Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I intend to do with this blog from now on

This blog is an experiment: I'm trying to determine the value of posting work-related material for a broader audience.

"Work" means technical and quasi-technical business material and managerial content. There's nothing like the present post to begin, and I'll do so by separating these two often confused topics:
  • Management is a broad set of skills that can be applied to businesses and to other forms of organization, even to one's own day-to-day life. Typical management functions are planning, command, organization, and control. Other more specialized management skills: situation analysis, decision-making, problem-solving, and conflict resolution (arbitrage, mediation, negotiation). Basically management is the part that controls the work, not the part that does the work of whatever is being managed.
  • Technical business material has to do with management of the various functions of a firm: procurement, conversion, and logistics are typically aggregated as production; management of the interface with the market for the firm's value proposition is called marketing; management of the internal and external markets for money is called finance; management of the personnel and skills in the company is called human resources. There are a few others, but these four are the core of any business.
MBAs typically emphasize the second set (business technique) to the detriment of the first set (management). That is not a good thing, and I'll probably elaborate on why at a later date.

The subtitle of this blog has to do with the fact that current changes in the environment and practice of business comprise a new type of value proposition, which requires both new business techniques and new managerial skills.

En avant.