MBA & Business Education Guide: Spring 2009 - Your mini MBA

You can get your fix of high-quality business inspiration without spending two years back at school. This shortcut to business brilliance is offered by Richard Reeves and John Knell.

We know you're busy. Too busy to read many of the thousands of business books published each year. Perhaps too busy to attend more than a few 'professional development' courses. And certainly too pressed to take a year or two out to do an MBA course. You may in any case be sceptical about how much you can learn from the gurus, professors and corporate titans who line up to proffer their advice.

We're with you. Business courses and books can, of course, be enlightening and inspiring. But more often, they are a mixture of the blindingly obvious and wildly utopian. In the years we've been researching and advising on organisational issues, we've realised the value of simply cutting to the chase. No throat-clearing, windy anecdotes or lengthy case studies: just the key insights and killer facts.

But it's also clear that we are writing against darkening skies. In the first half of 2008, the scientific evidence that global warming is reaching a dangerous tipping-point - beyond which any action will be at best remedial - became incontrovertible. In the second half of 2008, the world's financial system shattered, with the loss of mammoth players such as Lehman's, trillions of dollars of taxpayers' money and all confidence in the capital markets. The political economy of the West has been profoundly reshaped. Our MBA is one constructed in clear sight of a broken planet and a broken financial system.

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