In the first four parts of this series, I wrote about the various music, podcasts, or lectures that I listened to on my various road trips. Now that I’m in the DC area on a more permanent basis (completing an MBA), I’m not really in need of a vast sum of lectures/podcasts to listen to as I drive across the country (or between countries). As such, I’ve decided to continue this series and continue taking in extra information, while doing an assortment of activities (commuting, working out, etc.). As with the previous lectures, I’ve obtained all of these from iTunes U and highly recommend you check it out, if you haven’t already.
Making the Perfect Pitch – This was a short lecture (15 minutes) and it was provided by Cambridge University. They interviewed Dr. Darrin Disley, who gave some very poignant advice on the infamous “elevator pitch.” He explained the 9 C’s of elevator speeches, in the form of an elevator speech. The one thing that I pulled from this lecture (which happens to be one of the 9 C’s) is that the elevator pitch should be conversational. The purpose of the elevator pitch is to get the person you’re talking to interested in your pitch (not necessarily sell them on a business plan). The point is just to get the ball rolling.
The Art of the Short Sell – This was a lecture that James Chanos, founder and president of Kynikos Associates, gave to an audience at Yale University. Chanos talked about “10 Lessons From the Financial Crisis That Investors Will Soon Forget (If They Haven’t Already!)” As you can see from the powerpoint presentation, there is so much information in this lecture. The one takeaway for me is that financial history has a way of repeating itself. Chanos says, “Some other firm will be the AIG of the next crisis!”
The following lectures were part of a series called “Building a Business” and were hosted by Oxford University:
Negotiation Skills – This isn’t the first negotiation lecture I’ve listened to on the road. When the speaker began the lecture, I was surprised to recognize the activity from the first negotiation lecture I heard. There were minor changes, but it was essentially the same game. The main takeaways from this lecture how important creating value really is to the success of negotiations. Many people enter negotiations thinking that there is a ‘fixed pie’ that will be distributed between the parties. Instead, the two parties can, together, create value and in essence, add to the pie.
Managing People, Managing Teams – This lecture was given by Tim Cook, (not the new CEO of Apple), but the Tim Cook that is associated with Oxford University. Cook comes from a hard sciences background, so I thought it would be rather interesting to hear his take on managing people. He talked about transactional analysis and recommend Eric Berne’s book. I had already read it and would say that it’s one of the many methods out there for understanding human interaction. He also talked about some other skills that were important like interviewing and the relationship between managers (and the people they manage), as well as the people they interact with, but have no direct managerial “control” over, like politicians, accountants, etc.
Marketing: Creating and Keeping Customers – This lecture was given by Jonathan Reynolds, a professor at Oxford. Given my limited experience with the marketing literature, it was very informative to listen to this lecture by Reynolds. He covered a lot of ground from internet marketing to social media to e-commerce. Reynolds explores the ideas and principles that are paramount to the field of marketing. Of course, there are some overlaps with other fields (psychology), but marketing is a field steeped in intricacies and — since it is based on humans — continually evolving.
Do Politics and Economics Mix in School Policy? – This lecture was given by Eric Hanushek and Michael Kirst and contained the perspectives of both politics (Kirst) and economics (Hanushek). It was put on courtesy of Stanford University and one of the speakers boasted that Stanford has one of the best institutions with regard to education policy research. One of the lines that struck me about this lecture was when one of the speakers proclaimed something to the effect that when it comes to education policy, everyone has an opinion. They spoke about some of the pitfalls to teacher’s unions (harder to reward excellent teachers, among other things), and they talked about the idea that education policy, for the most part, would be better served by being a local issue.
The Financial Crisis, the Recession, and the American Political Economy: A Systemic Perspective – This lecture, by far, had the longest introduction (to the speaker) of any of the previous lectures I’ve heard. It was given at MIT. Given the variety of work achieved by the speaker, Charles H. Ferguson, I understood why there was such a long intro. Moreover, when the speaker began, I didn’t realize that he was “the guy” who made the movie Inside Job. (Note: this lecture was given right around the time of the release of Inside Job, which of course, later went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary.) While there are many theories as to how/why things happened the way they did, (my two cents), I always find it fascinating to take in more perspectives. I don’t know that there is (or could be?) a singular answer as to why things happened.
This rounds out the lectures I’ve been listening to since my last post. As always, if you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments section (or through some other form: Facebook, Twitter, etc.).