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Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Explore a winning strategy framework.

Experience the process of creating a strategy and learn a proven approach to strategy that is used by leading organizations around the world.


Strategy is one of the most important tasks of any employee in the organization, no matter his or her job description. Build your strategy skills in this intensive workshop.

This program has 3 essential components:

A one-day workshop. In this session, we will explore a simple, fun and effective framework for thinking through strategy. The foundational concept is that strategy is about choice – explicitly choosing what you will do, and not do, to win with customers and against competition. In fact, strategy can be understood as the answer to five key questions.

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Playing to Win

Program Diagram

The session will begin with an overview of these five questions. Then, we will apply the questions to a real-world case example and move through the process of creating and testing a possible new strategy. Finally, we will reflect on the application and implications for your own roles and organizations.

Bundle and Save 20%

Execution is critical for your winning strategy. Make sure you know how to follow through by taking advantage of our discount bundle of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works and Integrative Thinking for Leaders.

The Playing to Win one-day workshop provides you with hands-on experience creating a strategy and learning a proven approach to strategy used by leading organizations around the world. Add our Integrative Thinking for Leaders one-day program and you also receive a proven management system, including tools and processes to execute that strategy.

These two workshops run consecutively this winter, making it easier for you to benefit from more than one workshop. Each program on its own will provide you with tools and insights for building or executing a successful strategy, but by combining the two, you’ll benefit from a more robust set of tools, frameworks and skills to drive your strategy.

How to Apply: 

  • Complete only the application for Playing to Win and select the option to bundle
  • Once your application has been approved, our admissions team will also sign you up for Integrative Thinking for Leaders and contact you with next steps.

If you want to truly start playing to win rather than playing to play, choose Rotman! Rotman’s a real “hot spot” buzzing with innovation and energy, and the “Playing to Win” executive education workshop is an extremely powerful, provocative and positive strategy program.

Dr. Bart Tkaczyk, MBA | President & CEO

Key Benefits

This session is a balanced blend of the hands-on experience of the process, reflection and group discussions.
By the end of the program, participants will:

  • Learn a proven approach to strategy that is used by leading organizations around the world
  • Develop the strategic capability to make better strategic choices for their organization
  • Experience the process of creating a strategy using the Playing to Win framework
  • Be given The Playing to Win Strategy Toolkit as a resource to guide to apply this in the organization
  • Receive coaching in a small group setting, helping to apply the framework when back at work

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Playing to Win

The Playing to Win Strategy Toolkit (a $250 value): After the session, the toolkit will help you prepare and lead a successful strategy initiative and includes the following five components:

  • A comprehensive facilitator's guide that provides advice about how to prepare, whom to involve, what common challenges to avoid, and how to measure success
  • Three customizable meeting decks to help you save time and meeting management headaches
  • Four detailed case studies that show how real-world companies are using and benefiting from the "Playing to Win" approach
  • Expert advice from Roger Martin in a set of short video clips
  • The ebook vesrion of the best-selling Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by AG Lafley and Roger Martin

Post-program webinar: As part of this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to register for a 60-minute webinar in the month following. The webinar is an opportunity for participants to surface questions about the key challenges with the Playing to Win concepts as they are applied back at work. The small-group format provides the opportunity for participants to receive coaching from the faculty, engage in a dynamic conversation and ask questions.

The Playing to Win workshop is designed for executives, senior management and next-generation leaders who are looking for insights, knowledge and tools to help build their strategic capabilities. 
Participants will come from a broad range of industries, including the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. The program is well suited for:

  • Corporate directors and officers
  • Divisional vice-presidents
  • Experienced public administrators in federal, provincial and municipal government
  • National, regional and international business unit managers
  • General managers and branch managers
  • Executive directors of associations and NGOs
  • Senior managers of crown corporations
  • Professional services executives


The workshop will consist of a mix of case studies, group work and discussion. As part of this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to register for a 60-minute webinar in the months following. The webinar is an opportunity for participants to surface questions about the key challenges with the Playing to Win™ concepts as they are applied back at work.

October 4, 2018 schedule TBD.


Rotman Executive Program faculty are known for their ability to translate the latest research into practical applications for the workplace, and to transmit skills to participants with the best teaching techniques. Industry leaders contribute to our programs to bring you the most up-to-date best practices and a wealth of real-world experience.

Meet the faculty and instructors teaching in the Playing to Win Workshop

Jennifer Riel 

Jennifer Riel is an Adjunct Professor, Facutly-at-large and Managing Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute’s Knowledge Infrastructure project, which includes oversight of Rotman I-Think (our elementary and secondary school integrative thinking and design thinking program). In her role, Jennifer leads educational and knowledge sector initiatives, including writing, designing curriculum and teaching for a variety of audiences.

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Fee: $1,950 CAD + HST

The workshop fee includes tuition, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works ebook, The Playing to Win Strategy Toolkit (a $250 value), 60 minute follow-on webinar, all program materials and class-day meals.

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Playing to Win

A deposit of 50% of the program fee is required at time of application. The balance of the program fee is due 30 days after receipt of invoice or 30 days before the start of the program, whichever is first.

Application Process

Before beginning the application process, please review the application policies. To apply, complete the online application form.

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Each application is reviewed by Rotman’s admissions committee to ensure participants have the appropriate academic and work experience.

Participant Notification Process

If space is available and eligibility requirements are met, participants will receive a notice of admission within 10 days of receipt of a completed application and fee deposit.

Payment and Fee Reduction


Payments can be made online. Applicants will be redirected to a secure online payment website after completion of the application form. Deposits will be refunded to applicants not accepted to the program.

Fee Reduction

Rotman Executive Program graduates or Rotman MBA / EMBA alumni are eligible for a discount equivalent to 10% of the program tuition. In addition, partner discounts are also offered for some programs. Where program applicants are eligible for more than one discount, only the greater discount will be applied towards the tuition fee. Discounts are not redeemable for cash.

*Participants will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and incidental costs. Participants requiring accommodation during the program are eligible for preferred Rotman rates at select hotels. For more information contact an Executive Programs representative at

Bundle these Programs for $3,120 CAD and Save

Playing To Win:
How Strategy
Really Works »

Integrative Thinking
for Leaders »

How do the programs work together? All of the programs are stand-alone programs, but they complement each other.


Dates and FeesMark your calendar

An interactive workshop


October 4, 2018


Rotman School of Management, Toronto, Ontario


Participant profile:
Executives and senior management, next-generation leaders


Playing to Win ebook, Playing to Win Strategy Toolkit (a $250 value, included in your program fee)


$1,950 CAD + HST


Download our Program Information Sheet »


Questions? We're here to help!
Speak to our expert Learning Advisor about choosing the right program for you or your organization.

Tel: 416.978.8815

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