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Upcoming Session

Starts 14 Sept 2023
8-10 months |
Online & Live Virtual
2 weeks incl
1 Live Session
Core modules:
19 weeks
Elective modules:
5-weeks per elective
+ 1 week orientation
Immersion, graduation & networking session on campus


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Excel as a Strategic Operations Leader

Organisations today are facing unique challenges in leading and driving operations in the volatile economy. As a result, there is an increased demand for chief operating officers (COOs) who can deliver both organisational agility and resilience while staying ahead of competition.

The Chief Operating Officer Programme is designed to help you drive change in these turbulent times to not only optimise, but also transform your operations and your organisation under the guidance of experts at one of the world’s foremost business management schools. This immersive eight- to ten-month programme will equip you with an iterative approach to aligning operations and strategy while ensuring that strategy articulation is data-driven and customer-centric. You will learn how to apply system thinking to maximise your impact as a key partner to the CEO. You will also gain contemporary approaches to value creation and measurement. Lastly, you will hone your executive presence and explore a macroscopic view of leadership, incorporating stakeholders, teams and change management. Upon completion of the programme, you will emerge ready to execute on your company’s strategic vision with confidence and achieve operational excellence.

How you benefit

  • Develop your operational thinking into strategic thinking and articulate new strategic initiatives
  • Evaluate how a shift from an operational to a strategic mindset can transform your organisation, both inside and outside
  • Tackle large-scale problems by leveraging your operational excellence, working beyond your boundaries, and acting as a strategic leader
  • Articulate the concepts of value creation and value capture by adopting a customer-centric perspective
  • Discuss how analytics, organisational agility, ecosystems’ capabilities and sustainability may enable your organisation to create more value
  • Evaluate your leadership capacities including how to make decisions and navigate cognitive biases
  • Understand how to leverage your team and use negotiations to create value
  • Define how strong leadership ability can influence teams and drive change at an organisational level.


Participant Profile

The Chief Operating Officer Programme is primarily designed for:

  • New and emerging COOs looking to gain strategic insights to drive operational excellence in their organisation
  • Heads of operations and operations leaders looking to advance into C-level positions and gain executive leadership skills to enhance their existing skill set.


Alumni status

Upon completion of the programme graduates of the Chief Operating Officer Programme will gain alumni status for a period of 3 years, with the option to continue the membership thereafter on a minimal annual fee basis.

Only graduates of our world-famous degree programmes including the MBA, Executive MBA and PhD programmes, together with selected Executive Education programmes, are eligible for this status. The elite worldwide network consists of 64,000 alumni in more than 180 countries, many with very active National Alumni Associations.

Programme Structure and Content

8-10 months: Online and Live Virtual delivery

Orientation: Two weeks - One Live Session

Core Modules: 19 weeks

The programme’s learning journey includes a core component and three electives.

The core modules are structured across three critical areas – strategy, business acumen and leadership – needed by every COO to create value in an increasingly competitive marketplace. 

The modules are taught online with weekly live sessions.


The COO as a Strategic Partner


  • Aligning operations with strategy
  • Achieving operational excellence
  • Driving growth and executing growth strategies
  • Becoming a strategic leader
  • Leading digital strategy and transformation
  • Creative thinking for business


Developing Business Acumen


  • Customer centricity in a digital age: understanding and creating customer value
  • Strategic drivers of financial performance
  • Value-based financial decision-making
  • Operations analytics
  • Agile organisations
  • Alliances and ecosystems
  • The business case for sustainability


The COO as a


  • Towards better decisions
  • Driving effective negotiations
  • The future of leadership - and work
  • Managing global teams
  • Leading successful change

    Online Electives:
    Five weeks per elective + One week orientation

    Choose three electives from the below list. Sample elective topics*.



    M&A Success Strategies
    for C-Suite


    Supply Chain Management
    for C-Suite


    Rethinking Global Strategy
    for C-Suite


    Agile Strategy Execution
    for C-Suite

    * Session topics and electives are subject to change.


    Action Learning Project

    The Action Learning Project is a crucial practical aspect of the programme. Guided by a coach, you will apply programme insights to prepare an action plan that identifies and solves real-world operational issues in your organisation or industry. The project consists of four pillars of operational leadership: assessing the current state of operations, optimising the current state of operations, operationalising transformation initiatives and weaving leadership throughout the process. Regular check-in sessions and feedback from your success coach and peers will assist you in refining your road map.

    Programme Director


    The Chief Operating Officer Programme is developed and taught by a global team of cross-disciplinary faculty who are all published thought leaders in their fields.

    The programme is directed by Guillaume Roels, who is Professor of Technology and Operations Management, the Timken Chaired Professor of Global Technology and Innovation and Research Director of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.

    Guillaume Roels

    Professor of Technology and Operations Management
    The Timken Chaired Professor of Global Technology and Innovation
    Research Director of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance

    Professor Roels brings to the programme more than 16 years of higher education experience, having previously worked at UCLA Anderson School of Management. There he received the George L. Robbins Assistant Professor Teaching Award in 2009, the Citibank Teaching Excellence Award in 2010 and the Executive MBA Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. In addition, he was named one of the Poets & Quants 2015 Best 40 Business School Professors under 40. Professor Roels is currently serving as a Department Editor for Manufacturing & Service Operations Management and Service Science. His academic research is focused on the management of operations for knowledge-intensive services and on supply chain management.

    Read Professor Roel's profile

    Contact an Advisor and Apply


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