About this Course
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99 reviews

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Approx. 25 hours to complete

Suggested: 2 to 4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Strategic ManagementLeadershipCollaborationCommunications Management

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 25 hours to complete

Suggested: 2 to 4 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1 hour to complete

Course Preview and Intro

Join Jim Barton on a leadership journey...that quickly becomes tougher than expected!...
3 videos (Total 12 min), 4 readings
3 videos
Introduction to the Course6m
Introduction to the Dramatized Episodes3m
4 readings
Background Info about SMA and Jim Barton10m
Jeffrey Pfeffer: What Most People Don't Know About Leadership10m
Invitation to a brief questionnaire10m
Link to the "Meet and Greet" Forum10m
1 hour to complete

Taking on a New Leadership Role

So you've been presented with a new leadership "opportunity"...should you accept it? Should Jim Barton have taken this job? How would YOU decide?...
2 videos (Total 10 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
2 videos
Episode 1: Jim Barton's First Day as CEO (Day 1)9m
4 readings
Hiring a new CEO10m
Reading: Making it to the top10m
Questions for reflection and forum discussion10m
Learner suggestions: Questions to ask (or try to find answers to) before accepting a leadership "opportunity"10m
1 practice exercise
Choosing or Becoming a New Leader12m
2 hours to complete

Getting Oriented and Assessing Your Team

As a new leader, the first order of business is to survey the landscape, get your bearings, and figure out what's really going on. Perhaps the most crucial part of that is assessing the team you've inherited. Who will be an ally in what you need to accomplish? Who will be an obstacle? Who should stay, and who should go? How will YOU decide?...
4 videos (Total 36 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
4 videos
Episode 2: Meeting the CFO (Day 3)12m
Episode 3: Touring the SMA Plant (Day 4)9m
Episode 4: Meeting the Head of Engineering (Day 4)13m
6 readings
A New Leader's First 100 Days10m
SMA's Income Statement10m
Reports from a Boeing Factory10m
To-Do list for Today's CEO10m
Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's team10m
A Vital Task: Getting Your Team Right10m
2 practice exercises
Assessing the Head of Engineering2m
Getting Started as a New Leader8m
2 hours to complete

Communication in an Age of Super Transparency

In an age of social media and super hackers, leaders have to worry more than ever about secrets getting out, making hard decisions under scrutiny, and people misinterpreting what the company and its leaders are doing. Thanks primarily to the advance of technology, the organizational activities have never been more transparent. How should a leader take this new 21st century reality into account? Do past communications and PR approaches need to change? How would YOU do it?...
6 videos (Total 52 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
6 videos
Episode 5: Kohler's Philosophy of Disclosure (Day 8)5m
Episode 6: The Gala (Day 8)9m
Part 1 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency8m
Part 2 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency10m
Part 3 of Living and Leading in an Era of Super Transparency16m
5 readings
How Capitalism Can Thrive in a Transparent World10m
Dan Geer: "We are all intelligence officers now"10m
Links to check out for Super Transparency Lecture10m
Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on transparency10m
Learner recommendations: How to address social media challenges10m
2 practice exercises
Approaches to Communication2m
The Era of Super Transparency8m
2 hours to complete

Leading Collaboration

When you're building something as complicated as an airplane, people have to work together. As a leader, it's a part of your job to populate teams, develop relationships, orchestrate process, and set up conducive environments to maximize the effectiveness of collaborative work. How is this done? How would YOU accomplish it?...
6 videos (Total 37 min), 7 readings, 3 quizzes
6 videos
Introduction to the topic of leading collaboration3m
Leading Collaboration at IDEO8m
Leading Collaboration at Mass Animation9m
Collaborative Leadership5m
Episode 7: Old Friends (Day 13)9m
7 readings
Video of IDEO's collaboration, "The Deep Dive"10m
Mass Animation10m
Reflection and discussion: Collaboration at IDEO and Mass Animation10m
What is "Collaborative Leadership"?10m
Introduction to Dramatized Episode #710m
Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on collaboration10m
3 practice exercises
Determining the right context for collaboration2m
Collaborative Leadership8m
2 hours to complete

Motivating and Inspiring

A leader must be able to move other people -- potentially in directions those others do not wish to go. A very important part of a leader's role, then, is to motivate people -- to somehow provide the impulse to move others in a particular direction. Indeed, a leader often needs to get people moving together, in a similar direction. But there are different ways of doing this. Incentives, for example, operate differently than inspiration, and the two might not work equally well in a particular circumstance. How should the 21st century leader motivate people? What would YOU do?...
5 videos (Total 52 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Episode 8: The Merit Pay System (Day 24)17m
Motivating, Inspiring, and Other Ways Leaders Get People Moving in a Particular Direction: Introduction7m
Motivating and Inspiring etc.: Economic models and their problems14m
Motivating and Inspiring etc.: What are the alternatives to incentives?11m
5 readings
Introduction to Episode #810m
Motivation in Literature 110m
Motivation in Literature 210m
Readings and Video10m
Reflection and discussion: Motivating people10m
2 practice exercises
What do you think?2m
Motivating, Inspiring, and Leadership10m
2 hours to complete

Effective Governance

A leader operates within a framework that outlines her or his responsibilities, range of authority, and access to resources -- we call such frameworks "governance." Governance empowers a leader but also looks over her or his shoulder. A precondition for effectiveness as a leader is having a foundation of sound governance. And although it can be rather tricky, leaders sometimes have to try to make changes to the governance framework within which they work. If you're a CEO and you decide you have an ineffective board of directors -- to whom you report -- what would YOU do?...
7 videos (Total 36 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
Episode 9: Barton's First Board Meeting Day 31)11m
Episode 10: Sleeping with the Press (Day 31)5m
Episode 11: "A Sensitive Matter" (Day 45)1m
Episode 12: "Reconfiguring the Board of Directors" (Day 45)11m
Episode 13: The Reconfiguration Process (Day 93)2m
Episode 14: Reconfiguration Accomplished (Day 135)2m
5 readings
What does a board of directors do?10m
Introduction to Episodes 9 and 1010m
What makes for an effective board of directors?10m
Reflection and discussion: Creating a better Board of Directors10m
1 practice exercise
Effective Governance8m
1 hour to complete

Leading Change

Convincing people to change their ways might be THE hardest job a leader has to do. And if getting people to change is hard, getting groups -- who work together in the old ways and reinforce each other's sense of "the way it's always been" -- is even harder. But if you're going to transform a company, you're going to have to change things, in a big way. How would YOU go about it?...
3 videos (Total 7 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
3 videos
Episode 15: Talking Shop (Day 48 and Day 118)3m
Episode 16: Design Delay (Day 68)2m
2 readings
Leading change in organizations10m
Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's performance10m
2 practice exercises
Assessing Barton as a Change Leader2m
Leading Change4m
2 hours to complete

Managing Talent

In the 21st century, the biggest assets an organization has are its people what they can do. The evidence of this? Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have market values higher than Exxon (a company with vastly more physical assets). A very important job of a 21st century leader, then, is to attract, retain, and continue to develop the talents and skills of the people within the organization. Talent is a success multiplier, and an organization's leader is its talent-developer-in-chief. How should this be done? How would you do it?...
8 videos (Total 64 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
8 videos
Episode 17: Unexpected Insight from a Neighbor (Day 36)10m
Specialisterne: From Hope to Action To Impact3m
Managing People with "Inspired Peculiarities": The Dandelion Principle13m
Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, SAP SE11m
Anka Wittenberg Interview, Part 25m
Understanding what matters to excellent performers9m
Episode 18: The Engineers Revolt (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)9m
5 readings
How the dramatic episodes play into this module10m
Reflection and discussion: The Dandelion Principle10m
A Sampling of 21st Century Perspectives on Talent Management20m
Reflections and discussion: Managing talent10m
1 practice exercise
Managing Talent6m
1 hour to complete

Leading in Crisis

No matter how effective you are as a leader, sometimes things go wrong. In a crisis, a leader must make tough decision under the pressure of a ticking clock. That's really hard, partly because crises are (thankfully) rare and few people have a lot of experience with them. And yet, you need to get it right. The stakes, in a crisis, are often very, very high, for the organization and for a leader's career. As a leader, sooner or later you will have to deal with a crisis. How will YOU measure up?...
6 videos (Total 19 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
6 videos
Episode 19: Barton in Crisis (Day 173)5m
Episode 20: Contemplating Resignation (Day 174)7m
Episode 21: An Ultimatum (Day 174)3m
Episode 22: Negotiating with the Unions (Day 175)1m
Episode 23: A united front (Day 175)49s
5 readings
Difficulty and development10m
Reflection and discussion: Avoiding and recovering from crisis10m
The harms done by bonuses and parachutes...10m
Reflection and Discussion: Drop the parachute?10m
Reflection and discussion: Assessing Barton's performance10m
1 practice exercise
Leading in Crisis4m
2 hours to complete

Leading Innovation

Thanks to mature communications and transportation networks, it has never been easier for low cost producers to market low priced products and services all over the world. Because of this, companies -- especially those not located in low cost regions -- need to innovate, in order to keep offering products and services that are better, even if they aren't cheaper. In the 21st century, the capacity to innovate has become extremely important to business success. And it's the leader's job to create the conditions in which her or his people can innovate effectively. A leader must espouse principles, processes, and practices that allow the organization to innovation better than its rivals. How to do this? How would YOU do it?...
4 videos (Total 29 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
4 videos
Fostering innovation8m
Episode 24: Innovation Dilemma (At about Barton's 1 year mark)10m
Collaborating with clients for innovation8m
6 readings
What to expect in this module's lectures and episodes10m
Lean manufacturing mindset means continuous innovation10m
Emily Pilloton on participatory design10m
Reflection: Innovation strategy10m
VIDEO: Rethinking intelligence, education and our capacity for creativity10m
Reflection and discussion: How to encourage innovation10m
2 practice exercises
What should Akita decide?2m
Fostering Innovation12m
1 hour to complete

Leading Execution

It's "where the rubber hits the road." Execution. If you can't execute, it doesn't matter how well you strategize or how visionary you are. Execution is the art and science of getting it done. But how should a leader do that? How would YOU?...
3 videos (Total 12 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
3 videos
Episode 25: A Major Setback (Early in Barton's 3rd year as CEO)8m
Episode 26: A Percentage Game (About 2 years into Barton's time as CEO)3m
2 readings
Understanding execution10m
Reflection and discussion: Advising Barton on execution10m
1 practice exercise
1 hour to complete

Public Life, Private Life

You've seen it all too often in the newspaper headlines: a prominent leader called on to resign, not because of failure to perform on the job, but because of something troubling (at least to some) that has transpired in their so-called "private life" that has become public. Where is the boundary between public life and private life for a leader? Indeed, is there a boundary? Why do so many leaders have problems with this? How does it bear on notions of leadership character and integrity? What is YOUR personal philosophy in this important area?...
6 videos (Total 21 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
6 videos
Episode 27: Firing Kohler (Day 144)3m
Episode 28: Played for a Fool? (Day 174)3m
Episode 29: Public life, Private life (A little more than 1 year into Barton's time as CEO)6m
Episode 30: Disclosure Issue (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)4m
Episode 31: Liability (Sometime during Barton's 2nd year as CEO)1m
3 readings
Questions about Disclosure: The case of Steve Jobs and his illness10m
Reflection and discussion: Final thoughts10m
3 practice exercises
The Rights and Obligations of Leaders6m
2 hours to complete

Vision and the Role of Culture

The eminent management thinker Peter Drucker once said that "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Lou Gerstner, after he turned around IBM, often said that the importance of culture was the one thing he seriously underestimated. What is culture? According to the simplest definition, widely used, culture is "the way we do things around here." But how should the leader influence that? What would YOU do?...
7 videos (Total 51 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
Episode 32a: Consulting with a Peer, Part 1 (Flashback: Day 52)7m
Episode 32b: Consulting with a Peer, Part 2 (Flashback: Day 52)10m
Episode 32c: Consulting with a Peer, Part 3 (Flashback: Day 52)8m
Part 1: What Culture Is6m
Part 2: The Importance of Culture6m
Part 3: The Difficulty of Changing Culture10m
8 readings
Introduction to Episode 3210m
Reflection and discussion10m
Reflection and discussion10m
Reflection and discussion10m
"On Corporate Culture" by Richard Nolan10m
On communication10m
On culture and leadership10m
Reflection and discussion: Culture at SMA10m
1 practice exercise
The Importance of Corporate Culture6m
1 hour to complete

Modern Theories of Leadership

Leadership is an active, if fragmented, field of management research. In this module, you'll encounter some of the ideas researchers have come up with to describe and improve the practice of leadership. Some of these theories have had more influence than others. Some have had less influence on the practice of leadership than many of the ideas we've already seen in the course (e.g., economic agency theory). We offer these here to raise the possibility that some of these ideas might help YOU as you synthesize a personal approach to leadership in the 21st century....
1 video (Total 1 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
3 readings
Modern theories of leadership10m
Reflection and discussion: Theories for 21st Century leadership10m
Reflection and discussion: The role of theory in leadership practice10m
1 practice exercise
Testing Your Knowledge of Leadership Theories8m
3 hours to complete

A Study in Leadership Failure: The Financial Crisis (Part 1)

The early 21st century has seen some spectacular failures of leadership. From the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, to the 2008 financial crisis, we've seen a lot of major things go wrong with leadership. You could argue that these are examples of 20th century leadership applied to 21st century challenges...and that resulting failures demonstrate the need for a new leadership approach. In this module, we'll begin trying to understand some of the things that went wrong in the extremely complicated 2008 financial crisis....
1 video (Total 1 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
4 readings
FILM: Global Financial Meltdown50m
Case analysis and discussion: Failures of leadership10m
Some explanations of the financial crisis, ranging from fun to really thorough10m
Reflection and discussion: Lessons learned10m
1 practice exercise
How the Financial Crisis Unfolded6m
1 hour to complete

A Study in Leadership Failure: The Financial Crisis (Part 2)

We continue our examination of the inner complexities of the 2008 financial crisis....
1 video (Total 1 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
3 readings
FILM: The Warning10m
Case analysis and discussion: The Warning10m
Reflection and discussion: What must improve?10m
1 practice exercise
Avoiding the financial crisis...6m
1 hour to complete

Real Leadership Case Study: Lord John Browne, British Petroleum

We've met Jim Barton and followed him on his journey. In this module, we turn the ideas we've discussed and developed in the course so far to the case of a real leader. What is YOUR assessment of the leadership of Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP...
1 video (Total 1 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
3 readings
Case readings and video10m
Case analysis and discussion: Assessment of a leader10m
Reflections on the case of Lord John Browne10m
1 practice exercise
The Case of Lord Browne4m
3 hours to complete

Synthesis - Leadership in 21st Century Organizations

Putting it all together. Last thoughts and attempts to synthesize thoughts about 21st century leadership....
4 videos (Total 9 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
4 videos
Episode 33: Maiden Flight (Exactly 4 years into Barton's tenure as CEO)2m
Episode 34: Barton Removed (Same day as maiden flight of new SMA plane)5m
End of Course Wrap-up54s
5 readings
General Leadership Advice from Harvard Business School10m
Four spheres of executive responsibility10m
Reflection and discussion: Final Assessment, Jim Barton CEO10m
Reflection and discussion: Right outcome?10m
Synthesizing YOUR framework for 21st Century leadership10m
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Top Reviews

By HPJan 4th 2019

Excellent course that provokes you to relate learning and experience. I have just submitted my assignment/reviewed first peer and this reflected how powerful the course design is. #Kudos

By JOct 20th 2017

It's a very comprehensive course. I enjoyed the combination of theory with case study and scenario. I had a lot of fun discovering the new trends in the 21st century's leadership.



Robert Austin

Professor, Management of Creativity and Innovation
Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy

Shannon Hessel

Assistant Professor of Art, Leadership and Entrepreneurship
Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy

About Copenhagen Business School

Centrally located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe with close to 23,000 students. CBS offers world-class research-based degree programs at undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels as well as executive and other post experience programs. ...

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