09 Jul 2015

HBX Announces Online Courses from Leading Harvard Business School Faculty

Initial offering focuses on disruptive technology, innovation, and strategy

BOSTON—HBX, Harvard Business School’s unique digital learning initiative, has formally announced the launch of HBX Courses, a portfolio of online programs designed to help executives and leaders develop new skills based on the research and teaching of Harvard Business School faculty members.

HBX entered the digital learning market in June 2014 with the introduction of HBX CORe, which teaches the fundamentals of the language of business (Data Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting), and a preliminary version of Disruptive Strategy with Clayton Christensen, the first HBX Courses offering.

HBX Courses feature the Harvard Business School’s signature case-based teaching approach, delivered on HBX’s proprietary learning platform, which is designed to promote an interactive and social cohort-based learning experience. HBX expects to grow the Courses portfolio by adding three to five new courses in the next year. Planned topics include decision-making, corporate finance for executives, and digital business.

Disruptive Strategy (HBXDisruptiveStrategy.com) is an interactive, team-based, certificate program delivered over five to ten weeks for senior leaders with strategic responsibilities. The course is based on the groundbreaking research of Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School’s Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration and a world-renowned expert on disruptive technology, innovation, and growth. He is the author of an array of influential and best-selling books such as The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution. At Harvard Business School, Christensen teaches Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise, one of the most popular courses in the MBA program’s second-year elective curriculum.

Christensen said that he chose to develop his HBX Course in order to “scale his ideas” -- to bring them to people, places, and organizations around the world that would not otherwise have access to his work. “Clay’s desire to share his ideas with a wider audience aligns perfectly with HBX’s mission to leverage technology to expand and scale Harvard Business School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world,” said Bharat Anand, the School’s Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration and faculty chair of HBX.

Disruptive Strategy participants learn Christensen’s core theories -- including disruption and innovation, “jobs to be done,” modularity vs. interdependence, and the strategy development process -- and how to apply them to solve strategic challenges they may be facing in their own business, from approaching a new market or strategic opportunity to building an actionable strategic plan.

Participants learn first as individuals by watching a series of videos in which Christensen explains the course’s concepts and by using interactive teaching tools available to them on the HBX platform. Then, in keeping with the HBS tradition of case-method teaching, they apply what they have learned by viewing multimedia case studies. Finally, participants are organized into teams that meet regularly to discuss and facilitate their application to their organizations and the roles they play in them.

“The way the course was presented enabled it to become part of who we were,” observed CeCe Morken, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s ProTax group. “The fact that it was offered over four weeks with content, discussion, and applications to our business helped it become part of us.”

Added Leslie Brunner, former vice president of people and process at athenahealth, “Disruptive Strategy felt more applicable, more relevant, more real….There’s secret sauce in the digestibility and relatability of the concepts and the way the course is managed.”

According to Christensen, “Disruptive Strategy offers decision makers a compass, not a roadmap -- a guiding theory of disruption and innovation that provides a tremendous advantage in finding the way to success in a world where change has never been more rapid and the demands on managers have never been greater.”

Disruptive Strategy has been used in the past year by more than 400 participants representing 25 established and startup organizations (profit and nonprofit) involved in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and software. These organizations experienced an overall completion rate of 85 percent, with 90 percent of participants saying that others in their organization would benefit from the program. It is priced so that teams from across as many organizations as possible will be able to learn Christensen’s foundational frameworks.


Ross Pearo

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.