What you'll learn

  • Differentiate between the myths and realities of management
  • Recognize the advantages of taking a “process perspective” towards managerial work
  • Influence the context and environment in which decisions get made
  • Implement strategies, plans, projects, and initiatives more effectively; manage and lead change in your organization
  • Lead learning initiatives so that your organization can improve and innovate
  • Design, direct, and shape various organizational processes to your advantage

Course description

Effective management is essential for all teams and organizations to accomplish their goals. But all too often, managers today just don’t have the tools or processes to get the job done efficiently.

Becoming a Better Manager is designed to elevate your managerial skills through a distinctive, hands-on approach to management. In the course, you’ll learn to identify, analyze, design, and influence critical organizational processes as a means of getting work done and achieving results. Working through real-world challenges faced by managers across a variety of industries, you’ll focus on four of the most essential processes for managers: decision-making, implementation, organizational learning, and change management. 

Whether you’re new to management, a seasoned manager, or somewhere in-between, you’ll come away with tangible tools and techniques that you can readily apply in your organization to deliver on time, on budget, and at the highest quality.

Course Structure

Becoming a Better Manager consists of 30 to 35 hours of material, developed by David Garvin and stewarded by Joseph Fuller, delivered over an eight week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework, which consists of a highly-engaging mix of short videos, multimedia cases, interactive learning exercises, and written reflections, on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. Three group exercises, including two decision-making simulations and a capstone assignment, are also required for course completion. All course material is delivered through the innovative HBX online platform. While there is no direct real-time interaction with the faculty built into the course, current and former students may be invited to special events, both on and off-line, where HBX faculty are present.

The HBX Learning Model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

The case protagonists in Becoming a Better Manager represent some of the best and brightest from the worlds of technology, pharma, the government, and more. You will learn a wealth of managerial insight from Kevin Sharer, former CEO and Chairman of Amgen Pharmaceuticals and a current lecturer at Harvard Business School; Meghan Joyce, Regional General Manager for Uber’s East Coast Operations; and Mina Hsiang, healthcare lead for the US Digital Service; among others.

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Adopting a Process Perspective in Management
  • Shaping the Decision-Making Process
  • Implementing for the Present
  • Learning for the Future
  • Managing and Leading Change

Participants in Becoming a Better Manager are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from HBX and Harvard Business School. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines and actively contribute to the vibrant HBX learning community.

Who would benefit from taking Becoming a Better Manager?

Becoming a Better Manager is intended for individuals at all stages of their careers who would like to gain the tools and techniques necessary to become an effective manager. While people management experience is not necessary, experience with complex organizational projects and activities involving groups or teams (e.g., project management, product management, new product development) is expected.

What are HBX certificate programs?

HBX certificate programs are focused on one essential business topic. They combine the flexibility of online programming with the rigor and quality of a Harvard Business School education to give participants a unique edge in their careers.


Associated Schools

  • Harvard Business School

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