Leadership Summits

Aligning and Energizing Leadership Teams at Scale

The challenge of any senior leader is to align the efforts of a team, engage their commitment to a common purpose, and drive their collaboration to achieve a goal.

Most business gather their top leaders to discuss the direction of their enterprise. In large firms, these events number hundreds of participants; in all firms they are an important and sometimes rare opportunity to take stock of the business and its strategy. This is valuable time that creates the opportunity to generate alignment at the senior most levels of the organization, to reinforce the common sense of purpose a leadership team needs, and to re-energize leaders’ passion for leading their people who do the work of carrying out the strategy on a daily basis.

Drawing on 17 years of experience in custom executive education, Duke CE designs leadership summits starting with your outcomes.We have delivered summits around the globe and to scale, from 50 to 500 leaders at a time, and found that successful leadership summits have six core design elements:

Design & Advisory

At its heart, every leadership summit has a coherent, unique design logic that:

Duke CE develops that logic with its clients and expresses it throughout the event.

Content Expertise & Speakers

We draw on our extensive network of educators and partner, when necessary, with speaker bureaus to bring the right mix of expertise and inspiration to the event. We integrate insights from within the business with stories and advice from beyond its boundaries. Where appropriate, we also work with senior leaders to craft their messages in a variety of forms, including keynotes, panel discussions, structured interviews, and town hall forums.


One of Duke CE’s signature elements is a central figure known as the program orchestrator, who opens and closes sessions, introduces speakers, facilitates and debriefs, and acts as the public face of the event. Orchestrators can co-facilitate with company leaders and even coach those new to the role.

Experiential Learning

A series of speakers over several days is anticlimactic at best and mind-numbing at worst. Every Duke CE program uses a variety of formats to drive core messages, including signature experiential activities. We engage various learning styles in multiple dimensions: cognitive, effective, and contextual and fun.

Event Planning & Logistics

Duke CE runs events around the world and has managed planning and logistics in over 65 countries. For very large groups or unusual venues, we partner with other firms. We frequently coordinate with clients’ planning teams for venue, décor, audiovisual, travel and other requirements. Duke University’s facilities can easily accommodate up to 300 participants; with some limitations we can manage 500+.

Cascade & Embed

Once leadership is aligned on core strategic messages, they must deliver them to the firm. This doesn’t happen by accident– it takes deliberate structure and accountability. We equip leaders with tools to take back to work and help them set up the accountability to deliver real results to their teams.

A Senior Leadership Summit can transform the organization by energizing your people, accelerating alignment, and jump-starting a new course of action. It can equip the participants to, in turn, energize their teams, align their employees and reach their goals.