How To ‘Manage’ A Changing Economy

Harvard Business School’s Tata Hall

As the world endures the aftershocks of Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and other political temblors, Harvard Business School is aiming to guide executives through the ever-shifting global climate. Yesterday (February 21), the school announced its latest addition to an ever-growing smorgasbord of executive education offerings. Managing Opportunity and Risk in the Global Economy, to be held at Harvard Business School’s Boston campus from April 9-12, is designed to help executives of large multinational organizations understand how “the complex factors affecting business results is critical, particularly amid global political changes with the potential to transform economic conditions,” according to a statement released by the school.

“In this era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever for decision-makers to understand the processes and trends that are reshaping our business climate,” Frances Frei, UPS Foundation professor of service management and senior associate dean for executive education at Harvard Business School, said in a release from the school. “To be profitable, today’s business leaders must understand nuanced global factors. With that in mind, this program will prepare participants to take advantage of emerging opportunities, mitigate political and economic risk, and drive sustainable success.”

Participants in the four-day program — which is based on an MBA course and carries a price tag of $9,250 — will dive into the topics of dynamics of globalization, drivers of global business conditions, and the impact of national policies on economic performance and business strategy. Typical for HBS, the courses will be structured around case studies, group projects, and guest lecturers.

“All managers make decisions in an environment that is shaped by international macroeconomic conditions, regardless of whether their organization operates globally,” Laura Alfaro, a professor of business administration and faculty chair of the program, said in the release. “Executives who are mindful of global economic trends and who use those insights to develop smarter strategies for their organizations are at a competitive advantage. Our goal is to provide executives with the skills and tools they need to respond to shifting global conditions.”


According to the school, the program is open to pretty much anyone at a senior management level at an “established multinational firm” or an organization growing into a global presence. Individuals and teams from anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply. However, in addition to the five-page HBS application, applicants must submit a nomination and sponsorship by their current employer.

Launched more than 70 years ago, the executive education program at HBS has seen more than 175,000 executives from more than 200 different countries participate in its programs. In 2016, HBS faculty “developed and delivered” 64 exec ed programs around the world. Each year the school offers more than 160 programs in which more than 9,000 executives participate, making it one of the most robust exec ed networks on the globe.

At least 80 of those programs are open-enrollment and are primarily offered in Boston, Europe, China, and India. Other courses range from topics like launching new ventures to growing family businesses to “changing the game.”


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