How do you align your HR strategy with your business strategy? Why should you connect your talent brand to the customer brand? How can you engage and attract great talent? These are key challenges and opportunities faced by HR and business leaders alike. Which is why Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage brings the two together—to explore the complexities and interdependencies of talent and strategy to help you build competitive advantage and drive success.

Program tuition includes private accommodations, all meals, and course materials.


Talent recruitment. Talent management. Talent development. Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage explores all three, in depth. It’s one academically packed week of lectures, cutting-edge social science, hands-on simulations, study groups, Silicon Valley guest speakers, and sessions to put theory into practice.

Talent is key to a company's success. So, it's critical to both human resources and business leaders to recruit and retain the very best. That is the fundamental premise of Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage. Working with Stanford's world-class Graduate School of Business faculty you'll cover topics like leadership, compensation, and culture. You'll examine the strategic impact of human resources and learn dynamic frameworks to enable your organization to adapt quickly and seize new opportunities. By bringing together HR executives and business leaders, you'll also gain diverse insights that will benefit your entire organization.

Faculty Director
Other Faculty
Hayagreeva Rao

Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; Academic Director, Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate; Director of the Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage Executive Program; Codirector of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program

Hayagreeva Rao has published widely in the fields of management and sociology and studies the social and cultural causes of organizational change. In his research, he studies three sub-processes of organizational change: a) creation of new social structures, b) the transformation of existing social structures, and c) the dissolution of existing social structures. His recent work investigates the role of social movements as motors of organizational change in professional and organizational fields.

General Atlantic Professor of Marketing

Paul E. Holden Professor of Organizational Behavior; Codirector of the Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action Program

James Irvin Miller Professor of Accounting; Professor of law (by courtesy), Stanford Law School; Senior Faculty of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford; Director of the Director's Consortium Executive Program

Adams Distinguished Professor of Management; Director of the Managing Teams for Innovation and Success Executive Program; Director of the Influence and Negotiation Strategies Executive Program; Codirector of the Executive Program for Women Leaders

Frank E. Buck Professor of Management; Director of the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal Executive Program

Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior

Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; Hank McKinnell-Pfizer Inc. Faculty Fellow for 2014-2015

Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy); Professor of Management Science and Engineering, School of Engineering; Codirector of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program

Video Introduction
Prof. Hayagreeva Rao Discusses Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage
"The core process of a company is hiring. Get hiring right and everything else falls into place."

Meet faculty director Hayagreeva Rao and see how Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage can help you align your HR and business strategies to achieve success.
Key Benefits

Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage will help you:

  • Understand how to connect the talent brand of your organization with the customer brand
  • Design or redesign jobs, executive compensation agreements, hiring practices
  • Develop more effective negotiation, decision-making, and communication skills relevant to HR processes
  • Develop talent related initiatives and sell them to business leaders
  • Gain a diversity of perspectives, learning from a cross-fertilization of HR and business interests, skills, and abilities
  • Network and exchange information and ideas with HR practitioners and business leaders

Program Highlights

Career derailments of otherwise high-potential individuals occur with unacceptable frequency. Research shows that the inability to successfully manage organizational dynamics is often the cause. Dealing with the complex interdependencies inside the workplace and its related relationship issues poses more of a challenge. This set of sessions will help you to develop tools to navigate organizational dynamics that are critical for developing and retaining talent. You will also learn to build and strengthen your own competency in managing organizational politics.

Firms compete in markets for customers…and talent. In both cases, they have a brand. Unfortunately, the connection between the customer brand and talent brand is often missing in organizations. Using a real-world business case as a springboard, you'll evaluate if the company organized their talent to execute on a customer value proposition.

"Tell me the facts and I'll learn. Tell me the truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." The skill to create and tell compelling stories becomes important for leaders, who often need to act as an editor, shaping the stories told by employees and customers to align with a shared vision. In this session, we will break down the basic elements of storytelling, apply them to your company, and give you the opportunity to practice telling a story about your organization, your product, or yourself.

How do people judge value? How do employees in your company make decisions? How do your intuitions help and hurt your judgments? During this session you will learn to:

  • Identify factors that influence people's decisions
  • Understand what happens when people grow tired of making choices
  • Determine the limits of influence that companies have on their employees' choices

Who Should Attend?

Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage is ideal for HR and business leaders who want to strategically address the talent issues in their organization. It's specifically designed for:

  • Human resource and business executives with at least 10 to 15 years of management experience
  • Executives who have the ability to influence talent decisions and strategic direction—from any size company, any industry, and any country
SAMPLE Participant Mix
Excellent experience: highly engaged participants and relevant discussions facilitated by extraordinary faculty. Even for seasoned leaders, this program offers some great reminders and new insights into effectively managing for strategic advantage.
– Chris Edmonds-Waters
Head of Human Resources
Silicon Valley Bank
Thought-provoking and challenging on talent management topics and related issues like decision making. Most faculty members were great teachers with lots of practical experience.
– Idowu Okunzua
Human Resources Business Partner Manager
This course was conceptually outstanding and presented with power and energy. It brought HR to the very point where it starts to add value to the business — by creating competitive advantage.
– Thomas Foery
Director of Human Resources
Cablecom GmbH
This program provided very inspiring ideas at a strategic level, ideas which made me rethink what role HR should take in an organization. This was an important learning experience for my organization and for my career.
– Alice Law
Management Training and Development Manager
MTR Corporation
The main point was the alignment between strategy, key success factors, culture, and the role of HR. I'll transfer much of this learning to my company. The teaching was very, very good!
– Wolfgang Elenz
Executive Director Human Resources Lawyer
Vetter-Pharma Fertigung GmbH
Without a doubt, the Stanford Business School has assembled a group of some of the best business minds in the country and, fortunately, has decided to share that resource with the outside business community.
– Michael Coticchia
Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Bearings, Inc.
In this program intuition, experience, and academia converge for a powerful message: HR has a strategic role in creating, building, and sustaining a successful, great organization.
– Nick Horiaitis
Employee Relations Director
AT&T Wireless


Stanford University
The Stanford campus is world renowned for its natural beauty, Spanish mission-style architecture, and temperate climate. With more than 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), Stanford's campus ranks as one of the largest in the United States. Participants in Stanford's Executive Programs become part of a quintessential university setting, residing together, walking or biking to classes, and enjoying access to Stanford University facilities.
The Knight Management Center
Opened in spring 2011, the Knight Management Center has transformed the Stanford Graduate School of Business into a vibrant and unified indoor-outdoor, living and learning community. Participants will take classes at this new state-of-the-art campus, which features tiered classrooms with extensive floor-to-ceiling glass, the latest in audiovisual technology, numerous breakout and study rooms, outdoor seating areas to encourage informal discussion, and an open collaboration lab that employs hands-on and design thinking techniques.
Schwab Residential Center
Designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta, the Schwab Residential Center gives residents ample privacy while promoting collegial interaction through shared lounges, outdoor meeting areas, a library, and an exercise room.


Sara Fernandez
Associate Director, Programs
Phone: +1.650.724.4882

The Stanford Difference

The Place: Immerse yourself in innovation.
The Experience: Transform your thinking, your career, your company.
The Approach: Challenge yourself with research-based learning and real-world experience.