Course: Leading Change and Organizational Renewal
When: Twice a year; Next: October 31 to November 4; Application deadline: September 20
Instructors: Charles O'Reilly and Michael Tushman
Class size: 60
Where: Stanford University, in Palo Alto
What did it take for Hewlett-Packard to go from a testing-and-measurement company to computers to focusing on printers to being services-oriented? People inside the company saw market shifts and embraced them. (Have you needed an audio oscillator lately?) This is a course for managing those kinds of changes. Students, typically senior execs from fast-growth or large organizations, come in with a real issue — a slow-developing new product or a need to identify new growth areas — and apply the lessons to it immediately. They diagnose problems down to their root causes and then plan how to fix them. "If the diagnosis is right," says professor Charles O'Reilly, "then the action planning is pretty straightforward." You go home with CD-ROMs of course essentials to teach to your team. "You have to take the ideas and implement them," O'Reilly says. Intel and Pfizer execs are frequent attendees, and IBM has built its internal business leadership model around the course's concepts.
Marc Gareton, a senior VP at Warner Home Video, attended the course last November to figure out how to evolve his business unit within Warner Bros. without falling victim to the mistakes companies often endure during periods of change. "The course was really strong on change management," says Gareton. "You need to devote a lot of time and energy to communication and getting feedback in order to be successful."
The Professors: "I like how they sat in on the team sessions and challenged our ideas and findings."
Want to go? Get more info at:
Check out the instructors' book, Winning Through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal (Harvard Business School, 2002), based on their 20 years of research on why successful organizations fail.
A version of this article appeared in the July 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.