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MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Platform Strategy: Building and Thriving in a Vibrant Ecosystem

October 25-26, 2017

In 2013, fourteen of the top 30 global brands by market capitalization were platform-oriented companies ? companies that created and now dominate arenas in which buyers, sellers, and a variety of third parties are connected in real time. In today?s networked age, the cloud, social media, and mobile devices are fueling this platform competition, and more and more companies want in. However, many companies do not succeed in becoming platform leaders because their technology and/or business strategies fall short.

While many platform strategies are well known (e.g. Apple?s iTunes), there are other less-heralded platforms that are exploring new ways to create and capture value. These include: dynamic pricing, usage fees, highly targeted product and service offerings, inbound marketing, and network effects.

Key questions the faculty explores include:

  • Is a customer segment with the highest ?willingness to pay? the most valuable segment?
  • When is tying a customer to a platform (sometimes called ?lock in?) counter-productive?
  • Which pricing formats seem to boost revenues but actually slow platform adoption?
  • How can companies get in front of the common evolution patterns of platforms?
  • When should leaders be wary of ?platform envy??

Through case studies and Q&A, experienced managers will emerge with insights for refreshing their company?s strategic approach and participating profitably in the multi-sided marketplaces of the future.

By the end of this two-day course, participants should be able to:


  • Identify examples of traditional and non-traditional forms of platforms
  • Describe the common evolution patterns of multisided platforms, including same-side vs. cross-side network effects
  • Identify customer and user groups whose affiliation with the platform is most valuable
  • Decide whether to try to ?tie? customers to a platform or not ? the value of open vs. proprietary networks
  • Design strategies to undermine an established platform or to defend against such attacks
  • Describe the principles of platform pricing and how to inform the design of an effective pricing format
  • Recognize the concrete implications of trade-offs in platform design, governance, and staging
  • Decide whether a given value proposition is best developed as a stand-alone platform, or as a complement embedded into another platform?s ecosystem?or whether to pivot away from platform strategies all together.

Cambridge, MA

Understanding Global Markets: Macroeconomics for Executives

October 30 - November 1, 2017

The Understanding Global Markets: Macroeconomics for Executives program began in 2010, and quickly became very popular. In response to participant interest in additional content on the economic policies and choices of Europe and Asia and the relative success compared to the rest of the world, we now offer the program as a three-day session. The extra day allows participants to gain a more thorough understanding of the dynamics of comparative advantage, sources of international conflict and the varied responses of economies to crisis.

This program is designed to help executives understand and predict the medium-to long-run performance of economies in order to mitigate risk, develop growth plans, and make investment decisions, both locally and abroad. Participants will leave the program with a better understanding of the global economic environment, and learn to recognize the effects of the economy on their companies, so that their business decisions may be informed and appropriate. The tools and frameworks presented in this program will enable participants to:

  • Understand the nature and behavior of financial crises
  • Learn to interpret financial indicators
  • Recognize economic trends
  • Predict likely actions of central banks and governments
  • Make informed off-shoring decisions
  • Be successful in international investments
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the dynamics of comparative advantage, sources of international conflict and the varied responses of economies to crisis.

MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Implementing Improvement Strategies: Dynamic Work Design

October 31 - November 1, 2017

This program provides practical tools and methods for sustainable improvement efforts of any scale, in any industry, and in any function. It is built on a foundation of principles and methods called Dynamic Work Design and can be adapted to any type of work in any type of organization.


Proceeding from principles, not practices, is a key to sustainable change, allowing integration with current culture, processes, and practices, while delivering fast results with little overhead of training or major initiatives. The method has proven to work in businesses as diverse as oil/gas, DNA sequencing and engineering/innovation and works at the scale of discreet problems or organizational-wide strategic efforts. Improvement begins to happen in rapid and natural ways; results begin showing up almost immediately.


This process improvement training program is inspired by the collaboration between instructors Don Kieffer and Nelson Repenning who integrated industry practice and academic investigation over a 20-year period to develop Dynamic Work Design. Students will learn to identify the value-added elements of their own work and of their organization and more importantly, identify opportunities for improving and how to get started based on a framework of principles and methods.

Please note: The subtitle of this program has changed. The program was previously named "Implementing Improvement Strategies: Practical Tools and Methods."

The main purpose of this program is two-fold: one is to help participants understand how continuous improvement strategies, sustained over a long period of time, affect core business metrics and contribute to the success of the organization, from bottom-up and top-down perspectives; and the other is how to change the way managers see work and their own roles as leaders in the culture of improvement. This program will enable participants to:


  • Understand the principles and approaches that drive improvement; and apply them in all areas in the context of a particular company, thus creating a tangible culture of continuous improvement
  • Implement improvement naturally in their everyday work, not from a prescribed list, but from a deep personal understanding of the principles
  • Recognize successful improvement initiatives already in place and build on them
  • Identify the true value-added aspects of work performed by individual workers and the entire organization
  • Ensure that business targets and improvement activities are tightly linked at every level
  • Develop inquiry and evidence-based problem solving skills for individuals and for organizations
  • Transform managers from controllers to enablers by leveraging the relationship between designing the work well and the engagement of employees that follows
  • Generate ?pull? from within the organization for new methods of work
  • Make results (and problems) visible so that they can be addressed constructively
  • Not just remove defects, but learn how to design work correctly from the beginning

Cambridge, MA

Marketing Innovation

November 2-3, 2017

You've created an innovative new product or service that could revolutionize your industry, but do you know how to successfully bring it to market? Are you prepared to assess market opportunities? Will customers readily understand the value of your innovation? This program is designed to provide executives who already have deep technical or functional experience with a thorough review of the key marketing concepts as they relate to new innovations and new products. This course also covers new digital techniques and the evolution of marketing as a data-driven science.

Even the most brilliant innovation can fail if you don?t know how to market it. In other words, just because you build it doesn't mean they'll come. Marketing Innovation helps participants leverage marketing concepts and research to better influence the outcomes of new products and innovations. Participants learn how to evaluate market attractiveness, think about the design and management of distribution channels, and understand pricing architectures.

The first day of the course provides a strategic and practical approach to understanding consumer decision making, analyzing company strengths, and assessing the competition. This strategic approach is applied to real world examples to help technical executives learn to identify the right product for the right market opportunity. On the second day, the course turns to practical issues, including pricing architectures, building channel relationships and marketing communications decisions. Participants will learn the pros and cons of digital marketing and explore how to leverage new digital techniques to optimize marketing outcomes.

After completing the two-day program, participants will have learned a common language that they can use to interact more effectively with the marketing and strategy professionals in their own firms.

Please note: Marketing Innovation is replacing Strategic Marketing for Technical Executives, also led by Professor Catherine Tucker. Because of some overlap in curriculum, this new program is not recommended for previous participants of Strategic Marketing for Technical Executives from the last four years.


Takeaways

Participants of this program will learn how and when to contribute to their organization's marketing strategy. Technical executives and non-marketing managers will learn how to:

  • Develop a strategic framework for assessing market opportunities
  • Anticipate and take advantage of surprising inconsistencies in the customer decision process
  • Leverage pricing architectures best positioned to help capture value
  • Choose the digital marketing channels best suited for their product and market
  • Communicate more effectively with the marketing team

Cambridge, MA

Strategic Cost Analysis for Managers

November 2-3, 2017

This program offers a unique opportunity for program and project managers to learn cost accounting-based management practices and strategies for making smart business decisions that justify outcomes and create value. Whereas financial accounting is used primarily to communicate the overall results for an entire organization to external parties, managerial accounting helps you answer the granular, the day-to-day questions: How much does this product cost to make?  How should I price this service?  How do I use the budget process to help me plan better in the first place?  How do I evaluate the performance of my employees? Program material is drawn from our popular and highly rated MBA course on managerial accounting, and topics include product costing, activity based management, flexible budgeting, variance analysis, and performance measurement systems.

The program offers a series of interactive lectures, cases, and small group exercises that will help participants better understand:

  • The language and mechanics of cost accounting that goes on within complex organizations
  • Cost allocation, absorption costing, and transfer pricing, and their effect on reported performance
  • How to identify good results even though the accounting numbers look bad, and bad results when the accounting numbers look good
  • Companies' internal metrics for evaluating management

Cambridge, MA

Supply Chain Strategy and Management

November 7-8, 2017

Led by world experts, this practice-oriented program investigates a robust MIT framework for better managing supply chains in today's rapidly changing markets. Participants will explore:

  • The next big trend in supply chain strategy, and the key skills required to be successful
  • How to better structure a company's supply-chain strategy
  • Guidelines for making strategic sourcing and make-buy decisions
  • How to integrate e-business thinking into supply chain strategy and management
  • How to blend recent developments in information systems and communication technology with sophisticated decision support systems and create a comprehensive strategy for manufacturing and logistics
  • "Clockspeed benchmarking," a tool for deriving critical business insights and management lessons from industries with the highest obsolescence rates of products, process technologies, and organizational structures (industrial "fruit flies")
  • How to assimilate sustainability into your supply chain strategy
  • Why all advantages in fast clockspeed environments are temporary

Many participants attend this program along with Developing a Leading Edge Operations Strategy.

In the past, supply chain practice has been primarily tactical, but this program presents a new and innovative approach to supply chain design, which will enable program participants to better understand:

  • The role of supply chain design in business strategy and why, if not linked, your supply chain design can undo a company's entire business strategy
  • Forces that influence supply chain structure?how supply chain structures change; how supply chain structures and industry structures overlap; and how these structures are affected by the speed of change in a given industry
  • Integrating supply chain design with product and process development
  • Connecting supply chain design with supply chain management and logistics
  • Supply chains in the age of e-business

Cambridge, MA

Innovation Ecosystems for Leaders: Delivering Sustainable Competitive Advantage

November 7-8, 2017

Innovation is a driver of productivity, comparative advantage, economic growth, and enterprise value. But innovation does not happen in a vacuum. It requires a network of participants—entrepreneurs, corporate managers, investors, researchers, university faculty, venture capitalists, government officials, suppliers, and customers—who comprise the ecosystem. Innovating in such ecosystems creates a new set of challenges for organizations and their leaders. Executives often find it hard to get beyond the buzzwords to harness the power of this phenomenon for their organizations.

This new course draws on MIT research to provide an introduction to innovation ecosystems, to demystify this important concept, alongside the broader topics of innovation and entpreneurship, and to explain how the right ecosystem can provide both an inspiration for innovation and source of competitive advantage. Participants will learn to understand their role as stakeholders in innovation ecosystems. They will learn ways to assess both their local and other ecosystems (including Boston and elsewhere) as potential locations for innovation centers, etc. And also to partner with startup entrepreneurs, research universities, ‘risk capital’ providers and other corporate/government stakeholders, on on accelerators, prizes, and hackathons.

Participants in the program need not aim to become corporate entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs themselves, but they should want to understand—as leaders and managers—how to access external innovation from the ecosystem, and how to lead on internal innovation.

Cambridge, MA

Implementing Industry 4.0: Leading Change in Manufacturing and Operations

November 7-8, 2017

The term "Industry 4.0" refers to the combination of several major innovations in digital technology that are poised to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors. From advanced robotics and machine learning to software-as-a-service and the Industrial Internet of Things, these changes enable a powerful new way of organizing global operations. But how should executives lead this change within their own organizations so as to not negatively impact production, customer satisfaction, and corporate culture?


Implementing Industry 4.0: Leading Change in Manufacturing & Operations is a new program designed to help executives implement large scale technological change. Topics discussed include:

  • New business models and forms of operations that are currently being enabled by technological innovations such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • The "hidden factory" that results from a counterproductive and unpredictable mix of old and new technologies. Over time, this results in an unknown "process" that delivers defect-laden products behind schedule.
  • The importance of decoding cultural and workforce factors prior to making an investment in new technologies
  • The overemphasis on visioning at the expense of fully understanding existing systems, the context in which those systems are operating, and the people who must use the technology
  • Ways to increase a factory?s "IQ," leading to more productive and safer operations
  • The role of the front-line leader in the adoption and successful execution of the new technology


* This course is not focused on the features or selection of specific Industrial Internet of Things/IIoT technology products or services. Instead, it is intended to help senior leaders in manufacturing and operations who are deploying Industrial Internet of Things technologies to obtain greater value from their businesses by diagnosing the states of their systems, measuring activities appropriately, and overcoming cultural obstacles to deployment of productive technologies.

In this program, executives and frontline managers will explore methods and tools that individuals, teams and organizations can use immediately to get the greatest value from technological change. Participants of this program will learn how to:

  • Identify current-state problems that need to be removed prior to the introduction of new technology
  • Eradicate "hidden factories" issues in process models and operations development of workforce skills
  • Successfully incorporate new technologies without disappointing customers, overburdening employees, and hurting short-term cash flow
  • Sequence the introduction of IIoT to accelerate adoption and time to cash flow
  • Use IIoT to leverage existing Lean/Six Sigma/continuous improvement efforts
  • Develop a coherent roadmap they can share with their entire company

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