Helen Davies is currently studying our MBA in Healthcare Management online – March 2021
The MBA in Healthcare Management online: Three disarmingly familiar topics down, three spicy modules to go!
I’ve just completed module 3 of the EMBA Healthcare Management course – this means I’m already halfway through my course learning content with just three modules to go! They happen to be the three online modules I have been anticipating the most (I’ll tell you why in a little while), but for now I’m still all fired up with module 3. For a full stack product manager type like me, this last module has been a fantastic indulgence, a deep dive into marketing models, strategies and exploring seminal academic marketing theories on a broad business topic that appeals to most of us.
Ask me about sausage roll strategy!
It’s been a joy to be allowed, encouraged even to fully geek out on the marketing strategies of major international brands, to research and discuss with my learning group how these organisations define their audience, develop their brands and promote their products to the world. Ask me about the ‘number one sausage roll supplier in the UK’ and their vegan sausage roll launch – I’d love to chat ‘customer demand’ and ‘audience led sustainable product development’ with you!
We’re all part time marketers, right?
In my working experience, there’s a strong feeling amongst product and leadership teams that marketing activities are the fun part of business and product strategies – the part where everyone feels they know something and are confident in contributing their views, often when they don’t have ‘marketing’ in our job titles. I’ve heard the phrase many times – ‘we’re all part time marketers’ – this rather naive view can be based on the fact that as we are all consumers, the activities and terms appear to be familiar, ergo we must be able to market effectively too, right? Quite wrong, actually!
Read Helen’s first blog post about her “new normal” and rationale for studying the online EMBA in Healthcare Management
Marketing draws you in and leaves you in awe!
Marketing theory may sound instantly familiar, is eye-wateringly broad and varied in terms of the amount of academic papers, model variations and theories that are out there, but what I have learned from the weekly scenarios posed by our experienced specialist tutor and in discussions and exploration with my learning group, is that marketing models work well when they are applied well, with a depth of knowledge for frameworks and co-dependencies, when there is experience and insight behind the strategies that support product development, harness market intelligence and generate sales leads in competitive markets. Marketing as a topic draws you in with familiarity and quickly leaves you in awe at the complexity yet robustness of the most well known and established models.
Hold my hand – I’m not a CFO!
And so onto Module 4 – Financial Management. In comparison to the module before, collectively my learning group would have happily dropped this like a hot sausage roll! For every executive who claims to know something about marketing – I haven’t met many (myself included) who would say the same for unsolicited discussions about the complexities of cash flow statements. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve successfully managed large product budgets, pitched for external and internal funding and forecast revenue growth plans in competitive markets, but the term ‘financial’ still feels like a cold hand on my shoulder.
But everything is going to be ok, as our superb tutor for this module has already reassured us in week one, the online content has been expertly designed to give non-financial managers and leaders who may nonetheless be responsible for considerable budgets, the tools and insight to confidently understand and engage in financial discussions at all levels of their organisation, to accurately interpret the features of financial statements and to gainfully challenge, forecast and lead the decisions made for business and organisational areas.
So we’re working through this together, steered by a kind, experienced tutor and this topic is bringing us even closer as a learning group – despite our initial misgivings, we’re sharing our calculations, exploring leading articles and theories, to gain a deeper understanding of the financial position of an organisation and how we can interpret it, communicate this to our teams and drive financial performance forward.
‘Then just straight on through the chompers’
If you know this movie quote, we can be friends! This is how I felt going into module 4, but I now see this financial module as my personal warm up for the nitty gritty section of the whole course – as we march on to module 5 and 6 which are entirely focused on the core topic of the course – healthcare management.
I’m so pleased to be taking this journey with some amazing healthcare leaders from around the world and from the depth of detail and the currency of content we’ve worked through so far, I’m anticipating a detailed, insightful second half.
My usual face when viewing a corporate cash flow statement for the first time – saying something like ‘I know it all means something, but where have all my figures gone?’