The Advanced Strategy Program: Building and Implementing Growth Strategies

Strengthen your corporate strategy by developing a strong strategic intuition with emphasis on scanning for patterns, analyzing what makes your organization great, and assessing what the competition is doing.

With the unrelenting pace of change and competition today, clear strategic thinking is more important than ever. To survive and prosper in a globalized market, corporate strategists have to not only formulate the correct strategy, but also understand how to implement it effectively. 

By attending this program, you will:

  • Develop, design, and implement the right strategy.
  • Analyze powerful patterns in strategic thinking.
  • Develop skills to lead organizations during a time of change by creating a learning culture.
  • Redesign performance measures to enhance strategy implementation.
  • Balance core business and new initiatives.


Chicago Booth, Gleacher Center, Chicago, IL

This program prepares senior-level executives to formulate and execute strategy at the corporate, business, or functional level in an organization. Senior corporate executives to division managers in long-established businesses, as well as entrepreneurs leading smaller firms, will find value in attending.

Titles include: president, CEO, managing director, owner, executive vice president, senior vice president, and senior director.

James E. Schrager

Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management

James E. Schrager studies the use of strategy by executives and venture capital partners. Drawn to this research by a fascination with extreme success and a desire to better understand how it happens--or not, Schrager pushes his students to discover how to better judge potential new venture investments and growth opportunities for existing businesses by using the unique power of strategy. His work is powered by the application of Herbert A. Simon’s concept of Bounded Rationality to strategy.

He has published multiple articles in the Wall Street Journal, CEO Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. He is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on NBC, ABC, PBS, and other networks as an expert commentator on business strategy. He was editor of the Journal of Private Equity (published by Institutional Investor) for fifteen years. In 2013, he co-authored a paper on the emerging field of Behavioral Strategy for the Journal of Strategy and Management. He is involved in a series of case-based experiments, conducted with Booth MBA students, which provide data for certain facets of Behavioral Strategy.

Clinical Prof. Schrager is an active advisor to boards and CEOs on matters of strategy. His clients range from some of the largest companies in the US to professional service firms to start-ups, in high- mid- and no-technology businesses. His previous assignments include a series of corporate turnarounds for the Pritzker family interests, through their Chicago-based industrial conglomerate, The Marmon Group. As executive vice president of San Francisco--based Getz Brothers Co, he was responsible for the successful execution of the Getz- Japan initial public offering in Tokyo, the first private US company accepted to go public in Japan.

He has worked extensively on the commercial aspects of advanced cardiovascular devices with the surgeon who performed the first heart-transplant in the USA, Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz. He is currently a board member on a start-up founded by one of the most cited researchers in Malaria vaccines, Dr. Stephen Hoffman, whose company is partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He has three times received the Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching, was twice selected to deliver the Convocation Address, and won the Faculty Excellence teaching award in 2017. He was named one of the top twelve teachers in entrepreneurship in the United States by BusinessWeek Magazine.

Schrager earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Oakland University, an MBA from the University of Colorado, a JD from the Depaul University College of Law, and a PhD from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in organization behavior and policy. He previously was a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois.

Harry L. Davis

Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management

Harry L. Davis studies leadership, strategy, creativity and innovation. His scholarly research has appeared in a number of top-tier academic journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing. Among his publications are "The Promising Start-up Within: A Guide to Internal Corporate Venturing," written with Russ Rosenzweig and published in The Virtual Strategist in October 2001, and "Purchasing Behavior in Embedded Markets," written with fellow Chicago Booth faculty member Jonathan Frenzen and published in the June 1990 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Davis, who joined the faculty in 1963, has introduced many innovative executive education programs in the United States and abroad. These programs include the first core leadership program of any top-rated MBA program in the country and the Management Lab. Davis also helped Chicago Booth pioneer its first international campus in 1983 where he served as deputy dean for MBA programs until 1993. He was also professor of behavioral science for the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management in Brussels.

Davis is a trustee and member of the executive committee of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, a national organization devoted to large-scale social research in public interest. He served on the boards of Golden Rule Insurance and Harnischfeger Industries and was chairman of the board of the Graham School of General Studies. Davis has consulted for many organizations, including ABB, the Boston Consulting Group, Monsanto, and the Terra Museum of American Art.

He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1959 and an MBA in marketing in 1960 from Dartmouth College. He earned a master's degree in sociology in 1969 and a PhD in marketing in 1970 from Northwestern University.

Outside of academia, Davis enjoys classical guitar and passenger trains.

Gregory D. Bunch

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Greg Bunch draws on a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur, manager, consultant, alderman, and teacher. He is the founder of Masterplan International Corporation, a strategy consulting firm. He was also a partner at Brandtrust, a brand strategy consultancy. Greg co-founded a healthcare software start-up in the Bay Area. He has served on corporate boards for financial services, healthcare, retail, franchising and marketing firms.

He works with Fortune 50 companies, family businesses and start-ups in the areas of innovation and strategy. He has worked with a broad array of companies including Abbott Labs, American Express, Danaher, Dover, ETS, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly-Clark, McDonalds, PepsiCo, State Farm and Yum! Brands.

Greg was an alderman in the City of West Chicago, serving on the infrastructure, public safety and development committees.

Greg has lectured nationally and internationally on topics related to strategy, creating customers, and innovation. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College in philosophy and an MDiv from Harvard University.

Formulating Growth Strategy Ideas

  • Understanding the vital differences between goals, strategy, and management
  • Separating business success into strategy, leadership, and luck
  • Finding strategic logic
  • Collecting data to build your strategy
  • The role of history in formulating strategy
  • Valuing focus as a growth strategy
  • Becoming a focused competitor
  • Selecting diversification as a strategy
  • Reviewing examples of successful diversified firms
  • Using innovation as a strategy
  • Improving your "strategy sense"

Understanding Yourself, Your Organization, Your Competitor, and Your Customer

  • What organizational structures and cultural aspects are critical to understanding successful strategy implementation?
  • What is the role of behavioral psychology in successful implementation?
  • How do you engage colleagues and combat competitors?
  • How do you guide a customer from ignorance to advocacy using a Customer Journey Map?

Developing the Organization for Strategic Change

  • Focusing organizational energy: identifying non-negotiable elements of a strategy
  • Defining implementation based on growth by exploration or exploitation
  • Institutionalizing innovation
  • Determining the right performance measures

[Professor] Schrager offers a refreshing insight into the difficult subject of strategy. His enthusiastic and simple approach draws upon real world experience of strategy. Participants are offered a different approach to help drive success in the future of the competitive world of business.

—Lyman Tschanz, General Manager - Automotive Division, Modine Manufacturing Co.

Great class. I can use much of the learning on Monday morning when I get to the office. The professors were full of energy and engaged the students well. Well worth the investment.

—Heiko Schafer, Director of Marketing Insights, MeadWestvaco

Great facilities and organization - made it easy to concentrate on the content rather than logistics. Content and combination of speakers/topics was very effective. First breaking down our preconceived ideas about strategy, then rebuilding a simple method, then adding the elements of leadership.

—Barb Pugesek, Market Manager, FONA International

Highly engaged course that energized me for my current and future sales in my organization. It taught me how to approach strategy and challenged my thinking, judging strategy. It gives you concrete tools / approaches you can use on the job.

—Leslie Molloy, Director, Marketing Strategic Planning & New Categories, Bayer HealthCare

Jim Schrager is a very dynamic energizing speaker- lots of great open classroom discussion. Everybody I talked to was extremely happy with the class and have lots of take away items to try within our own business. Lots of fun and I learned a lot!

—Tom Nelson, Business Manager, Huntsman Corporation

The instructors provided the tools that allowed me to formalize my thought patterns and challenge myself to reach conclusions with a new level of confidence.

—Dan Kolo, Global Strategy Analyst, Johnson Controls, Inc.


Check back soon for 2022 dates.