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Human Capital Strategy: Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Build an effective human capital strategy to drive your organization’s competitive advantage.

In the contemporary global economy, competition is prevalent, capital is abundant, ideas can be realized swiftly and inexpensively, and workers frequently change jobs. The biggest differentiator in creating an advantage is something that every business has, but which few fully utilize: talent. In this climate of rapid workplace disruption, 41 percent of executives said that building workforce capability through continuous employee development is one of the most important actions they are taking to transform work. Yet only 17 percent say their workers are ready to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles.1For leaders today, the act of aligning human capital strategy with business strategy is one of the most important things they can do to prepare strategically for the future of work.

This program will help leaders engage with the structures, processes, and routines for attracting, developing, motivating, leading, and retaining the people needed to execute business strategy. It is structured to follow the sequence of decisions that leaders would need to make with regard to their workforce. Over six weeks, you’ll learn how to build your organization’s sustainable competitive advantage by effectively managing workforce transformation through an effective human capital strategy. Throughout the program, you’ll discover the importance of a growth mindset when approaching performance management, and the imperatives that inform the future of work.

¹ Deloitte (Dec, 2020).

Preview image for the video "Human Capital Strategy Program Trailer".

This program exceeded my expectations. Due to the quality of the course content, my understanding of the elements needed for an effective human capital strategy has been significantly enhanced. I can immediately apply everything I learned.

Nicholas Casaletto

About the Program

What to Expect

  • Learn to create a human capital strategy that powers your organization’s sustainable competitive advantage
  • Enhance your ability to strategically align your human capital plans with your overall business strategy
  • Explore the value of multiple perspectives, and the important role that diversity, equity, and inclusion play in your organization’s culture and values
  • Gain the skills and knowledge to manage the challenges of workforce transformation and prepare your organization for the future of work
  • Develop a broadened perspective and global business network of like-minded professionals
  • Management, leadership, and decision-making professionals who are interested in aligning their human capital planning and business strategy to promote their organization’s competitive edge
  • Entrepreneurs and small-to-medium business owners who are interested in developing the skills and insights to effectively utilize human capital to drive business growth 
  • Human resources, and learning and design professionals who want to act as competent business talent advisers while remaining agile and up to date on industry trends
  • Orientation module
  • Module 1: Creating a sustainable competitive advantage through people
  • Module 2: Talent acquisition in the global market
  • Module 3: Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Module 4: Talent and performance management 
  • Module 5: Organizational design, mission, and culture
  • Module 6: Workforce transformation and the future of work

This course has been invaluable in appreciating how an organization creates and maintains a competitive advantage, building on core values to develop an environment in which employees thrive. I would highly recommend this course to those who wish to bring alignment, consistency, and credibility into their organization.

Dr. Adrian Bird


Program Convener

James Baron
James Baron

William S. Beinecke Professor of Management

Areas of Expertise: Careers, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Labor Issues, Leadership, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Design, Social Enterprise, Social Networks, Startups, Strategy, Women in Leadership, Workplace Issues

Professor Baron’s research interests include human resources; organizational design and behavior; social stratification and inequality; work, labor markets, and careers; economic sociology; and entrepreneurial companies. Before coming to SOM in 2006, he taught at Stanford's Graduate School of Business from 1982-2006. At Stanford, he taught the MBA core course, Human Resource Management. He was co-director of the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies (SPEC), a large-scale longitudinal study of the organizational design, human resource management practices, and financial and non-financial performance measures of entrepreneurial firms in Silicon Valley. Papers based on the project appeared in leading disciplinary journals, and an overview of the project in California Management Review won the 2003 Accenture Award for making “the most important contribution to improving the practice of management.”

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Registration Information

Program Details

Registration closes: June 11, 2024
Program starts with orientation: June 19, 2024

There are no prerequisites for this program. Register to get started. Our online program collaborator, GetSmarter, will welcome you and guide you through the steps to secure your place in the program.

A program fee reduction of 15% is available for those working in the nonprofit or government sectors; Yale University alumni; small groups of 3-6; and those who have previously participated in a Yale Executive Education program with Yale SOM or 2U/GetSmarter.*

*Discounts cannot be combined.

This program does not qualify for veteran financial aid or veterans benefits at this time.

Program Collaborator

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This program is presented entirely online in collaboration with leaders in digital education, GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc. brand. Technology meets academic rigor in GetSmarter’s people-mediated model, which enables lifelong learners across the globe to obtain industry-relevant skills that are certified by the world’s most reputable academic institutions. This interactive, supportive teaching model is designed for busy professionals and results in unprecedented certification rates for online programs.

View the Human Capital Strategy: Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage online program on the GetSmarter website.

Modules are released on a weekly basis, and can be completed in your own time and at your own pace.