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Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Program

Available dates

Feb 23—May 1, 2020
12 daysModules info
Stanford, California, United States
USD 28500
USD 2375 per day


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About the course

Guide your organization through growth with innovative CFO training that blends financial expertise, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.

Strategy, finance, leadership. Experience two one-week on-campus modules filled with dynamic lectures, visits from guest speakers, a VC panel, and real business challenges.

Enhance your learning over the course of six months with webinars, two 360° assessments, and multiple personal-coaching sessions. The program is intensive, thought-provoking, and empowering.

At Stanford, we encourage you to think beyond finance to big-picture, organization-wide concerns. You’ll learn how to make better strategic financial decisions, build strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, and develop a more effective leadership style to help lead your organization through globalization and growth.

You’ll learn about emerging trends and challenges in finance, such as mergers and acquisitions, globalization, and behavioral finance. And you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the importance of aligning finance with strategy and leadership.

Key Benefits

Keep up with emerging trends and methodologies, make better strategic financial decisions, and build key partnerships in a comprehensive program.

  • Develop strategic skills in the context of financial leadership.
  • Transition from information provider to strategic partner.
  • Learn new techniques and methodologies related to finance, strategy, and leadership.
  • Gain a greater understanding of current trends in finance.
  • Improve negotiation, conflict management, and communication skills.
  • Develop long-term vision and strategy frameworks.
  • Assess and enhance your personal leadership style.
  • Drive innovation and lead cultural change.

Program Highlights

Leading Success

As innovative upstart companies transform industry after industry, many of the leading organizations of just a few years ago are now seen as laggards. For business leaders, this upheaval is especially concerning, because they often rely on the lessons of the past when making plans for the future.

This session explores the underlying reasons for the success and failure of businesses — especially those that relate to a company’s leadership team — and why some organizations are more competitive than others.

You will discuss and analyze the reasons behind your own business’s success, and learn how you can continue to develop as an effective, successful leader.

Motivating Others to Perform

As they look for more effective ways to inspire their employees to work harder and smarter, most managers rely on financial “carrots” as motivators. This session will explore alternative “psychological levers” — tools that truly motivate people to perform without calling for excess spending. Examples from successful companies that have unlocked their employees’ true potential by providing meaning in their work will also be presented and discussed.

The Challenge of Change

When companies are successful, they have all the resources and capabilities to stay on top. Yet companies are increasingly losing their competitive edge because they fail to leverage their resources to respond to threats. To avoid this “success syndrome” and adapt to change, managers must be effective at executing incremental innovation and leading revolutionary or discontinuous change — they need to be ambidextrous.

This session introduces the idea of the success syndrome and the role of leadership and culture in overcoming it. It begins with a quick review of the evidence and provides a framework that managers can use to diagnose the culture in their own organizations.

What Can We Learn From the Silicon Valley Ecosystem

In this session, we will discuss what large companies and government organizations can learn from the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Silicon Valley is a byword for innovation, yet how can a large organization located far away become more innovative? Among concepts such as “fast to fail” and “A/B testing,” we will discuss the concept of “intrapreneuship” and how its success in Silicon Valley’s large companies can be transferred elsewhere. We will also discuss the role of angel investors, venture capital funds, and intricacies of the funding process. We then consider several examples of corporate venture capital funds. We will also touch upon the history of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, especially the role of the government and regulation, as well as typical mistakes made by companies and governments trying to build their own “Silicon Valleys.”

Who should attend

  • Senior finance executives with at least 10 years of work experience, at least seven years of financial management experience, and a high level of managerial responsibility within their organizations — from any size company, any industry, and any country
  • Examples of appropriate functions and titles: chief financial officer, treasurer, controller, vice president of finance, and other senior-level financial positions

Trust the experts

Francis Flynn

Research Statement Professor Flynn’s research focuses on three topics of interest: (1) How employees can develop healthy patterns of cooperation; (2) How the negative impact of racial and gender stereotyping in the workplace can be mitigated; and (3) How people can emerge as leaders and assume p...


William Barnett

Research Statement William Barnett studies competition among organizations and how organizations and industries evolve globally. He is conducting a large-scale project that seeks to explain why and how some firms grow rapidly in globalizing markets. His prior research includes studies of how str...


Margaret Ann Neale

Research Statement Margaret Neale’s research focuses primarily on negotiation and team performance. Her work has extended judgment and decision-making research from cognitive psychology to the field of negotiation. In particular, she studies cognitive and social processes that produce departures...


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...


Ilya Strebulaev

Research Statement Professor Strebulaev is an expert in corporate finance, venture and angel capital, innovation financing, corporate innovation, and financial decision-making. His recent work has examined the valuation of VC-backed companies, decision making by startup investors, returns to VC ...


Robert Burgelman

Research Statement Robert Burgelman carries out longitudinal field-based research on the role of strategy in firm evolution. He has examined how companies enter into new businesses (through corporate entrepreneurship and internal corporate venturing as well as through acquisition) and leave othe...


Jennifer Aaker

Research Interests Time, Money and Happiness The Power of Story Global Brand Building Emotions, Goals and Health The Psychology of Giving Bio Dr. Jennifer Aaker is a behavioral psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focu...


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The Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Program

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