Open Program

Strategy Team Seminars

Helping managers in the strategy function become true strategists

A series of one-day seminars held in central London with topics rotating over a period of two years. These cover the spectrum of issues that managers in the strategy function in major companies need to address in their daily work.

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Upcoming Dates

16 Nov 2017 - 16 Nov 2017

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07 Dec 2017 - 07 Dec 2017

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Who are they for?

You work in the strategy, business development, planning or competitiveness function in a large commercial company.

How will I benefit?

As Chief Strategy Officer you can benefit by making the seminars available to managers in your team. As Chief Strategy Officer or as a manager in the strategy team you can benefit directly by participating in the seminars.

The seminar series will help participants become more effective strategists. Once a quarter, you will be able to step back from the detail of your daily project work and engage with others on an important strategy topic. You will learn about the leading academic and practitioner thinking on the topic and exchange experiences with strategists from other companies. You will come away with useful tools, useful contacts and a commitment to clear strategic thinking. The seminars are designed to help you make a bigger contribution to your company's success.

How will I learn?

Each seminar is led by a director of Ashridge's Strategic Management Centre, all of whom have been consultants at McKinsey & Co. or The Boston Consulting Group.

  • You will receive preparatory reading that covers leading thinking on the topic. These will be short articles or cases suitable for taking on a plane or train journey
  • You will be brought up to speed with leading-edge thinking, based on practical research and consulting experiences with leading companies
  • You will participate in short exercises to demonstrate tools and techniques
  • You will contribute to plenary discussions and breakout sessions allowing you to exchange experiences with other strategists.

How will my organization benefit?

This program will help you transition from being a planner and project manager to become a true strategist. With better tools and greater confidence, you will be able to make a bigger contribution to your company's success.

The seminars are part of a broader subscription package for Chief Strategy Officers of major companies offered by the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre to help develop the capability of the strategy function.

How do I apply?

You can subscribe to the seminars as a two-year package or annually, and you can also book a place on each seminar individually. Chief Strategy Officers who enrol in the broader capability development package automatically gain two seats on the seminar program.


Over a two-year period the seminars cover the following topics:

Growth initiatives

1 March 2017

  • Three ways to grow
  • Why many growth initiatives fail
  • How to develop new growth platforms.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Strategic Decision Making

13 April 2017

  • Human decision-making biasis
  • Framing and options

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Organization design and operating models

13 July 2017

  • In-house versus outsourcing
  • Setting up contracts to overcome collaboration problems
  • Designing the organizational hierarchy.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Strategy in uncertainty

18 October 2017

  • What is strategy?
  • Strategy in uncertainty
  • Developing an adaptive strategy

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Value management

16 November 2017

  • Defining value creation for companies and their subsiduaries
  • Understanding the levers of value creation
  • Identifying which levers work in different situations
  • Building a value creating plan
  • Making delivery happen.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Strategy Execution

7 December 2017 

  • The three gaps between ambitions and outcomes
  • Strategy briefing
  • Directing, leading and managing roles

Learn more about the content of this seminar.


Scheduled for 2018:

Corporate level strategy

  • Ways to centre can add value to the business unit
  • Portfolio strategy and the design of the group levels
  • Building synergies.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

International Strategy

  • Six issues in International Strategy
  • Frameworks to support better decisions
  • Managing international business portfolios
  • Application to participants’ live issues.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Mergers and acquisitions

  • Acquisition strategy and the four rules
  • Valuing the target
  • Post-merger integration.

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Strategic planning 

  • The purpose of strategic planning: what should the plan be aimed to achieve?
  • What the strategic plan should cover: the ingredients of a good strategic plan
  • The design versus learning debate: should plans attempt to 'design' the future or instead create a context for learning and adaptation?

Learn more about the content of this seminar.

Program fee

Price: £1,000.00 + VAT
What is included in your open program fee?

per individual seminar

Duration: 1 day

A package of four seminars is available for the discounted price of £3,000 + VAT. To purchase this package please contact our program advisor, Ravinder.

Seminar Structure

Before each seminar

  • Stimulating reading covering key approaches and techniques.

During each seminar

  • Introductory lecture describing practical approaches to the topic; plenary and breakout sessions to discuss cases or exercises; facilitated exchange of experience between participants.

After each seminar

  • Participants are expected to try out the tools and approaches in their work and share their experiences
  • Particpants are encouraged to interact with the seminar leader by email
  • In addition, participants can contact other participants and join in discussions on the topic through a web-based community.

What makes this program different?

The program is specifically designed to stimulate and develop the capability of managers in the strategy function.

  • A broad sweep across a wide range of strategy topics
  • An ongoing program: regular readings, presentations, case studies, discussions with peers over two years
  • All seminars taught by former strategy consultants at leading firms with experience of the needs of strategy departments
  • On all topics, the possibility of deepening knowledge and understanding with a longer course from the same Ashridge Strategic Management Centre faculty at Ashridge.


Faculty Team

Jo Whitehead

Jo Whitehead


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Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell


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Felix Barber

Felix Barber

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Stephen Bungay

Stephen Bungay

MA, DPhil (Oxon)

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Rebecca Homkes

Rebecca Homkes

MSc, PhD

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Marcus Alexander

Marcus Alexander


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Neil Monnery

Neil Monnery


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