Understanding Strategy
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PROGRAM OUTLINE for this 3 day course in English

For any employee understanding of the key issues involved in planning, developing, communicating and implementing organizational strategy is an essential skill to have.

The strategy pursued by an organisation has a major influence on the day to day working lives of its employees and the contribution they make to achieving their organisation’s goals and objectives. This is true irrespective of the sector, type of organisation and the level at which an individual works. Therefore, an understanding of the key issues involved in planning, developing, communicating and implementing organisational strategy is essential.  
Using a broad range of contemporary management models and theories, the aim of this 3-day course is to provide an overview of these issues. After addressing the question ‘What exactly do we mean by strategy’ the course will then go on to examine the practice of strategic management along three broad lines:

Join us to learn and address your questions on:  

  The strategic analysis process and position

  • How to perform a macro-environment analysis
  • Understand the industry and sectors we operate in.
  • What are the resources and capabilities we have?
  • Who are the stakeholders and how is the governance of the firm?
  • What about our history and culture!

  How to make strategic choices

  • Which tools are available for business strategy formulation
  • Should we use diversification?
  • How different is strategy versus international strategy?
  • But what about entrepreneurship and innovation?
  • Mergers, acquisitions and alliances, do they work?

  How do we put strategy into action?

  • How do we evaluate the organisational performance?
  • Is the strategy suitable, feasible or acceptable?
  • Is strategy always planned or can it be emergent?
  • What are the effects on organisational structure and culture.
  • The practice of strategy

Recommended Background

This course is suitable for middle and senior level managers responsible for developing and implementing organizational strategy, irrespective of their industry and sector. The course is also suitable for junior managers either aspiring to more senior level management roles and needing an introduction to the key models, theories and concepts involved, or those simply wishing to gain a better understanding of their own organization’s strategy and the role they, their team, department or division play in it.  

Course format

  • Practice-based learning and critical engagement is a key theme through all our courses allowing delegates to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills immediately in their own working environments.
  • After enrolment, a number of case studies which will be used for illustrative purposes during the course will be made available on the FinanceXplained website. To get the most out of the ‘Understanding Startegy’ it will be beneficial if participants review these prior to the session. 
  • In addition to the case studies, a comprehensive set of materials will be provided on the day including all presentation materials used by the course facilitator.
  • The course is based on the concepts and the very successful “Exploring Strategy” textbook and courses of by Johnson, Whittington, Scholes et. al.


Day 1: Introduction & The Strategic Position


Welcome and mutual presentations

Introducing strategy 

  • What is strategy?
  • The „exploring strategy“ framework
  • Working with strategy
  • Defining strategy 


The strategic position

Macro-environment analysis

  • Introduction
  • PESTLE Analysis
  • Scenario Analysis


Industry and Sector analysis

  • The competitive forces
  • Industry types and dynamics
  • Competitors and markets
  • Opportunities and Threats


Resources and Capabilities

  • Foundations of R&C
  • Distinctive resources and capabilities as a basis of competitive advantage
  • Diagnosing R&C
  • Dynamic Capabilities


Stakeholders and Governance

  • Stakeholders
  • Corporate Governance
  • Social responsibility and ethics


History and culture

  • Why is history important?
  • Why is culture important?
  • Strategic drift


Day 2: Strategic Choices


Strategic choices

Business strategy and models

  • Generic competitive strategies
  • Interactive strategies
  • Business Models


Corporate strategy and diversification

  • Strategy directions
  • Diversification
  • Vertical integration
  • Value creation and the corporate parent
  • Portfolio matrices


International strategy

  • Internationalisation drivers
  • Geographic sources of advantage
  • International strategies
  • Market selection
  • Subsidiary roles
  • Internationalisation and performance


Entrepreneurship and innovation

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation Dilemmas
  • Innovation Diffusion
  • Innovators and imitators


Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances

  • Organic development
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Strategic alliances
  • Comparing acquisitions, alliances and organic development


Day 3: Strategy in Action


Strategy in action

Evaluating strategies

  • Organisational performance
  • Suitability
  • Acceptability
  • Feasibility


Strategy development processes

  • Deliberate strategy development
  • Emergent strategy development
  • Implications for management strategy development


Organising and strategy

  • Structural types
  • Systems
  • Configurations and adaptability


Leadership and strategic change

  • Leadership and strategic change
  • Diagnosing the change context
  • Types of strategic change
  • Levers of strategic change
  • Problems with change programmes


The practice of strategy

  • The strategists
  • Strategising
  • Strategy methodologies


Summary, discussions, questions and answers (why strategy matters?)


Participant feedback

*** Quite a wonderful experience to learn and improve skills. I am glad I took the course, I strongly recommend to colleagues or just anyone in business or corporate management. Thank you.

*** This Course provides an excellent overview of the development of strategy from its origins to today and explains how the world has changed and how the strategy has evolved from SWOT to Strategic Planning, to the BCG Matrix and the Experience Curve, to Porter and to Mintzberg

*** The course is clear and helps you understand how to look at the problem in a long term vision and not effect your own existing moments/growth/plan.

*** Excellent course which allowed to broaden my knowledge and skills regarding the essence of strategy, strategic planning and implementation processes as well as its evaluation.

Learn the way that suits you most!

Course Lecturers

Dr. Nico Binsfeld, MBA

Dr. Nico Binsfeld holds a Doctor of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Engineering and an MBA. He has over 30 years of experience in different engineering and management positions in media, telecommunications and IT, having held CEO positions of different SMEs in Luxembourg. He currently works as consultant for the “Agence pour le développement de l’emploi” were he is involved in different projects related to vocational training and digital transformation. Nico also has over 12 years of experience as an Associate Lecturer on the MBA programme of a triple accredited global business school covering “Foundations of Senior Management”, "Strategy" as well as the final, evidence-based management module "Making a Difference". In that role, he has worked in Luxembourg, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Romania, Austria and Russia.  

Maureen Whitehead-Lausman, MBA

19 years associate lecturer in Financial Strategy and Corporate Strategy for a triple accredited global business school. 20 years’ experience developing and delivering training programs for large and medium sized companies including in Germany, China, USA, Singapore, Ethiopia, South Africa, Russia and Romania. Corporate finance, value based management and finance for non-financial managers at middle and senior management level are a particular interest.  

Not convinced yet? Register to one of our "Free Online Open Event".
If none listed, request a seminar or personal talk

Books we studied for you

Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text & Cases (8th Edition) - Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington
Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text & Cases (8th Edition) - Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington

Over 750,000 students worldwide have used this best-selling book to understand and explore strategic management through their academic and professional careers. Available in two versions (Text and Text & Cases),Exploring Corporate Strategyhas established a reputation as a pre-eminent textbook in its field, based upon the expertise of authorship, range of cases, depth of commentary and wealth of supporting resources. The 8th edition builds on these strengths, including coverage of key topic areas in this fast-moving discipline such as internationalisation, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is written for students of Strategic Management at all levels.  

Corporate Strategy: Theory and Practice - Ulrich Pidun
Corporate Strategy: Theory and Practice - Ulrich Pidun

Corporate Strategy” presents frameworks and concepts for strategy development that have proven to be useful in corporate practice. The book covers the fundamental questions of daily strategy work and illustrates them with examples from real companies. It addresses all key elements of corporate strategy in a clear and systematic way  

Corporate Strategy: Tools for Analysis and Decision-Making - Phanish Puranam, Bart Vanneste
Corporate Strategy: Tools for Analysis and Decision-Making - Phanish Puranam, Bart Vanneste

Many companies are not single businesses but a collection of businesses with one or more levels of corporate management. Written for managers, advisors and students aspiring to these roles, this book is a guide to decision-making in the domain of corporate strategy. It arms readers with research-based tools needed to make good corporate strategy decisions and to assess the soundness of the corporate strategy decisions of others. Readers will learn how to do the analysis for answering questions such as 'Should we pursue an alliance or an acquisition to grow?', 'How much should we integrate this acquisition?' and 'Should we divest this business?'. The book draws on the authors' wealth of research and teaching experience at INSEAD, London Business School and University College London. A range of learning aids, including easy-to-comprehend examples, decision templates and FAQs, are provided in the book and on a rich companion website.  

Companies who attended our courses


AG Insurance
Allianz Benelux
Argenta NV
AXA Belgium
Baloise Insurance
Banca Monte Paschi Belgio S.A.
Bank De Groof
Banking Association (Kosovo)
Belfius Investment Partners
BNP Paribas Fortis
Bpost Bank
Buy Way
CBC Bank
Celio Finance SPRL
Delen Private Bank
Delta Lloyd Life
Deutsche Bank AG
DKV Belgium
Ethias SA
Euler Hermes Services
Euroclear Bank SA/NV
Euroclear Investments
Europ Assistance
European Investment Bank - EIB (Luxembourg)
European Union - EDFIMC / ElectriFI
Flanders Investment & Trade
Gras Savoye Belgium
Incofin Investment Management
ING Bank België
KBC Bank
Ministry of European Integration (Kosovo)
National Bank of Belgium
NN Insurance Belgium
Record Bank
Société Générale Private Banking
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
Triodos Bank
VGD International -Audit & Tax
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services
Zurich Insurance plc, Belgium branch
Vanbreda International
Afton Chemical SPRL
Air Liquide
Allnex Belgium SA/NV
ANL Plastics
Arcelor Mittal ( Belgium & Luxembourg)
Axalta Coating Systems 
BASF Antwerpen
BASF Belgium Coordination Center
Beaulieu International Group
Borealis Polymers NV
Bridgestone Europe SA
CNH Industrial Belgium NV
Cofely Fabricom
Cytec Belgium
DOMO Chemicals (Germany)
Dow Corning
Electrolux Appliances AB - EMA- EMEA (SEE)
Engineered Pressure Systems International
European Owens Corning Fiberglas
Fost Plus
GDF Suez
Griffith Foods
Hamon & Cie
Heraeus Electro-Nite International NV
Jacobs Belgium
Milliken Europe
Niko Group
NXP Semiconductors - Prodis  (Netherlands)
SPX Cooling Technologies
Synventive Molding Solutions (Germany)
Vinçotte International
VPK Packaging Group NV
Yara Belgium NV
Antwerp World Diamond Centre
AVEVE Biochem NV
Carrefour Belgium
Delhaize Corporate Group
Abbott Logistics B.V. (Netherlands)
AbbVie (Canada)
Agfa HealthCare NV
AZ Sint-Blasius
Baxter International (Austria)
Catalent Pharma Solutions
CinnaGen (Tehran)
Datwyler Pharma Packaging International
Groep OZ ESV
Landelijke Christelijke mutualiteit (LCM)
Mutualités Libres: MLOZ
Novartis Pharma
SA Bristol- Myers Squibb Belgium NV
Stryker (Netherlands)
Terumo BCT Europe NV
Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen
AW Europe
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN)
Corelio Printing
De Persgroep Publishing nv
EDF Luminus
Elia System Operator
Engie Electrabel NV/SA
Eni Gas & power
Fluxys Belgium
Itineris NV
Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen
Europees Parlement
Ministry of European Integration
National Agency for Protection of Personal Data
Nationale Loterij
SD Diensten NV (SD Worx)
SESAR Joint Undertaking
Stad Antwerpen
Stadsbestuur Harelbeke
Syntra Brussel
UGent - FBW
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Acturus sprl
ARC Europe
BIA Africa
Bia Overseas
Brooser BE Operations 
Cipal Schaubroeck
Computer Task Group
Deloitte Accountancy
Egemin International
Enhesa International
FIS (former Clear2Pay)
Interel Group
K&L Gates
Matexi NV
Pricewaterhouse Coopers
PwC Tax Consultants
Vinçotte International sa
Alstom Belgium
ARC Europe 
Brussels Airport Company
De Lijn
D'Ieteren Auto
Gemeentelijk Havenbedrijf Antwerpen
Globachem nv
GSC Greensea Chartering 
HONDA Motor Logistics
Neovia Logistics
PSA Antwerp nv
Retail & Wholesale
Seatrade Reefer Chartering
Thalys International
Trimble T&L
Volkswagen Group Services
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Zeebrugge NV
Witzenmann Benelux nv

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