Business Strategy


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  • online
  • on demand



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Who should attend

  • Strategic/Executive sales leaders
  • Senior business leaders
  • Executives
  • Directors
  • Managers
  • Entrepreneurs

About the course

Want to gain a competitive advantage for your business?

This certificate program will help you address today’s most pressing strategic business questions and design a strategy for your own organization. Using game theory to enhance your view of the marketplace, you will examine change, disruption, and uncertainty in your industry, and devise strategies to respond to these variables effectively. As part of this strategy, you’ll have the opportunity to assess possible internal roadblocks to overcome and create a plan to surmount them. Evaluating a series of approaches including M&A, strategic alliances, and organic growth, you will also identify potential synergies to boost your organization’s value creation and profitability and develop the necessary skills to optimize the web of relationships that drive your business. Finally, you will explore ways to leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization, through in-house development or advantageous interactions with outside platforms.

Throughout the program, you’ll engage with many detailed real-world examples and practical exercises that will help you see the world differently and ultimately develop savvier strategies to create sustained business success.


Value Creation and Profitability

Increasing and sustaining profitability requires that you deliver unique value to consumers while guarding against competitive threats. Developing a successful strategy requires recognizing and planning for the specific challenges in your market so as to avoid costly mistakes, seize new opportunities, and raise long-run profits.

In this course, you will explore a variety of real-world examples and powerful frameworks to supercharge your strategy and profitability. You will analyze how your organization currently creates value and strategize how best to create new value for your targeted customers, beyond what rivals offer. You will then develop your organizational plan, identifying which resources and partners are essential for success, while also identifying which key resources you should own to help sustain long-run profitability. You will perform an in-depth competitive analysis of threats to the profitability of a firm, allowing you both to identify threats in your current market and assess the prospects for profitability in other markets which you might enter. You will develop tactics to mitigate each of these threats to profitability, while also recognizing the power and potential of working towards win-win situations with complementors.

Change, Disruption, and Growth

Change can be a highly profitable opportunity for growth, or it can sink a once-successful business. How should you and your organization prepare to adapt and even thrive in the face of change and disruption?

In this course, you will acquire the tools you need to evaluate change, disruption, and uncertainty in your industry. You will implement key frameworks designed to help you strategize in changing and uncertain environments. The skills you hone in this course will prepare you to succeed in dynamic market environments and think clearly about the future.

Strategies for change risk failing if the organization as a whole is not willing or prepared to implement them. To pave the way for truly successful implementation of the strategies you devise, you will identify and mitigate critical internal challenges and resistance to change, thereby enabling your organization to eliminate roadblocks to growth.

Synergies, Mergers, and Alliances

As a business, you understand the importance of creating value for consumers in order to be profitable. It is also important to increase the value of your organization. Synergies from working closely with other firms may allow you to reap tremendous gains by creating more value in both of these dimensions.

Unfortunately, sometimes the synergies that leaders hope for do not materialize, or other challenges arise that make synergy-realizing ventures such as mergers, acquisitions and alliances an unprofitable and disappointing distraction. How does it all go so wrong, and, more importantly, how can you set yourself up to best profit from synergies while minimizing risks and challenges?

In this course, you will gain critical insights that will allow you to better identify and realize strategic synergies that can ultimately boost your value creation efforts and your profits. You will implement essential tools to more effectively choose between mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships or alliances, and organic growth. You will then determine the most effective way to realize a potential synergy, evaluate fit and compatibility with the potential synergy partner, and strategize for a successful collaboration.

Getting the Most Out of Your Business Relationships

In essence, your organization is a nexus of relationships that coordinates key assets and capabilities to help you achieve your strategic ambitions and raise your profits. More than just the traditional view of a supply chain, this nexus can also encompass strategic partners, licensors of intellectual property, and firms that supply support services of any type, such as advertising, legal services, and more.

These core relationships are vital to your ability to create and capture value, and so it is crucial to keep them as healthy as possible. How can you best nurture positive business relationships, especially over the long run? How can you recognize when a relationship is at risk of becoming adversarial, and what should you do about it?

In this course, you will evaluate the state of your business relationships through a comprehensive assessment process. Your analysis will enable you to gain a clearer understanding of each relationship's importance to your value creation efforts and how your organization would be affected if the relationship goes wrong. You will then clarify the expectations from both sides of the relationship, potential opportunities that are not being capitalized on, the goals for mutual success, and what to keep an eye on in the future. Armed with this knowledge, you will be prepared to strategize to improve and maintain the wellbeing of key business relationships through an action plan specifically tailored to the needs of each relationship.

Game Theory and Business Strategy

Good strategy does not exist in isolation: the success and profitability of a business depends not only on the strategic moves that it makes but also on the strategic moves that other firms make. Understanding the strategic linkages between firms can therefore be immensely valuable.

Game theory is a tool specifically designed to analyze and exploit these strategic linkages between the moves made by different firms.

In this course, you will explore the marketplace and identify the key players within your field. Once you have identified the key players, you will analyze their capabilities and motivations. You will consider the physics of business as you map out actions and reactions to your strategic moves. In addition, you will examine how other players perceive you and devise ways to influence these perspectives to your advantage.

Sometimes the best strategic move is to boldly seek to change the game! You will determine how best to do so and strategize accordingly.

Digital Platform Strategy

The digital landscape continues to be a vital part of an organization's success. For organizations centered around digital technology, it is important to create a digital strategy that addresses the specific opportunities and challenges that arise in digital ecosystems. This includes harnessing the potential to become a digital platform or utilizing preexisting digital platforms from complementor organizations. How can you leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization and maximize profitability?

In this course, you will evaluate the state of digital platforms in the current market. You will use this evaluation to identify network effects that your organization can take advantage of and use to boost the value of your products and services in the market. Once you identify the state of platforms and network effects, you will develop a digital platform strategy to grow and maintain your digital strategy, particularly if your organization can create its own digital platform. Finally, you will explore best practices for interacting with digital platforms created by other organizations and develop a strategy for how to choose and interact with a platform created outside of your organization.

Key course takeaways

  • Perform a market diagnosis to describe your target customers and determine how you can best create value for them
  • Design a strategy to create and deliver value and defend profits
  • Assess change, disruption, and uncertainty in your industry
  • Respond to disruption effectively by surmounting internal roadblocks to change
  • Identify potential synergies to boost your organization’s value creation and profitability
  • Evaluate mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and organic growth strategies for your organization
  • Identify your supply chain and key business relationships and assess their health
  • Use game theory to understand the game, outsmart your rivals, and maximize profits
  • Leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization


Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson received his PhD from MIT and is currently a professor of economics at Cornell University''s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He teaches business strategy to the School''s MBA and Executive MBA students. He has worked with eCornell (a Cornell University subsidia...

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Business Strategy at eCornell

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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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