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C-Suite programmes

Strategic People Programme:
Preparing Business Leaders for the C-Suite

In this time of significant change and disruption this intensive, practically-focused programme allows business leaders and human resource professionals to develop, refocus and align their organisation’s people strategy with their organisational strategy.

Strategic People Programme Online Information Session!

13 May 2021
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Online Event

At the online session you will hear from programme staff, faculty, partners and alumni.  With collaboration in mind, we will introduce you to our 2021 Strategic People Programmes.

Apply now for June 2021 start!

Application Close Date: May 28
Programme Start Date: June 29

About the programme

The Strategic People Programme: Preparing Business Leaders for the C-Suite programme is designed to allow New Zealand based leaders, who may come from human resources or business unit leadership, to develop and update their thinking and people practices in the context of their organisation’s corporate strategy.

In this time of disruption, it is more important than ever that organisations are proactive and strategic in working with their people to create productive workplaces.

This programme explores how to do that.  Taught be a mix of University of Auckland academics and business leaders, we will  discuss cutting edge research, best current practices and learning from mistakes. 

Programme take aways:

  • Insights and decisions about how the organisation needs to respond to the people challenges it faces over the next 3 -5 years;
  • Knowledge and understanding of how the world is changing, what trends we are seeing and how work will change in the future;
  • Knowledge of how companies and leading practitioners are solving the people challenges they are facing, and what they are learning from their work;
  • A network of peers, practitioners, mentors and other senior leaders who can whom you can contact when you need assistance to think and develop solutions;


Time commitment

This programme is designed for busy working professionals. It is a 8-day programme set across four modules, held over 4 months. The majority of the programme will be held on-site at the University of Auckland Business School campus.

The expected time commitment outside of the module components involves work on a strategic project, mentoring sessions, peer coaching, reflection on learning and pre and post module readings.


Am I eligible?

We recommend this programme if you are:

  • A mid to senior leader from any background who is responsible for driving the people strategy or culture change in your organisation
  • Someone who is responsible for a large operational workforce or will be working in an area which is likely to be, or is being, impacted by technology, generational changes, transformation or the like​


2021 schedule and programme content

Module 1
29,30 June
Enterprise Strategy and Leadership
Module 2
11-12 Aug
Leading Change in Complex Times
Module 3
14-15 Sep
Driving Value Through Collaboration & Innovation
Module 4
21 Oct
Roadmap for the Future

Between modules:

  1. Participants engage in peer coaching in between modules.
  2. Learnings from each module feed into each participant’s own people strategy document.
  3. Mentoring sessions with senior business leaders.
  4. Personal reflection and application on the job


Strategic Project

Participants will also be expected to work on a strategic project through the programme and present their results in some form to an Executive Panel at the end of the programme. This will be an opportunity for experts to provide advice and help to participants as they prepare to present to internal leaders and executives. The project should be decided in collaboration with your manager or executive and add considerable value to the organisation.


Advisory group

This programme is co-designed and supported by senior University faculty in conjunction with an Advisory Group of experienced business leaders who also feature as mentors and guest speakers.

  • Merran Anderson (Head of People & Capability, Healthcare Holdings)
  • Mark Daldorf (Head of People & Capability, Airways, New Zealand)
  • Kate Daly (Director People & Communications, BNZ)
  • Jo Fair (Co-Founder, FutureWork Studio)
  • Barbara Harrison (Chief People Officer, GUD Holdings)
  • Paul Keesing (Director, FOMO Social Media)
  • Peter Kiely (Partner Kiely/Thompson/Caisley)
  • Susan Lowe (Director People & Culture, Coca-Cola Amatil)
  • Michelle McBride (Chief People Officer, Tower Insurance)
  • Fiona Michel (Chief People Officer, Vector)
  • Rachael Regan-Paterson (People Transformation, Fletcher Construction)
  • Mike Sweet (Chief People Officer, EROAD)
  • Richard Waggot (Deputy Chief Executive, Department of Corrections)


Our facilitators

Professor Elizabeth George

Graduate School of Management

Associate Professor Brigid Jan Carroll

Associate Professor, Management and International Business


Professor Elizabeth George

Graduate School of Management

Associate Professor Brigid Jan Carroll

Associate Professor, Management and International Business


View brochure

Participant Fee

The fee for participation in the programme is $9,000 + GST.

This includes attendance at all of the modules, team discussion and drop in sessions, mentoring support for projects, materials and required reading. It also includes coffee, tea breaks and lunches on all class days,  programme dinners and receptions for each participant and their organisational sponsor.

Discounts are available for self-sponsored participants, organizations sponsoring multiple students and University of Auckland staff.


More information

If you would like to discuss whether this programme is suited to your needs please contact

Felicity Lawrence

Ph: +64 21492388
E: f.lawrence@auckland.ac.nz



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