Your Course of Study
Through a tightly integrated structure of both on- and off-campus modules, GMP provides a holistic view of leadership with an emphasis on practical knowledge and personalized learning. The off-campus modules allow you expand your core knowledge and apply your learning to the challenges you face at work, while the on-campus modules present a rigorous, action-oriented, and collaborative learning environment designed to help you achieve outstanding results for your company.
GMP stresses a peer-to-peer learning model across all modules, using online tools to connect participants who have particular leadership challenges with those who have expertise or experience in those same areas.
Module 1: Building Foundational Skills
Format: Off-Campus Learning (4 weeks)
GMP begins well before you set foot on the HBS campus. After completing the admission process, you will receive a set of online, print, and audio materials. These tools provide a solid foundation in financial management, strategy formulation, and accounting, while introducing you to the HBS learning environment. The goal: to ensure that you arrive on campus ready to learn. Depending on your background and your knowledge of these topics, the work in Module 1 should require from three to six hours per week.
Module 2: Sharpening Diagnostic Skills
Format: On-Campus Learning at HBS (4 weeks)
The first on-campus module builds a deeper understanding of the general manager's job, with particular emphasis on the typical challenges facing a business unit leader: setting strategy, building the organization, understanding the economics and key value drivers, and exploiting new opportunities in both good and bad economies.
You will acquire critical analytical skills and frameworks in three core areas—human resources management, financial management, and strategy formulation—along with a greater knowledge of accounting, marketing, operations, and negotiations. While the objective is to develop working knowledge in each of these functional domains, the program employs a highly integrated approach, with case studies analyzing cross-functional problems that require comprehensive action plans. GMP also provides you with insight into the global economy through special sessions and outside speakers focused on the changing global marketplace and the skills needed to navigate uncertain environments.
Three important components of Module 2 personalize the GMP experience by directly linking it to your company. During the module, you will develop a strategy statement focused on setting direction and identifying a sustainable competitive position for your company. You will then create a case study analyzing a particular leadership challenge associated with the implementation of your chosen strategy. Finally, you will develop a detailed action plan for implementation. This personalized approach to key GMP lessons maximizes the learning, sets the stage for learning in later modules—and delivers greater benefits to your organization.
Module 3: Applying the Knowledge
Format: Off-Campus Learning (5 weeks)
In this module focused on knowledge in action, you will return to your organization and begin applying what you have learned. You will continue to assess and address your leadership challenges as part of the case study exercise. This period of analysis and experimentation begins to deliver concrete benefits to your organization. It also provides an opportunity for you to share your insights and analyses with colleagues at work as a way to further refine your personalized action plan.
During this module, you will gain access to a proprietary HBS website featuring video clips from HBS alumni in general management positions. Offering the "rules of the road" for managers exploring new roles and responsibilities, these videos provide insight into the issues encountered when making the transition from senior functional to general management.
Module 4: Action-Oriented Leadership
Format: On-Campus Learning at HBS (3 weeks)
Challenged by the experience of reimmersion into the workplace during Module 3, you will bring new energy to the second on-campus module. Equipped with a fresh perspective on your job and your organization, you will be determined to tackle obstacles, expand your knowledge and skills, and refine your personal action plan.
Serving as the capstone of GMP, this three-week module provides an in-depth examination of leadership in action. You will discover how to lead in turbulent and uncertain environments, drive fundamental change throughout the organization, and achieve your company's long-term objectives. While analyzing the ethical, motivational, and performance challenges associated with leadership positions, you will develop the skills to capitalize on new technology and globalization. Against this backdrop, you will finalize your personal action plan.
At the same time, you will continue the process of personal transformation through self-reflection. By evaluating your own leadership abilities and identifying areas for improvement, you will discover new insights about yourself: how you analyze problems, how you can apply the leadership skills of your mentors to your own growth, what constitutes your personal leadership style, and how you can best contribute to the success of your organization. Through a series of reentry exercises, the program prepares you to make the critical transition from the HBS learning environment back to your front-line leadership position.
Module 5: Implementation and Ongoing Learning
Format: Off-Campus Learning
Equipped with a detailed action plan developed during GMP, you will return to your organization ready to lead. The ultimate measure of success is the positive impact you will make when applying your new leadership skills and insights to your evolving responsibilities.
In addition to implementing your personal action plan, you will begin the process of lifelong learning. Through a variety of resources, the School enables you to stay abreast of new developments in management theory and practice, while keeping in touch with your GMP classmates and other HBS alumni. As a graduate of GMP, you have access to a powerful network of advisers and coaches who can guide you in navigating current and future leadership challenges.
"Not a single week goes by when I am not utilizing a concept or technique learned at GMP. My colleagues and I were lamenting this morning that, while it would have been nice to return to a more economically stable environment, our time at GMP better prepared us to deal with the downturn. Perhaps the economy has changed the direction of our companies, but the strategies we learned are helping us lead our companies through these difficult times."
Sandi Baylor-Schmidt [Vice President Human Resources & Legal Affairs], Genus Americas, U.S.
"Not only has the GMP provided the boost in my career I expected, it has truly changed the way I tackle day-to-day business challenges. I had the opportunity to exercise my new skills and learning through an acquisition and integration opportunity within Stryker which has provided a continuum of integration challenges. My confidence in facing these challenges head-on is due to the remarkable professors who provided me with the assurance to do so."
Signe Haughton [Global Director of Marketing, Integration, and Commercialization], Stryker – Neurovascular, U.S.