TCU Advanced Leadership Certificate

The Advanced Leadership Certificate is a premium, comprehensive and immersive experience for leaders of all industries seeking a refresh of critical business fundamentals and innovative, applicable strategies.

The TCU Advanced Leadership Program is designed to provide skills, tools and strategies for leaders challenged with leading their teams and organizations in a world of continuous transformation. It provides a context and a strategic perspective that enables leaders chart a new course creating new ventures & business models. It reframes and reimagines the leadership capabilities and approaches needed to lead the organizations of the future.

January 20 - May 19, 2021

Cost: $4,995

Click here to see the list of safety measures we are adding to our in-person programs.

* A 20 percent discount will be given to companies that enroll two or more employees.
* A 10 percent discount will be given to TCU staff/faculty/alumni, U.S. veterans, 501c3 non-profit organizations and government employees.

Who Should Attend?

Experienced Mid-level and Executive Leaders responsible for leading organizations and teams and challenged with leading through complexity, disruption and transformation.

How Is the Program Structured?

The Advanced Leadership Program is delivered in a series of both in-person and virtual events over 16 weeks. This new program is anchored in a set of 4 one-day in-person events that are immersive, challenging and fast-paced.

Each in-person day also includes a thought-provoking afternoon panel of industry practitioners and subject matter experts as well as an evening networking event for the participants, program faculty and industry subject matter experts.

The program includes 3 Intersessions - each featuring 3 one-hour virtual sessions on a variety of today’s business challenges as well as a one hour “Leadership Applications” workshop designed to delve even deeper in to the key leadership challenges faced by today’s leaders.

Finally, the program also includes four quarterly “Leadership Labs” designed to continue the conversation and learning around the key challenges faced by the participants back on the job.

Program Topics

  • Organizations in the Age of Continuous Improvement
  • Case Studies in Business Transformation
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Strategy at the Speed of Change
  • Business Ecosystems & Innovation
  • Leading with a Customer Centric Organizations
  • Innovating for Customer Value
  • Growing Customer Equity
  • Implementing Innovating Ideas
  • Funding & Nurturing New Ventures
  • Creating Shared Value
  • Leading in to the Future
  • Values & Ethics for an Uncertain Landscape
  • People Practices for Our Changing World
  • Leading the Organization of the Future


Program Topic Summaries

This session discusses the numerous and often unexpected sources of disruption and the overwhelming levels of change that require new paradigms for leadership, organizations and leading change. Discussing examples of how disruptive, accelerated change affects specific industries, Michael Sherrod will provide insights and strategies for leaders and companies as they strive to build the adaptive organizations of the future.

Most organizational changes efforts fall short of their intended outcomes. Business transformation – and digital transformation in particular – can be very challenging. This session explores cases studies in business & digital transformation focusing on critical success factors, key challenges, typical barriers and the leadership approaches needed to successfully lead through them.

In order to survive disruption, your business must think strategically and evolve its business model to meet the challenges from your competitors and take advantage of new opportunities. This session discusses the concept, structure and applications for business models. It also reviews alternative business models, their strengths & weaknesses, and explores approaches to business model innovation.

During chaos and uncertainty, leaders need a framework to think and act strategically. In this session, Dr. Suzanne Carter will introduce the strategic frameworks for navigating uncertainty, change and avoiding common pitfalls. Participants will also can apply the framework to their own challenges and learn from each other as think about their own strategic choices.

This session will focus on how can you use innovative platforms and ecosystems to build business models and benefit your organization. Dr. Suzanne Carter will describe platform businesses, discuss several innovative and successful models, and lead a provocative discussion on how to apply these concepts to your own business and challenges.

This session introduces the topic of shared value and its importance in today's businesses and society. Shared value gets at the notion that businesses are not just money makers, but can be real change makers in society. Businesses must learn to collaborate with their various stakeholders to create value and positively impact broader issues that include valuing value diversity, equity and inclusion, and ensuring the health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers.

Dr. Carter will discuss examples of firms that have embraced shared value, and their methods of success. We will have breakout time for exploring shared value in their own businesses, and ideating on ways to change their business models to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders and create shared value for all.

This session introduces an “outside-in” view of strategy, in which the path to positive financial outcomes starts with identification of what it takes to win the customer in the face of competitive alternatives in the marketplace. This interactive session will provide a strategic framework for managing the customer-centric firm - creating customer value, innovating customer value, leveraging the brand as an asset, and leveraging customers as assets.

This session introduces a forward-looking perspective of customer value that enables a company to envision new opportunities for product, service, and business model innovation. Practical and versatile tools introduced in the session will enable participants to uncover customer needs to guide breakthrough innovation, recognize potential roadblocks to delivering on current value propositions, create a winning value proposition for new and improved products and services and much more.

This session offers insights into two things that customer-centric organizations do well, as well as insights into how an organization can implement these insights. The first topic is “Leveraging Brand Equity,” and we will explore how to define a desirable brand identity, measure and grow brand equity, leverage a brand into new areas and much more.

This session offers insights into the structure, process, and reward issues that undermine getting innovative ideas to market in established organizations, and then offers recommendations and planning considerations that will enable participants to get these ideas to market. Topics covered also include how to organize for taking innovative ideas to market and how to plan and manage an initiative with uncertainty.

This session examines the foundations of values and ethics to establish a compass and provide a guide to ethical challenges and decision-making from both a business and philosophical perspective. Participants will also get an opportunity to think about deep ethical concerns that haven’t happened yet, but may come to be in the uncertain landscape of the future.

This session examines the implications for the people practices that frame and enable organizations in a world of complexity and evolution that is continually accelerating. We’ll look at the people practices that can drive agility, adaptability and innovation – creating truly adaptable organizations and cultures built for the age of continuous transformation.

This session continues to explore how the complexity in business environment is placing significant new demands on leaders & organizations for innovation, adaptability, learning and growth. The specific focus will be on how these complexities – business, societal, organizational, and environmental - require very different ways of leading and structuring organizations relative to strategy, innovation, culture, systems, roles, and communication.

Session 1: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Program Introduction Michael Sherrod
9:00 - 11:30 a.m. Organization in the Age of Continuous Transformation Michael Sherrod
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Lunch  
12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Leading the Organization of the Future Michael Sherrod &
Mary Uhl-Bien
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. SME Panel Discussion & Workshop  
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception  
Intersession 1 - Virtual Sessions
Jan. 27, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Case Studies in Digital Transformation Brian Alink
Feb. 3, Noon - 1:00 p.m.   Strategy at the Speed of Change Suzanne Carter
Feb. 10, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Business Model Innovation Michael Sherrod
Feb. 17, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Leadership Challenges Workshop Mary Uhl-Bien
Session 2: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Innovating for Customer Value Lance Bettencourt
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch  
12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Leading with a Customer-centric Approach Mark Houston
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. SME Panel Discussion & Workshop  
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception  
Intersession 2 - Virtual Sessions
Mar. 3, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Business Ecosystems & Innovation Suzanne Carter
Mar. 17, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Implementing Innovative Ideas Lance Bettencourt
Mar. 24, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Growing Customer Equity & Capitalizing on Brand Equity Mark Houston
Mar. 31, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Leadership Challenges Workshop Mary Uhl-Bien
Session 3: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Funding & Nurturing New Ventures Rodney D'Souza
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch  
12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Creating Shared Value Suzanne Carter
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. SME Panel Discussion & Workshop  
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception  
Intersession 3 - Virtual Sessions
Apr. 21, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Transforming a Company Through Platforms Brian Alink
Apr. 28, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Values & Ethics for an Uncertain Future Ann Bluntzer
May 5, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Leading the Future of Work Michael Arena
May 12, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Leadership Challenges Workshop Mary Uhl-Bien
Session 4: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Adaptive Challenges Team/Individual Presentations & Discussion  
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch  
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Power, Politics & Influence Mary Uhl-Bien
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Leading the Organization of the Future Michael Sherrod &
Mary Uhl-Bien
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Reception and Program Close  

Faculty Leaders

Suzanne Carter
Professor of Strategy Practice
Executive Director, TCU EMBA

Dr. Carter is a highly respected expert in strategy, strategic leadership and corporate reputation and is executive director of the TCU Executive MBA program, ranked 12th in the world by The Economist. She is a contributing columnist to the Dallas Business Journal and her research on organizational performance and leadership has been published in key academic journals. She received the Citation of Excellence Award for her research on the relationship of top management, organizational and environmental factors on corporate reputation management. She has consulted for leading companies such as GameStop, Lea+ Elliott and SaladMaster on strategic vision and strategy development. She has worked with nonprofit organizations including Catholic Charities, YWCA of Fort Worth and Safe Haven on strategic planning and social enterprise strategies. Dr. Carter received her BS in accounting from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, and MBA and PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carter teaches strategy courses at the EMBA, MBA and undergraduate levels at TCU, and has been honored with the EMBA Faculty Award for Outstanding Leadership Development twice. She was recently awarded TCU’s university-wide Dean’s Teaching Award.

Mary Uhl-Bien
BNSF Railway Endowed Professor of Leadership at TCU

Dr. Uhl-Bien is a renowned leader and researcher on complexity leadership, relational leadership and followership. She is a sought-after speaker and consultant for organizations around the world. She has published more than 50 articles and manuscripts, five books and a textbook on Organizational Behavior. Her award-winning research on leadership has been published in premier management and leadership journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management and The Leadership Quarterly. Her research has been funded with grants from Booz Allen Hamilton, and she has conducted research in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Disney, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stryker and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Uhl-Bien earned her BBA, MBA and PhD from the University of Cincinnati.

Michael Sherrod
William M. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence

Michael Sherrod began his career in 1976 by starting a magazine publishing company right out of grad school. He transitioned from the print world into the online world in 1985 when he helped manage a video-text news service for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

In his career Michael has founded or co-founded 15 companies, including Black Dove Media,, AOL Local and Additionally, he has served in senior management roles and started new companies inside CapCities/ABC, AMR Information Services, AOL,, and The Anschutz Companies. In 2010, he served as the first Publisher of The Texas Tribune (, a non-profit, non-partisan media site covering Texas government, politics, and public policy and is founding board member.

Michael is Chairman of the Board of the Urban Library Council, Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kinsey Institute, the world’s leading research institute for sex, gender and reproduction, and a former board member of the Craigslist Foundation. He also serves as board member and advisor to a number of online organizations around the world and is an active Angel investor. Michael is an author and frequent speaker on online, cultural and media issues.

Sherrod holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied in the interdisciplinary Great Books Program, an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia and an MBA from The Neeley School of Business at TCU.

Lance A. Bettencourt
Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Marketing

Prior to TCU, Dr. Bettencourt was a marketing professor at Indiana University and Arizona State University-West. He is also a former strategy adviser with Strategyn, Inc., the pioneer of Outcome-Driven Innovation™, and he was a partner at Service 360 Partners from 2012 to 2017. His research on service excellence and innovation has been published in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, among others. He is author of Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services (McGraw-Hill 2010). In his consulting and executive education, Dr. Bettencourt has worked with many of the world’s leading companies to help them uncover innovation opportunities and set marketing strategy. Over the past decade, his clients have included Allstate, Morningstar, Microsoft, TD Bank, Colgate, Kimberly-Clark, Alcon, and many others.

Mark Houston
Faculty Leaders

Mark B. Houston (Ph.D. Arizona State, MBA University of Missouri, B.S. Southwest Baptist) is Professor and Eunice and James L. West Chair in Marketing at Texas Christian University (TCU). Mark is also affiliated with ASU’s Center for Services Leadership and the University of Münster (Germany). He is coauthor of Entertainment Science (2019, Springer Nature), and his research on channels, movies, and innovation strategy appears in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, JMR, JCR, and Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis. Recent awards include the 2019 Louis Stern Award (long-term impact for a 2013 JM paper) and the 2018 Sheth Foundation Award. He is Co-Editor of Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and has served as an AE of JM and Journal of Service Research. Mark is a member of the AMA Board of Directors, was President of the AMA Academic Council (2012-2013), and co-chaired the AMA Summer Conference (2005 and 2017) and the AMA/Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium (2010). An award-winning teacher, Mark has conducted research, consulting, and/or exec ed with firms such as AT&T, Caterpillar, Dell, IBM,, and WellPoint. Prior to re-joining TCU in 2017, Mark served three years as department head at Texas A&M.

Ann Bluntzer, PhD
Associate Professor of Professional Practice

Dr. Ann Bluntzer is currently an Associate Professor of Professional Practice for TCU’s Neeley School of Business. She teaches in the department of Management and Leadership, primarily focusing on curriculum in transformational leadership, business ethics and the non-profit management space. She also teaches and advises for Neeley’s Energy MBA Program.

She currently serves on the TCU Energy Institute Board and Neeley’s Energy MBA Advisory Board. Dr. Bluntzer has taught leadership and management courses to various higher education institutions for over 20 years to include: University of South Carolina, Texas A&M University, University of Jakarta, Austin Business College, and Warsaw University of Life Sciences. She is President and Founder of The Agrarian, a strategic consulting business that specializes in land/real estate conservation and development, with notable clients such as The Nature Conservancy, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Education, United States Agency for International Development, United States Marine Corps, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also served in executive leadership positions with various nonprofit organizations globally. Dr. Bluntzer began her career serving in the Foreign Agriculture Service, for the United States Department of Agriculture and State. Some of her assignments included: Poland, Lithuania, Indonesia, and Australia.

Dr. Bluntzer holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership Management and Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, and a Master of Education in Leadership & International Studies and Bachelor’s in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M University.

Rodney D'Souza
Managing Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Rodney D’Souza, an entrepreneurship education, researcher, business owner, and angel fund manager. He joined TCU Neeley as managing director of the institute and the Davis Family Entrepreneur-In-Residence in August 2018. D’Souza was formerly the Fifth Third Bank Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship and director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University. He was awarded the 2017 Freedoms Foundation Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education and the 2017 University Award for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement, among other honors. He developed and delivered undergraduate courses on entrepreneurial mindset, opportunity recognition, idea valuation, new venture creation, new venture management and business plan writing, as well as a MBA modules on innovation and competitive intelligence. He holds an MBA from Northern Kentucky and PhD from the University of Louisville.

Michael Arena
Vice President of Talent & Development at Amazon Web Service

Michael Arena is the Vice President of Talent & Development at Amazon Web Service, where he is responsible for the global talent practices, leadership development and learning, organizational effectiveness, new employee success strategies and the organizational research activities to enable the growth and innovation for AWS. He was nominated to the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2020 for his work leveraging network roles in creating adaptive organizations: brokers, connectors, energizers, and challengers.

Arena is a faculty member in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford dSchool. Dr. Arena earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Dynamics from the Union Institute and University.

Brian Alink
Senior Vice President, Product Management, Capital One

Brian has been with Capital One for over 20 years as a leader in a variety of businesses including US Card, Partnerships and Auto Finance. His career has led him across a variety of roles including strategy and analytics, business development, operations, marketing and product management. Today, Brian leads a product management function for US Card with responsibility for operating and transforming a number of technology platforms including acquisitions and underwriting, payments, authorizations, fraud, customer management, and the core system of record. Brian also leads various enterprise strategic planning projects related to the future of technology platforms working with the CEO and executives across the company. Prior to Capital One, Brian worked full time while attending college in sales and later in a software development role after he developed a data analytics solution for M.C.I / Worldcom. Brian graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Business Management in 1998.

Please contact:

Kalyn McKittrick

Director of Marketing and Engagement