Strategy expert provides a taste of NC State Executive Education’s FastTrack seminar on strategy

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Tuesday Mar 15, 2016.

A quick survey course on “How to Think Strategically: Embrace Change, Create Value.” That's what 40+ participants received at the March 4 session of NC State Executive Education’s Wolfpack Your Lunch (WPYL) program held at HQ Raleigh. NC State Executive Education, LLC is based in the NC State University Poole College of Management. 

Presenter Greg Hopper, who says he reads strategy books for fun, combined humor and perspective gleaned from his extensive readings and experience in consulting to provide serious insight about strategy for today’s business professionals. He will be digging deeper into the topic of strategy during his “Strategy Matters at Any Level' workshop, part of NC State Executive Education's FastTrack series for professionals. Hopper will present his FastTrack session on April 15, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on NC State’s Centennial Campus. View registration, cost and other details

In his WPYL session - that he dubbed “Your one-hour MBA” - Hopper began by asking the audience: “What is the purpose of business?” Following various replies from the audience, he added his perspective: “… to create and keep a customer,” extrapolating from the writings of Theodore Levitt (1925-1996), an economist, former editor of Harvard Business Review and professor of marketing at Harvard.

He then dug into the definition of strategy, punctuating an information-packed slide presentation with stories, details and more humor, and concluded with a question-answer session.  

In explaining the fundamental challenge of strategy in technology-based companies, for example, Hopper defined four steps in the product life cycle:

  • You start selling a successful product, reaching the ‘Innovators” and “Early Adopters.”
  • You continue to improve the product and sell a lot more, reaching the “Early Majority.”
  • You’re selling product faster than ever just as you saturate the market and reach the “Late Majority.”
  • Then your percentage of market share begins to fall because (a) a group of people find the product to be “too much” (including the late majority) or (b) another group finds the product to be “too old” (these are the ‘Early Adopters’ again, looking for the “next big thing”).

NC State Executive Education's WPYL sessions provide a quick dip into a range of topics that are relevant for professionals at various stages of their careers, across a wide range of business and industry. Many of these one-hour sessions provide a 'no cost' preview of an upcoming NC State Executive Education FastTrack workshop on the same or a related topic by the WPYL presenter. The FastTrack workshops, typically four-hour sessions, are experiential learning workshops that enable participants to gain knowledge about the topic and practice how they will use what they learn when they return to work.


Greg Hopper, whose background includes executive leadership roles at IBM and NetApp, consulting and teaching strategy through MBA and executive education programs, provides strategic planning and sales training to business leaders and their teams through his firm, Strategic Edge Executive Resources, LLC. He also provides consulting, coaching and speaking services, drawing on his broad experience in strategy, specializing in technology related industries. He is an adjunct professor in the Pratt School of Engineering’s Master of Engineering Management program at Duke University, a senior member of the IEEE and a member of the Engineering Management Society, Product Development and Management Association and the Association for Strategic Planning. He received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Lafayette College and a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. He is a frequent judge at collegiate events, including business plan and case study competitions and hackathons.


NC State Executive Education, LLC, based in the NC State University Poole College of Management, designs and delivers programs that enable participants to acquire actionable knowledge and skills they can use immediately after program completion. Participants learn evidence-based strategies to address real-world problems and issues, from leading teams to leading organizations successfully in today’s complex world. In NC State Exec Ed sessions, learning is experiential and participatory. NCSEE programs leverage the capabilities of the entire university and its network of experts to create contextualized learning experiences delivered in custom, open enrollment and collaboratories formats. Its Wolfpack Your Lunch sessions are held on the first Friday of every month. 

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