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Collaborative Decision-Making and Negotiation

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In this course, we will extend the decision quality model to multi-party decisions. We will address two kinds of decisions: decisions made in competition (game theory) and decisions made with collaboration (negotiation). In multi-party situations, differences in framing, information, and preferences provide the opportunity to jointly create greater value and reach a win-win solution. "Full, Open, Truthful Exchange" (FOTE) is a powerful frame to understand the joint value-creation opportunity. However, the tactics of information sharing, a relationship versus transaction frame, threat positions, and the negotiation process often define what share of the value each party will receive. The course will address both analytical and behavioral aspects of multi-party decisions.


It is recommended that you take the two required courses Decision Quality(XSDR120) and Decision Analysis(XSDR122) first as part of the StanfordSDRM certificate program. If you plan to take these required courses online, we suggest you begin with Decision Quality.

On-Demand Webinars

Watch these free on-demand webinars to preview courses.


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  • $3025 per at Stanford course
  • $1295 per online course
  • $75 one-time document fee

Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up (Winter 2016)

Monday, February 1, 2016 to Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Course

The success of every venture depends on scaling: on sustaining and enhancing its effectiveness as it adds more employees, customers, and locations. The problem, however, is that scaling comes with inherent risk. Even the best founders and teams face setbacks, make mistakes, and must muddle through stretches of confusion and uncertainty. 

Professors Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton devoted seven years to understanding the differences between organizations that scale well and those that scale badly. In the process, they have identified what leaders can do to increase their organization's odds of success. They compiled the lessons they learned into the Wall Street Journal best-selling book Scaling Up Excellence: How to Get More Without Settling for Less.

This course is running for the second time after a successful first run in 2014. For a "behind the scenes" look at the development of the MOOC, watch the video below.

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In this course, you will learn the principles that will help you scale up your venture without screwing up. 

You'll address questions that cut to the heart of the scaling challenge:

  1. How can you avoid the illusion, impatience, and incompetence that are hallmarks for botched scaling efforts?
  2. What should your strategy be? Should you be more “Catholic" and replicate one model as you grow? Or should you take a more “Buddhist" approach and encourage local customization as your footprint expands?
  3. How can you avoid cognitive overload on yourself and those you lead, while at the same time, add necessary complexity as your team and organizations grows?

The course consists of assigned readings, lectures, exercises, and video interviews. Each week will present you with different questions, and assigned readings fromScaling Up Excellence. Additionally, lectures that extend the insights of the book have been prepared, and the video interviews provide rich practical advice. The video interviews feature some of the most successful venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, such as:

  • Ben Horowitz of renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
  • Michael Dearing - the early stage venture investing guru of Silicon Valley
  • Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari - two Stanford students whose class project turned into Pulse, a venture acquired by LinkedIn
  • Clara Shih, the founder of Hearsay Social, and a board member of Starbucks
  • Selina Tobaccowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey and co-founder of Evite
  • Anthony Coles, former CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, which his team grew and then sold to Amgen for 10 billion dollars
  • Kaye Foster-Cheek, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr. Jordan Kassalow, founder and co-chairman of VisionSpring, an organization that gives individuals in the developing world access to eyeglasses
  • Kevin Hassey, CEO of VisionSpring
  • Chip Conley, founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre boutique hotel company and current Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy at Airbnb

Through the exercises, you will be able to apply the learnings directly to develop your scaling plan. At the end of the course, there is a live webinar during which some of the best works from the class will be showcased.

Support for this session of the MOOC has been provided by the Designing Organizational Change Project, which is part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

More Information

Any Questions? Visit our FAQ page (available to registered students starting Feb. 1st). If you have technical problems signing up, file a ticket with NovoEd.

TextbookScaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao. Random House, 2014. It is available in hardcover and e-book (iBook or Kindle) versions.

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 - 6 hours per week on the course over the five-week period. This class is mostly asynchronous and does not meet at specific times. There will be one live webinar in the final week of the course that will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will be images, videos, slides, and text. You should also be prepared to collaborate with teammates via email, Skype, and other free online tools.

Prerequisites: None

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation

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We all want to innovate, but how do we do it? You not only need a big idea, you also need people to create it and people to buy into it. Your big idea needs a story.

Stories fuel innovation. They hold the power to transform listeners; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel or act. This interactive course covers the variety of roles story can play in an organization of any size, and why a coherent story is transformational for a new venture. What makes an effective story in business? When can you use stories in business? And how do you tell a good story that can be harnessed by social networks for impact? We will explore why story is at the heart of effective innovation and how story can be used to transform culture. By the end of this course you will have cultivated a new tool to use in driving innovation and impact in your organization.

You Will Learn

  • Understand the role story plays in business, specificially in innovation
  • Determine what makes a good (and bad) story
  • Use stories for strategic advantage to further business objectives
  • Craft stories, for internal and external stakeholders, that spur innovation


  • Jennifer Aaker General Atlantic Professor of MarketingGraduate School of Business


Please contact us at 650.741.1630 or

Course Preview

Watch a brief overview of The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation course

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The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation

Marketing Strategy for a Mobile World

Monday, January 11, 2016

Your customers are mobile. That means you need to be mobile. To do that, you need a plan, and that’s what this course will provide. By looking at a set of interrelated building blocks, from market data to the competitive landscape to organizational and audience insights, this course will prepare you to market effectively in an increasingly mobile-centric world. 

Starting with the dramatic adoption of smartphones worldwide, we will examine the key trends that are making mobile the fastest-growing marketing channel. The course will also take a step-by-step approach to developing a comprehensive mobile strategy. That includes dedicated sessions on how to gather, synthesize, and apply meaningful data about competitors, your own organization, and your audience. We’ll look at the essential elements of a mobile strategy framework and detail a set of conceptual tools that will help you begin to formulate your approach to mobile marketing. We’ll illustrate some of these concepts with specific examples of successes and failures, dos and don’ts. In addition, we’ll look at key partners and external resources that are often integral to executing a mobile strategy. This will include platforms (from the established “Big Four”—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—to the emerging advertising and data stack) and also mobile carriers, service providers, and research tools such as comScore and Nielsen. Throughout, the focus will be on guidelines and best practices that will help ensure effective strategy execution. 

Noah Elkin, Author; Former Chief Product Officer, Industry Index

Noah Elkin’s career has revolved around the intersection of technology, strategy, marketing, and content. He is a co-author of Mobile Marketing: An Hour a Day. Prior to joining Industry Index, Elkin was executive editor and chief evangelist at eMarketer, where he wrote dozens of reports and delivered webinars and in-person presentations that helped clients understand the latest digital marketing, media, and commerce trends and the implications for their business. He received a PhD from Rutgers and a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask, The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment (ISBN 978-0991361007)
(Required) Jeff Hasen, The Art of Mobile Persuasion: How the World's Most Influential Brands are Transforming the Customer Relationship Through Courageous Mobile Marketing (ISBN 978-0986148330)


Marketing Strategies

How to Start Your Business: From Idea to Business Plan

Monday, January 11, 2016


This course is designed to help you learn how to bring your business idea to life with a compelling business plan. We will begin by discussing the nature of entrepreneurship and its challenges and rewards. Next, we will form teams to create and present an “elevator pitch,” a description that succinctly crystallizes what your business will do and why it is compelling. To create the elevator pitch, we will explore concepts such as competitive intelligence, market segmentation, and the assessment of customer needs. We will then expand the elevator pitches into more complete business plans by adding details on financial models, organizational setup, and marketing and launch plans. The course will culminate with each team presenting its business plan. In addition to lectures and guest speakers, this course will offer an interactive, hands-on experience, with a number of opportunities to present your work and receive feedback from the class.
This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade. 

Rashmi Menon, Product and Startup Consultant

Rashmi Menon has launched numerous businesses and products within large corporations, including The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, and Yahoo, and has served as vice president of product management at Zvents and VideoGenie. She is a co-founder of Green Resource Network. Menon received an MBA from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks


How to Start Your Business

Decision Analysis

Course topic: 

Now Open!

Course Description

Understand the philosophy and analytic tools of decision analysis, the analytic foundation for all the courses in the Strategic Decision and Risk Management program. Learn from Stanford Professor Ron Howard, who coined the name, developed the discipline, and pioneered its application to all types of decisions. This course provides a rare opportunity to study with the founder of this important field.

Learn How To:

Analyze the personal and professional decisions that shape lives and organizations
Follow a decision approach that scales to treat decisions at all levels of importance
Use concepts that clarify thinking and choice
Avoid the pitfalls of intuitive decision-making

This online professional course contributes to the Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate.

Application and Fee Apply.

Executing Complex Programs

Course topic: 

Now Open!

Course Description

Globally and culturally diverse teams are racing to execute their strategies through ever more complex and innovative programs. Gain insights into frameworks and practices that enable a diverse array of global organizations to successfully execute complex programs.

Learn How To:

  • Utilize a variety of approaches for designing successful global programs that are resilient and adaptable in an environment of uncertainty and unpredictability
  • Explore the role of planning, strategy, and decisions in initiating a program and improving its chances for success
  • Communicate the value of cross-functional and cross-organizational program teams and identify tools for designing and managing them
  • Apply a focused process for planning and managing critical program interfaces and interdependencies

This online professional course contributes to the Stanford Advanced Project Management certificate.

Application and fee apply.

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders' Seminar

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 to Wednesday, December 9, 2015


In this seminar entrepreneurial leaders share lessons from real-world experiences across entrepreneurial settings. Speakers include entrepreneurs, leaders from global technology companies, venture capitalists, and best-selling authors. Half-hour talks are followed by a half hour of class interaction. Required online discussion for those seeking credit.

Previous Guest Speakers:

  • Tristan Walker, Walker & Company
  • Sal Khan, Khan Academy
  • Morris Chang, Taiwan Semiconductor and John Hennessy, Stanford University
  • Ed Catmull, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studio
  • Linda Rottenburg, Endeavor Global
  • Geoff Donaker, Yelp
  • Leah Busque, TaskRabbit
  • Heidi Roizen, DFJ


  • RDP modified popup Tom Byers Professor, Management Science and Engineering
  • RDP modified popup Thomas Kosnik Consulting Professor, Management Science and Engineering
  • RDP modified popup Tina Seelig Executive Director, Stanford Tech.Ventures Program

Tuition & Fees

For course tuition, reduced tuition (SCPD member companies and United States Armed forces), and fees, please click Tuition & Fees.

Certificates and Degrees

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Monday, September 21, 2015 to Wednesday, December 9, 2015


This companion course to MS&E472 - Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Seminar teaches how to look at a business and analyze its key components using speakers at the weekly Thought Leader Seminar. Assess each company's business model and discuss how the founders discovered their opportunity, built their team, and got funded. Topics are relevant for up-and-coming founders of companies and future engineers or scientists participating in a startup.

Topics Include:

  • Venture Financing
  • Business Models
  • Interpersonal dynamics in the startup environment


  • RDP modified popup Ravi Belani Lecturer, Management Science and Engineering


  • Forum participation- 15%
  • Virtual presentation- 20%
  • Micro-project- 15%
  • Weekly assignments- 35%
  • Final assignment/Lessons learned- 15%


Corequisite: Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Seminar (Stanford Course MS&E472)

  • 1 year of college level calculus (through calculus of several variables)
  • Background in statistics
  • An undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent

Tuition & Fees

For course tuition, reduced tuition (SCPD member companies and United States Armed forces), and fees, please click Tuition & Fees.

The Upside of Stress

Monday, September 28, 2015 to Friday, November 6, 2015

Offered by Stanford Continuing Studies.

Fee Applies.

What if everything you thought you knew about stress was wrong? And what if changing your mind about stress could make you happier, healthier, and better able to reach your goals? In this online course, taught by health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, students will learn about new research showing that under certain circumstances stress can be good for us, and rather than trying to escape it, embracing stress and capitalizing on its hidden benefits may be the key to improving our well-being.


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