Session Outline

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Strategy Matters: Turning Ideas into Actions
with Dr. Thomas Lawton

Date: December 07, 2018
Session Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location Information:
The Hilton Brussels Grand Place
Carrefour de L`Europe 3 Brussels, 1000 Belgium
(32)(2) 548 4211
Session Description
Take a moment to ask yourself one question: do I know how to configure and leverage strategy to achieve business growth and market success? Doing so is a fundamental task of any senior manager.  Strategy is much more than planning processes and high-level resource allocation decisions. Strategy is how you render your business proactive, innovative, excellent and profitable. Do you have the mind-set and strategic toolkit needed to achieve this level of success?  In this seminar we lay out an integrated and dynamic process for thinking about and doing strategic management. Adopting a strategic approach renders managers better able to make decisions during unstable and uncertain periods and more able to deal with complexity, diversity and varied sources of information both inside and outside their organisations.  The underpinning principle is the balance between change and consistency. To achieve breakthroughs in performance, managers need to recognise and maximise where excellence exists inside the organisation, while at the same time identifying and seizing opportunities outside.

Dr. Thomas Lawton is Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in the USA and Professor of Strategy and International Management at the Open University Business School in the UK. He is also Managing Director of Kilcolman Associates, a firm that advises clients around the world on leadership development and growth strategy. Organizations he has worked with include Bombardier, China Industrial Bank, Enterprise Ireland, IBM, the Irish Stock Exchange, the International Air Transport Association, Phoenix Group, UnionPay, United Technologies and Volvo Group. He has been Academic Director of the Executive MBA in International Financial Services Management for JP Morgan Asset Management, facilitated senior management and board level workshops and run MBA and executive programs on corporate strategy, leadership and international business dynamics at universities and corporations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. He has published close to 50 articles in leading journals including Academy of Management Perspectives, International Business Review, Long Range Planning, Organizational Dynamics and Strategic Organization. He is the author or editor of 8 books, including Breakout Strategy (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and Aligning for Advantage (Oxford University Press, 2014). Dr Lawton is active in a number of professional and academic organizations and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Irish Journal of Management and Long Range Planning. A frequent media commentator, he has been cited or published in outlets including Fast Company, European CEO, The Conversation and U.S. News & World Report.
Time Allocation - Topics
10% Setting expectations
  • Overview of key concepts
  • Connecting the seminar with business objectives 
10% What is strategy and why does it matter? 
  • What exactly is strategy and what does it take to be a strategic manager? 
  • Understanding your company’s strategy and how it might be improved and accelerated
  • Learning from strategic best practice elsewhere
  • How to approach strategy in an integrated and innovative way 
20% Group Work I 
  • Each small group chooses a firm where at least one of them works. Discuss the company’s strategy and current business objectives. Then agree on the firm’s ideal vision, mission, and objectives and where and why change is needed  
10% Two groups present and receive constructive feedback from the seminar leader and wider group

15% Delivering growth through strategy 
  • Aligning market and nonmarket strategy
  • Analyzing the competitive environment
  • Identifying opportunities and sources of value to the customer
  • Delivering through people and processes
20% Group Work II 
  • In the same group as in the morning, consider what are the key challenges to implementing the ‘ideal’ strategy you agreed on and how can they be overcome?  
10% Two groups present and receive constructive feedback from the seminar leader and wider group 

  • Synthesis of main ideas and techniques; Q&A; summary of key takeaways and action points

Guide to Participant Selection
1 indicates primary target audience.
2 indicates a good fit if the level of material is appropriate.
3 indicates (in the opinion of the institute and the faculty) very limited applicability.
Senior Executive
(Pres, Exec & Sr VP)
(VP & Gen'l Mgr)
Senior Managers
(Div & Reg. Mgrs)
Middle Managers
& Superintendents
Adaptability, Communication, Creativeness, Strategic Thinking
Problem Identification, Analysis, Developing Specific Plans
Decision Making, Evaluation

Introductory    Intermediate    Advanced
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