New Executive Education Program to Drive Innovation and Operational Excellence

First blended online and in-person program aims to further COOs’ knowledge of innovation and operations.

January 16, 2019

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Stefanos Zenios, program director for The Emerging COO: Driving Innovation and Operational Excellence. | Elena Zhukova

In its ongoing commitment to provide innovative programs to meet the evolving needs of business leaders, Stanford GSB announced a new Executive Education program for chief operating officers.

The Emerging COO: Driving Innovation and Operational Excellence program is a three-month-long Executive Education program for COOs that combines immersive online learning with six days of hands-on, experiential learning on the Stanford GSB campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. The program is the first open enrollment blended program offered by Stanford GSB.

Directed by Stefanos Zenios, Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology, the program is designed for experienced chief operations officers, as well as senior-level operations leaders and aspiring COOs who are committed to innovation and operational excellence in their roles.

The new Emerging COO program adds to Stanford GSB’s suite of Executive Education programs, which total 37 in number for both individuals and/or organizations spanning 16 topics and a wide range of industries. Blending the best of the Stanford LEAD online certificate program with Stanford GSB’s on-campus programs, the Emerging COO program combines them both in this three-month integrated format.

“COOs are often the unsung heroes in their senior leadership suite of organizations. They are the builders; the ones who work quietly behind the scenes to make the organization work,” Zenios said. “But the role of the COO is evolving. Business leaders and executives now see the need for operational excellence at every stage, and it is increasingly common to find the COO role at start-ups and high-growth companies, rather than only established companies.”

The program is separated into three modules:

  • The first is an online module focused on strategy and finance to develop a framework to be an effective partner to their CEO and CFO, which then is built upon as the cohort arrives on campus.
  • The second module on campus delves deeper into the concept of operational excellence and innovation by reviewing cases and experiential exercises.
  • The final module allows for an individual to bring their newfound knowledge to their company, by creating and carrying out a project using design thinking methodology with their team or broader organization.

The program will run from July to October and costs $15,200. Applications for the program close May 31.

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