Strategic Thinking for Managers: Improve Competitive Positioning

Learn practical tools and working knowledge to develop strategic thinking and strategic behavior in their organizations.


Date: TBD


8:00am – 12:00pm

Registration fee includes course materials, campus parking, and catered breakfast.

This class is part of the Marketing & Strategy Certificate Program.


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Maps & Directions

About the Program

The course will give managers, directors, and VPs the practical tools and working knowledge to develop strategic thinking and strategic behavior in their organizations, with the focus on translating core strategy concepts and models into immediate and practical applications for a wide range of industries and forms.


  • External Industry Analysis
  • Competitive Market Analysis
  • Sources of Change and Innovation
  • Internal Audit of Functional Capabilities
  • Operations Management vs. Strategy
  • Assessing Capability Gaps
  • Strategic Matrix – Time and Resources
  • Strategic Planning vs. Long-Range Planning
  • Strategic Thinking vs. Strategic Management
  • Process Innovation and Strategic Behavior
  • Strategy Formation and Implementation

  • Strategy Monitoring: Metrics for Performance Review and Assessment


The course first covers the primary analysis of the organization’s external environment, and the assessment of industry and market turbulence as it relates to change, innovation, and strategic opportunities. It then covers the methods and tools for auditing the organization’s entire range of internal functional capabilities, determining the strategic posture, and then developing a formal strategy to address gaps that exist in its positioning relative to its specific external environment – with an emphasis on actual case examples drawn from the instructors actual clients files over the last 30 years of consulting.


This course has been designed for mid-level to senior managers and individual contributors eager to expand their leadership capabilities and increase their influence and impact at work.


Dave Newton

Dr. David Newton is a full-time new venture consultant, and has taught in the Rady Center for Executive Development since 2013. His consulting focuses on high-tech product strategies and innovative online learning platforms. For 28 years he was a full-time professor at UMass-Amherst, Westmont, and the Pepperdine MBA program. The Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge named him its 2008 National Leavey Award Winner for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education, and he has been a national Master Teacher of Entrepreneurship at the Experiential Classroom symposium every year since 2004. Previously he served as: Chief Economist at Hispanic Business magazine (Jan-Dec, 1994); Editorial Review Board - Journal of Small Business Strategy (1993-1996); Contributing Editor on Growth Capital at Industry Week Growing Companies magazine (1998-2000); Moderator for small-cap stocks at (1999-2001); and Contributing Editor on Small Firm Finance at Entrepreneur magazine (2000-2005).

Dr. Newton has consulted to over 500 firms since 1984, and authored/co-authored over 190 published articles and 10 books including: 1- the ground-breaking Entrepreneurial Ethics (Kendall-Hunt, 1997), 2- How To Be A Small-Cap Investor (McGraw-Hill, 1999) – selected the November ‘99 book-of-the-month by Money magazine, and awarded a 1999 Top-10 Books in Investments and Finance by Forbes magazine, and 3- Job Creation (E3 Free Market Press, 2010 - Foreword by Arthur Laffer). His latest book is The Misguided History Of American Taxes (2016, Foreword by Fred Barnes). He continues to speak extensively throughout California and the U.S., as well as in Europe.


*The Rady School of Management Center for Executive Development (CED) may change, postpone or cancel a class at any time.  We do not provide refunds for any fees related to travel, including but not limited to gas, bus fare, train tickets, airline tickets, etc.  Certificate requirements may also change. We will provide as much notice as possible should this occur.