What you'll learn

  • Close the gap between strategy and execution: how do you move from general buy-in to the concept of collaboration to specific actions that generate measurable advantages?
  • Determine the best actions to employ to revamp your performance management and compensation systems to drive out individualistic behaviors and encourage collaboration.
  • Understand your own collaboration-related behavioral tendencies and generate a personalized road map for authentically using your strengths to lead more effectively.
  • Use data, analytics, and technology to make measurable improvements and significant ROI on your collaboration-related initiatives.
  • Avoid collaboration overload and teamwork fatigue by analyzing and fixing problems within the structure and culture of multi-teaming.
  • Take steps to enhance real inclusion, not merely a façade of diversity. Develop a road map for enhancing collaboration, which in turn enhances diversity and inclusion.

Course description

Now more than ever, professional service firm leaders are being asked to solve increasingly complex problems and provide comprehensive solutions to clients and boost profits. In her books Smart Collaboration and forthcoming book Smarter Collaboration, Dr. Heidi K. Gardner shows when specialists collaborate across silos, firms can earn higher margins, enhance client service, engage and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge.

The Smarter Collaboration Master Class focuses on how to capture those benefits and shows senior leadership teams how to move from a collaboration-backed strategy to real behavioral change. This virtual, synchronous program, focuses on the structures, tools, and practical steps to promote the core concepts of collaboration and drive business performance. Through a blend of real case studies, interactive simulations, and in-depth discussions, participants will gain the knowledge and tools to put collaboration into action to achieve business objectives. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with Harvard faculty and peers from a variety of sectors and industries to learn and gain insights from their experiences.

Now open to leaders from all types of professional service firms including accounting, consulting, engineering, law, and other professions.

Course outline

  • Curriculum Topics
    • New research on KPIs, performance management and compensation structures to promote collaborative, cross-silo working.
    • Case studies that explore the cultural, behavioral, and structural elements underpinning the execution of collaboration.
    • Tools for analyzing collaboration including tech-enabled solutions and strategic analysis.
    • Strategies for fostering, engaging in, and leading collaboration in ways that play to individuals’ unique strengths.
    • Research on the implications of collaboration on D&I.


  • Distinguished Fellow in the Center on the Legal Profession; Faculty Chair, Accelerated Leadership Program, Faculty Chair, Sector Leadership Master Class; Faculty Chair, Smart Collaboration Master Class
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