Darden Launches New Executive Education Program: “The Physics of Business Growth”

11 September 2012

As businesses and organizations strive to grow amidst environments increasingly characterized by rapid change, ambiguity and unpredictability, many executives are scrambling for a roadmap to guide them into a future of growth. Often, however, growth seems elusive — and more the result of magic or luck, like winning the slots in Las Vegas.

Not so, say two experts at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Organic growth is actually governed by a set of “natural laws,” which set “the context for growth and innovation in much the same way that Einstein’s law of relativity accounts for the movement of objects in the space-time continuum,” writes Edward D. Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence, along with Jeanne M. Liedtka, the United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration, in their co-authored book The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System and Processes (Stanford University, 2012).

This book — lauded for its systematic approach and “robust toolkit” — will serve as the basis of a new Executive Education program at Darden this fall. To take place from 28 October to 1 November, the program, which offers one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization, is aimed at helping executives and leaders assess the practices and strategies that may be inhibiting their organizations from growth and examine research findings in an applied manner. Participants will emerge with the knowledge and tools to cultivate minds prepared for growth, develop internal aligned growth systems, identify growth opportunities, launch growth experiments, and create and manage diversified growth portfolios.

“The real advantage of this program is an application workshop in which attendees will translate key principles to their particular organizations, while benefitting from engagement with seasoned experts, who will offer tailored feedback,” said Hess, who has authored/edited 10 books and spent more than 30 years in business before entering academia.

“We are very excited about this new course — Darden’s latest Executive Education program devoted exclusively to strategic growth,” added Liedtka, who is the former chief learning officer of the Fortune 50 corporation United Technologies. “Organic growth is one of the toughest problems facing business leaders today and many of our ‘tried-and-true’ approaches actually impede, rather than support, achieving growth. It is great to bring a new toolkit to help managers succeed.”

Besides Hess and Liedtka, additional program faculty include Robert L. Carraway, associate professor of business administration, and Michael Lenox, the Samuel L. Slover Research Professor of Business and associate dean and executive director of Darden’s Batten Institute.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia