HR Competencies

  • Leadership and Navigation
  • Business Acumen
  • HR Expertise


Challenge your business acumen and receive Business recertification credits! Harvard’s School of Business has been a leading presence in the world of education for over 100 years. Get the Harvard business experience firsthand with our Real-World Case Studies! Explore the issues and solutions experienced by high-profile organizations and engage in an interactive learning experience with participants from other organizations and facilitators of Employers Council.


  • Expose participants to current business issues and practices using high-profile organizations as examples.
  • Analyze cases exploring topics such as:
    • Networking
    • Social Platforms
    • Crisis Management
    • Security and Privacy 
    • Social Responsibility
    • Talent Management
  • Discuss and apply relevant practices and insights from Harvard Business cases to participant organizations (as time permits).
Note: Each class requires pre-reading and prep work by participants. Materials will be emailed to participants before each class.

Cases for 2019

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety?
Denver - March 21, Loveland - April 3, Colorado Springs - March 27

In 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook debuted the iPhone 6S with enhanced security measures that enflamed a debate on privacy and public safety around the world. The iPhone 6S, amid a heightened concern for privacy following the 2013 revelation of clandestine U.S. surveillance programs, employed a default encryption system that prevented both Apple and government authorities from accessing data stored on the device. Law enforcement officials warned that the encryption hindered investigations of criminal cases and international terrorism and called on Apple to build a backdoor, a way to bypass the encryption. But Cook maintained that any backdoor would compromise customers’ privacy and security. In 2016, a federal judge ordered Apple to provide technical assistance to unlock the iPhone used by a terrorist who, along with his wife, killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. Apple refused to comply with the order and asked the government to withdraw its demand. As the court case unfolded, Cook considered his responsibilities to the U.S. government as well as to Apple’s customers, employees, and shareholders.

Chipotle Mexican Grill: Food with Integrity?
Denver - May 21, Loveland - June 7, Colorado Springs - May 31

By any measure, Chipotle Mexican Grill was a success story in the restaurant business. It grew from one location in 1993 to over 2,000 locations by 2016 and essentially created the fast casual dining category. Its stock appreciated more than 1,000% in the ten years following its 2006 IPO. However, after more than 20 years without a major reported food safety incident, Chipotle was revealed as the source of multiple outbreaks of illness from norovirus, salmonella, and E. coli that sickened nearly 600 people in 13 states in 2015. The company closed stores, spent several months under investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations, and faced a criminal investigation in connection with the incidents. After a much-publicized closing of all of its stores on February 8, 2016, and numerous
changes to its food sourcing and preparation practices, Chipotle tried to win back customers with dramatically increased advertising and free food promotions. However, on April 26, the chain announced its first-ever quarterly loss as a public company. Same-store sales for the first quarter were 29.7% lower than in the previous year. Operating margins fell from 27.5% to 6.8% over the same period, and the company’s
share price was down 41% from its summer 2015 high.


Airbnb: Business Model Development and Future Challenges
Denver - August 6, Loveland - August 12, Colorado Springs - August 28

In 2007, the founders of Airbnb were looking to solve a problem and ended up transforming their idea into a $10 billion company. What started as a quick website to advertise an overnight stay on their apartment airbeds along with breakfast in the morning eventually grew into an online accommodation booking business that spanned the world. Airbnb used its business model to carve out an extremely important space in an already crowded industry. However, along with success came challenges in terms of the scalability of its business model. In 2014, Airbnb was also facing legal challenges by state attorneys general that could make its business model suspect. The founders had to decide whether to defend their business model in a court of law and in the court of public opinion, or change it. Sayan Chatterjee is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University.

Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World
Denver - November 1, Loveland - November 11, Colorado Springs - November 18

In January 2017, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, was surrounded by controversy. The election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States in November 2016 had triggered a national storm of protests, and many attributed Trump’s victory to fake news stories served up on Facebook’s Trending News Feed. Zuckerberg was unapologetic. The word that came to define this spread of misinformation was “post-truth,” which became so widely used in 2016 that
Oxford Dictionaries coined the term “word of the year.” Did Trump have Zuckerberg to thank? Facebook had sparked many controversies during its short lifespan. By 2017, it had grown into the biggest social networking group in the world, with 1.8 billion people. Was this just another challenge along the way, or were the issues more fundamental?

Designed For

Organizational managers and leaders, as well as anyone looking to increase their understanding of key business concepts, principles, and applications


Employers Council staff
Each case qualifies for 3.0 SPHR Business recertification credits or a total of 12 credits for all four cases.​



0.30 Continuing Education Units
3.00 HRCI-Business
Course ID #SPEC927

Class Details

Location:Employers Council - Southern Regional Office, 6005 Delmonico Dr Ste 250, Colorado Springs, CO 80919-2255
Time:8:30 am to 11:30 am
List Price:$125.00
Note:Airbnb: Business Model Development and Future Challenges
Location:Employers Council, 1799 N Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80203-1310
Time:8:30 am to 11:30 am
List Price:$125.00
Note:Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World
Location:Employers Council - Northern Regional Office, 5250 Hahns Peak Dr Ste 140, Loveland, CO 80538-8712
Time:8:30 am to 11:30 am
List Price:$125.00
Note:Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World
Location:Employers Council - Southern Regional Office, 6005 Delmonico Dr Ste 250, Colorado Springs, CO 80919-2255
Time:8:30 am to 11:30 am
List Price:$125.00
Note:Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World

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