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Harvard Business School

The HR–Executive Suite Connection

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Top companies manage their human capital as strategically as their financial capital—and bring their human resources leaders into the strategic decision-making process. This HR leadership program prepares you to apply your human capital insights to discussions with C-suite executives on strategic opportunities and direction, performance improvement, and competitive threats. You will return to your organization with the expertise and confidence to recommend bold moves and create business value.

Key Benefits

In this human resources leadership program, you will move beyond talent management to engage fully in every aspect of senior leadership discussions. As you analyze the core business challenges and opportunities that arise in typical executive committee meetings, you will improve your ability to build and implement strategic initiatives that empower your organization to compete, grow, and thrive.


Become your organization's top resource for human capital strategy

  • Apply your human capital insights to discussions about strategic opportunities, differentiated capabilities, and competitive threats
  • Find new ways to compete for and leverage the best talent
  • Collaborate effectively with your CEO, COO, CFO, board of directors, and others on your senior leadership team

Create a more nimble and high-performing organization

  • Anticipate, diagnose, and mitigate problems that arise in a growing organization
  • Enable the successful execution of your organization's strategy
  • Diagnose and address problems in service or business performance
  • Strengthen leadership and teamwork capabilities—in yourself, your senior management team, and across the organization

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

What You Will Learn

Through a rich learning experience that includes faculty presentations, case studies, simulations, and small group discussions, you will learn how human resources executives can play a central role in driving growth and achieving operational excellence. Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to practice analyzing problems, collaborate with peers on strategies for creating business value, and learn what CEOs need from their human capital experts.

To help you apply your learning when you return to work, you will develop an action plan focused on your organization's strategic business challenges. This presentation, which you will fine-tune based on feedback from the HBS faculty and your program

Key Topics

Growth strategy

  • Addressing issues that typically arise in acquisition-led growth and organic growth
  • Designing systems that improve the chances of success when implementing new business models or offerings
  • Planning and leading organizational transformation

Operational excellence

  • Assessing and improving business performance
  • Analyzing your company's business systems to diagnose performance problems and develop solutions
  • Ensuring that employees have the skills and tools needed to operate effectively and efficiently

Service excellence

  • Developing service as a competitive differentiator
  • Creating conditions that lead to brilliant service execution and thriving employees
  • Improving service levels without raising costs

People leadership and teamwork

  • Creating a more effective senior management team
  • Building strategies and business models that enable the organization to identify, develop, and retain top talent
  • Evaluating and developing leaders at all levels of the organization

Who should attend

  • Human resources leaders from midsize to large companies
  • Senior executives who are on the path to becoming HR heads
  • Particularly appropriate for: HR leaders who report to the CEO or are members of the top leadership team
  • Not appropriate for: General managers


Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. A member of the faculty since 2003, Professor Oberholzer-Gee received his Masters degree, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich. H...
Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. The Novartis Chair was established to enable the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful business enterprises for the betterment of society. Edmondson is the autho...
Bharat Anand is the Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, and the faculty chair of the HBX initiative. He also serves on the university''s HarvardX Faculty Committee. His research is in applied and empirical industrial organization, a...
Dr. Paul McKinnon is a Senior Lecturer in the Organizational Behavior Unit, where he teaches in Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) in the MBA Required Curriculum, and Managing Human Capital in the MBA Elective Curriculum. His research interests are in Talent Management. Prior to joini...
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...
Ryan Raffaelli is an assistant professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He co-created and teaches the course "Leadership Execution and Action Planning" (LEAP) in the MBA elective curriculum and previously taught "Leadership and Organizational Behavior" (LEAD) in t...
Mark C. Maletz is a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School and faculty chair of the Executive Education program, The HR-Executive Suite Connection. He is an internationally recognized thought leader in the areas of strategy, leadership development and organizational transformation. His rese...
Nitin Nohria became the tenth dean of Harvard Business School on 1 July 2010. He previously served as co-chair of the Leadership Initiative, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development, and Head of the Organizational Behavior unit. As Dean, building on input from faculty, students, staff, and...
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