Case Studies: The Home Depot

Prior State

Our client, already unprecedented in success, understood the need to be a step ahead of their competition in order to achieve sustained success.  With this in mind, they believed they could achieve that by investing in their current leaders. 


The Home Depot was looking for a customized program focused on the development of their leadership pipeline that would not only yield results for succession planning, but would also be a source of competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Emory worked with The Home Depot to develop a three week spaced residency Leadership and Emerging Leaders program with an additional business challenge project all to be completed over a four month period.

  • Week 1: Strategic Thinking – The initial week provided strategy from both the global and economic perspective. Participants investigated how to align organizational culture and strategy that would result in effective strategy implementation.
  • Week 2: Operational Excellence – To build on the success of the strategy planning, we combined marketing and brand strategy, supply chain, and operations. The week culminated with a powerful discussion on business ethics and how leaders must always take into account the full impact of their decisions on themselves, their colleagues, and the entire organization.
  • Week 3: Effective Leadership – To help solidify the lessons of the first two weeks, we developed a combination of program modules focussed on diversity, as well as individual and team leadership effectiveness. Participants worked with a highly regarded executive coach in the industry who challenged them on the importance of coaching and feedback.
  • Business Challenge Project – Participants were grouped into teams and tasked with designing the future strategy of the client organization. To assist with their progress as a team, the group worked with past program participants (who served as their business challenge coaches) throughout the project. The business challenge culminated in the teams presenting their findings to the organizations C-suite.


The business challenge teams provided their organization with best practices and recommendations for improvement in key areas vital to organizational success.  Participants left with a common set of concepts around strategy, operations, and leadership.  The program design stretched thinking through exposure to internal and external thought leaders.  The residency requirement and the business challenge projects provided an extensive opportunity for networking and cross-pollination of ideas. 

The Home Depot attributes significant gains in terms of overall financial, operational, strategic, and leadership results to the program. After multiple implementations of business challenge projects over the years, the bottom line impact of the program currently exceeds $100,000,000.