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Harvard Business School

China—Senior Executive Leadership Program

Next dates

Dec 8, 2019—Jul 10, 2020
45 daysModules info
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
CNY 530000 ≈USD 76603
CNY 11777 per day


Today's global business environment offers many exciting prospects for talented executives and ambitious organizations. To take full advantage of emerging opportunities in Greater China and beyond, businesses need exceptional leaders—forward-thinking executives who are skilled at strategy and ready to tackle challenges in the Chinese market, such as copycat competitors, labor costs, and other factors that can slow growth.

Taught in a series of modules offered in Boston and Shanghai, this China senior executive leadership program helps you become a stronger leader who can deliver value in a global context, drive new levels of innovation, and build accountable, high-performance organizations.

Key Benefits

Taught in both Chinese and English with simultaneous translation, this program is designed to strengthen the leadership capacity of growing companies. You will expand your ability to assess your business as a whole—to look outward and craft local, regional, and global strategies and to look inward and lead organizational changes that create value and drive performance. Developing these skills on the job can take years—but this program speeds the process by preparing you to contribute to corporate success on a more strategic and senior level.

  • Gain new ability to think strategically, seize growth opportunities, and compete successfully both within the region and globally
  • Foster the innovations that will improve your organization's ability to deliver value to customers and build brand equity
  • Measure, monitor, and communicate corporate performance while driving critical change
  • Lead authentically and ethically at all levels and nurture a culture of accountability
  • Build confidence in yourself as a leader, decision-maker, and negotiator
  • Develop enduring bonds with accomplished peers who span functions, industries, and countries
  • Take advantage of resources for lifelong learning as a member of the global HBS alumni community

What You Will Learn

The innovative and comprehensive curriculum of the Senior Executive Leadership Program—China focuses on the challenges of greatest concern to corporate leaders today—across China and the globe. Requiring just seven weeks away from the office over the course of seven months, the unique format maximizes learning and the development of a global perspective, while minimizing consecutive days away from home and work.

Four intensive learning modules—two in Boston and two in Shanghai—include faculty presentations, case discussions, guest speakers, professional coaching, skill-building exercises, and field-based learning. You will examine the practices of successful business leaders around the world and assess your own leadership approach. Between modules, you will work on an individual strategy project and sharpen your leadership skills. As you try out new approaches in your workplace, you will reflect on your experience, receive feedback from your boss and colleagues, and bring new insights back to the classroom.

Key Areas

Module 1: Positioning your company for success

Format: HBS Campus, Boston (1 week)

This first module expands your ability to consider your company as a whole in the context of the local, regional, and global business environments. Diving quickly into the case method of learning, you will gain new insights into leading organizational change.

  • Assessing the competition and boosting your firm's competitive edge
  • Creating differentiation through innovative products and brands
  • Transitioning from labor-cost advantage to premium products
  • Succeeding in a slower-growth environment by streamlining your organization and optimizing your supply chain
  • Recognizing and selecting the best opportunities in both developed and emerging markets
  • Evaluating your leadership style with guidance from faculty, peers, and your professional coach

Module 2: Creating a high-performance culture in your organization

Format: Harvard Center Shanghai, Shanghai (2 weeks)

You will explore proven ways to create an innovation-driven, high-performance culture. This module will help you lead and manage your teams effectively to ensure alignment between business goals and company direction.

  • Mastering the essentials of finance for senior executives, including global investing, capital markets, and risk management
  • Creating corporate value by strengthening financial management
  • Managing the tensions among profit, growth, and control
  • Translating mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance targets and measures
  • Choosing organizational structures and management systems that promote high-performance cultures
  • Understanding the roles of the board of directors, capital market institutions, investors, and independent auditors
  • Creating and leading an innovative organization and taking advantage of disruptive technologies and open innovation

Module 3: Creating customer value and strategic advantage

Format: Harvard Center Shanghai, Shanghai (2 weeks)

You will explore the nature of market strategy and examine how companies build competitive advantage by focusing on specific markets and delivering what customers truly value. You also will work on a Value Mapping strategy project while continuing to work with your professional coach.

  • Rethinking brand strategy in light of changing markets and consumer behavior
  • Recognizing the new opportunities and challenges created by digital technology
  • Determining whether to operate locally, regionally, or globally—and how large your organization must be to thrive
  • Executing successful mergers and acquisitions and building effective partnerships
  • Formulating strategic objectives and implementing strategies to create competitive advantage and stakeholder value
  • Fostering a culture of customer centricity to optimize the customer experience
  • Identifying actionable market segments, implementing segment-specific strategies, and assessing customer lifetime value
  • Developing and leveraging advantage through service excellence and operational capabilities

Module 4: Becoming a transformational leader

Format: HBS Campus, Boston (2 weeks)

You will explore how to improve your personal performance as a leader and how to manage yourself, your team, and your larger organization. Focusing on a key executive skill—negotiation—you will engage in hands-on exercises that improve your ability to drive optimal outcomes. As you pull program themes together, you will emerge better prepared to build an agile company that can sustain success.

  • Launching and managing products, product portfolios, and brands
  • Investing in talent and leading and managing teams
  • Examining how digital technologies and big data affect business models in all industries, enabling new value creation and value capture approaches
  • Closing deals and resolving disputes in a manner that creates value for all parties
  • Managing situations in which much of the real action takes place away from the negotiating table
  • Understanding and driving the changes that align your organization to achieve its strategic goals
  • Shaping innovation, learning, and change by cultivating your leadership style and behavior
  • Building ambidextrous organizations that can both innovate and execute strategy

Who should attend

Experienced senior executives who are general managers or functional leaders, particularly those assuming new responsibilities or driving new growth initiatives for organizations in Greater China.

  • Large, established companies, either private or state-owned
  • Entrepreneurial ventures—either new companies or new ventures within established companies
  • Growing family businesses
  • Multinational firms with an increased presence in Greater China
  • Others whose business interests include success within the region or with a partner in the region
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies, especially those working closely with the private sector

The program content is global in nature and applicable to the Chinese business environment. The program's location will naturally draw extensive participation from Greater China, affording valuable networking opportunities to participants from the region and to those from organizations initiating or expanding their presence in China.


Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration KRISHNA G. PALEPU joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1983, and he is currently the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration. In addition to his academic position, Professor Palepu is Senior Advisor to the P...
Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. A member of the faculty since 2003, Professor Oberholzer-Gee received his Masters degree, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich. H...
Mihir A. Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He received his Ph.D. in political economy from Harvard University; his MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School; and a bachelor's degree in histor...


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