Executing Strategy - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Executing Strategy

Course Number 1263

Senior Lecturer Bruce Harreld
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
28 Sessions

Career Focus

This course is designed for students who believe they will have responsibility for implementing a new strategy at some point in their career. Such positions include CEO's, senior line executives, and Chief Strategic Officers. Students who plan on working for major strategy consulting firms will also benefit from this experience.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of this course are to sensitize students to the issues confronting leaders as they implement strategy and to provide students with practical techniques for successfully executing strategy.

Course Content and Organization

Building on concepts learned in the RC Strategy and Lead courses, through five modules this course presents a framework for translating a new strategy into successful organizational action.

The course consists of five modules:

  1. Introduction: This module sensitizes the student to the importance of aligning the firm's executional model with the firm's strategy. Cases of effective and ineffective alignment will be discussed.
  2. Strategy & Execution Alignment: This module explores what effective alignment looks like and introduces a framework for aligning tasks required to execute the new strategy with the firm's formal structure, skills, and culture.
  3. Dynamic Strategy: A As external forces evolve strategy & execution readjusted or the organization hits a wall. This module explores how leaders proactively sense the need for a shift in strategy and how they constructively introduce change to their organization.
  4. Culture: Culture is one of the most powerful control systems in an organization. This module explores what culture is and how leaders can effectively use it to build momentum for the new strategy.
  5. Leadership: The course closes with an examination of leaders dealing with alignment and change. In so doing, the importance of personal leadership is emphasized, mistakes ineffective leaders have made are discussed, and the various tools effective change agents use are emphasized.