Build New-Age Leadership Skills With an Alternative MBA


Advances in automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing are transforming the way we work. Hence, there is a need for management professionals to develop social, emotional, and higher cognitive skills that enable them to excel in a technology-driven world. More businesses are also adopting the hybrid workplace model, which means that ambitious professionals need to build superior communication skills. 

While a generic MBA does help you understand core management fundamentals, it may not equip you with the skills to excel in a digitally transformed environment. It is therefore advisable to consider pursuing an alternative MBA, a programme that is designed to help the managers of tomorrow rise to the challenges of the new normal. 

In this article, we delve into the value offered by an alternative MBA and some examples of unique MBA courses.  

What is an alternative MBA?

An alternative MBA enables you to build multiple skills considered essential to thrive in the workplace. It helps nurture thinking, problem-solving, leadership, communication, and collaboration skills, which play an important role in helping leaders navigate their journey in markets that are increasingly automated, digitally transformed, and experiencing accelerated growth. Here’s what you must know about an alternative MBA programme: 

  • An alternative MBA is a compact six-month virtual programme designed to help high-performing professionals get exposure to core management fundamentals, skills, and habits. 
  • Professionals get to learn from the best in their field including CEOs, academic experts, and industry veterans. 
  • They learn from a wealth of high-quality curated online learning resources that can be accessed on demand. Content is presented in the form of interactive content, audio stories, and video content. 
  • On-demand content is supplemented by peer-to-peer discussions and live instructor-led sessions by faculty from both academia and the industry.
  • Mentorship is an important pillar of the alternative MBA framework. Mentors play a critical role in supporting learners by offering the right mix of emotional support, career guidance, and access to professional networks. 
  • An alternative MBA provides the tools to help you reimagine your resume, deal with virtual interviewing, and create a unique pitch that enables you to find the right fit in an increasingly virtual universe.   

Unique features of an alternative MBA 

Here’s a look at some unique courses taught as part of an alternative MBA: 

Learn the art of ethical decision-making 

There was a time when businesses were answerable to only a particular group of stakeholders: the investors. Profitability was the main goal. However, today, the business world is shifting towards a value-centric environment. Moral values are now not merely a subject one learns in school, but are playing an increasingly important role in helping leaders make the right decisions. Moral values in the business context are an entirely different ball game. For instance, you will need to consider aspects such as the impact of company decisions on the environment and fair trade for suppliers such as farmers. 

Ethical decision-making can be a challenging process and an alternative MBA offers you tools to navigate this process effectively. 

Strengthen grapevine communication skills 

Communication is one of the most important skills of an effective leader. As you climb up the leadership ladder, manage larger teams, or become responsible for a major business outcome, the stakes are higher. Here, you can’t merely practice basic communication skills; you need to work at nurturing long-lasting relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. 

An alternative MBA offers extensive, in-depth training on how to leverage various communication tools to successfully negotiate, engage, and influence. For instance, you will have exposure to what grapevine communication is and how to leverage it in the context of work to gather information, support colleagues, and influence people via unofficial channels. 

Enhance collaborative skills 

Today more businesses are looking to transition to hybrid workplaces. By 2026, the global digital workplace market size for offices is expected to rise to $9.2bn, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%. Hence, a larger number of professionals will be working with colleagues across the world. You may work with hundreds of people you will never actually see in person. In this scenario, those who excel at collaborative skills will be able to plan and execute projects faster and more seamlessly. An alternative MBA equips learners with key collaborative skills such as emotional intelligence, active listening, understanding non-verbal communication, and conflict escalation. 

Grow your identity

Today’s leaders thrive on expressing their identities. The top leaders today are not known only for their career milestones but also for taking a stand on their beliefs, mentoring others, offering their time to important causes, and emerging as thought leaders in their fields. Being able to articulate their thoughts in a public forum elevates their profile. 

This is where subjects such as personality development, which are part of alternative MBA programmes, play a key role in honing your identity and making your mark as an independent thinker. Helping graduates nurture their identity is a key outcome of pursuing an alternative MBA, and this transformation will influence your future growth trajectory. 


An alternative MBA is a constantly evolving programme and mirrors the workplace of today. It brings together the fundamentals of a traditional MBA, marrying it with new-age priorities, skill-building, mentorship, and online resources for professionals to stay relevant in an agile world of work. For instance, a class on grapevine communication and its role in business dynamics may not feature in a traditional MBA communications module. But an alternative MBA does not shy away from such real topics. 

Take a look today at the alternative MBA programmes offered by the HSOL, a learning platform designed to help you thrive in a dynamic management world that is different from the static one of the past.

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