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In today’s dynamic and uncertain business climate, HR’s role in partnering with the business to drive sustainable growth and competitive advantage is more complex and challenging than ever before. HR leaders must lead differently to influence business strategy, facilitate strategic talent conversations, coach and support leadership teams, and engage in difficult conversations with key stakeholders to future proof their workforce. Throughout this program, participants will explore the role of HR as a strategic business partner and learn frameworks and new approaches to lead with credibility to navigate the evolving business environment and position the organization for future success. Participants will work on multiple case studies created by faculty to practice applying proven HR leadership concepts and strategies to real-world business scenarios. Case studies are grounded in five years of research and industry best practices from Cornell ILR's Center for Advanced HR Studies (CAHRS), including hundreds of interviews with chief HR officers, senior-level HR leaders and senior business leaders.

Participants learn tools and strategies to support senior leaders and influence the actions of the senior leadership teams to enable business results. The program methodology promotes on-the-spot feedback and coaching from faculty and peers. During this two and a half days program led by Cornell ILR HR faculty, participants will:

  • Learn how to assess and prioritize HR initiatives that align with evolving business needs
  • Practice how to contract with key stakeholders to increase influence and impact
  • Devise talent strategies to respond to future workforce trends
  • Engage in more strategic talent conversations with senior leaders
  • Learn how to effectively coach and support leadership teams
  • Utilize coaching frameworks and tactics to develop collaborative relationships
  • Increase their influence when having difficult conversations with key stakeholders

Who Should Attend

Designed for seasoned HR Business Partners who have the potential to rise to senior level HR roles (direct reports to CHRO) in 2-5 years.

Sample titles: HR Business Partner, HR Directors, HR Senior Managers

Participants are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Early applications are encouraged. The program is capped at 25 participants.

When and Where

April 8 – 10, 2025 in-person in NYC

Cornell University, ILR School Conference Center
570 Lexington Avenue, 12th floor
New York, NY 10022

Program Cost

CAHRS partner organizations price is $4,960

Non-CAHRS partner organizations price is $5,456

Program Topics

  • Aligning HR Strategy with the Business – the role of HR in strategic planning and ways to assess and prioritize investments and initiatives to address opportunities and manage threats that translate into sustainable growth for the business
  • Understanding the Role of Senior Strategic Talent Advisor – what senior leaders want from their HR leader and the role of contracting to align on expectations and enable effective working relationships
  • Developing Talent Strategy – using data, impact of current and future workforce trends, strategies for closing talent gaps
  • Supporting Leadership Teams – success factors of high performing leadership teams, impact of work modality, team dynamics and performance
  • Exploring Courage and Influence – elements of courage and speaking up, identifying key stakeholders and relationships for influence and impact
  • Coaching Senior Leaders – successfully navigating difficult conversations and feedback, developing leaders through coaching
Program Agenda: April 8 – 10, 2025

Day 1

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Business Strategy and HR Strategy

  • Identifying competitive advantage and firm performance
  • Models of sustainable organizational growth
  • Building blocks and models of HR strategy

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Networking Reception

Day 2

8:00 am – 12:00 pm: HR Leader as Strategic Talent Advisor

  • The broader role of HR leader and key elements related to talent
  • Effective contracting with senior leaders
  • Key stakeholders: relationships to enhance influence and impact

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Talent Strategy

  • Current and future workforce trends and talent management implications
  • Leveraging data to guide and assess talent strategy
  • Strategies for leading strategic talent discussions with senior leaders

Day 3

8:00 am – 12:00 pm: Supporting Leadership Teams

  • Key success factors and common problems associated with leadership teams
  • Implications of virtuality/hybridity for leadership team effectiveness
  • Strategies for coaching leadership

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Coaching and Difficult Conversations

  • Frameworks for effectively coaching senior leaders
  • Strategies and techniques for providing difficult feedback to senior leaders
  • Program Closing


  • William J. Conaty Professor of Strategic Human Resources
  • Director, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies

  • Professor, Human Resource Studies and Director of ILR Graduate Studies
  • Cornell CAHRS

Recognition of Achievement

Certificate of Completion from the Cornell ILR School

Earn Continuing Education Credits

This program qualifies for Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) credits or Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) credits.

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