Adaptive Strategic Execution

Smarter Project-Based Work for a More Complex World

As the environment in which we operate continues to grow more volatile and complex, organizations need a new playbook to seize opportunities faster. One consequence of this is projects and initiatives are rapidly becoming the primary means through which strategy is executed and key work is accomplished.

The volume and strategic importance of projects is growing in organizations. In 2017, corporate heads classified more than half of their projects as strategic initiatives. About a fifth of the world’s economic activity a year – $12 trillion – is now organized as projects. Over the next decade, organizations are expected to experience a 68% increase in project work.

Organizations need more leaders who can step up and lead more complex projects and initiatives in this dynamic operating environment. And, as individual  leaders, advancing today requires more than the essential skills to build plans and actively manage scope and performance –  it requires an adaptive mindset and skillset.  Leaders of projects  at every level must develop an adaptive mindset to guide the organization through today’s increasingly dynamic and complex context.

In response to the project revolution, we launched a new certificate program held on campus at Duke University or on site at your organization. The Adaptive Strategic Execution Program (ASEP) equips project leaders with an adaptive mindset, toolset and skillset to execute strategy in a volatile world.


If you are involved in leading projects in any capacity, then the Adaptive Strategic Execution Program is for you.

The program will equip you with the necessary adaptive leadership skills to succeed in our volatile and complex environment:

  1. Make sense of the complex context within which the strategy must be executed
  1. Manage stakeholder relationships to ensure successful strategy execution
  1. Align strategy with work activity to reduce the strategy execution performance gap
  1. Apply design thinking to improve the results of strategic initiatives
  1. Influence work activities to optimize strategy execution
  1. Deliver optimal business value while executing the strategy
  1. Build highly effective distributed and diverse strategy execution teams
  1. Drive and influence the change required to execute the strategy


Certificate Path

The Adaptive Strategic Execution Program (ASEP) curriculum consists of eight courses, each of which is purposefully designed to extend the mindset, toolset and skillset of leaders of projects.   The program is delivered through flexible formats that increase reach and improve learning and impact through blended/modern learning. Through open enrollment, leaders receive certification and build the skills to raise their game and elevate their careers. Companies get a cadre of leaders who are the catalysts to run successful projects and move the organization forward.

To complete the certificate, leaders must take six of eight courses offered throughout the year.

Required courses:

 Elective Courses (choose and complete four of the six)

On Campus – Upcoming Courses

Delivering Business Value (September 12-14)

Many organizations today struggle to capture full business value from the execution of their strategy, whether due to the strategy itself, the selection of the portfolio that enables the strategy, or the actual execution of project-based work that makes the portfolio a reality. Delivering Business Value teaches the mindset and tool sets that enable all of those engaged at the strategic, portfolio, and work levels of  leadership to make decisions that create the maximum possible business value from their work. The course begins with a focus on defining value in terms of finance, strategy, and business benefits, and helps participants see how they contribute to creating value from their role. It then provides a primer on finance concepts that are essential to understand for value-driven decision making.


Professor Joe Perfetti 

Faculty, Duke Corporate Education 



Building Effective Teams (September 10-12)

Building Effective Teams focuses on how to implement practices for leading highly effective teams in unstable and often distributed environments. Participants will learn how to build and guide diverse teams that can navigate the impacts of external and internal forces and how to form, coach, and lead teams that are resilient and responsive to complex work and volatile contexts.

The course begins with an exercise that reinforces the difficulties we encounter when working in teams. Participants are then introduced to the Building Effective Teams model which underpins and organizes the rest of the course. Next, the course explores the external environment, context and culture that all teams operate in and that always surrounds and affects team functioning.


Ed Barrows

Faculty, Duke Corporate Education



Learn from Duke University’s world-class professors and cutting edge research, and our partner TwentyEighty Strategy Execution’s wealth of real-world experience. Come join your peers from other
companies and learn valuable skills and tools, network, and benefit from a rich learning experience on
Duke’s campus.

September 10-12  Building Effective Teams     LEARN MORE | ENROLL

September 12-14  Delivering Business Value    LEARN MORE | ENROLL


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Contact Duke CE to learn more