S. in Computer Science, an MBA and a PhD in Human and Organization Development. The focus of his PhD studies was on organization and management development, including self-directed and peer-based forms of collaboration and learning.

How Do I Get Started?

Begin proceeding through the modules by referencing the Links to Learning Modules included later on below.

Catalog of Learning Modules

NOTE: Various modules include optional sections about boards of directors. This applies primarily to business organizations that are formed as corporations. These sections can be skipped by learners who are not interested specifically in boards of directors.

Module 1: Program Orientation -- Getting Most from This Program

· Guidelines for You to Get Most from Program
· Tips to Improve Your Reading and Studying Skills
· Extensive Free, Online Resources About Business
· Designing Your Best Approach to Completing the Program

Module 2: Starting and Understanding Your Business Organization

· Conduct Feasibility Analysis About Starting an Organization
· Key Roles in Your Organization
· Basic Structures in Your Organization
· Life Cycles of Your Organization
· Culture of Your Organization

Module 3: Understanding Role of Chief Executive

· What is a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?
· Major Functions of CEO
· Core Knowledge and Skills for CEO Role
· Early Preparation for Building Board
· Early Preparation for Strong Board-Staff Relationships
· Avoiding "Founder's Syndrome"

Module 4: Developing Your Basic Management & Leadership Skills

· Basic Skills in:
· · · Problem Solving/Decision Making
· · · Planning
· · · Delegation
· · · Internal Communications
· · · Meeting Management
· · · Managing Yourself
· Optional -- Advanced Topics in Management and Leadership
· Optional -- Designing Your Management and Leadership Development Plans

Module 5: Building and Training Your Board of Directors

· Understanding Board Roles and Responsibilities
· Building Policies and Committees
· Building Committees
· Recruiting New Members
· Ensuring Strong Participation
· Board and CEO Evaluations
· Board Calendar and Operations
· Organizing Board Manual
· Training Board Members

Module 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan

· Understanding Strategic Planning
· Writing Your Mission, Vision and Values Statements
· Conducting Strategic Analysis
· Setting Strategic Direction
· Conducting Action Planning
· Developing Operating Budgets
· Writing and Communicating Your Plan
· Monitoring and Evaluating Your Plan

Module 7: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

· Conducting Market Analysis for Each Product/Service
· Developing Your Public and Media Relations Plan
· Developing Your Sales Plan
· Developing Your Advertising and Promotions Plan
· Organizing Your Marketing and Promotions Plans

Module 8: Managing Your Accounting and Finances

· Basics of Bookkeeping
· Budgeting
· Cash Management
· Financial Statements
· Financial Analysis

Module 9: Staffing and Supervising Your Employees

· Defining New Job Roles
· Recruiting Job Candidates
· Screening Applicants
· Orienting New Employees
· Delegating to Employees
· Ensuring Strong Performance
· Firing Employees
· Personnel Policies and Handbooks

Module 10: Practical Guide to Managing Ethics in the Workplace

· What is Business Ethics?
· Myths About Business Ethics
· 10 Benefits of Managing Ethics
· Ethics Management System
· 8 Guidelines for Managing Ethics
· 6 Key Roles and Responsibilities
· Ethics Tools: Codes of Ethics
· Ethics Tools: Codes of Conduct
· Ethics Tools: Policies
· Ethics Tools: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
· Ethics Tools: Training

Links to Learning Modules

Each of the following modules suggests specific materials for review, specific topics and questions for discussion and reflection, and specific activities to develop basic systems and practices. Various modules also include assessments and guidelines to record and monitor action items from current and previous learning modules.

Module 1: Program Orientation -- Getting the Most from This Program

Module 2: Starting and Understanding Your Organization

Module 3: Role of Chief Executive Officer

Module 4: Developing Basic Skills in Management and Leadership

Module 5: Building and Maintaining Your Board of Directors (eg, in corporations)

Module 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan

Module 7: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

Module 8: Managing Finances in Your Organization

Module 9: Staffing and Supervising Your Employees

Module 10: Managing Ethics in the Workplace: Practical Guide for Managers

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