Wharton – Strategy & Innovation – Scaling Ventures: Developing the Playbook for Profitable Growth – TimesTSW


Growing a business can be a complex challenge that touches every area of the firm, presenting obstacles that test even highly experienced leaders. Scaling Ventures: Developing the Playbook for Profitable Growth takes a holistic view of the process, incorporating strategy, finance, and leadership. These three pivotal elements, and how they work together to create a viable plan for growth, form the foundation of the program.

Scaling Ventures offers solutions to the critical challenges faced by growing companies, and will show you how to put your learning directly into practice. By the end of the program, you will know how to determine which approach to growth is most viable for your organization, transition for that growth, and be able to communicate an action plan that addresses strategic, financial, and leadership concerns.

Who Should Attend:

This program is ideally suited for company founders, C-suite executives, and other senior leaders who are responsible for accelerating growth. Participants may come from:

  • Entrepreneurial startups about to receive a massive infusion of investment capital
  • Large publicly traded companies looking to expand the operations of a new or revamped division
  • Privately held firms that previously moderated their growth but are now looking to significantly expand operations geographically or product-wise in order to attract new investment

Potential job titles and roles include:

  • Managing Director, Senior Director, Senior Vice President in large corporations
  • CEO, CFO, COO, president, general manager in mid-size enterprises
  • Founders or CEOs of rapidly growing, successful entrepreneurial ventures

The program’s content is relevant across numerous industries. Executives in the following industries will find the program’s content particularly valuable:

  • Banking and financial services
  • Information technology
  • Logistics and transportation
  • Manufacturing and consumer products
  • Pharmaceuticals and health care

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Program Highlights & Benefits

The Playbook for Growth: This program will help you determine whether the timing is right for your organization to grow.

  • Determine whether or not your company’s existing operational structure and capabilities are ready to scale
  • Learn how to stress test current organizational structure and processes to discover readiness to grow
  • Identify and measure the key performance indicators needed for scaling
  • Create a financially viable, scalable strategic plan
  • Discover how to drive innovation to stimulate growth
  • Understand the capital requirements needed to grow and how to attain them
  • Balance people and processes to achieve successful strategy execution

Experience & Impact

Scaling Ventures takes you from start to finish as you explore whether the timing is right for your organization and then determine how to move forward by creating an actionable plan. Through this program you will discover the key challenges firms face when trying to scale, including the relationship between people and processes, and move from tactical, short-term opportunistic thinking to a long-term focused vision.

Scaling Ventures, which contains some curriculum from Wharton’s internationally recognized Scale School Workshop, will enable participants to tackle both sides of the growth coin — people and processes. Specifically, this program will help participants assess their firm’s current organizational structure and determine how to resolve the common tension that exists in growing companies between hiring people for skills or for cultural fit. This program will also reveal what type of organizational culture a company needs to have to grow and how to define the role of the company’s founder or owner/operator as the firm embarks on this new phase of growth.

People and Processes: This program will help participants assess their firm’s organizational structure.

The program’s cross-functional approach brings together the strategic, financial, and leadership concerns of expanding a business operations. You will consider whether your current strategy is scalable from both the execution and financial viewpoints, and also examine the risks inherent to your plan and analyze how to build the right portfolio of processes, assets, and people to address those risks.

Through case studies, a business simulation, and breakout sessions, you will analyze your organization and apply new tools during each day of the program. Then in small discussion groups, you will develop an actionable plan to scale your organization.

Session topics include:

  • Avoiding Explosions: Building and Leading Successful Teams
  • Balancing People and Processes
  • Metrics for Scaling
  • Managing Assets for Growth
  • Local to Global: Managing Global Networks (simulation)
  • Scaling through Innovation
  • Financing the Growing Business
  • Scaling Up Quality: Hiring, Leading, and Organizing for Success
  • Value Creation in Fast Growth Companies


  • Gad Allon, PhD

    Academic Director

    Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor; Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions; Director of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Operations management and operations strategy

  • Ethan Mollick, PhD

    Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Entrepreneurial strategy, entrepreneurship in innovative industries

  • Karl Ulrich, ScD

    CIBC Endowed Professor; Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions; Professor of Management; Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Environmental issues, product design and development, innovation

  • David Wessels, PhD

    Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Wharton General Management Program

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