What you'll learn

  • Enhance your strategic thinking by understanding the core elements of public leadership, management, strategy, and execution

  • Prepare to lead your organization to long-term success through a shared understanding of strategic direction

  • Create a culture of consistency, both internally and externally, that considers core objectives, resources, and environmental factors

  • Know how to approach strategy both effectively and efficiently, incorporating feedback cycles and creating public value

  • Identify weaknesses and risks, developing the skills and planning to respond in a crisis

  • Develop strategic communications to effectively roll out new initiatives and anticipate shareholder and media feedback

Course description

How do you execute a strategic initiative that has long-lasting impact? Do you know how to effectively communicate your strategic approach, gathering input and support from key stakeholders? How will you anticipate and respond to scrutiny from shareholders, news media, and the public?

Public sector leaders face unique challenges when it comes to making strategic,  business-oriented decisions. If not thoroughly planned and executed, these decisions have real consequences with high-stakes outcomes. What can we learn from world leaders and experts who have faced these monumental decisions? How can you create a high performing team to successfully execute strategic ideas?

In Strategy Execution for Public Leadership, former United States Pentagon Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security Eric Rosenbach will lead you through real-life public sector challenges, showing you how purpose-driven strategy and execution  lead to long-term adoption and success.

By studying decisions of key public leaders, like Former United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, you will better understand how to develop strategies that not only align with your organizational goals, but also gain insight into the challenges and scrutiny that come along with making public decisions. Too often, public strategies fail because leaders don’t think about execution, which is made up of leadership and management tools, as well as a team who anticipates all scenarios prior to putting your plan into place. Through global case studies and protagonist examples, you will explore topics that set you on a path to strengthen your public leadership, including resource and budget planning, talent recruitment and retention, strategic communications and crisis management, and risk planning and mitigation tactics.

By the end of this course, you will not only have the tools to create a sound public strategy, but also know how to test and optimize your strategy, increase competitive advantage, and sustain long-term impact and success.

Strategy is not one-size-fits-all. Implement a public leadership approach for long-term success.


Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

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