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Adaptive Strategic Execution Programme

Adaptive Strategic Execution Programme
Smarter project-based work for a more complex world

Taking Project-Based Work to the Next Level
The complexity of today’s business context demands that organizations regularly revisit their strategy and adapt their work, all while accelerating the speed of execution. Organizations must consistently balance the need to achieve strategic goals and respond to changes in their industries and markets in order to drive business success. Winning at this game not only requires flexibility and agility, it demands specific capabilities and an intentional approach, starting with selecting and executing critical projects.

How Work Gets Done
Projects are the means by which strategies are executed and goals are achieved. As projects become more critical, and the environment in which they are executed grows more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), the need to become more adaptive heightens. At every level, leaders of project-based work are forced to be more responsive to unanticipated market shifts, more resilient to unpredicted disruptions, and more adaptive in situations where what “has always worked” no longer does. Having leaders with the right approach, methods, tools, and capability to drive project-based work is an organization’s most valuable asset.

Navigating Three Domains: Strategy, Work, and People
Strategy Execution and Duke Corporate Education’s Adaptive Strategic Execution Program focuses explicitly on building leaders who can master the three domains that influence and define how work gets done: Strategy, Work, and People. Leaders are the leverage point to execute projects and drive results. By developing leaders with the right mindset and skill set to navigate these domains, organizations can increase their ability to execute strategy and achieve goals.

While traditional leaders of project-based work were already operating within the framework of strategy, work, and people, the complexity of today’s business environment has changed the challenges associated with each domain.

  • Strategy formulated and executed today is far more dynamic than in the past. Strategic direction must be constantly reviewed and aligned to keep pace with changes in the marketplace. And, navigating how we execute today’s projects with an understanding of the future we’re shaping can be challenging. 
  • Work conducted today draws on expertise and support across boundaries, internally and externally. The direction and flow of work activity requires frequent redirection and reconfiguration to maintain alignment with changes in strategic direction. Leaders must strike the balance between an organization’s need to remain competitive to meet the market’s demand for speed, while also driving high-quality results. Learning how to identify and manage this challenge is essential. 
  • People leading project-based work today have to manage the changing expectations of team members who seek purpose, autonomy, and growth as part of their work experience, and the organization’s need to tap into the greater expertise, energy, and accountability of all team members to make things happen. Investing in skill development of these leaders is the best way for an organization to ensure project success and higher levels of engagement. 




Adaptive Strategic Execution Program: The Courses
Today, leaders of project-based work at every level of the organization must have the right skill sets, adaptive approach, and responsive mindset to help them and their organizations navigate an increasingly complex and collaborative environment.
Project-based work leaders must simultaneously navigate the strategy, work, and people domains by:

  • Thinking and acting strategically to understand, respond to, and influence the vision, goals, and intended outcomes of the work;
  • Constantly redefining and reconfiguring the work to execute the strategy as effectively and efficiently as possible;  
  • Engaging people doing the work through meaningful interaction that unlocks their potential.


Adaptive Strategic Execution Program: Download ASEP Brochure

Each course in the new curriculum is purposefully designed to extend the mindset, toolset, and skill set of the project-based work leader to navigate these three domains in increasingly complex contexts.

  • Making Sense of Complexity is the foundational course of the curriculum. It demonstrates how the internal and external contexts in which we work have become more complex and provides models, tools, and practice that help participants recognize and manage the forces that create this complexity. The course explores the mindsets and skill sets that leaders of project-based work must possess in order to successfully navigate complexity and get work done.

    Making Sense of Complexity: Download Course Details

  • Influencing Without Authority gives participants the skills to build the influence they need to lead work and direct strategy and actions without always having formal authority to make the call. It focuses on the traits, attitudes, and behaviors of leaders who get work done through informal authority, whether managing or influencing down, across and/or up in organizations.

    Influencing Without Authority: Download Course Details

  • Aligning Work With Strategy introduces multiple viewpoints on strategy and how today’s complex environment necessitates a more adaptable, responsive, and fluid concept of it so that there is a tighter coupling and feedback cycle between strategy and execution. A diagnostic framework is introduced and applied to identify the important domains that must be aligned to successfully execute strategy.

    Aligning Work With Strategy: Download Course Details

  • Design Thinking for Results engages participants to apply design thinking skills and tools to drive results within an organization. Participants will learn how to accelerate innovation and address complex challenges by applying design thinking to product, processes, and services.

    Design Thinking for Results: Download Course Details

  • Building Effective Teams focuses on how to implement practices for leading highly effective teams in unstable and often distributed situations.  Participants will learn how to build, coach, and lead diverse and distributed teams that are high performing, resilient, and responsive to complex work and volatile contexts.

    Building Effective Teams: Download Course Details

  • Delivering Business Value provides an overview of the financial and business acumen and analysis skills needed to ensure that project-based work results in true value for the business. Not only do participants gain insight and skill in financial planning while leading project-based work, but they also learn how to make smarter financial decisions that lead to improved business outcomes.

  • Driving and Influencing Change explores the attitudes, behaviors, and skills that leaders require to help organizations develop the capabilities to navigate the uncertainty caused by complex environments. Participants learn the science behind how individuals respond to change, and receive tools to reduce resistance and increase engagement in a change process.

  • Managing Critical Relationships teaches participants how to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve the most optimal outcomes. It focuses on diagnosing stakeholders and their behavior, overcoming obstacles and conflict in relationships, negotiating for beneficial outcomes, and applying techniques for maintaining resilient relationships in the face of uncertainty.
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