harvard club of australia

2018 annual PROGRAM for leaders


The Future of Work in the Digital Age:

winning through talent, technology, & improved productivity

presented by harvard business school professors Felix oberholzer-gee and ethan bernstein

Sunday 29 July - Friday 3 august 2018


Please scroll down for further information or email programs@harvardclub.org.au or contact: Dr Melinda Muth, Program Director 0419 277 376 or Suzie Ruse, Program Manager, 0424 243 369.



Now in its 21st year, the Harvard Club Australia Program for Leaders is an annual five-day residential executive education program for senior management, presented by Harvard Business School Professors using the famous Harvard Business School case study method.

Step back from your day-to-day responsibilities and reassess your situation with world-class faculty in a diverse network of accomplished executive peers. Immerse yourself in this proven learning experience, and develop a broader perspective on the challenges facing your organization and your leadership capabilities.

The program is designed to suit a range of executive positions, including:

  • Company Directors
  • Director Generals
  • CEOs
  • Executive Managers
  • General Managers
  • Senior Managers

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2018 program for Leaders

The Future of Work in the Digital Age:

winning through talent, technology, & improved productivity

Program Overview

Digital technology and the resulting flood of data promise to re-make product design and customer relationships as we know them.  But what about the firm’s relationship with its people?  How does people management evolve as a result of the recent technological advances? 

Who should attend?

This course is designed for senior executives with responsibility for strategy, leadership, and organisational performance and will be presented by Professors Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Ethan Bernstein.


This program will focus on the ways leading organisations use technology and data to improve the productivity of their workforce and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. In data-driven firms, the traditional organisation chart provides less and less insight into the ways in which employees actually accomplish their work.  Executives who measure and manage worker productivity in old-fashioned ways risk missing key drivers of performance. 


The course has three focus areas:

  • First, we ask how world-class organisations gain visibility into patterns of communication and collaboration among employees, and how senior executives use these insights to foster teamwork and design environments in which talent can thrive.  We will pay close attention to workplace transparency – how does the behaviour of employees change as we begin to observe them and what are the new ways of organising work.  In many industries, digital technology will shift the boundaries of companies and influence which activities take place inside the firm and which ones reside in loose networks. 


  • Second, we will ask how data allows us to become more effective in our own work.  What data do we generate (often without even thinking about it) and what insight might we gain from analysing it?  Are there gaps that we might be able to close easily?  Using sample data, we will discuss different approaches to becoming more effective with the help of feedback from data.


  • The final focus area is concerned with the future of work more generally.  What does the rise of artificial intelligence imply for employees and firms?  How do leaders think about the role of human workers in organizations?  In which ways are they critical for our success?  Where does technology really have an edge?  This part of the course will build on the (early) insights of a major HBS research initiative that explores the future of work.

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Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. A member of the faculty since 2003, Professor Oberholzer-Gee received his Masters degree, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich. His first faculty position was at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches competitive strategy in executive education programs such as the Program for Leadership Development, the Senior Executive Program for China, and in a program for media executives titled Effective Strategies for Media Companies. His course Strategies Beyond the Market is a popular elective class for second-year MBA students.

Professor Oberholzer-Gee won numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including the Harvard Business School Class of 2006 Faculty Teaching Award for best teacher in the core curriculum, and the 2002 Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award for best teacher in the Wharton MBA program. Prior to his academic career, Professor Oberholzer-Gee served as managing director of Symo Electronics, a Swiss-based process control company.

Professor Oberholzer-Gee’s research and consulting are centered on competitive strategy, international competition, and non-market strategy, a branch of strategic management that studies how companies best work with government and non-governmental groups. In recent work, he studied how entertainment companies can successfully manage the digital transition. His work has been profiled by media outlets around the world, including ABC Nightly News, Financial Times, Guardian, Le Figaro, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, New York Times, Singapore Straits Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Ethan S. Bernstein

Ethan Bernstein is an assistant professor in the Organizational Behavior unit and the Berol Corporation Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He teaches the second-year MBA course in Managing Human Capital, an MBA immersive field course in Tokyo on Innovation and Leadership through the Fusion of Digital and Analog, and various executive education programs. He also created and chairs HBX Live's inaugural multi-session course, Managing Your Career Development. He previously taught the first-year MBA course in Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) and a PhD course on the craft of field research.

Professor Bernstein studies the impact of workplace transparency—the observability of employee activities, routines, behaviors, output, and/or performance—on productivity, with implications for leadership, collaboration, organization design, and new forms of organizing.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Bernstein spent a half-decade at The Boston Consulting Group in Toronto and Tokyo. Tapped by Elizabeth Warren to join the implementation team at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he spent nearly two years in executive positions, including Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Assistant Director of Mortgage Markets, at the newest United States federal agency.

Professor Bernstein earned his doctorate in management at Harvard, where he also received a JD/MBA degree. While a doctoral student, he was a Kauffman Foundation Fellow in Law, Innovation, and Growth, and he remains a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bar Associations. He holds an AB in Economics from Amherst College, which included study at Doshisha University in Kyoto.


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Our fully residential program includes:

  • An action-packed program of case study discussions and lectures with leadership experts and senior executive guest speakers
  • Program instruction materials – all available prior to the course
  • Networking opportunities with other attendees
  • All meals
  • Five nights’ accommodation and use of leisure facilities
  • Complimentary on-site parking

Fee: $10,750 plus GST per person. Discounts available for EarlyBird bookings prior to 1 April; teams of 4+. $2750 deposit required at registration.


The entire program was excellent. The classroom case study format was very well run. Attendees were of a great diversity and the background which added to the overall experience. Overall the week exceeded my expectations and I learnt so much. Thank you for one amazing experience.
— Ben Hughes, National Marketing Manager Retail, Dexus
The HCA program for leaders was an excellent investment for me. There are few opportunities locally in Australia to access such a high quality program – informative, challenging and exceptionally well presented. The opportunity to learn and share with such a diversity community of participants is also real value added. My thanks to the HBS Professors and the HCA team.
— Harvey Collins, Director, Navitas Limited
This was a great experience, especially the excellent presentations from the Harvard professors. I left better equipped to deal with changes and challenges in the workplace. I also valued greatly the opportunity to expand my professional network and to discuss case studies with leaders from various backgrounds As a senior mentor within DFAT, this will enable me to better advance the objectives of the DFAT’s Women in Leadership agenda. I was grateful for the opportunity to participate, through the Chief Executive Woman (CEW) scholarship and I highly recommend this program.
— Majell Hind, Consul-General, Australian Embassy Jakarta


Our program has been recognised as the leading one of its kind in Australia. Over the years we’re thrilled to have seen representation from some of Australia’s most respected companies and organisations, including:


A unique opportunity today, could see you Achieve the next level of executive success tomorrow.

For more information on our Program for Leaders, please complete your details below and a program manager will send you a Brochure and call you back.

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