Leading in Turbulent Times: Managing Reputation and Political Risk

Stanford Graduate School of Business

How long?

  • 6 days
  • in person

Stanford Graduate School of Business

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Who should attend

  • Senior-level executives with at least 10 years of experience — from any size company, any industry, and any country
  • Executives from large global companies that face challenges in a variety of different institutional arenas
  • Leaders of startups or smaller organizations seeking creative ways to build competitive advantage
  • Examples of appropriate roles: senior functional leaders transitioning into general management, division-level leaders who will soon assume corporate-level positions, and leaders driving strategy in the C-suite

About the course

Anticipate and develop strategies to address critical beyond-market forces, from legislation and regulation to activism and the media.

Your company’s reputation takes years to build; yet it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Thinking ahead can make all the difference. Leading in Turbulent Times combines thinking with doing, providing a comprehensive set of strategic and practical skills to help you both assess your firm’s potential risks and seize new opportunities. You’ll learn invaluable tools and tactics that you can implement the moment you return to work — whether dealing with internal stakeholders, the government, media, or the public.

Leading in Turbulent Times is timely, topical, and essential for anyone developing business strategy. One look at today’s business headlines will convince you. Which is why the program combines real-time cases with cutting-edge academic research and is led by Stanford GSB faculty in partnership with experts in public affairs. You will learn, discuss, and collaborate with faculty and peers who share a common goal: to elevate the importance of beyond-market forces and make them more integral to a company’s core strategy. Broaden your thinking with perspectives from Silicon Valley businesses, and discuss practical experiences with senior-level executives from multiple disciplines.

Key Benefits

Gain tools, analytical frameworks, leadership skills, and confidence to proactively manage risk and make a positive impact across your organization.

  • Evaluate and manage risk generated by policymakers and interest groups, stakeholders, and the media.
  • Analyze, integrate, and take ownership of your company’s beyond-market strategy.
  • Formulate and implement strategies to sustain your company’s interests and turn potential threats into competitive opportunities.
  • Dissect real-world cases — from Uber to EU privacy — and learn from their examples.
  • Build a strong network of peers with whom you can share ideas and experiences.

Curriculum

Are you prepared to cope with critical beyond-market forces such as governments, regulatory agencies, the media, courts, and influential activists?

Leading in Turbulent Times’ curriculum combines real-time business cases and cutting-edge academic research to discover how your company’s interactions with beyond-market forces can impact your practices, reputation, and performance.

In this one-week intensive program you’ll develop holistic strategies to harness non-market forces, successfully manage risk, and seize new opportunities to create a competitive edge for your company.

  • Explore topics ranging from big-data analysis of stakeholder sentiment to entrepreneurship in the shadow of regulation.
  • Learn strategies and tips from top-level experts.
  • Learn about new legislation, the implications of the U.S. presidential election, and what’s hot in government affairs.

Course Highlights

Innovation and Regulation

A common attitude in Silicon Valley — and among innovators generally — is that the quality of the idea will take care of itself and that the government is irrelevant (not to mention stuffy and bureaucratic). Time and time again, this attitude has been proven wrong. All markets are regulated, and often the rules of the game for a market are set before the market even exists.

Understanding the regulatory rules that are in place and designing a business plan that takes them into account is an important part of business innovation. In this session, you’ll explore how startup and established companies alike can build strategies to account for regulatory constraints, and formulate new business strategies that leverage regulation for competitive advantage.

Self-Regulation

In this session, you’ll analyze how self-regulation can be used as a tool to deal with threats ranging from consumer backlash to the threat of future governmental regulation. You’ll also consider several obstacles that arise as companies and industries try to engage in self-regulation. You’ll learn about recent successes and failures in self-regulation, covering issues like privacy, consumer credit, movie ratings, and conflict minerals.

Strategic Corporate Responsibility

Key stakeholders often have conflicting interests. How should a company strike a balance among competing interests? Is trying to strike a balance even a smart strategy? Should that be the objective? What about the business’s responsibility to its shareholders? And, regardless of whether the goal is to benefit shareholders or a broader set of stakeholders, how should a company assess the effectiveness of its corporate social-responsibility initiatives?

In this session, you’ll assess these questions by analyzing a global pharmaceutical company’s key decisions about intellectual property, pricing, and delivery of new AIDS drugs in developing countries.

Experts

Steven Callander

Research Statement Steve Callander’s research interests lie at the intersection of business, politics, and society. As a researcher, he uses the tools of game theory to build models of political and economic institutions (legislatures, bureaucracies, markets, etc.) to understand how they work, ho...

Ken Shotts

Research Statement Professor Shotts uses game theory to analyze how elections and political institutions influence policy choices made by government officials. He has published papers on presidential leadership, racial redistricting, term limits, and the politics of regulatory enforcement. He is ...

Sarah Soule

Research Statement Sarah A. Soule's research examines state and organizational-level policy change and diffusion, and the role social movements have on these processes. She has recently published papers on how protest impacts multi-national firm-level decisions regarding divestment in Burma, and ...

Neil Malhotra

Bio Neil Malhotra is the Edith M. Cornell Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Political Science. He serves as the Louise and Claude N. Rosenberg, Jr. Co-Director of the Center for Socia...

Katherine Casey

Research Statement Katherine Casey is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research explores the interactions between economic and political forces in developing countries, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. She is particularly interested i...

Saumitra Jha

Research Statement Saumitra's research focuses upon understanding the effectiveness of organizations and innovations that societies have developed to address the problems of violence and other political risks, and to seek new lessons for fostering peace and development. So far, his research has f...

David Demarest

Bio As Stanford’s senior public affairs official, David Demarest reports to the President of the university and oversees Stanford’s government relations – federal, state, and local, as well as community relations. For many years he also oversaw the university’s communications and special events o...

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Leading in Turbulent Times: Managing Reputation and Political Risk at Stanford Graduate School of Business

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