Smarter Collaboration Master Class (Online)

About the Program


PROGRAM DATES:  March 8-10, 2022

Special cohort pricing: $18,000 for a cohort of up to 4 attendees. We recommend participants attend as part of a small team from their firm or organization to maximize the impact of the program. Each cohort will receive a 90-minute private advisory session with Program Chair Heidi K. Gardner following the program.



Smarter Collaboration Master Class: Advanced Practices to Transform Client Service and Engage Your Workforce (Online)

Now open to leaders from all types of professional service firms including accounting, consulting, engineering, law, and other professions.

Now more than ever, professional service firm leaders are being asked to solve increasingly complex problems and provide comprehensive solutions to clients and boost profits. In her books Smart Collaboration and forthcoming book Smarter Collaboration, Dr. Heidi K. Gardner shows when specialists collaborate across silos, firms can earn higher margins, enhance client service, engage and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge.

The Smarter Collaboration Master Class focuses on how to capture those benefits and shows senior leadership teams how to move from a collaboration-backed strategy to real behavioral change. This virtual, synchronous program, focuses on the structures, tools, and practical steps to promote the core concepts of collaboration and drive business performance. Through a blend of real case studies, interactive simulations, and in-depth discussions, participants will gain the knowledge and tools to put collaboration into action to achieve business objectives. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with Harvard faculty and peers from a variety of sectors and industries to learn and gain insights from their experiences.

Participants are expected to have foundational knowledge of Smart Collaboration before this advanced program; materials for pre-work will be provided.

Read more about Smart Collaboration:

Alumni Story: Taking Collaboration to the Next Level; a Critical Component to Not Only Survive but Thrive

7 Strategies for Promoting Collaboration in a Crisis

The Smarter Collaboration Master Class provides a practical guide to drive collaboration-backed transformation in your firm. This program aims to prepare you to:

  • Close the gap between strategy and execution: how do you move from general buy-in to the concept of collaboration to specific actions that generate measurable advantages?
  • Determine the best actions to employ to revamp your performance management and compensation systems to drive out individualistic behaviors and encourage collaboration.
  • Understand your own collaboration-related behavioral tendencies and generate a personalized road map for authentically using your strengths to lead more effectively.
  • Use data, analytics, and technology to make measurable improvements and significant ROI on your collaboration-related initiatives.
  • Avoid collaboration overload and teamwork fatigue by analyzing and fixing problems within the structure and culture of multi-teaming.
  • Take steps to enhance real inclusion, not merely a façade of diversity. Develop a road map for enhancing collaboration, which in turn enhances diversity and inclusion.

The program’s distinguished faculty focus on providing applicable frameworks and tools necessary to cultivate collaboration and effectively manage and influence teams as a leader and driver of collaboration concepts. The curriculum includes:

  • New research on KPIs, performance management and compensation structures to promote collaborative, cross-silo working.
  • Case studies that explore the cultural, behavioral, and structural elements underpinning the execution of collaboration.
  • Tools for analyzing collaboration including tech-enabled solutions and strategic analysis.
  • Strategies for fostering, engaging in, and leading collaboration in ways that play to individuals’ unique strengths.
  • Research on the implications of collaboration on D&I.

About the Format

The Smarter Collaboration Master Class will take place virtually on the Harvard Zoom platform. As with our on-campus programs, class size will be limited.

There will be two program sessions every day between the hours of 10:00 a.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET. Accepted participants should reserve this window on their calendars until we circulate a finalized program schedule. Each session will be between 1 – 2 hours long, and we will schedule a break of at least 30 minutes between the two daily sessions.

In order to complete the master class and earn a certificate of completion, participants are expected to attend every session.

Building Community and Networks

Our highly interactive sessions and workshops will include frequent breakout group discussions and activities. These opportunities will help ensure that participants get to know each other and learn from each other’s thoughts, ideas and perspectives. Additionally, participants who complete the program will join our global Alumni Network, through which they will be invited to attend future residential and online programs offered by HLS Executive Education.

The Smarter Collaboration Master Class is open to senior leaders and partners from all professional service firms including accounting, engineering, design, architecture, law, and consulting.

People with the following roles would thoroughly benefit from this master class: Partner, Practice Group Head/Leader, Industry/Sector Leader, CEO, CMO, COO, CIO, CHRO, Chair, Managing Partner, and Senior Partner.

We recommend participants attend the program as part of a small team from their firm. Attending with colleagues not only provides accountability but also the opportunity for greater impact in your firm. Cohorts that attend the program will receive a 90-minute private advisory session with Program Chair Heidi K. Gardner to further the ability to successfully leverage collaboration at your organization.

Visit the Admissions page for information on the process.

The Teaching Team

Dr. Heidi K. Gardner – Program Chair

Dr. Rebecca Newton

Learn more about the Smarter Collaboration Master Class faculty→


Custom Programs

Need a more customized approach? We provide programming tailored to meet the specific needs of senior firm leaders. Learn more.


Harvard is authorized to offer distance education under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement that allows institutions of higher education in Massachusetts to offer distance education to students residing in other states that participate in SARA. For information about SARA-related student complaint processes for distance education students, please see