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USC Marshall School of Business

Management Development Program: Business Essentials for Managers

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If you are responsible for leading and engaging a team, this six-day course offers a look at fundamental management development to help you maximize your organization's bottom-line results. In a collaborative learning environment, each session, taught by a different USC Marshall Professor, will help you build the skills necessary to deliver higher levels of performance. You will finish this program with a team presentation combining all the new skills you have learned.

  • In the Executive Communication session considered a “soft” skill, you will learn what is often cited as the #1 predictor of long-term career success.
  • During the EQ & Leadership Coaching session, you will learn to leverage this knowledge everyday.
  • In the Strategy Formulation session, you will review the framework for thinking, formulation, and implementation of a competitive and profitable strategy.
  • The Design Thinking session will provide you with an immersive introduction to its logic, practices, and application a way of thinking and a collection of methods.
  • The Emerging Technology session you will examine three firms and consider how emerging technologies can create new opportunities for them.
  • In the Financial Modeling session you will learn how to build a financial model in Excel while learning vital accounting concepts.
  • During the Strategic Marketing session, you will review general marketing functions often completed by marketing staff, then dig into the critical marketing decisions that are management responsibility.
  • While in the Innovation & Creativity session, you will identify actions you can take immediately to increase your creativity and to foster it in your team.

Session Details

After each session, you will be able to walk into your workplace with new ideas, new strategies, and new ways to resolve business and managerial challenges.

EQ & Leadership Coaching:

  • Explore the essential elements of effective communication with, leading, and coaching others with different communication styles.
  • Learn how initiating a coaching culture can be a competitive advantage for your firm—enabling you to recruit, motivate, and retain the best talent.

Strategy Formulation:

  • Analyze the differences between function strategy vs. business strategy
  • Review the key components of a competitive strategy

Design Thinking:

  • Learn about the logic and practices of design thinking
  • Practice the specific techniques for gaining new insights into markets
  • Understand the application of the method to strategically over problems in existing organizations

Emerging Technologies:

  • Understand how to approach emerging technologies as opportunities
  • Evaluate how technology trends create advantages and threats

Financial Modeling:

  • Understand best practices for building efficient and dynamic models in Excel
  • Use modeling techniques such as conditionals, switches, and Goal Seek
  • Understand basic financial and managerial accounting concepts

Strategic Marketing:

  • Understand the critical strategic role marketing plays within any business model
  • Use market analysis to construct a positioning statement that will inform your marketing actions

Innovation & Creativity:

  • Focus on identifying major barriers to creativity
  • Consider steps you can take to address and overcome these barriers

Teaching Method

You will participate in interactive classroom sessions and exercises, self-assessments and dynamic case studies that focus on the key knowledge and skills you need to understand business from an overall perspective. In-class and team projects will provide the opportunity for participants to apply new models to their own business units or organizations.

Who should attend

This program is specifically designed for managers with 2 to 9 years of experience, professionals with management responsibilities lacking any formal business education, specialists taking on general responsibilities, or anyone who simply wants exposure to the most current business practices.


Ralph B. Thomas Professor of Business Ambassador Clarke Centennial Fellow PHD, New York University: Stern School of Business MBA, University of Houston: Madrid School of Business, Spain JD, Sophia University, Bulgaria -- with Honors Dr. Violina Rindova is the Ralph B. Thomas Professor of ...
PhD, MS, UC-Berkeley; BS, UC-Davis Kyle Mayer studies how firms govern relationships with other firms, with particular attention to the contract and its role in establishing a framework for the relationship. His research has been published in Organizational Science, Academy of Management Journal...
MPW, University of Southern California; MBA, Columbia University; BA, Bates College James J. Owens is an expert in professional management communication. He has published 100+ articles in national and international publications. Professor Owens has appeared on CNN and has interviewed numerous Fo...
PhD, Stanford; B.S. Wellesley College Julie Suh earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in Business Administration (Accounting) from Stanford University. Her research interests include voluntary disclosure, CEO compensation, earnings management, and corporate gove...
PhD, Stanford; MSc, London School of Economics; BA, BS, Indiana University Pai-Ling Yin is an Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and Director of the Technology Commercialization Initiative. She co-founded the Mobile Innovation Group ( to research the mobile ...
MBA, University of Southern California; BS, CSU-Fresno Rex Kovacevich specializes in the direct marketing of retail and small business financial products. He is a recipient of the Golden Apple Award and the Faculty Award for Innovation in Teaching, and created Marshall's first online undergradua...
Gita Govahi Ph.D. is the Director of the Experiential Learning Center at the USC Marshall School of Business. During her tenure, she has inaugurated a number of training programs and conducted numerous training sessions for the Marshall School's graduate, undergraduate and executive education pro...
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