Harvard Business School Publishing Introduces Two New Communication Programs

October 28, 2002

BOSTON – October 28, 2002 – Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP) today announced two new communication programs aimed at helping managers and leaders improve business results through higher-quality business conversations. The two eLearning programs, Productive Business Dialogue and Managing Difficult Conversations, give managers the interpersonal communication skills needed to guide both everyday and contentious interactions toward more productive and actionable outcomes and decisions.

HBSP’s new eLearning programs are the first to be based on the combined research and writings of Chris Argyris, Peter Senge, and other experts in the field of business communications. The concepts in these two new programs have proven to be extremely impactful in the business community because of their applicability to fundamental business problems. Designed as practical tools for driving visible results in organizations, the


– Demonstrate how to move a conversation forward when people are

focused on defending their own opinions

– Define how clarifying and communicating your thought processes can

benefit interactions with others

– Demonstrate how to reduce time spent on counterproductive arguing,

give and receive more productive performance feedback, and improve cross-functional interactions

– Define how teams who use more effective communication techniques can

jointly develop more creative solutions to problems

As the first in the set of two complementary programs, Productive Business Dialogue focuses on the fundamental skills needed to communicate effectively in every day work situations, while Managing Difficult Conversations introduces more in-depth concepts and applies them to awkward or contentious interactions.

The two new programs offer the same format as HBSP’s other award-winning eLearning programs, interactive case studies, on-the-job exercises and tools, and additional resources materials such as Harvard Business Review articles. A facilitation guide is available to assist trainers in incorporating the program into a blended learning curriculum.

“Our customers have asked for programs that can help them break the stalemates and conflicting interpretations of decisions and action plans that occur so frequently in organizations. These new programs give managers the fundamental skills to reduce the time spent on unproductive discussions, overcome defensiveness, and make better informed decisions,” said Jonathon Levy, vice president of eLearning programs. “Unlike other communication eLearning programs on the market today, our programs offer tools and techniques that can improve business results.”

About the Content Providers

Chris Argyris is the James Bryant Conant Professor of Organizational Behavior Emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was also a member of the faculty at Harvard Business School. His most recent book is Flawed Advice and the Management Trap: How Managers Can Know When They’re Getting Good Advice and When They’re Not (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also Founding Chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the “interdependent development of people and their institutions.” He is the author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (Currency/Doubleday, 1990).

About Harvard Business School Publishing eLearning

Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP) is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Harvard University. The HBSP eLearning division provides online leadership and management programs to a growing list of over 500 corporate eLearning clients. Combining premier content with flexible technology, HBSP eLearning is transforming the way that important management ideas are shared in the workplace. The eLearning programs include Harvard ManageMentor®, Leadership Transitions, Managing Change, Decision Making, Coaching for Results, Influencing and Motivating Others and more. www.eLearning.hbsp.org