Business Essentials for Managers Specialization

Starts Jul 10

Business Essentials for Managers Specialization

Become an Innovative & Effective Business Manager

Master innovation, finance, operations, and leadership in four hands-on courses

About This Specialization

Learn to drive change, inspire innovation, and cultivate excellence with four practical career-relevant courses taught by some of Vanderbilt’s top business faculty. Each course is designed to accelerate your career trajectory by providing hands-on training in one of four key areas—innovation, finance, operations, and leadership—and every course concludes with a real-world project that will help you demonstrate your value and expertise to current and potential future employers. When you complete the Specialization, you’ll have the tools you need to position yourself for a promotion, job change, or any other growth opportunity. You will also be eligible for 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion.

Created by:

courses
4 courses

Follow the suggested order or choose your own.

projects
Projects

Designed to help you practice and apply the skills you learn.

certificates
Certificates

Highlight your new skills on your resume or LinkedIn.

Projects Overview

Courses
Intermediate Specialization.
Some related experience required.
  1. COURSE 1

    Strategic Innovation Toolkit for Managers

    Upcoming session: Jul 10 — Aug 14.
    Commitment
    3-4 hours/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Does your business culture nurture innovation, or stifle it? Are you looking for ways to build your business creatively but finding daunting constraints at every turn? This course is designed to help you understand the forces that limit innovation, identify those barriers in your own business culture, and break free of them to realize the full value of your imagination. You’ll learn new skills and strategies that you can immediately apply to drive innovation in your group or organization, and you’ll build an understanding of the six most common constraints on innovation in both individual and group settings—that is, the six ways that creative thinking is often sabotaged before it can produce results. You’ll also learn to recognize stakeholders who are actively invested in stopping your ideas in their tracks. Finally, you’ll examine societal and technical constraints that you’ll need to overcome to foster a forward-thinking culture. Through case studies and interactive exercises, you’ll learn how to: - Generate, assess, and implement great ideas in your organization - Build your organization’s capacity for innovation, including creating an innovative culture - Lead innovation projects, processes, and teams - Recognize big issues lurking on the horizon before they become constraints - Drive adoption of great ideas - Develop and manage an innovation portfolio - Innovate to stay relevant and competitive in a fast-changing landscape
  2. COURSE 2

    Financial Accounting Toolkit for Decision Making

    Upcoming session: Jul 3 — Aug 7.
    Commitment
    4 weeks of study, 4-5 hours/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    This course gives you a firm grounding in both the theory and practical application of finance and accounting for general management, corporate planning, sales, and other functional areas, as well as broad exposure to some of the most important principles of financial decision-making. We’ll cover topics such as asset value, financial performance evaluation, financial theory, and financial accounting, all with a focus on helping you make smarter financial choices for your organization. You’ll learn how to determine the value of an asset by the level and the riskiness of its expected after-tax cash flows; we’ll also cover techniques used to discount cash flows and determine the value implications of investment decisions, as well as guidelines used to construct after-tax cash flow forecasts. Additionally, you’ll learn to estimate risk in the context of modern portfolio theory and talk about the impact of capital structure (your firm’s mix of debt and equity) on the riskiness of financial instruments issued by your firm. In the accounting portion of the course, we’ll give you a basic introduction to financial accounting, including overviews of financial statements, income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flows. You’ll learn about LIFO vs. FIFO accounting, accounting for inventory, and the valuation of long-term assets. When you complete this course, you’ll understand how to: - Utilize financial concepts to make better-informed financial decisions - Apply finance principles to valuing capital investments, applying decision-making criteria for multi-period cash flows, and constructing cash flow forecasts - Evaluate your firm’s performance by recognizing the three main types of financial statements, their characteristics and development over time, and the relationships between them.
  3. COURSE 3

    Operations Management and Strategy Toolkit for Managers

    Upcoming session: Jul 3 — Aug 7.
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Are you looking for a deeper understanding of business strategy, from design through execution? Do you want to lead impactful operational changes in your organization and team? Do you need to respond strategically to global economic trends and industry disruption? This course will give you the confidence to make smarter business decisions and lead strategic change using time-tested processes and tools. We’ll cover the fundamentals of designing and executing a business strategy, measuring results, managing operations and improving processes, and running successful projects that support your business goals. You’ll learn how to: - Plan and implement a business strategy from start to finish - Analyze both the external and internal context of your firm using established analytical frameworks - Identify sources of competitive advantage - Align functional strategies with corporate strategies - Measure success—and distinguish good metrics from bad metrics - Analyze and improve manufacturing and service processes - Use time-tested tools such as process flow diagrams and queuing theory - Design and lead successful projects that support your organizational strategy - Create a work breakdown structure, uncertainty assessment, network diagram, Gantt chart schedule, and communication plan for your project - Close your project effectively
  4. COURSE 4

    Leadership Toolkit for Managers

    Current session: Jun 26 — Jul 31.
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Personal branding is critical for today’s executive—it distinguishes you as a competent authority, helps you establish your own goals for continuous improvement and development of your strengths as a business leader, and empowers you to lead change in your organization through effective management of yourself and others. If you’re looking to establish yourself in a leadership role and align your actions and behaviors with how you want to be perceived, this course is for you. This course is composed of three modules: managing self, managing others, and leading efforts for change. You’ll complete a hands-on project on organizational change that tests your skills in a variety of simulated situations, and you’ll receive detailed feedback about your efforts. You’ll leave with a thorough understanding of how your leadership can make an impact on your organization—and a set of sharpened skills to help you accomplish your goals. You’ll learn how to: Manage teams and foster effective decision-making Create and communicate a vision for workplace change Build coalitions that work Master the art of self-management Develop and manage your executive personal brand Improve your executive presence online, in email and on voice mail Become a more persuasive presenter Most of all, you’ll learn to develop your own unique strengths—and make more meaningful, authentic connections with others.

Creators

  • Vanderbilt University

    With a combination of cutting-edge research, liberal arts education, nationally recognized schools of law, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and one of the nation's top-ranked graduate schools of education, Vanderbilt University creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to address the complex questions affecting our health, culture and society.

    Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tenn., is a private research university and medical center offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

  • Nancy Lea Hyer

    Nancy Lea Hyer

    Associate Professor of Operations Management, and Associate Dean MBA Programs
  • David  A. Owens, PhD, PE

    David A. Owens, PhD, PE

    Professor
  • Ray Friedman

    Ray Friedman

    Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management
  • Mumin Kurtulus

    Mumin Kurtulus

    Associate Professor of Operations Management
  • Paul Chaney

    Paul Chaney

    E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Accounting
  • William G. Christie

    William G. Christie

    Frances Hampton Currey Professor of Management in Finance and Professor of Law
  • M. Eric Johnson

    M. Eric Johnson

    Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy
  • Brian McCann

    Brian McCann

    Associate Professor of Strategic Management
  • Rangaraj Ramanujam, Ph.D.

    Rangaraj Ramanujam, Ph.D.

    Professor of Management
  • Kimberly Pace

    Kimberly Pace

    Professor for the Practice of Communication

FAQs

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.