HR Strategy: Creating Competitive Advantage through People


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This intensive five day strategic HR program is open to teams of four to five mid to upper level professionals from HR (or a combination of HR and other functions) who come together to work on a specific business challenge. Teams will work with faculty and other participants to receive feedback and suggestions as they craft an action plan to be executed upon return to work.

Upon completing the program, HR teams will better understand and articulate how management of human capital can help achieve strategic outcomes. Using new tools to analyze the total HR system, teams will identify where current practices can be better executed and explore new practices to align with strategic goals.

Kirk Williams, vice president of Global Employee Relations and HR Compliance for American Express, appreciated the team building and collaboration that resulted from his team's participation.

  Kirk Williams Quote


In order to address an organizational challenge, teams will work on an action plan throughout the week and have opportunities to test ideas with colleagues and faculty.

  • Creating Stakeholder Value – HR's role in understanding, identifying and informing strategy.
  • Aligning HR practices with corporate strategy – Managing human capital with the goals of the organization.
  • HR’s Role in Driving Organizational Change – the Accelerating Change Module helps identify the steps for a successful change process, while separating change content from the change process. This session outlines and discusses diagnostic and planning tools for change.
  • Leading the HR Function: The Next Paradigm – HR’s critical roles in building capabilities, providing critical information to influence corporate strategy formulation, and guarding against human frailties in executive decision making.

Learning Methods

We use the team approach in this program to: 

  • Increase the rate and likelihood of knowledge transfer, applying it immediately in a workplace context.
  • Work on real, current business challenges facing the organization with encouragement to present solutions and receive immediate feedback and suggestions from other participants and faculty. This is both a powerful and safe place to test out new knowledge.
  • Improve the overall effectiveness of your HR organizational change efforts.
  • Help create a support network within participating organizations, making team members champions for their change efforts back at the office.
  • Establish great learning experience for people two to three levels beneath the chief HR officer.
  • Generate solidarity within a business unit that is wrestling with a particularly critical or tricky business issue.

Who Should Apply

The program is designed for teams of four to five mid to senior level HR generalists and managers or multifunctional teams that include HR managers.


Participants in our program come from a wide range of industries and functions and from small, medium and large sized organizations.

Admission and Terms

Upcoming Dates: 2014


Tuition: $30,000 per team, up to five people


Fees includes all educational materials, instruction, coaching, breakfasts, lunches, snacks, parking, commemorative gift and a certificate of completion.


Contact Laura Ellenberger for more information: 713.348.3446 or

Attendance at a Rice University Executive Education program requires significant advance preparation. Written notice of cancellation must be received more than 30 days prior to the program start date to be eligible for a full refund less a 6% administrative fee.  At Rice University Executive Education’s discretion, qualified substitutes for confirmed registrations may be accommodated prior to the program start date with written notice and will incur no fee for substitution. Notice given after 30 days prior to the program will not be eligible for a refund.




Christopher J. Collins, Ph D. 

Cornell University Associate Professor of Human Resource Management

Director of the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies

D. Brent Smith, Ph D.

Rice University Associate Professor of Management & Psychology

Associate Dean of Executive Education, Jones School of Business