Strategic Thinking and Action

Create strategies that enable you to compete in a global economy. Strategic Thinking and Action helps participants shift to higher levels of thinking that overcome uncertainty, constant industry transformation, growth and profit pressures, new competitors and evolving business models.

Program Overiew

Learn the fundamental concepts of strategy. Sharpen your strategic acumen to effectively position and grow your organization. This program helps participants formulate winning strategies, build and sustain a competitive advantage, and expand their organizations’ global reach during turbulent times.

Learn to: 

  • Create strategies that deal with global external forces.
  • Create a vision that achieves sustainable growth and performance in the short and long term.
  • Gain organizational commitment, and align all business units to one global strategy.  


“[The program] provided an outstanding roadmap and execution plan for strategic thinking and action.”
Walter Eady
Deputy Executive Director
Defense Contract Management Agency


This program is designed for leaders who need to create strategies for their teams, business units or organizations. Participants include upper- and senior-level managers from all industries, especially those promoted from functional to general management with strategic responsibilities.

This program is also ideal for intact teams that want to sharpen their strategic acumen and workshop a specific challenge.



Samuel E. Bodily

John Tyler Professor of Business Administration
S.M., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; B.S., Brigham Young University
Samuel E. Bodily researches decision and risk analysis, strategy modeling and analysis, forecasting, and lifetime consumption and investment planning. He has written several books, a wide variety of journal articles in publications ranging from Operations Research to Harvard Business Review and more than 120 cases and technical notes on quantitative analytics. 

In addition to teaching strategy and decision analysis, he is a consultant to many corporations, utilities and government agencies. Previously, he taught at Boston University and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, INSEAD Singapore, and the University of Washington.

Faculty Bio Page

Bourgeois III

L.J. Bourgeois III

Professor of Business Administration; Senior Fellow, Darden Center for Global Initiatives
Ph.D., University of Washington; B.S., MBA, Tulane University 

L. J. Bourgeois III is an expert on strategy and post-merger integration. He has consulted for a variety of North and Latin American, European, Asian, Australian and African corporations on strategic planning, strategy implementation and post-merger integration and has designed and conducted various seminars in strategic thinking. 

Prior to joining the Darden faculty in 1986, Bourgeois taught at Stanford Business School. He previously was employed as a financial analyst in the corporate planning department of Castle & Cooke Foods and held several assignments in the firm's Latin American operations.

Faculty Bio Page  

Venkat faculty profle

S. Venkataraman

MasterCard Professor of Business Administration; Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
Ph.D., University of Minnesota; MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta;  M.A., Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India 

Sankaran Venkataraman ("Venkat") teaches MBA and executive level courses in strategy, entrepreneurship, and ethics. He facilitates strategy discussion for firms and is adviser to companies, universities and government organizations. He has been a speaker and adviser for the Entrepreneurial Forum, a program of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce aimed at promoting trade through entrepreneurship around the world. 

Venkat was the first holder of the Bruggeman Distinguished Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and, from 1989 to 1995, he was Paul Yeakel Term Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School. The Academy of Management, the largest professional body of management educators in the world, has recognized his research by awarding him the inaugural IDEA award for Foundational Research in entrepreneurship.

Faculty Bio Page   

Complete faculty information:

Key Takeaways

  • Analyze your industry and your competition in a global context.
  • Benchmark successful firms and strategies.
  • Envision alternative future scenarios for your organization.
  • Develop corporate transformation and growth strategies.
  • Evaluate your firm relative to new organizational models and online threats.
  • Build organizational capabilities to achieve competitive advantages.
  • Align capabilities for growth and sustainability.
  • Create and capture value across the value chain.
  • Create robust strategic thinking and planning processes.
  • Gain organizational commitment to a strategy through compelling communication.


  • What Is Strategy?
  • Strategy Within and Across Industries
  • Competing Globally
  • Competitive Advantage Workshop
  • Sustaining Competitive Advantage
  • Taking a Company Global
  • Strategy in the Digital Age
  • Building Corporate Advantage
  • Strategy for Turbulent Times
  • The Strategy of the Rise of Enron; Lessons to Be Learned in the Fall of Enron
  • Strategy and Multi-Business Firms
  • Putting It All Together 


  • Case discussions
  • Workshops
  • Team experiences, including small team and group conversations
  • Opportunity for interaction in and outside the classroom with Darden’s top-ranked faculty, whose real-world experience spans the globe
  • Time for individual reflection/development of a personal action plan — so that knowledge learned is immediately related to individual roles, functions and companies


  • Day one kickoff reception and dinner
  • Daily sessions and meals at the Darden School
  • Evenings spent in group discussion and/or individual preparation
  • Final day session and lunch

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  • Course Information

    23-27 March 2015

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    $7,750 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the Inn at Darden.

    Executives who want to sharpen their strategy skills

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization.

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director.