Strategic Problem-Solving

Strategic Problem-Solving

Improve your problem-solving skills during this two-day programme. This programme will boost your effectiveness in finding solutions to strategic business problems.  You will learn a variety of best practice methods and techniques as developed by top global management consulting firms such as McKinsey & Company and BCG.

Turn problems into solutions

In two days you will learn how to identify a problem, how to handle the planning, communication, and the successful implementation of your solution.
Before the start of the programme, you will be asked to identify a strategic issue you face in your work. Together with faculty and peers, you will work on defining an approach to solving it.

Learning objectives

During the programme, you will:

  • gain more confidence as your ‘toolbox’ of available solutions for business problems grows
  • learn the business problem-solving methods and techniques used by top management consulting firms 
  • understand how to use these methods and techniques, its limitations and common pitfalls
  • practise your newly gained skills via case discussions, small group exercises, and presentations.

Our virtual classroom

In the online version of Strategic Problem Solving you will join our virtual classroom, where you will learn a structed way to solve problem, ground in scientific knowledge. In the virtual classroom, you can ask the facilitator questions, and interact with your fellow participants via group assignments in virtual breakout rooms. For an optimal learning experience, the programme is split into four modules over two weeks. Each module lasts 3.5 hours (including breaks). The programme is led by Marc Baaij and James Parker. Marc is an associate professor of strategic management at RSM, while James is a partner at Parma Consulting Group, and has consulted and managed organisations for 30 years.

  • Strategic Problem-Solving is designed for:

    •  managers responsible for policy making 
    •  strategic planning / corporate development staff 
    •  internal consultants  
    •  external consultants.
  • "We were presented with a clear and concise framework for structuring and solving complicated problems that suits different industries. Group exercises really helped and also gave us valuable points of view from other members of the class; so did the teachers’ ability to convey their experiences. I learned how to deliver more compelling and concise recommendations by finding and defining the real question, breaking it down and delivering the most probable solution convincingly.

    The programme gave me the tools to be more concise in my own thinking and in my communication to stakeholders, and I would recommend this for anyone in big-picture problem solving. It’s valuable for working with existing clients, selling to new prospects and working with key internal stakeholders."
    Daan Akse, head of innovation at Growth Tribe

    “The course exceeded my expectations, and will change something in the way I do my work. The teacher was knowledgeable with heaps of experience, and I also liked that he used a lot of real examples to explain concepts. The concept of pyramid thinking wasn’t new to me, but learning it in a practical way and applying it to my own and others’ real-life situations made it more useful than before. It’s a concept I can use in strategic problem-solving, and also in my communications. I walked away from the programme with several practical tools on how to approach problems, and with a good dose of energy.”
    Anne-Marie Hendriks, senior sales and business development manager, Philips

    “This programme highlighted how important it is to structure the challenges we face, whether you’re leading a team or starting your own business. We learned different techniques on which we can base our business model. It was insightful and fun to see how we can give structure to processes we sometimes perform in an intuitive manner. I highly recommend the programme to everyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge in problem-solving, regardless of their background or industry. The professional and cultural diversity of RSM’s participants gives richness to the programme; these various points of view were of great value during discussions. It also allowed us to see how universal the tools taught can be implemented.”
    Cecilio Alvarez Bapista, head Latin America/Southern Europe sales FIs, ABN AMRO Bank

  • During the Strategic Problem-Solving Programme you will learn from Dr Marc Baaij and James Parker. Occasionally we may substitute other faculty members according to the content of the programme and their availability.

    Dr Marc Baaij
    Marc Baaij is an associate professor of strategic management at RSM. Previously he worked for the Boston Consulting Group as manager of research and strategy consultant, and at IBM in sales and marketing positions. He specialises in methods and techniques for strategy development and execution, with a focus on stakeholder management and foresight development under high levels of uncertainty. He has written professional books and scientific articles on strategic management, management consultancy and structured problem solving. Marc holds degrees in economics and strategic management.

    James Parker
    James Parker is a partner at Parma Consulting Group, and has more than 30 years of experience in consulting and managing professional organisations. He worked for McKinsey & Company in North America, the UK and the Netherlands, was a founding partner of Mitchell Madison Group, and managing partner of Boer & Croon Corporate Strategy. He was also a director of First Level Young Executives,  and manager of Barclays International Banking in Canada and Zaire. James co-authored Changing the leopard’s spots: Renewal of the professional firm (2009). He has an MA from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from INSEAD.

  • Dates

    Virtual classroom 29, 30 October and 9, 10 November 2020 > Apply now
    The programme is split into four virtual classroom modules, taking place on:

    • Session 1: 29 October, 09:00 – 12:30 UTC+1 (including breaks)
    • Session 2: 30 October, 09:00 – 12:30 UTC+1 (including breaks)
    • Session 3: 9 November, 13:30 – 17:00 UTC+1 (including breaks)
    • Session 4: 10 November, 13:30 – 17:00 UTC+1 (including breaks)


    Virtual classroom: € 1,975.50 (excl. 21% VAT) including course materials. This fee does not include hotel accommodation.
    10% discount for alumni from Erasmus University Rotterdam and RSM. More information about the discount.

    General terms and conditions

    Our general terms and conditions apply when you register for an open programme. Please review them to learn more about our policies for cancellation, deferral and substitution.


    The programme takes place in the Bayle building on the Woudestein Campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

    Hotel accommodation

    We recommend Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark Hotel, adjacent to the university and less than five minutes’ walk from campus. Participants benefit from special rates.

  • The two-day programme Strategic Problem-Solving runs on several dates. Please select the one that suits you most to register: