Education for the higher educated

Strategy Team

Ashridge Business School

  • Description
  • Overview

"Helping managers in the strategy function become true strategists"

What do these seminars cover?

There are eight one-day seminars in central London over a period of two years. These cover the spectrum of issues that managers in the strategy function in major companies need to address in their daily work.

Who are they for?

You work in the strategy, business development, planning or competitiveness function in a large commercial company.

How will I benefit?

As Chief Strategy Officer you can benefit by making the seminars available to managers in your team. As Chief Strategy Officer or as a manager in the strategy team you can benefit directly by participating in the seminars.

The seminar series will help participants become more effective strategists. Once a quarter, you will be able to step back from the detail of your daily project work and engage with others on an important strategy topic. You will learn about the leading academic and practitioner thinking on the topic and exchange experiences with strategists from other companies. You will come away with useful tools, useful contacts and a commitment to clear strategic thinking. The seminars are designed to help you make a bigger contribution to your company's success.

How will I learn?

Each seminar is led by a director of Ashridge Business School's Strategic Management Centre, all of whom have been consultants at McKinsey & Co. or The Boston Consulting Group.

  • You will receive preparatory reading that covers leading thinking on the topic. These will be short articles or cases suitable for taking on a plane or train journey.
  • You will be brought up to speed with leading-edge thinking, based on practical research and consulting experiences with leading companies.
  • You will participate in short exercises to demonstrate tools and techniques.
  • You will contribute to plenary discussions and breakout sessions allowing you to exchange experiences with other strategists.

How will my organisation benefit?

This programme will help you transition from being a planner and project manager to become a true strategist. With better tools and greater confidence, you will be able to make a bigger contribution to your company's success.

The seminars are part of a broader subscription package for Chief Strategy Officers of major companies offered by the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre to help develop the capability of the strategy function.

How do I apply?

You can subscribe to the seminars as a two-year package or annually, and you can also book a place on each seminar individually. Chief Strategy Officers who enrol in the broader capability development package automatically gain two seats on the seminar programme.


Upcoming seminars

Over a two-year period the seminars cover the following topics:

Strategy execution

  • The three gaps between ambitions and outcomes
  • Strategy briefing
  • Directing, leading and managing roles

Value Management

  • Defining value creation for companies and their subsiduaries
  • Understanding the levers of value creation
  • Identifying which levers work in different situations
  • Building a value creating plan
  • Making delivery happen

Corporate-level strategy

  • Ways the centre can add value to the business unit
  • Portfolio strategy and the design of the group levels
  • Building synergies

The essence of strategy

  • Analysing industry attractiveness and profitability
  • The sources of competitive advantage
  • Cost and differentiation drivers
  • Core resources and competences

Mergers and acquisitions

  • Acquisition strategy and the four rules
  • Valuing the target
  • Post-merger integration

Strategic planning in the organisation

  • The purpose of strategic planning
  • What the strategic plan should cover
  • The strategic planning process

Growth initiatives

  • Three ways to grow
  • Why many growth initiatives fail
  • How to develop new growth platforms

Organisation design and collaboration with business partners

  • In-house versus outsourcing
  • Setting up contracts to overcome collaboration problems
  • Designing the organisational hierarchy

Strategic decision-making

  • Human decision-making biases
  • Framing and options

Seminar Structure

Before each seminar:

  • Stimulating reading covering key approaches and techniques.

During each seminar:

  • Introductory lecture describing practical approaches to the topic; plenary and breakout sessions to discuss cases or exercises; facilitated exchange of experience between participants.

After each seminar:

  • Participants are expected to try out the tools and approaches in their work and share their experiences.
  • Particpants are encouraged to interact with the seminar leader by email.
  • In addition, participants can contact other participants and join in discussions on the topic through a web-based community.

What makes this programme different?

The programme is specifically designed to stimulate and develop the capability of managers in the strategy function.

  • A broad sweep across a wide range of strategy topics
  • An ongoing programme: regular readings, presentations, case studies, discussions with peers over two years.
  • All seminars taught by former strategy consultants at leading firms with experience of the needs of strategy departments.
  • On all topics, the possibility of deepening knowledge and understanding with a longer course from the same Ashridge Strategic Management Centre faculty at Ashridge.

Level University
Form Part-time
Incompany No
Open enrolment Yes
Costs (indication) No entry
Class location type Conference center
Titles No title
Required language skills English
Country United Kingdom
Completion Certificate