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Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action

Curriculum

How do you turn an inflection point in your career into an opportunity? How can you catapult your career to the next level?

Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action won’t give you a specific leadership recipe to follow. But it will teach you how to cook for yourself — strengthening your analytical tools, management acumen, and interpersonal skills.

The program’s two-week, experiential, multi-disciplinary curriculum follows Stanford’s MBA program across three key themes: business acumen, innovation, and leadership. The on-campus modules are enhanced with content and coaching over the course of six months, empowering you to resolve strategic problems, build and motivate effective teams, and drive change in yourself and your organization.

Program Highlights

Design Thinking

Learn design thinking tools and techniques developed at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, affectionately called “the d.school.” This experiential learning process draws on methods from engineering and design, and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world. You will explore mindsets of empathy, rapid prototyping, collaboration, iteration, and feedback. Then, put newfound skills into action to tackle real-world design challenges.

Leadership Coaching

Personal leadership development is a key focus of the program. To enhance your awareness of your leadership style and how it’s perceived by others, we combine classroom learning with Stanford’s proprietary 360º in-depth leadership assessment tool called LEAP (Leadership Evaluation and Action Planning).

LEAP is designed to help you strengthen your leadership skills so you can improve your performance, energize your workplace, and advance your career. It also helps you gain unique insight into your leadership skills, set priorities, and develop a 100-day action plan with one-on-one leadership coaching.

Understanding Competitive Advantage

Many businesses are successful in their markets, but have only a limited understanding of the reasons behind their success. This lack of understanding can be dangerous: Seemingly sensible decisions can turn an organization’s fortunes for the worse. More generally, companies with sustained competitive advantages are ones in which managers throughout the enterprises have a deep understanding of their key success factors.

This session will present a framework for analyzing your business’s basis of competitive advantage, and allow you to consider the implications of different sources of competitive advantage for strategic decision making.

Motivating Employees to Work Harder and Smarter

In these tough economic times, leaders must find ways to motivate their employees to work harder and smarter. Most managers tend to rely on “carrots” as means of motivation. This session will explore alternative “psychological levers”: tools that truly motivate and inspire employees to perform without excess spending. The group will draw examples from successful companies that have unlocked their employees’ true potential by providing meaning in their work.

Making Work Meaningful

People want their jobs to be meaningful, to have purpose. But what do they mean, and how can leaders help them find it? The meaningfulness of work, perhaps more than any other thing that workers say they want, can be built and shaped by leaders. But because this aspect of work is so elusive, doing so is far from obvious. In this session you will approach the management of meaning analytically, surveying past research on effective interventions that help workers feel their work serves a larger purpose. Through real-world examples and small group discussion, you will learn to think systematically about how to build meaning for yourself and your employees.

Communicating Effectively

As a leader, you spend the majority of your time communicating with others: team members, subordinates, and clients. You probably don’t spend much time thinking about the way you communicate, nor are you likely, in a business setting, to get honest feedback about the way you communicate. Yet the quality of your communication largely determines your effectiveness.

This session will help you appreciate the nature and complexity of a specific form of communication — persuasion — and provide guidelines for boosting the strength of a persuasive message. We will draw on specific examples from other organizations to highlight our takeaways.

Leadership Vignettes

This session will draw on a collection of video cases featuring leaders talking about the toughest challenges they have faced, the decisions they have made, and the lessons they learned from these experiences. You will then discuss how these challenges relate to your own careers and to your development as leaders.

Crisis Management

What should management do when a crisis focuses the harsh spotlight of public opinion on their organization? Whether it results from a company’s own missteps (think BP) or from strategic activism or media action (think Greenpeace), dealing with crisis is increasingly on the agenda for today’s executives.

In this session, you’ll examine the nature of crises and develop a deeper understanding of where they come from, how they evolve, and what you can do about them. You’ll explore the skills and organizational structures required to prepare for, and productively manage, a crisis to avoid bringing lasting damage to a firm’s reputation.

Strategy and Organizational Design: Translating Strategy Into Action

This session will examine the role of organizational design in executing a company’s strategy. The group will begin by identifying JetBlue Airways’ strategy and then discuss and evaluate how the company’s organizational design supports this strategy.

The case of JetBlue will be used to discuss the way a company culture is built and reinforced and how this helps to support the execution of the company’s strategy.

Coaching Talent

Advancing to the executive ranks typically means relying less on one’s own knowledge or technical skill and more on being effective at developing others, yet most leaders are relatively unprepared to do this. Coaching is among the most powerful and yet undeveloped and underutilized skills at a leader’s disposal.

We will introduce you to coaching fundamentals (listening, inquiring, reframing, and setting up experiments) as well as provide an opportunity to practice and further develop these competencies.

Strategy Beyond Markets

Most business school classes focus on companies’ interactions with customers, competitors, suppliers, and shareholders in the form of mutually beneficial voluntary exchange transacted in markets. In contrast, these sessions consider businesses’ strategic interactions with comparably important constituents, organizations, and institutions outside of markets.

Strategy beyond markets is a central component of a company’s approach to achieving superior overall performance, and it must be integrated with the company’s market strategy. Examples of topics to be discussed in these sessions include boycotts, activist pressures, regulation, judicial decisions, and political risk, all of which can substantially impact an enterprise’s performance and profitability.