Rotman School of Management

Main Content

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.

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


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, 


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.

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 GettingItDone®: Achieve Organizational and Team Success Through Better Execution.

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 GettingItDone® one-day workshop 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 GettingItDone® and contact you with next steps.


Key Takeaways

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

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 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 your 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.

Apply Now

Fee: $1,850 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.

Application Process

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

*Are you using Internet Explorer? Have you updated Chrome or Firefox lately?
Due to new browser security requirements, those using older or incompatible browsers may encounter technical difficulties. If you encounter a blank screen when you try to start your online payment process, please see our Having Trouble? page

Apply Now 
Playing to Win Workshop

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.

Fee Reduction

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

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

Bundle these Programs and SaveTake both programs for $3250

Integrative Thinking
for Leaders »

Playing To Win Workshop »

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


No data source has been set for the widget

Featured Article

Leadership: New skills for a new age »

What does leadership look like in a diverse, globalized workforce?

Follow us

Send this page to a friend


© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB