The Corporate Leader
How Corporate Managers Contribute Value
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In today's economic climate, corporate leaders in multidivisional and multinational companies face a uniquely broad set of challenges. While putting in place the systems, relationships, and strategies that foster business unit success, you also must lead the business as a whole, optimizing financial strategy in a turbulent global economy, generating synergies across units, and creating opportunities beyond the current business. The Corporate Leader explores this multifaceted role in depth, helping you balance competing demands while maintaining the big-picture focus that positions your organization for future success.
In an intensive, learning-packed week, you will gain a thorough grounding in your unique role as a corporate executive in a multibusiness company. You will leave the program with a critical new perspective along with proven, career-enhancing tools you can use immediately.
This leadership development program addresses four fundamental activities of the corporate office: leadership, strategy, finance, and governance. In a comprehensive, case-driven learning experience that explores each of these areas in depth, you will learn how to prioritize objectives and make the most effective contributions to corporate success.
Designed for corporate executives from midsize to large multidivisional or multinational companies, the program is also suited to business unit managers working in, or planning to join, the corporate office. Prior experience with the case study method is required.
What You Can Expect
Focusing on the unique challenges that today's financial situation present, The Corporate Leader is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of your role as a driver of corporate performance—from supporting individual business units and building strong teams to crafting effective compensation and incentive programs to facilitating effective corporate-division relationships. You will leave the program with valuable tools and proven concepts that ensure that your actions contribute directly to corporate and business unit success.
As an executive working at the corporate level, you are presented with a wide range of competing priorities as you strive to help your multidivisional or multinational company achieve its potential. Recognizing that many of the issues addressed at the corporate level are fundamentally different from those facing business unit leaders, the Harvard Business School Executive Education program The Corporate Leader provides a thorough grounding in the role of corporate executive.
By completing this program, you will be better able to:
- Cultivate a leadership approach that meets the needs of a multibusiness company
- Manage the competing demands on leaders of a multibusiness company—from capital markets, product markets, and diverse constituencies within the company
- Think critically about all potential sources of value and strategic advantage—including innovation within existing businesses, as well as acquisitions, strategic partnerships, restructuring, or spin-offs
- Develop maximally productive relationships with colleagues in the corporate office, with business unit leaders, and—by disseminating corporate vision—with every employee who contributes to your company's success
- Understand how corporations go astray, and how corporate leaders can prevent common problems
How Will My Organization Benefit?
Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School are a significant investment for both you and your organization. Going far beyond the basic transmission of skills and theories, each leadership development program provides applicable lessons in the classroom that can be implemented successfully within your organization. You will acquire a fresh perspective on global business from our groundbreaking curriculum, world-renowned faculty, and an accomplished group of elite peers from around the world.
"Every now and then, it is good to be confronted with—and immersed in—one's role within the company. Otherwise, one tends to become completely absorbed by the daily pressures. The program gave me the opportunity to step back and examine not only my corporate role, but also my company's role within the community and the business environment."
Matthias Seidl [Chief Operating Officer of Brand Volkswagen], Volkswagen of America, Inc., U.S.
Your Course of Study
The Corporate Leader immerses you in a one-week learning experience recognized for its intensity, fast pace, and impact. Because your role as an executive is potentially quite broad, the program's curriculum covers four fundamental areas of focus: corporate leadership, corporate strategy, corporate finance, and corporate governance. As you explore each of these topics in depth, you will acquire the strategic skills and wide-ranging perspective needed to become a more effective leader, succeed in your current role, and take on additional responsibility over time.
Specific topics addressed in lectures, case studies, interactive discussions, hands-on exercises, and study groups include:
- Exploring the elements of leadership in a large multibusiness company
- Providing vision for the strategic direction of the organization
- Building effective management teams that are dedicated to hiring, developing, and retaining the most talented individuals at all levels
- Understanding the CEO's role, including the qualities of successful leaders
- Managing in a crisis
- Crafting corporate strategies that leverage all business units to create value and deliver sustainable competitive advantage
- Recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities for synergies across business units
- Overseeing the development of new businesses and managing growth created by new activity within existing business units
- Considering a broad array of options that might fulfill the organization's mission and goals, including mergers, acquisitions, business unit reorganization, or strategic partnerships—and executing these initiatives effectively
- Devising sound financial strategies to fund domestic and multinational initiatives
- Managing relationships with financial markets in an uncertain global economy
- Building a balance sheet and other financial management tools that fit the needs of your specific corporate portfolio
- Managing cash flows from a strategic perspective
- Understanding the contribution and role of the CFO
- Structuring equitable and effective compensation and incentive programs across the organization
- Ensuring corporate accountability, responsibility, and ethical business practices
- Building and maintaining productive relationships with the company's key stakeholders
- Learning from notable examples of corporate governance, both good and bad
"The Corporate Leader deals with every dimension of leadership—from corporate finance to corporate strategy to corporate governance. As a result, I now have a thorough understanding of what real leadership is—and, in the process, have become a better board member."
Fernando M. Portella [President], MP & Associates, Brazil
Who Is Right for the Program
The HBS Executive Education program The Corporate Leader is designed for senior executives from midsize to large multidivisional or multinational companies who have corporate-level responsibilities. The program is also appropriate for business unit managers working closely with the corporate office and for executives currently working in, or planning to join, the corporate office.
Focusing on challenges that are similar across industries and geographies, this program assembles a group of accomplished executives from many different types of businesses around the world. Inside and outside the classroom, and long after the program ends, you will have a unique opportunity to network with your peers, share experiences and ideas, discuss real business challenges and solutions, and gain diverse new perspectives.
Because of the fast-paced nature and distinctive format of this intensive program, you must have prior experience with the case study method. Ideal candidates are alumni of HBS or other leading business schools.
Past Participants Represented:
|11%||Consumer Products||14%||Latin America|
"The Corporate Leader widened my expertise and my experience. Not only did the program make me more aware of my current leadership style, but it also presented alternatives to that style. Through the case method, I was able to see the amazing access that HBS has to top companies worldwide. The breadth in themes covered—as well as the exposure to top staff and top companies—further enriched my learning experience."
Philip van Lookeren Campagne [Marketing Director], Planon BV, The Netherlands
Meet the Program Faculty
Like all HBS Executive Education programs, The Corporate Leader is developed and taught by a core faculty of HBS professors. Our faculty are widely recognized for being 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.
Joseph L. Bower, Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration. Member of the General Management Unit.
William W. George, Professor of Management Practice, Member of the Organization Behavior Unit; faculty chair of "Authentic Leadership Development" and faculty cochair of "Leading a Global Enterprise" and "Breakthrough Insights: Leading Innovation."
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.
John R. Wells, Professor of Management Practice. Member of the Strategy Unit; and faculty chair of "Strategic IQ: Creating Smarter Corporations."
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.
HBS Executive Education programs enrich both participants and their sponsoring organizations, and require full commitment from each party. While participants devote time and intellect to the learning experience, sponsoring organizations agree to relieve individuals of their work responsibilities during the program.
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.
Program participants must be nominated and sponsored by their current employer. 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 consider only 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).