Advanced Certificate for Senior Executives

Advanced Certificate for Senior Executives

2013 session: May 28 to June 28

Program Details

The Advanced Certificate for Senior Executives (ACSE) is an intense, five weeks of executive education held on campus at MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The program is selective and purposely limited to 25 senior executives who seek “something beyond an MBA” and are willing to create and sustain a learning community.

The guiding purpose of the ACSE program is to deepen the ability of experienced executives to make significant and systemic changes in their companies and the world. ACSE participants will acquire new frameworks and skills for which MIT Sloan is world-renowned; make connections that will last a lifetime with colleagues who share similar experiences; and develop a renewed and expanded sense of themselves as leaders. In short, ACSE helps participants take another step in their career and be more effective change agents in the future.

How ACSE Works

ACSE delivers on its purpose by combining a number of powerful features:
 - Exposure to MIT Sloan’s world-class faculty and their latest research
 - Access to the “innovation ecosystem” around MIT through company visits, 
   executive panels, a tour of labs and centers in the area
 - Learning variety: classes and case studies, business simulations, leader
   panels, 360° feedback and 1-1 leadership coaching, team-building experiences, and
   work on personal assessments, surveys, and projects
 - Connection with other participants of similar experience and ambition through ACSE-specific courses, open-enrollment programs that draws global participants, and the ACE/ACSE
   alumni network

“I have two business degrees, an engineering degree, and over 20 years of business experience….only now I can confidently say I understand macro economics and how to apply it to planning in my business.”  


- Supply Chain Leader, Multi-National Mining Company

ACSE Themes, Content, and Flow (2013 session)

What follows below is a detailed outline of each week; it’s important to note that each 5- to 6-day week of ACSE has some common features:
 - At least a day focused on a personal leadership dimension
 - Work on a real project of value and importance to each participant and their company
 - Learning journals that track insights and growth over the program’s duration
 - A variety of learning simulations
 - Dinners with ACSE participants, faculty, and open-enrollment participants

Note: actual program flow and faculty teaching will depend on schedules 

Pre-course – “Connection”
Prior to ACSE, participants connect as a group and individually via the web and begin the process of forming a learning community. The purpose of these pre-course connections is to help participants prepare for the 5-week experience and learn about each other’s objectives and projects. This involves accessing the ACSE website (the hub for all ACSE information and activities) and identifying a project to work on during the five weeks of ACSE. 

Week One – Connection and Reinvention

The first week of ACSE is made up of custom-designed, ACSE-only experiences. The purpose of this week is three-fold:
 - Connect ACSE participants more deeply as a learning community and integrate them into
   the community of MIT and its surrounding environment
 - Provide context and frameworks that will be useful touchstones throughout the ACSE
 - Offer new ways of thinking about strategy, as well as themselves as leaders and change agents


 - Current macroeconomic scan of the world
 - Becoming a learning community
 - Leadership
 - Reinventing your business strategy
 - Bonding in Boston – an innovation experience
 - Framing one’s project

“The first week of ACSE is like drinking from a fire hose…then you settle in and begin to reinforce concepts, expand and reinforce your understanding, and, most important, learn from your colleagues.” 


- SVP, International Furniture Manufacturer and Retailer 

Week Two – Managing in the Global Economic System

The second week enables participants to manage more adroitly in a globalized economic environment. By the end of the week, participants will be able to analyze the market and non-market forces that affect corporate outcomes, and understand how the global market for capital and labor affects many business decisions. The week concludes with an ACSE- only day focused on strategic negotiation skills – frameworks and tools for negotiating in complex, multi-party situations.



Understanding Global Markets: Macroeconomics for Executives
- Dynamics of Globalization
- Strategic Negotiations

“What I found most impressive were the frameworks taught at MIT, which are different from what’s taught in most MBA courses. These frameworks are very useful and have helped me reframe my thinking. It was very useful for me, someone with an economics background”


                                                            –Managing Director, International Finance and Banking Company

Week Three – Leading and Organizing for Change
The third week enables participants to integrate crisis management, strategic negotiation, marketing, and organizational skills into their thinking and projects. Finally, the team-based business simulation begins.

A highly-interactive simulation at the end of the third week will prep participants for System Dynamics concepts and integrate many of the Leadership and Change Management frameworks to come in the subsequent weeks.


- Crisis management
- Negotiation style
- Negotiation to create/capture value
- Strategic pricing and distribution
- Creating innovative cultures

Week Four – Managing Systems and Supply Chain

The purpose of the fourth week is to introduce students to two of the cornerstones of MIT Sloan’s business education: system dynamics and supply chain management. The first program enables participants to understand, analyze, and model the behavior of complex systems over time. By the end of the course, participants will be able to create causal loop diagrams and anticipate the impact of time lags, stocks and flows that produce non-linear outcomes in a variety of industrial, technological, political and ecological settings. In addition, participants will have a deeper understanding of the leadership and policy design implications of system dynamics.

The second program covers key strategic choices and frameworks for managing a complex supply chain.



Feedback loops and simple structures
- Tools for systems thinking
- Systems thinking, learning, and leadership
- Systems dynamics in action – case studies 
- Supply chain dynamics and evolution
- Supply chain integration
- Risk management
- Strategic partnering

Week Five – Innovation and Integration
The purpose of the fifth week is to enable participants to integrate all their learning from the prior weeks and develop plans for returning to work. The week begins with two integrating sessions on entrepreneurship and organizing for speed and innovation. This is followed by a half-day of project presentations with a focus on how the scope, focus, deliverables, and structure of participants’ projects have changed after five weeks of learning and planning. The final two days are devoted to connecting with ACE/ACSE alumni, refreshing everyone’s understanding about a particular issue, market, or geography, and developing plans for sustaining the ACE/ACSE learning community. At this popular event, Exec Ed alumni from over the years are invited back to connect with the MIT Sloan community, and to catch up with faculty and each other. It is a time of continuous learning, connection, and community.



Strategic speed
 - Innovation cultures and clusters
 - Intrapreneurship
 - Project presentations
 - World Café
 - Graduation
 - Alumni sessions on issues, markets, geographies

Post-course – Ongoing Connection, Application, and Learning
After the conclusion of each ACSE delivery, the alumni collectively determine the level of engagement and the activities they would like to have going forward.  Under discussion as of this writing are an organized trip to China, a virtual session with faculty, development of a survey to address issues raised in the program, and attendance to next year’s ACSE reunion.

“The combination of individual leadership concepts, team-based project work, with the strategy and macro-economic concepts are excellent.” 

                                                                                                                      - SVP of IT, International Water Utility

What Makes ACSE Different
ACSE is designed to help seasoned executives succeed in a world that is increasingly more, unpredictable, competitive, and complex.  ACSE alumni tell us their experience with MIT and the ACSE program is distinctive and special in a variety of ways, including: 
 - Participation in the experience of the MIT culture and heritage, especially around innovation
 - Strong focus on taking practical action – “How does what I’m learning make me a better
   leader and a more valuable contributor to my business?”
 - Personal learning journals that track insights and growth over the program’s duration
 - Individual Projects - content application to a project of real importance and value to each
   participant and their organization 
 - Systemic, cross-functional, and cross-border lenses applied to current business issues
 - Faculty, coaches, and alumni who are committed to applying and generalizing from the
   latest management thinking and frameworks 
 - Integration of personal leadership concepts, skill-building, and coaching with large scale 
   macroeconomic and systems thinking frameworks and tools

“ACSE offerings are practical, loaded with real-life examples, and useful to my business and my goals.”

                                                                                            -CEO, International Software Design Firm

To Apply

Applications for ACSE 2013 are now being accepted. Please complete the following steps in order to apply for ACSE:

  1. If you have not done so already, join the MySloan ExecEd community.
  2. Log in to your MySloan ExecEd account and complete your profile.
  3. Complete and submit the application form.

Return to the ACSE home page >>

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