cover image The 12-Week MBA: Learn the Skills You Need to Lead in Business Today

The 12-Week MBA: Learn the Skills You Need to Lead in Business Today

Bjorn Billhardt and Nathan Kracklauer. Hachette Go, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-0-306-83236-9

In this strong debut program, Billhardt and Kracklauer—CEO and chief research officer, respectively, of Abilitie—adapt the business education company’s “mini-MBA” curriculum to the page. Explaining business fundamentals, the authors note that shareholder value reflects subjective agreements between traders about a company’s future. They also describe how to create balance sheets, cash flow statements, and profit and loss statements, in addition to offering a rundown of common business models. For example, brand-first businesses use customers’ loyalty to get them to pay higher prices than cheaper competitors, while the “razor blade model” involves selling a product at a low margin and then charging handsomely for replacement parts. Elsewhere, Billhardt and Kracklauer explore how to build trust, provide constructive feedback, and make decisions as an organization (they suggest that though majority rule is a faster process than building unanimous consensus, it’s harder to determine “who should take responsibility if the decision goes south” than it is when one individual makes the call). Detailed yet accessible explanations elucidate such concepts as perpetuity value, the “time value of money,” and variable vs. fixed costs, covering a wide range of topics without sacrificing depth of insight. This will appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs. Agent: Leah Spiro, Riverside Creative Management. (Feb.)

Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated Nathan Kracklauer’s job title.