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Today’s business landscape is rapidly changing. To be successful, HR leaders must navigate a complex world with increasing cost pressures, hybrid work models, and ever-evolving employee and stakeholder expectations. HR leaders must be agile, move fast, and work effectively to make informed decisions. This Cornell ILR School program is designed to provide your HR leaders with the capabilities and insights needed to successfully navigate the changing landscape and leverage internal and external expertise to address critical organizational challenges and drive business results.


This program is designed for a team of 4-6 HR leaders and is focused on building capability in business acumen, leveraging data for informed decision-making, and implementing change. Teams bring a strategic business challenge from their organization to the program and work to address it with guidance from a Cornell ILR faculty coach. The team leaves with:

  • A tangible action plan for addressing their organization’s critical business opportunity or challenge
  • Tools and frameworks for aligning HR to the business strategy to deliver business impact
  • Effective practices for leveraging data insights and taking a consumer-driven approach to HR change
  • An enhanced external network of peer organizations to exchange insights and innovative practices   

When and where

The program is delivered through live virtual sessions held over Zoom. 

  • The program runs from September 19 - December 12, 2024 (13 weeks)
  • The program is limited to five participating teams to ensure an intimate learning experience

Who should attend

An ideal team size consists of 4-6 HR professionals. Team members typically have 5-8 years of experience and are responsible for advising business leaders on critical workforce issues. Many organizations send a project-based team which includes a mix of HR Business Partners and COE Specialists, depending on the needs of the project. This is a hands-on learning program, and work builds from week to week, resulting in a team presentation during the final session. Team members should be available to attend the live sessions, coaching sessions with faculty, and actively participate in work with their team.  

Program pricing

For a Team of four to six participants:

  • CAHRS partner organization rate is $25,000 
  • Non-CAHRS partner organization rate is $27,500
Program Agenda

Weeks 1–3

  • Project kick-off and virtual team effectiveness
  • Taking a consumer-driven approach to HR change
  • Team coaching session

Weeks 4-7

  • Aligning HR and Organizational Strategy
  • Team project group work
  • Team coaching session

Weeks 8–13

  • Leveraging Data to Influence Change
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Team project group work
  • Final Team coaching session
  • Presentations and program close

Program Instructors

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

  • Professor, Human Resource Studies
  • Cornell CAHRS

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

  • Professor, Human Resrouce Studies and Department Chair

  • Professor, Human Resource Studies

  • Associate Professor, Human Resource Studies

What type of project should the team bring to the program?

The team project is an important component of the program.  The core issue or opportunity for the project should be defined primarily from a business—and not HR—perspective. For example, the project might address aligning to a new business strategy (e.g., new line of business, acquisition/ merger, entering new markets, etc.) or adapting to disruption and change (e.g., innovation, cost, leadership, service quality, etc.).  

What is the role of the project sponsor?

Many organizations identify a project sponsor to provide feedback and guidance to the team during the program and to hold the team accountable for project outcomes and deliverables. Following the close of the program, the project sponsor should expect the team to share with him/her their executive summary and final project presentation, which summarizes their progress, program learnings, and action plan. 

What is the format of the live virtual learning sessions?

The live-virtual learning sessions include the entire cohort – all team members from participating organizations. The program is capped at 5 teams to ensure the sessions are engaging and allow for cross-sharing of practices across organizations. During breakouts, teams will work to apply the learnings to their project.

What are coaching sessions like?

Coaching sessions are built into the program agenda. Teams will be asked to prepare questions and share information with their faculty coach in advance of the sessions. During the sessions, the faculty coach will guide the team to apply program learnings and provide insights to help address challenges and build a strong business case. The faculty coach will also provide input on the team’s final program deliverables, including an executive summary and a project action plan. Teams will present a summary of their plan to the cohort and faculty during the last session.

What is the time commitment for participants?

Participants can expect a total time commitment of about ~ 45 hours over the 13 weeks or ~ 3-4 hours commitment per week for this program. This includes attending the live virtual sessions, meeting with a faculty coach, and working with their team to apply the program learnings to their project. There are 3 weeks where there are no scheduled sessions to allow teams the time to work together to prepare the program/ project deliverables.

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