Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL)

IMD Executive Education

How long?

  • 20 days
  • in person

IMD Executive Education


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Who should attend

You are an experienced manager looking to boost your cross-functional business skills to become an effective general manager/business leader. You aim to move, or have just moved, into general management. Typically you are working as a function or department manager, or already managing a business, country or region.

About the course

  • Gain confidence in marketing, operations, finance, strategy, industry analysis, business models and entrepreneurship
  • Understand how value is created by integrating functions, and apply your new and enhanced capabilities to complex business issues
  • Get assessed on your understanding of business fundamentals, and your effectiveness as a team member
  • Enhance your essential leadership skills and develop a strong executive presence

Prepare for successful general management with the right business fundamentals

Do you have gaps in your current business knowledge that are limiting your career development? Perhaps you are in a functional role and are either looking to, or are about to move into a general management position?

IMD's Foundations for Business Leadership program brings you up to speed with accelerated learning in all the essential cross-functional business leadership skills and helps you to integrate them into your business as a whole.

Across three weeks you develop your critical leadership competencies and accelerate your mastery of the true business fundamentals that will enable you to deliver lasting value for your career, and your organization.

For participants considering a longer learning journey, this program acts as your first step to IMD’s Executive MBA, or you may choose to pursue our Program for Executive Development and earn a Diploma.

General Management - 20 days of accelerated learning

When you arrive at Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL), you step away from the distractions of your daily work environment for 20 consecutive days to intensely focus on the cross-functional skills that leaders must possess to be a general manager.

You will progress through a cross-disciplinary exploration of the critical challenges faced by organizations and business leaders today. This will provide the context in which you develop your general management skills and integrate the business fundamentals. Specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Respond to shifts in customer needs
  • Drive business model innovation
  • Manage complex organizations
  • Leverage globalization
  • Identify industry and business trends
  • Manage uncertainty
  • Integrate technological evolutions and their impact on business

These themes will be addressed as you study the core business functions and processes of a global organization.

Practice while you learn - Integrative exercises

2-day business simulation

Two weeks through the program, you take part in a 2-day business simulation which integrates your learning and gives you greater insight into your business performance.

During this dynamic, integrative exercise, you bring together all the new general management skills you have learned on FBL and put them into practice by simulating the running and growing of a company. You improve your decision-making skills and overall performance as you see how your decisions impact company results over two years.

Final 2-day integration & assessment

For the last 2 days of the program, you prepare an integrative team exercise to bring all the threads of the program together. You present your learning to a panel of judges of FBL alumni and receive your final evaluation.

Chart your progress

Throughout the program, you receive feedback as you develop as an effective individual and team member. You will be challenged by the work, by the faculty, and by your peers to ensure that you reach the high standards set by IMD.


Leif Sjöblom

Leif Sjöblom is Professor of Financial Management at IMD. His areas of special interest are: The restructuring of the telecommunications industry Performance measurement and shareholder value creation Micro-entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa Prior to joining IMD, Professor Sjöblom worked in...

Ralf Seifert

Professor Seifert's primary research and teaching interests relate to operations management, supply chain strategy and technology management. He has also worked on industry analysis, competitive strategy and new venture formation. Professor Seifert is Director of the Digital Supply Chain Managem...

Stefan Michel

Professor Michel's major research interests are in customer-focused marketing strategy, service innovation and pricing. At IMD, he is the Dean of our Executive MBA program and the faculty representative at the IMD foundation board. He teaches in the Executive MBA, Strategic Marketing Program, th...

Goutam Challagalla

Goutam Challagalla is Professor of Marketing and Strategy at IMD. He previously served as Area Coordinator of Marketing, Associate Dean for Executive Education, and marketing area PhD coordinator at Georgia Tech in Atlanta for 21 years. Professor Challagalla also worked as Principal at The Monito...

Benoit Leleux

Dr Leleux is the Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at IMD in Lausanne (Switzerland), where he was also director of the MBA program (2006-2008) and director of Research and Development (2004-2008). He is currently the co-Director of Foundations for Business Leadership (...

Niccolo Pisani

Niccolò brings a unique combination of skills to IMD, bridging the worlds of business and academia. His areas of expertise are strategic management and international business, with emphasis on globalization, sustainability and digitization. One of Niccolò’s key areas of interest is corporate soc...

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Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL) at IMD Executive Education

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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