Strategy Execution Programme

INSEAD Business School

How long?

  • 12 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

INSEAD Business School


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In order to keep the company that you are managing or your own business competitive, you need to have a clear plan of action, in other words, you must...


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Who should attend

The programme is designed to benefit three key groups: managers who are new to implementing strategy; those moving into a more challenging implementation role; or executives simply looking for new ideas to try where others have failed.

Typically, they will be:

  • General managers who head business units, e.g. country managers, or product or division heads
  • Executives with accountability for outcome and direct control of significant resources (budgets and groups of people), e.g. heads of business units, managers of significant departments or leaders of major project teams.

About the course

Making your strategy work by overcoming the barriers to execution

Most companies believe that – after careful strategic review, analysis and planning – they have a winning strategy. However, our latest research shows that 70 per cent of companies fail to get what they want out of their strategic plan and that the problems usually begin with execution. The result of this is both organisational failure and individual stress and frustration – especially for the executives charged with implementation.

Rationally, these executives have clear ideas and know what they need to do – and yet they cannot get it done. They may even have read the recent research, showing that hidden psychological or sociological factors are as important for success as the rational or measureable factors.

INSEAD’s Strategy Execution Programme provides the insights and tools to bridge that difficult gap between the rational development of strategy and real-life execution. It helps to identify hidden traps, balance the rational with the emotional and build the internal capability to continue implementing strategy successfully. Last but not least, the programme provides a ready-made support network in the form of fellow participants facing similar challenges. Arrive with a strategy report... and leave with an action plan that delivers results.

How you benefit

  • Gain clarity on your strategic challenge. Come with a heightened awareness of your strategic aspirations and challenges and leave with a more realistic, actionable plan of execution
  • Identify hidden barriers. Gain new insights about the hidden barriers to strategic execution and how to overcome them
  • Build an actionable plan of execution. Acquire a deep understanding of how to get results from future strategic initiatives
  • Understand the psychological dynamics between strategy execution practitioners and stakeholders

Content Overview

The Strategy Execution Programme is a three-module journey uniquely structured around your own personal context and your own individual strategy execution (challenge) plan. This enables you to learn while doing, following a virtuous circle of reflection, action and further reflection.

It all begins with a carefully structured pre-programme preparation phase, which includes articulating a detailed strategy implementation plan. Then there are five intensive days on campus, before the structured action-learning/application phase, with online and telephone coaching from peers and professors over several weeks. This is followed by a three-day campus module which enables you to hone your skills and perfect your ongoing plan of action. Finally, a third module which focuses on analysing your internal strengths and barriers, competing commitments, internal motivations and how you can manage these to influence stakeholders more effectively.

This modular, interactive format enables our faculty to tailor the content exactly to your needs – and to pass on the most relevant insights from their cutting-edge research. By the end of the programme you will not only have a practical, stress-tested and carefully refined plan of action; you will also have the skills, knowledge and confidence to get results repeatedly.

Module 1: Perfecting the plan on-campus

Five days of sessions on assessing your individual strategy plan, identifying the barriers to execution, developing reflective skills and refining the implementation plan

Intermodular learning and action off-campus

Participants apply concepts and learning by practising in real-life company settings

Faculty facilitate tele-conferences and online discussions to maintain momentum and sustain the participant network

Module 2: Strengthening your skills on campus

Three days of sessions developing additional skills to complement the previous module and inter-module learning

Module 3: Personal assessment and role effectiveness

Three days of sessions to understand the psychological dynamics between strategy execution practitioners and stakeholders

Strategy Execution Stress Test

We apply the Strategy Execution Stress Test to every participant’s strategy execution plan to ensure that it is actionable and effective. The Strategy Execution Stress Test is a cycle of evaluation and revision that systematically improves strategy execution plans.

Do you have a viable strategy?

  • Long term goals and mission
  • Scope: offering what to whom?
  • How is competitive advantage achieved?
  • Why is competitive advantage durable?

Do you have a comprehensive implementation plan?

  • Measurable goals
  • Adequate resources
  • Aligned stakeholders’ interests
  • Realistic time frame
  • Clear roles
  • Sufficient control

Do you know the hidden barriers to implementation?

  • Historical context
  • Social identities
  • Emotional dynamics
  • Defensive reactions
  • Political behaviours

Do you know how to overcome the barriers?

  • Temporal capability
  • Middle managers’ balancing role
  • Fair Process
  • Emotional levers
  • Process consultation
  • Transitional bridges

Do you have the critical skills?

  • Individual skills
  • Internal and external skills
  • Complementary skills
  • Coordination skills

Do you have a continuous learning system?

  • Detect unplanned events
  • Apply lessons
  • Change behaviours
  • Institutionalise new capabilities


Quy Huy

Quy Nguyen Huy is a Professor of Strategy at INSEAD since 1998. He was originally trained as an electrical engineer then Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Before starting his academic career, he worked for 16 years in various expert and managerial roles related to engineering design, sales and m...

Michael Jarrett

Michael Jarrett is a Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD. His work is guided by three core questions: What are the structural dynamics that facilitate companies ability to change? How do emotions and psychological defense mechanisms support and hinder strategic ...

Ludo Van Der Heyden

Ludo Van der Heyden has been Professor of Technology Management at INSEAD since 1988. He is actively teaching in the MBA, Executive, and PhD Programmes. He holds the INSEAD Chair in Corporate Governance. He is actively contributing to the MBA, Executive and PhD Programmes, and is the Academic Dir...

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Strategy Execution Programme at INSEAD Business School

From  EUR 17 750$21,207
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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.

Read more about Strategy

Strategy courses contain a large amount of practice. You will be able to analyze the company's performance and make a strategic development plan. All practices are based on real cases that each of you may encounter. The courses will also introduce yo...

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