Leading Strategic Growth and Change

To Be Announced  
Questions? Contact Us:
Liz N. Schultz
Senior Associate Director, Learning Solutions
+1 212-854-7613
[email protected]

Columbia University Campus
New York City 
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Certificate Credits: 5
Learn more.

We are offering a new live online version of this program. Learn more here.

"An awesome experience that challenged my way of thinking, decision making, and facing challenges for continuous growth."
– Past Participant Juan Pablo Consuegra, COO, Marketing & Operations Director at Microsoft

Professor Rita McGrath talks about the program’s objectives, structure, and experience.

Leading Strategic Growth and Change is a five-day program focused on the process of finding opportunities, launching new ventures, and leading necessary organizational changes to revitalize an organization.

Participants learn how to thrive in rapidly changing and highly uncertain environments, gain insight into a current pressing change initiative within their own organization, and immediately begin to apply the learning to make rapid progress on the issue.

If you have ever worried about how to drive new growth or how to make a change initiative successful, you will enjoy the insights developed in this course.

For a complete program schedule download the agenda.

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at 212-854-3395 for a personal conversation to learn more.


Benefits in the Current Context

"This program is more relevant than ever, because it presumes high levels of uncertainty, complexity, and velocity in every tool and technique we present. It further covers both the analytical side of coping with uncertainty (what to do) as well as the human side (how to get people to realize the challenges and respond appropriately). In this program, we insist on driving strategic decision-making from the perspective of deep insight and differentiating rather than going along with the crowd. And at Columbia, since we are in the heart of the financial markets, we are very close to the phenomenon."
– Rita Gunther McGrath, faculty director

Summary of Benefits

  • Explore how to lead through change and uncertainty
  • Learn to make use of an entrepreneurial mindset in an established corporation
  • Understand the political and implementation challenges of growth
  • Discover a proven framework for leading growth
  • Gain insight into the cultural and leadership challenges of the information economy

Upon completion of this program, you will earn five credits towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


Rather than using standard business school cases, the application of the tools and concepts takes place as participants help one another find solutions to a thorny growth or change problem. Prior to the course, each participant prepares this 'personal case' which is used as the basis for small-group discussion. Each case group, consisting of other participants from non-competing organizations, creates a one-page summary, shared with the entire class at the end of the week. By the end of the week, most participants report having made significant progress on resolving their issues with actionable ideas they can take back to work and apply immediately.

A select set of additional readings and materials are also included, and each participant receives copies of relevant books.

Day One

  • Setting the context: an overview of why innovation is no longer optional in the transient advantage economy and the new strategy playbook
  • Introduction to an alternative to growth-strangling metrics: Real options reasoning
  • Creating an opportunity portfolio
  • Why customers should not be a mystery and 3 relevant tools

Day Two

  • Think Wrong Workshop, an immersion day on Design Thinking showing you how to unfreeze your thinking about your personal case

Day Three

  • Discovery Driven Planning, including an experiential simulation exercise
  • De-mystifying digital transformation: how increasingly strategy = innovation = digital
  • Create a simple formula for leading organizational transformation, accompanied with a diagnostic

Day Four

  • An entirely new force in our economy consists of complementors – learn why you can’t avoid understanding this to be successful
  • Platform strategies: the newest trend in business model
  • The economics and often counterintuitive behavior of two-sided markets
  • Why Uber’s original business model has flaws as a platform
  • Disengagement: how to gracefully shut down a project or end a business

Day Five

  • Nominated topics, in which participants propose the topics for discussion
  • Action planning for return

For a complete program schedule download the agenda.


Leading Strategic Growth and Change is designed for upper- to senior-level executives who seek significant growth opportunities for their organizations.

Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.

Typical Participant Mix

Geographic Spread

Years of Management Experience

Job Function



Hear from Past Participants:



Rita McGrath, Faculty Director
Faculty, Columbia Business School Executive Education

Rita McGrath is a globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and growth. Her work and ideas help CEO's and senior executives succeed in rapidly changing and volatile environments, and she is valued for her rare ability to connect research to business problems. Recognized as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2017 and winning the award for outstanding achievement in the strategy category, McGrath speaks regularly at corporate events, such as the Microsoft CEO Summit and the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. She appears regularly on television and radio and is often cited in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, and Businessweek and has published several articles in the Harvard Business Review. McGrath is the co-author of three books in addition to her latest book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press).

She has also been named one of the top ten business school professors to follow on Twitter, and was named one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. In 2009, she was inducted as a fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor given to those who have had a significant impact on the field.

Prior to life in academia, McGrath was an IT director, worked in the political arena and founded two startups.

Along with McGrath, additional Columbia Business School faculty contribute to and teach in the program.