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MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Implementing Enterprise-Wide Transformation

March 27-28, 2018

NEW for 2017

We know through research and practice that two thirds of enterprise-wide transformation efforts fail to meet their intended objectives. Why? In today?s world, disruption can emerge from any place, any time and in ways unexpected. Leaders often ignore or miss the early warning signals, due to a variety of factors, including cultural inertia, lack of disciplined scanning and decision making processes, and siloed behavior that tends to discount troubling signs that impact other parts of the organization. When unit leaders turn inward to protect their entities, organizational agility becomes that much harder to achieve.


But effective leaders and their teams can beat the odds that their organizations? transformation efforts will fail. How? They set proactive agendas that create an inspiring future for employees. They build trust-based cultures of openness and transparency, combined with the discipline to spot and solve significant problems collectively as a team. They align the ?messaging? of their agendas with the metrics, milestones, and rewards that provide a clear line-of-sight for employees to understand how they can contribute and what behaviors are valued in their organizations.


During this two-day program, you will learn to spot potential derailers that prevent successful transformations; more importantly, you?ll learn how to become a successful transformation leader in your organization. Research based and practitioner led, the program environment is designed to help executives create a blueprint for their organization?s near- and longer-term transformation. Guest speakers will help to further demonstrate important conceptual examples, and significant time will be designated for peer collaboration and plan development.

This program is intended to help you:

  • Spot the warning signals of organizations in need of transformation
  • Create a proactive transformation agenda
  • Build a collective leadership capability to drive organizational transformation together
  • Create the disciplined processes to spot and address mission-critical capability gaps
  • Build the vital organizational networks needed to solve complex transformation challenges
  • Align messaging with metrics, milestones, and rewards
  • Create agile organizations by developing resilient leaders and employees
  • Develop a blueprint for transformation for your organization

Cambridge, MA

Managing Complex Technical Projects

March 27-28, 2018

Managing complex technical projects is a massive integration effort at many levels. Product and production plans must be integrated into components, components into subsystems, subsystems into systems and systems into quality products.

Traditional project management does not provide the kind of detail required today to both accelerate product and service development and improve product and service quality in the 21st century. Managing Complex Technical Projects presents a revolutionary design structure matrix (DSM) that MIT researchers use to determine which tasks within each phase of a complex project should or should not be performed concurrently. The DSM method is already applied in a number of corporations.

MIT researchers developed the DSM modeling approach to learn how to solve problems facing large-scale projects. After field-testing DSM in dozens of organizations and industries around the world, they found that it successfully streamlined the development of a wide array of projects including:

  • Complex automotive components systems and subsystems
  • Aerospace configuration design
  • Concept development and program roll-out
  • Electronics and semi-conductor development
  • Equipment and machine tool development
  • Plant engineering
  • Construction projects
  • Complicated service development and delivery projects

Through lectures, exercises, interactive discussions, and teamwork, participants in the program learn how to use DSM to map complex and often highly-technical procedures into simple arrays. Most important, they learn how to solve five key problems that confound complex project management: iteration, overlapping tasks, architecture, decomposition and integration. In Managing Complex Technical Projects, participants learn to:

  • Better document existing procedures
  • Reduce complexity
  • Share data with confidence
  • Facilitate project flow
  • Expose constraints and conflicts
  • Design iteration strategically

MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model

March 29-30, 2018

As the world continues to digitize and grow in complexity, virtually every enterprise will need to have a great digital business model, one that creates value by engaging customers and helping employees work smarter.

This program is designed to guide senior executives as they attempt to leverage opportunities and overcome challenges associated with competing in the digital marketplace. Based on extensive MIT research, it provides insights into how firms can achieve competitive advantage by providing unique digital content, an exceptional customer experience, and superior digitized platforms.

At MIT Sloan, we have created frameworks to help enterprises define and build powerful digital business models that will facilitate their ability to compete in the global digital economy and thrive in emergent ecosystems. Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model will help senior managers address the following issues:

  • What is the source of competitive advantage for your digital business model?
  • How can you manage business complexity in the global digital economy?
  • How do you create digitized platforms that enable new and evolving digital opportunities?
  • How can you simplify your customer experiences without creating burdensome organizational complexity?
  • How can you create new information offerings that generate bottom-line value for the firm?


At the conclusion of this program, executives will be better prepared to address the following issues:


  • What digital capabilities do you most need to focus on?
  • What information offerings have the most potential for data monetization, and how can they most effectively generate value?
  • How can you derive value from business complexity while keeping that complexity manageable?
  • What metrics can you use to track whether you are delivering customer satisfaction on a daily basis?
  • How will you gain competitive advantage in the digital economy?
"Business success in the digital economy will rarely be a function of technology. Companies that succeed will likely distinguish themselves by working smarter."
--Jeanne Ross, Director, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

Cambridge, MA

Strategies for Sustainable Business

April 2-4, 2018

For decades, MIT and MIT Sloan have been sustainability thought leaders, from Jay Forrester?s work on World Dynamics to our groundbreaking research on high performance work systems, to the formation of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan?an effort that is shaping modern discourse on sustainability.


Strategies for Sustainable Business connects executives with MIT professors and researchers who are currently breaking new ground in sustainability thinking and practice. Faculty combine interactive lectures, case studies, games, diagnostic exercises, and deep reflective work for a highly engaging experience. Participants place current business practices in a socioeconomic context and walk away with well-grounded strategies for making sustainability a reality in their organizations, industries, and communities.


Course curriculum


Day 1--WHY: This first day focuses on why sustainability is THE challenge of our generation, and its materiality to participants? particular business. Case studies reveal how industries are changing to adapt to the business risks--and opportunities--presented by megatrends like climate change and globalization.


Day 2--WHAT: Through lectures, discussions, and a hands-on system dynamics simulation (?Fishbanks?), participants will learn about available strategies at the operational level, in their extended supply chain, and across their industry. They deepen their understanding of the environmental and social dimension of sustainability and the limits of voluntary action.


Day 3--HOW: Participants chart a course toward the "hardwiring" of sustainability in their enterprise by building coalitions for change and undertaking process improvement. Lectures and discussions draw on the latest research by program faculty and include lessons on how to influence organizational culture, run experiments, conduct difficult conversations, and engage people to undertake important projects. Participants will leave the classroom knowing their next steps to move the ball forward.


"I joined this course with the highest expectations, and both professors exceeded them by far. Their work and ideas on the different dimension of sustainability gave me a different way to reflect about my professional goals and even personal beliefs."
?Froylan Hernandez-Ruiz
Senior Attorney for the Latin America Region
The Nature Conservancy

Participants will learn effective strategies for leading and effecting change on multiple levels?from the individual to the organization to the industry?and how to apply them effectively in both the short and long term.


In Strategies for Sustainable Business, participants will:

  • Gain an appreciation for the key dimensions of unsustainability and leverage points for change
  • Learn what strategies for sustainability are available at all levels of the organization, and which are most relevant to their organization
  • Understand opportunities for business value creation through more effective, sustainable use of natural and human resources and cross-sectoral collaboration
  • Learn to assess business strategies and some public policies with a distinctive, holistic, and systems-based perspective on sustainability
  • Build an action plan for innovation and continuous improvement on sustainability
  • Receive feedback from faculty so that they are better equipped to implement, influence, and lead when they return to work

MIT Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Implementing Improvement Strategies: Dynamic Work Design

April 3-4, 2018

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

Essential IT for Non-IT Executives

April 5-6, 2018

Do you feel as though everything regarding IT takes too long and costs too much? Do you lack the language and instincts to make good decisions regarding IT? Is your company falling behind the competition in your use of technology?


Essential IT for Non-IT Executives offers essential IT management training to help non-technical senior business managers work with, oversee, and generate value from IT. Drawing on MIT Sloan research, faculty present strategies for instituting a working relationship between IT managers and business managers based on transparency?clear communication about IT performance and decision processes. The program is not meant to make an IT specialist out of every manager, but to make every manager confident in resolving IT issues and working with IT staff to make better decisions and to deliver better process change. 


This IT management course will help you optimize your role in the use of essential technology for competitive advantage.

Participants in this program will learn where IT is going, where it fits into their organizations, and how to govern it well. Managers will walk away thinking differently, being able to talk differently with the company's IT professionals, and armed with real-life examples they can use to adjust and improve their organizational processes. Namely:


  • How to design processes to use IT better
  • How to work with IT people to make better decisions
  • How to drive transformational change throughout the organization

Key areas of discussion will include:


  • Governance: Effective IT management requires active involvement from both business and IT managers. A firm understanding of roles and responsibilities for specific decisions will help minimize potential areas of conflict.
  • Discipline: IT cannot be everything to everybody. It is essential to set realistic goals and to manage everyone's expectations throughout any IT-related initiative. Discipline is essential in getting business value from IT.
  • Organizational Architecture: A well-managed, standardized platform is the foundation of IT effectiveness, risk management, and agility.
  • Transparency:Transparency is key to better decision-making and business value from IT. Managers should identify specific issues a company needs to solve through IT, define and follow assigned milestones, and keep close track of success metrics.
  • People and Culture: IT is more than just a technology challenge. Don?t forget the people and culture. Simply understanding the vocabulary and knowing how and whom to ask IT-related questions can help non-IT managers make great strides toward organizational change.

Cambridge, MA

Marketing Innovation

April 5-6, 2018

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.

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

Building E51

Biology as Technology: An Unexpected History of Innovation in Living Things

April 6, 2018, 2:30-4:30 PM

Helen Curry
University of Cambridge

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