Business Essentials

NC State Executive Education’s Business Essentials program develops skills for driving decision making in organizations, including strategy, customer and financial analysis, influence and consulting, leadership, and managing change.

In this four-day open enrollment course, participants learn how businesses operate successfully through case discussions, simulations, exercises, and role-plays, and how to apply these skills to their own real-world projects.

The program experience is reinforced by a central project component that requires participants to develop a business plan for a new product or service, work towards improving an existing system or process, or address a similar scenario that will add value to their own organization or business unit. Before the end of the program, participants present their business plans to a senior leader for evaluation.


Through this program you will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of fundamental business models to drive decision-making in your organization
  • Improve your understanding of finance and operations
  • Learn to develop a successful business plan
  • Be able to effectively analyze customers and develop customer-focused strategy
  • Understand how to lead and influence teams
  • Improve presentation skills
  • Learn to innovate and plan strategically


Who should attend:

  • Business professionals
  • Sole proprietors
  • Engineers and scientists


Program Dates:

  • Mod 1 – March 20 – 21, 2019
  • Mod 2 – April 17 – 18, 2019



  • Centennial Campus, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

If hotel accommodations or transportation are needed please contact Ashley Black at for assistance. 



  • Early bird tuition: $2700 if registering before February 20, 2019
  • Tuition: $3000 if registering after February 20, 2019
  • Group Pricing:
    1st person                              $2,700
    2nd-3rd (25% discount)          $2,050 each
    4th person (50% discount)     $1,350
    5th person                               Free

Pricing includes: all class materials, license fees for all simulations, faculty coaching, and breakfast, lunch and snacks during the program. 

We offer discounted rates for NC State Faculty & Staff, NC State Partners, and certain associations. If this applies to you, please contact Ashley Black at for a discount code.

For group pricing discounts, please email Ashley Black at





Module 1

-Day 1-

In this session, participants gain a big-picture understanding of corporate finance. Working in teams, participants run a business in a competitive team environment — setting prices, monitoring cash flow, making operational improvements, and planning for growth and profit. They also learn to use financial statements as a tool for measuring results.

In this session, participants will learn customer needs and behavior, how to assess market opportunity, and how to apply this information to a market strategy process.

-Day 2-

Using the Business Model Canvas as a framework, participants will consider the primary elements that will impact their business planning project including key partnerships, key activities, key resources, customer relationships, channels of distribution, customer segments, cost structure, and revenue streams.

In this session, participants will learn strategies on how to influence people by building collaborative relationships, understand exchange and reciprocity (the first steps in the influence process), adapt behavior patterns that build credibility, persuade with a framework of discovery, preparation and dialogue, and master the key components of influence without authority.


—– 4-week intercession to work on internal project/business/strategic plans —–


Module 2

-Day 3-

At the beginning of Module 2, participants will present their business plans to the class and faculty for feedback. We will then discuss how to instill an innovation mindset within your organization’s culture and foster higher levels of creativity within teams.

Participants experience a “year in the life” of a change team. The simulation focuses on, a company fraught with realistic change challenges. Through careful application of change management best practices, learners build stakeholder buy-in and lead the company to success. The simulation provides learning-by-doing, where knowledge retention is optimized and change concepts become immediately relevant for real-world projects.

-Day 4-

Have you ever suggested a great idea and it fell flat with your team or your boss? Or found out that you didn’t understand a colleague’s creative approach or motivation? This session will provide participants with added skills to listen, understand, and communicate more effectively with team members and critical stakeholders.

This session will focus on prioritizing leadership development in our daily lives, empowering others, managing ambiguity/complexity, and other elements that impact the behavior of others. Using a video case, this session will also prepare participants for a discussion on collaboration, agile team models, and how personal choices impact team performance.




Helmut Hergerth

Operations and Finance




Jon Bohlmann

Customer Analysis & Strategy




Jon Carr

Innovation, Business Planning, Organizational Culture




Brad Kirkman

Change Management & Transformational Leadership




Beth Ritter

Influence, Consulting, and Organizational Leadership