Breakthrough Strategic Thinking

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience

  • Job Functions Ideal for professionals who are responsible for creating and sustaining competitive advantage in dynamic environments

  • Prerequisites Intended for individuals who wish to enhance their strategic thinking abilities and break current routines and patterns

About the course

Great strategists don’t just develop plans based on their current environment; they envision the multiple possible paths of the future and shape the dynamics of their environment to their advantage. This course will provide tools and concepts for analyzing and formulating strategy, with a specific emphasis on dynamic industries and breakthrough innovation. Participants will develop the skills to anticipate disruptive innovations, chart out their likely trajectories and determine how to maximally influence - or benefit from - those trajectories. They will also learn to identify assumptions that have become embedded in an organization and what kinds of transformation may be possible. After this program, participants will leave with specific action plans for current problems, as well as a mastery of general strategy skills they can continue to utilize in the future.

Program Takeaways

During this course, participants will:

Key Trends

Analyze the dynamics of their company’s environment to identify key trends in customer demands, technology and competitor moves


Identify ways their organization can shape environmental dynamics to its advantage and position the organization to better create and capture value in the future


Assess whether the scope and structure of their organization makes sense - and if not, how it can be transformed


Day 1

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 1: Identifying Trajectories in the External Environment

  • What path is technology likely to take in the future in our industry?
  • How are customer demands evolving, and where are the biggest opportunities for breakthrough innovation?
  • How are competitors, collaborators and suppliers evolving?
  • Who are likely to be our most important competitors, collaborators and suppliers for the future?
  • How are changes in information technology transforming the value chains in which we operate?

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

Session 2: Positioning and Competitive Dynamics

  • How is our product positioned in the marketplace in the eyes of the customer?
  • What are the key dimensions of this positioning? How does each dimension of our positioning influence willingness-to-pay?
  • Are there distinct market segments that value the dimensions differently? If so, how important are each of these segments?
  • Can we increase our value creation and value capture (increasing the value provided to existing customers, growing our market segments or reaching new market segments)?
  • Are there ways to lower purchase hurdles?
  • Are there ways to increase customer-switching barriers?
  • How does our positioning compare to that of our competitors?
  • In what ways is it favorable, defensible or vulnerable?

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Networking Reception

Day 2

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 3: Redefining the Corporate Scope

  • What businesses/activities is the firm in?
  • Does it create additional value having these businesses/activities under one roof?
  • What are the risks or costs?
  • What are the interdependencies between our businesses/activities?
  • Can we rethink our corporate boundaries to better achieve coordination, and flexibility, while maximizing synergies?

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

Session 4: Culture and Networks

  • What is our organization’s structure?
  • What are its benefits and costs?
  • What are the key dimensions (intended and unintended) of our corporate culture?
  • How does our culture positively and negatively influence key outcomes?
  • What is shaping our corporate culture?
  • Are there opportunities to improve or reinforce it?
  • What does the interpersonal network structure of our organization look like?
  • Who is playing key hub and brokerage roles?
  • How does this influence information diffusion and outcomes?
  • Are there opportunities for improving these?

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations


Melissa A. Schilling

Melissa A. Schilling is the John Herzog Chair Professor of Management at New York University Stern School of Business. She received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in strategic management from the...

Videos and materials

Breakthrough Strategic Thinking at Leonard N. Stern School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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