Strategic Productivity

Take your business to greater heights and enable the sustainable growth and success of your business by investing in effective productivity strategies.

Productivity is a key driver of economic prosperity across all international business landscapes. As businesses strive to navigate evolving markets, digital technology advancements, and competing international markets, the ability to optimise productivity becomes paramount.

Led by Professor Bart Van Ark from the Productivity Institute , this course will delve into the
intricacies of strategic productivity, exploring frameworks, tools, and industry case studies which will
empower delegates to identify the strategies needed to advance their organisational efficiency.





4 days

Upcoming Sessions

4-7 June 2024

8-11 April 2025





Key Information

Course topics

This course will be underpinned by the Strategic Productivity Framework, a tool developed by the
Productivity Institute which brings together research into what makes a business productive.
During your time of this course, you will explore five core pillars of productivity – access to finance,
innovation and digital, worker skills and well-being, leadership and management, marketing and
communication – to help you future proof your business.

Day one: Motivation, Measurement and Management of Productivity

  • What is productivity? 
  • Why does it matter for economy, strategy and society.
  • Why has productivity growth slowed and can we expect it to recover?
  • Introducing the three I’s for productivity: Innovation, Investment and Institutions
  • Measurement and management of productivity
  • Long-term vs. short-term focus in strategy
  • The role of the CEO / Managing Director
  • Developing a productivity narrative for your business

Day two: Innovating for Productivity

  • The concepts of business efficiency and business innovation
  • Research & development 
  • Digital technology, AI and digital adoption
  • Servitization and platformatization
  • Workforce effects
  • The role of technology, innovation and digital leaders
  • Create a business innovation strategy

Day three: Investment for Productivity

  • Finance and investment for productivity
  • Skills and management competencies
  • Flexible teams
  • The role of the finance leader
  • The role of the human capital leader
  • Develop an investment plan for strategic assets

Day four: Collaborating for Productivity

  • Internal collaboration & communication
  • Marketing and brands as productive assets
  • External collaboration: the ecosystem concept
  • Boardroom dynamics: bringing productivity angles into the boardroom
  • Develop a boardroom agenda for productivity

Throughout the course, you will take part in a productivity driven project and present your work to the group on the final day, where you will gain insightful feedback from your peers on how you can implement your learnings back into your organisation. 

There will be a networking drinks reception on evening one where you will get to know your course colleagues. There will also be a course dinner on evening three, offering the opportunity for your class to come together with a wider cohort of short-course learners to expand your networking opportunities.

How you learn

Throughout the course, you will hear from leading industry experts, network with a variety of business leaders and work with other delegates to apply core aspects of the course to your organisation.

During your time on this course, you will gain several stand-out learning experiences, including:

Applied Learning – A learning environment created by the course facilitator that draws on the experience and input of your course peers.

Knowledge Transfer – A steady stream of feedback from participating peers with diverse business backgrounds to help build your leadership skills.

Reflection – A rare time-out to contemplate your own leadership capabilities and challenges while engaging with our world-class faculty.

Network Expansion – An expanding professional network drawn from your peers.

Personal Growth – An expanding self-awareness of your own leadership competencies and how they can be honed.

Behavioural Change – An adoption of new rationales and mindsets that improve your managerial skills.

How you benefit

  • Cultivate a strategic mindset allowing you to identify which metrics to measure to start improving productivity
  • Develop a clearer understanding of why productivity matters and how it can positively impact your business
  • Align your businesses productivity processes with wider strategic goals, and learn how to make tactical day-to-day decisions to achieve them
  • Understand the social and ESG impact of investing in your business’s infrastructure
  • Build a strong professional network of industry experts, opening doors to future collaboration and mentorship

How your organisation benefits

  • Explore practicable, actionable productivity strategies that can be tailored to your specific organisational challenges
  • Discover the key factors contributing to your organisation competing effectively in a UK and international business market 
  • Gain insights into how productivity directly impacts your organisation’s bottom line, KPIs and industry benchmarks
  • Implement ideas which future proof your organisation by prioritising adaptability and proactivity
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation, which focuses on operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness

Who should attend

This course is for senior leaders from businesses with a staff base of 250+ who are engaged with the strategic decisions, performance management, and operational activity of their organisation. 

Delegates are welcomed from a broad variety of industries, ranging from construction to retail, as well as international leaders travelling to Manchester from overseas.

Course Lead

Bart Van Ark is a Professor of Productivity Studies at Alliance Manchester Business School and is also the Managing Director of The Productivity Institute, a UK-wide organisation which aims to lay the foundations for an era of sustained and inclusive productivity growth, by bringing together academic research, policy studies and business engagement.

Between 2008 and 2022 Bart was Chief Economist at The Conference Board, a global business research organisations headquartered in New York, where he worked with dozens of global companies on business strategy related to (global) economic trends, labour markets and human capital, technology and innovation, and productivity

Bart is an internationally acclaimed economist in the field of international comparative productivity measurement and his research has cut across the areas of economic growth, international economics and business, development economics and economic history.


Upon successful completion of this short business course, participants will be awarded the Manchester Professional Certificate in Strategic Productivity  

You will also receive a digital Manchester Professional Certificate in Strategic Productivity from Accredible, in the form of an online certificate and badge which can be displayed on LinkedIn profiles and represents completion and participation in the course.

You can choose to curate your own curriculum by attending any four courses from our extensive portfolio. On completion of the four courses of your choice, you will be awarded the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership.