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Harvard Business School

Leading an Agile Workforce Transformation

Oct 20—23
4 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 10000
USD 2500 per day

How it works


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Corporate leaders and senior decision-makers must seize the opportunities presented by rapid technological advances, shifting demographics, and new employment models to ensure today's businesses endure in the future. To build and maintain competitive advantage, businesses must recognize and manage the risks, while also capitalizing on the changing nature of work, workplace organization, and the workforce itself. This program will help you make the right moves today to develop and sustain the agile workforce you will need tomorrow.

Leading an Agile Workforce Transformation is offered in collaboration with Harvard Business School's research project on Managing the Future of Work.

Key Benefits

With new ways to think about work and your talent pipeline, you’ll prepare to create the modern, agile workforce your organization needs to achieve strategic objectives and build real competitive advantage for the long term.


Envision and plan the future of work in your business

  • Learn how to adapt to the trends impacting your workforce today, and how these trends will continue to shape your business five, ten, and twenty years from now
  • Take advantage of new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence to empower your business
  • Manage the complex relationships between technological change, job design, skill development, and organization structure

Ensure a sustainable pipeline of global talent

  • Determine the most effective ways to invest in your workforce today and in the future
  • Utilize permanent and contingent workforces, partnerships, collaboration, training, and other means to acquire the skills you need at all levels of the organization
  • Make better use of available talent by accommodating the changing needs of workers
  • Develop a global talent access strategy and sustain your company's talent base, even in areas where it's traditionally difficult to attract top talent

Expand your personal and professional network

  • Extend your network by living and working with accomplished executives from various backgrounds, industries, and countries across the globe
  • Build relationships with a diverse group of peers who can provide wide-ranging insights into your business challenges and career decisions

Key Topics

Defining the challenge: Understanding how work is changing

  • Analyzing the connection between competitive advantage and the quality of human capital
  • Assessing how demographic changes will impact your workforce
  • Evaluating how change is affecting work in different industries

Technology change: Enabling the agile workforce

  • Exploring the role new technologies are playing in different areas of the business
  • Assessing which jobs are most affected by technological advances and why
  • Mnaging change and deciding how fast the organization needs to change
  • Adapting organization structures for new types of work
  • Adjusting to a new, data-based decision-making paradigm
  • Knowing how and when to deploy agile or self-directed work teams vs. traditional teams

The impact of the "care" economy: Accommodating the needs of workers

  • Recognizing how standard personnel practices impact employees with children or aging parents and compound the growing shortage of skilled workers
  • Exploring the evolution of workplace arrangements and public policies regarding employees' increasing care responsibilities

Your contingent workforce: Managing the "Gig Economy"

  • Exploring emerging workplace designs for non-traditional employees
  • Understanding the economics of firms’ gig worker strategies and why individuals follow a gig-based career path
  • Choosing the roles gig workers should and should not fill
  • Bringing together mixed teams of permanent workers and gig workers
  • Evaluating remote vs. on-site work

Skills that drive success: Closing the middle-skills gap

  • Understanding why the transformation of work is especially problematic for middle-skill work
  • Rethinking credentials and matching middle-skilled workers with business needs
  • Finding innovative ways to develop skills—from apprenticeships to regional and industry collaboration
  • Improving productivity through the right type and right amount of training

Geography and talent: Challenges and solutions

  • Leveraging the highly mobile global talent that is vital in today's environment
  • Assessing the prospects of rural areas struggling with stagnant or shrinking populations
  • Evaluating existing sites for expansion versus opening new facilities based on current and potential workforces
  • Tapping into key talent clusters
  • Acquiring and sharing information throughout a global organization

Who should attend

Senior leaders in established companies that are doing business in developed economies and have large, diverse talent pools, including:

  • CEOs, board members, and heads of business units, divisions, countries, or regions
  • Heads of human resources or other senior executives responsible for human capital management
  • Strategy officers or others with responsibility for strategic planning
  • Chief Risk Officers or others focused on risk management
  • Heads of business functions with particularly challenging workforce requirements, such as product development or operations
  • Policy leaders focused on workforce development

Given that human capital issues affect many parts of an organization, attendance by multiple members of your leadership team will foster collaboration and amplify the program's impact.

What You Will Learn

Through a rich learning experience that includes timely case studies, faculty presentations, small group discussions, and individual projects, you will explore how you can best manage human capital as a strategic asset in light of the forces that are redefining work and workforces in developed economies. A powerful lineup of industry guest speakers, including case protagonists, will share their own frontline experiences.

You will return with practical strategies for optimizing work; attracting and retaining more capable, productive employees with the right skillsets for today’s jobs; and removing workforce-related obstacles to success.

Your personal case

Applying your program learning, you will develop a case focused on a long-term human capital challenge your organization is facing. You will gain valuable insights from faculty and peers by analyzing your scenario in a small-group workshop. One scenario from each group will be selected for presentation and discussion in the larger HBS classroom.


William Kerr is a Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill is the faculty chair of the Launching New Ventures program for executive education, and he has received Harvard''s Distinction in Teaching award. Bill focuses on how companies and economies explore new opportunities and generate grow...
Joseph Fuller is a Professor of Management Practice in General Management and co-leads the school’s initiative, Managing the Future of Work. He currently teaches the General Management Processes and Action course in the second year of the MBA program and formerly headed The Entrepreneurial Manage...
Christopher Stanton is an assistant professor of business administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. He is also affiliated with The Center for Economic Policy Research and The National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining HBS, Professor Stanton was an assistant professor of fin...

Next dates

Oct 20—23
4 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 10000
USD 2500 per day

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