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Breakthrough Strategic Thinking

Breakthrough Strategic Thinking

Map - NYU Stern School of Business


NYU Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012

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Breakthrough Strategic Thinking


Great strategists don’t just develop plans based on their current environment; they envision the multiple possible paths of the future and shape the dynamics of their environment to their advantage. 

This course will provide tools and concepts for analyzing and formulating strategy, with a specific emphasis on dynamic industries and breakthrough innovation. Participants will develop the skills to anticipate disruptive innovations, chart out their likely trajectories and determine how to maximally influence - or benefit from - those trajectories. They will also learn to identify assumptions that have become embedded in an organization and what kinds of transformation may be possible. After this program, participants will leave with specific action plans for current problems, as well as a mastery of general strategy skills they can continue to utilize in the future.

Certificates and Credits

Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This program is also eligible for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through NASBA.

Program Takeaways

During this course, participants will:

  • Key Trends

    Analyze the dynamics of their company’s environment to identify key trends in customer demands, technology and competitor moves
  • Positioning

    Identify ways their organization can shape environmental dynamics to its advantage and position the organization to better create and capture value in the future
  • Transformation

    Assess whether the scope and structure of their organization makes sense - and if not, how it can be transformed

Who Should Attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience

    Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions

    Ideal for professionals who are responsible for creating and sustaining competitive advantage in dynamic environments
  • Prerequisites

    Intended for individuals who wish to enhance their strategic thinking abilities and break current routines and patterns


The following agenda is a sample and subject to change.

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast
Session 1: Identifying Trajectories in the External Environment
  • What path is technology likely to take in the future in our industry?
  • How are customer demands evolving, and where are the biggest opportunities for breakthrough innovation?
  • How are competitors, collaborators and suppliers evolving?
  • Who are likely to be our most important competitors, collaborators and suppliers for the future?
  • How are changes in information technology transforming the value chains in which we operate? 
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch
Session 2: Positioning and Competitive Dynamics
  • How is our product positioned in the marketplace in the eyes of the customer?
  • What are the key dimensions of this positioning? How does each dimension of our positioning influence willingness-to-pay?
  • Are there distinct market segments that value the dimensions differently? If so, how important are each of these segments?
  • Can we increase our value creation and value capture (increasing the value provided to existing customers, growing our market segments or reaching new market segments)?
  • Are there ways to lower purchase hurdles?
  • Are there ways to increase customer-switching barriers?
  • How does our positioning compare to that of our competitors?
  • In what ways is it favorable, defensible or vulnerable? 
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Networking Reception

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast
Session 3: Redefining the Corporate Scope
  • What businesses/activities is the firm in?
  • Does it create additional value having these businesses/activities under one roof?
  • What are the risks or costs?
  • What are the interdependencies between our businesses/activities?
  • Can we rethink our corporate boundaries to better achieve coordination, and flexibility, while maximizing synergies?
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch
Session 4: Culture and Networks
  • What is our organization’s structure?
  • What are its benefits and costs?
  • What are the key dimensions (intended and unintended) of our corporate culture?
  • How does our culture positively and negatively influence key outcomes?
  • What is shaping our corporate culture?
  • Are there opportunities to improve or reinforce it?
  • What does the interpersonal network structure of our organization look like?
  • Who is playing key hub and brokerage roles?
  • How does this influence information diffusion and outcomes?
  • Are there opportunities for improving these?
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations