This half-semester course exposes students to the skills and tools for driving strategic impact, based on best practices in the strategy consulting profession. The learnings from the course are broadly applicable; besides their relevance to consulting, they will be valuable in corporate strategy assignments, general management, business development and entrepreneurship.
The course is organized around the phases of a typical strategy engagement: (i) problem definition, (ii) problem structuring, (iii) data gathering & analysis, and (iv) recommendations development. Students will get to learn and practice specific consulting tools and principles associated with each of these four phases, such as issue trees, hypothesis-driven problem-solving, interview guides and the pyramid principle. In addition to its primary focus on analytical problem-solving skills, the course will introduce certain soft skills that are critical to building trust-based relationships with clients.
The course emphasizes hands-on practice and real-time feedback. Formal discussion of consulting tools and skills is supplemented by mini-cases and strategy cases based on real-life engagements. Students will get a number of opportunities to exercise and hone the skills they are introduced to during the course.
The class will meet physically for two full days. Class time will focus on lectures, team exercises, team presentations, Q&A, live-feedback, and role-plays. Besides these two class days, students will pursue an additional 6 hours of online learning via videos, reflection and discussion. There will be a final exam at the end of the 2nd day that will assess students’ understanding and application of key insights and tools taught in the course.
Professor of Professional Practice
Hitendra Wadhwa is Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership (IPL). He teaches Columbia's most popular MBA leadership class on Personal Leadership & Success. He also teaches MBA and Executive Education programs on Driving Strategic Impact and Leading from the Inside Out, and has received the Executive-MBA Commitment to Excellence Award, the Dean's Award...