24th Harvard Club of Australia Program for Leaders

Leading in the Digital Age:  Better Decisions by Design

presented by

Harvard Business School  faculty members

Professor Karim R. Lakhani and Professor Leslie John

5-9 February 2023  -  RACV Healesville


     Professor Karim R Lakhani


         Professor Leslie John


Digital Innovation and Decision Making

To compete in today’s turbulent and demanding global business environment, organisations must continually revitalize and transform themselves. This program will provide participants with fundamental frameworks that help leaders in the continual task of aligning the key elements of a dynamic organisation in the digital age – strategy, digital know-how, formal organisation and the pivotal role that leaders have in shaping decisions and behaviors to execute their vision.


Indicative Cases and Program Content
Powered by data and processing technologies, the age of digital connectivity offers seemingly infinite new opportunities to influence the decisions of consumers and employees alike.  Advances in personalized advertising can spur consumer purchasing; real-time feedback can augment employee performance. Examples abound of firms that have seized opportunities such as these. For instance, a fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer whose products require refrigeration uses machine learning and computer vision analytics to understand turnover and reduce spoilage of its goods on store refrigerator shelves. Transportation agencies are using robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and combat vehicle license-plate theft and fraud. An agricultural consumer-goods company is using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to gather data on soil characteristics, weather conditions, and insect activity in a particularly fertile growing area to determine how to establish a similar environment in another area that will be dedicated to growing specific crops. Healthcare providers are using tools such as online patient portals, telemedicine, and wearable devices to track vital signs—all aimed at improving healthcare and making life easier for patients. But for every success story, there are just as many (and frankly probably many, many more) failures. In this program, participants will learn how to realize the opportunities arising from the age of digital connectivity—while, crucially, understanding, mitigating and managing their potential pitfalls.
Digital Innovation
Professor Lakhani will lead participants in understanding the dynamics of value creation and value capture for digital businesses. The past decade has seen the emergence and scaling of very large platform-based business models that have started to disrupt existing and adjacent industries. Participants will engage in a series of activities to apply the knowledge gained from case studies to their particular companies. Emphasis will be on rigour of analysis and creating realistic assessments and forecasts of opportunities and threats posed by digital innovation and transformation.
Professor John will lead participants through a series of case discussions, simulations, and interactive lectures on how to shape decisions for better—their own managerial decisions as leaders, as well as those of their employees and customers. Participants will work through a framework in which they uncover the hidden biases that shape decisions—biases that are pervasive in both offline and online contexts. Then, they will learn how to design choice environments to shape decisions for better. Finally, they will learn how to deftly use experimentation to test and rapidly iterate on promising designs.


  • Discover the hidden forces that shape our decisions – in both digital and offline contexts [Leslie]
  • Learn how to shape decisions for better, and how to leverage digital platforms to test and measure the impact of these efforts [Leslie]
  • The economic and technological factors that are at the heart of the digital revolution [Karim]
  • The clash between existing business models and new digitally enhanced models emphasizing platforms and ecosystems [Karim and somewhat Leslie]
  • New challenges presented by the availability of personal data and how to better manage them [Karim and Leslie]
  • The competitive interactions among firms with different digital business [Karim]

COST: $11,250 + GST