Owner/President Management Program
Addressing Unique Challenges Facing Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
As business owners and entrepreneurs prepare to take their companies to the next level in a highly competitive global arena, they must be fully equipped to master a range of skills—from strategy development to financial management to team building to negotiation. Owner/President Management (OPM) provides a transformative and supportive environment where you can step back from daily operations and learn how to become a more effective leader, deliver greater value to stakeholders, and ensure further success for you and your company.
Presented in three-week sessions over three years, OPM takes into account your demanding schedule while enabling you to assess your company's position, develop long-term strategies, create practical action plans, and connect with global members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) network for advice and support.
Designed with business owners and entrepreneurs in mind, OPM is ideal for CEOs, COOs, presidents, and managing directors of companies with annual sales of at least $10 million. Candidates must be actively involved in running the business and hold a significant equity stake in their firms.
Immersed in an intensive, three-week learning experience for three years, you will emerge a stronger leader who is ready to capitalize on business opportunities, turn challenges into strategic advantage—and build revenue, profit, and growth in the years ahead.
While examining business fundamentals, strategies, and best practices from the perspective of a business leader and owner, you will explore a broad range of topics—from finance, marketing, and sales alignment to leadership, negotiation, and global markets.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Ms. Jacqueline Baugher, Portfolio Director at +1-617-495-6555.
What You Can Expect
Owner/President Management (OPM) is a transformative program that builds a bridge from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. Focused on corporate growth, leadership expertise, and financial success, OPM is an unparalleled opportunity to enhance your business skills, innovate with other talented executives, and prepare for the new challenges that lie ahead. Whether you seek a more global perspective, better ways to seize opportunities, or greater insight into go-to-market options, OPM can help you realize your company's potential—and your own.
Presented as a three-week session each year over three years, OPM provides the skills, tools, and network you need to become a more accomplished leader. The program's structure maximizes the value of your intensive learning experience while minimizing time away from work. Through its valuable feedback loop, the program empowers you to try out new ideas and evaluate results with the help of HBS faculty and peers.
By participating in OPM, you will improve your ability to:
- Build strategic consensus and take decisive action
- Adapt your leadership approach in innovative ways to address challenges
- Evaluate strategic options based on a firmer grounding in business fundamentals
- Foster cooperation among different business functions
- Assess competition and position your company for market success
The OPM Approach
The program's three-year structure gives you valuable opportunities to apply your learning to rapid changes in the global business arena, reflect on the actions you have taken, and assess the resulting implications. Each OPM unit focuses on a key aspect of running a successful business and builds on the preceding unit.
Unit I: Analyzing Opportunities
- Expand your knowledge of key frameworks and approaches for analyzing your business
- Identify opportunities as well as threats and develop a plan for addressing them
- Assess your leadership style and your organization's ability to implement your plan
Unit II: Leading Growth
- Examine complex business models and frameworks to achieve your key goals
- Build core capabilities and strategic assets to increase the value of your business
- Develop the management skills and governance infrastructure to ensure growth
Unit III: Planning Future Transitions
- Develop your business strategy going forward and a game plan for executing it
- Identify future business and personal transitions and approaches for navigating them
- Balance the objectives for your business with your personal and professional goals
"The Owner/President Management (OPM) experience is like no other. You spend nine weeks with an incredible cross-section of CEOs from countries all over the world, and learn from a group of professors who are truly extraordinary. OPM tests every aspect of your business acumen, and exposes you to new and creative ways to approach business challenges. From day one, you'll see that the program is brilliantly organized. The HBS team has put years of effort into making this one of its most sought-after programs!"
Peter Jessiman [President], Wescan Capital, Canada
"OPM was a career changer for me. I never thought that I would be building a $3 billion company, but I am launching a new firm in another country. Since the program, I have talked with five OPM alumni about bringing their businesses here to launch joint ventures, providing the service businesses we need to support our new venture."
Sutton Turner [Executive Director], Sorouh Real Estate, PJSC, United Arab Emirates
Your Course of Study
Designed to build your knowledge, business skills, and confidence as a leader over a three-year period, OPM's comprehensive curriculum delves into essential business fundamentals and emerging best practices as well as areas of special interest to business owners. Immersed in the renowned HBS case method, thought-provoking lectures, and enlightening group discussions, you will explore topics such as:
- Executing Effective Strategies
- Managing Disruptive Innovation
- Negotiating for Success
- Leveraging Markets to Create Value
- Aligning Strategy and Sales
- Managing for Organizational Effectiveness
- Maximizing Financial Resources
- Navigating the Global Economy
- Special Sessions for Business Owners
Executing Effective Strategies
As a business owner, you play the central role in setting—and achieving—your firm's long-term strategic goals. This leadership development program helps you position your company for long-term competitive advantage. You will learn how to:
- Examine the purpose, components, and role of strategy in building competitive advantage
- Evaluate the factors that influence your company's ability to sustain strategic advantage
- Assess the structure of your industry and the threats or enablers that impact profitability
- Understand the competitive environment as well as your firm's strengths and weaknesses
- Develop a viable business strategy that addresses both short-term and long-range goals
Managing Disruptive Innovation
Executives in established firms often view disruptive innovation as a threat and react by protecting the business. Innovators, however, see disruptions as game-changing opportunities and quickly capitalize on them. You will learn how to:
- Analyze opportunities and risks from a more strategic perspective
- Turn a viable opportunity into a focused strategy and business initiative
- Attract top talent and key resources to turn your vision into reality
- Build the capabilities and organization to launch and nurture early-stage ventures
- Forecast value in the face of significant uncertainty and risk
Negotiating for Success
Exceptional negotiation skills are critical for executives at every stage of their careers. OPM equips you with the confidence to lead at the negotiating table and the ability to achieve desired outcomes. You will learn how to:
- Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your decision-making and negotiation strategies
- Test and refine your bargaining skills through carefully structured simulations
- Explore the importance of building trust in a variety of business relationships
Leveraging Markets to Create Value
Whether your customers are businesses or consumers, attracting and retaining them is vital to business success. OPM explores how to assess customer profitability and lifetime value, design and price products, and develop and evaluate promotions and other marketing programs. You will learn how to:
- Analyze the key goals of an effective marketing strategy
- Consider the larger set of marketing tools—including new digital marketing options—from a profitability perspective
- Explore critical relationships among marketing, sales, product/service development, and operations/service delivery efforts
- Evaluate and adjust your firm's marketing strategy and allocation of resources
- Develop growth and change strategies to address the unique dynamics of your markets
Aligning Strategy and Sales
Since your sales channel is an important investment, you must be able to eliminate the gap between your company's overall strategy and its sales execution. OPM examines how to align your organization to sell effectively—and ensure that sales activities reinforce your strategy. You will learn how to:
- Define target customers and the best methods for selling successfully to them
- Translate corporate strategy into sales strategies, tasks, and processes that are easily understood by your sales teams and the entire organization
- Develop account management and segment management strategies based on customer profitability
- Create an environment that not only motivates your sales teams, but also facilitates and sustains your company's success
- Ensure that specific sales recruitment, development, compensation, and performance management efforts and systems support your company strategy
- Leverage resources throughout the company to meet your sales objectives
Managing for Organizational Effectiveness
Understanding how your company creates value and consumes resources requires the right performance metrics. In OPM, you will examine the tools and analytics required for meaningful measurement. You will learn how to:
- Develop, analyze, and forecast financial performance and operating results
- Understand the principles of management accounting systems
- Utilize accounting data to manage and control costs
- Apply accounting concepts to make more refined business decisions
- Use management control systems to achieve profit and performance goals
Maximizing Financial Resources
To realize your company's full potential, you need to manage your financial resources strategically. OPM is designed to help you make better-informed financing decisions. You will learn how to:
- Support strategy and decision making through financial systems
- Examine investing options for financing the growth of your business
- Value business activities to support decisions relating to investment and the purchasing or selling of business assets
- Leverage a variety of financing options to restructure your business
- Transfer ownership based on your personal financial plan
- Harvest business value by divesting a business unit or selling the firm
Navigating the Global Economy
Today's entrepreneurs must expand their global perspective. OPM takes a macroeconomic view of the international business environment, providing strategic insights that will help you lead your organization through convergence and conflict. You will learn how to:
- Identify the opportunities and challenges of doing business across borders
- Analyze country context and risk—and decide where to locate your business and key operating units
- Explore the economic, political, cultural, and social challenges faced by governments and firms conducting business on a global scale
- Identify approaches for growing your company in a networked world economy
Special Sessions for Business Owners
In addition to the core modules listed above, OPM also offers sessions that address specific focused topics of interest to business owners, such as family business challenges and personal investing.
Practical Application Between Sessions
During the time between the three OPM sessions, you will test your newly acquired skills and insights back at work. A unique supplementary program that matches participants with Harvard MBA field-study students also is available to help you implement your classroom learning across your company.
"The overall experience of meeting people in positions similar to mine from around the world really set the program apart. More than a year later, I am amazed at how we continue to network and reach out to one another. Along with the learning and networking, the program gave me the confidence to run and grow my company."
Anne Eiting Klamar [President and CEO], Midmark Corporation, U.S.
Who Is Right for the Program
OPM is ideal for CEOs, COOs, presidents, and managing directors of companies with annual sales of at least $10 million. In addition to being actively involved in running the business, candidates must hold a significant equity stake in their firms.
While the program emphasizes entrepreneurial leadership, participants from companies that are bootstrapped, venture funded, or long established also are welcome. In this intensive learning experience, you must be ready to challenge yourself, seek out new ideas, and contribute to a range of thought-provoking group activities. Between sessions, you will be expected to actively reflect on and apply what you have learned.
OPM participants represent a broad range of industries and organizations and hail from countries around the world. This global diversity not only empowers you to negotiate, compete, and conduct business across borders, but also maximizes your exposure to successful business practices and enables you to expand your professional network with accomplished business leaders worldwide.
Past Participants Represented:
|6%||High Technology||2%||Middle East|
"OPM was an outstanding experience. The interaction with fellow attendees on a personal level created deep, lifelong friendships, while at the same time facilitating powerful interlearning. The group interaction in the case studies coupled with the class discussions challenged my business mindset and helped me develop new and creative business models."
Padraig O'Ceidigh [Chairman], Aer Arann, Ireland
Meet the Program Faculty
Like all Harvard Business School Executive Education programs, OPM is developed and taught by a core faculty of HBS professors. Our faculty members are widely recognized as skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, and award-winning authors.
Through publishing, consulting, and teaching, they leverage their business expertise and field-based research to create new knowledge and enduring concepts that shape the practice of management. The result is a teaching team that exposes participants to multiple perspectives, challenging their thinking and encouraging new practices that result in superior business leadership. For more detailed biographies, click on each faculty name.
Lynda M. Applegate, Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration. Head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit; member of the General Management Unit; faculty chair of "Owner/President Management Portfolio," "Owner/President Management," "OPM IV: Doing Business in Brazil," and "Key Executives Program"; and faculty cochair of "Breakthrough Insights: Leading Innovation."
Frank V. Cespedes, MBA Class of 1973 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. Member of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit; and faculty chair of "Aligning Strategy and Sales."
John A. Davis, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. Member of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit; and faculty chair of "Families in Business: From Generation to Generation" and "Managing Family Businesses for Generational Success—India."
Rohit Deshpandé, Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing. Member of the Marketing Unit; and faculty chair of the "Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning" and "Leadership and Corporate Accountability—India."
Robert Steven Kaplan, Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration. Senior Associate Dean for External Relations; and member of the Organizational Behavior Unit.
Josh Lerner, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Marvin Bower Fellow. Member of the Business, Government and the International Economy Unit. Faculty chair of "Global Immersion in Brazil."
Deepak Malhotra, Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit.
Anette Mikes, Assistant Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Accounting and Management Unit.
Ashish Nanda, Robert Braucher Professor of Law from Practice. Faculty chair of Executive Education and Research Director at the Center for Law and Professions at Harvard Law School.
Forest L. Reinhardt, John D. Black Professor of Business Administration. Faculty chair of the European Research Initiative; member of the Business, Government and the International Economy Unit; and faculty cochair of the "Global Energy Seminar."
W. Earl Sasser, Baker Foundation Professor. Member of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit; faculty chair of "Leadership Best Practices," and "Leadership for Senior Executives"; and faculty cochair of "Achieving Breakthrough Service."
David B. Yoffie, Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration. Member of the Strategy Unit.
"One of the most energizing parts of the program is the amazing group of people that I have become friends with from all over the world. Since I graduated from OPM, our globe has become much smaller. I can call on any one of my fellow graduates in over 20 countries, and they will be there for me—as I would be for them."
Julie Levi [President], Progressive Promotions, Inc., U.S.
OPM: A Transformative Experience
Your time in OPM is an investment in your company's future that will deliver long-term return-on-investment for both you and your company. Rooted in Harvard Business School's world-renowned case study method, this life-changing experience provides more than just information—it transforms you as a business leader. Not only will you interact with Harvard Business School professors, renowned thought leaders who have redefined modern management practices, but you also will share in dynamic case discussions with a select group of accomplished business owners from around the world.
Time to Learn. Learning takes time—a valuable resource for business owners who often forego executive education opportunities in the effort to maintain business momentum. OPM offers a realistic solution by limiting participation to three weeks a year. This structure allows you to develop a broader and more accurate perspective on your business without requiring an extended absence. You can comfortably step back from the daily demands of your business in order to reassess your role within the company and evaluate your business strategies.
Shared Experiences. Every facet of the program—from participant selection to discussion group design to social activities—is structured to promote dynamic interchange. Small learning teams provide a range of experiences and talents, as well as a unique context for constructive feedback and professional development. To reinforce the School's extraordinary sense of community, OPM participants live on campus in suites of single, private rooms arranged around a common area, providing ready access to colleagues and fostering peer-to-peer engagement.
In-Depth Immersion. To achieve its ambitious goals, OPM requires on-campus residency and expects active involvement in all program activities. Classes are held six days a week, and you typically will remain fully engaged 14 hours a day. During your stay at HBS, you must remain free of outside responsibilities. Furthermore, due to the intensive curriculum, we strongly recommend that your family not accompany you to Boston. This allows you to focus on yourself—your company's biggest business asset.
Relationships for Life. You and your peers will learn and work together, creating a powerful network that can last a lifetime. Many OPM alumni keep in close contact with one another by attending OPM reunions and other alumni events, embarking on joint business ventures, and exchanging ideas and feedback with a network of global colleagues.
"Simply put, the OPM experience changed how I envision both my business and my personal life. I was able to step back, look at my business from 30,000 feet, and plan comprehensively. By broadening my perspective, the program has helped me to ask better questions—and expect better answers. OPM is a must for all."
Kevin Bohm [President], Alarcon Bohm Corporation, U.S.
An Alumni Network that Sustains Your Growth
Ongoing Connections, Learning, and Networking
Reflecting the School's commitment to foster lifelong learning and to strengthen individual leadership capabilities, HBS will continue to provide OPM graduates with relevant educational resources and opportunities long after the program ends. After completing the program, you will become part of the Harvard Business School alumni network with exclusive access to:
- The HBS alumni network – Tap into a global resource of more than 78,000 MBA and Executive Education alumni in 167 countries
- The HBS Alumni Clubs and Associations – Connect with members of 85 Alumni Clubs and Associations worldwide on diverse business and social levels. Besides strengthening alumni relationships and offering opportunities for continued learning, many Clubs and Associations provide community service, reinforcing the HBS mission "to educate leaders who make a difference in the world."
- OPM@Work – an online information service that provides practical tools, the latest thinking, and a networked community where you can stay connected to other OPM participants and HBS
- The Baker Library services – Access a comprehensive collection of content assets and thought-leadership pieces on wide-ranging aspects of management and leadership online at http://www.library.hbs.edu/resources_alumni.html.
- The HBS Publishing Alumni Plus Program – Identify yourself as an alumni member when placing an order and receive a 20-percent discount on regularly priced items. This includes HBS Press books, Harvard Business Review article reprints, and case studies (subscriptions not included). If other discounts are offered (such as quantity or special pricing), the lowest available discount will apply. After completing a program at the School, alumni will receive a free one-year subscription to Harvard Business Review.
- A 30-percent discount on all HBS Executive Education Open-Enrollment programs
- A lifelong HBS email forwarding address
"The opportunity to learn with a diverse group of talented and influential peers is an incredible gift that has changed my perspective on both learning and business. I've formed lifelong friendships with my OPM classmates that will be invaluable throughout my career."
Dennis P. Murphy [President], Hayden Homes, U.S.
Because a diverse participant mix is an important part of every HBS Executive Education program, we look for candidates who reflect a broad range of industries, functions, countries, and backgrounds to enrich the learning experience.
Fees, Payments, and Cancellations
The program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals.
No payment is necessary until you have been accepted into an HBS Executive Education program. After admission notification, we will send you an invoice via email; payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If admission is within 30 days prior to the start of the program, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. Payment is required prior to the program start date. We accept payment by company check, bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa). Details are included on the program invoice.
If you need to cancel or defer participation, you must submit your request in writing more than 30 days before the start of the program to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of preprogram preparation, cancellations or deferrals received 14 to 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests received within 14 days are subject to full payment.
Although there are no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential.
We deliberately design our programs to encourage individual growth and to foster productive interaction among participants. For that reason, proficiency in written and spoken English is essential. If English is your second language, or if you have less than one year's experience working in an English-speaking environment, HBS requires a brief statement documenting proficiency in English-language skills, both conversational and written. This may include a list of the English-language certification programs that you have completed; the degrees you have earned at English-speaking colleges and universities; or the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The Admissions Committee also may request a telephone interview.
HBS must receive your application and all required documents in order to prepare the application for review by the Admissions Committee.
If you submit your application online, we will promptly acknowledge receipt of your submission via email. In the unlikely event that an email acknowledgment is not received, please contact the Admissions Committee by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +1-617-495-6226, or fax: +1-617-496-1731.
If you choose to submit a printed application, be sure to type or print legibly and sign your application. Send the application to the address or fax number listed on the form. Mailed or faxed applications are processed and acknowledged promptly upon receipt via email.
Complete Your Application
Please answer all questions thoroughly—the Admissions Committee will only consider completed applications. After reviewing your application and making the necessary edits or corrections, print or copy the application for your records.
Meet the Deadlines
We request applications at least four weeks in advance of the program start date. Early application does not guarantee admission. Programs often fill to capacity, so early application is recommended.
Notification of Acceptance
We acknowledge receipt of all applications and maintain all application information in strict confidentiality.
To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, the Admissions Committee selects a class that balances each participant's experience, the scope of his or her current responsibilities, and the type of organization.
The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications four months before the start date, and qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Once the review process has begun, applicants are notified within three weeks via email regarding Admissions Committee decisions. If your application is received within three weeks of the program's start date, the Admissions Committee will notify you of their decision as soon as possible.
For further assistance, contact our client service specialists at: 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555).
"OPM is a rich learning experience. The case method and peer interaction enhanced my analytical thinking and deepened my understanding of the groups I lead. Stepping out of my daily routine allowed me to contemplate next steps for myself, my family, and my business."
Raúl X. Ascarrunz [President of New Ventures], GEDESA, Bolivia