Global Leader — Graduate Diploma in Management

Aalto University School of Business

Aalto University School of Business


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Who should attend

The Global Leaderprogram is designed for experienced business and team leaders who require the skills to manage global business operations across borders and functions.

It is also relevant for experts and specialists who aspire to build competencies and confidence in making strategic decisions.

About the course

Skills and Confidence for Managing across Functions in a Global Context

Global Leader is an international program that strengthens the strategic skills of leaders who manage across functions in a multinational environment. What we provide is a unique opportunity to learn more about different areas of business that impact your career potential.

Global Leader is a compact and flexible study program that can be adapted to your personal development needs and time limitations.

Global Leader has a similar program structure, participant profile, and studying format as in our MBA and Executive MBA programs, and it is often utilized as a springboard to the studies. Studying in Global Leader offers many benefits not only for those who just wish to study in a compact and efficient general management program, but also for those who are planning to pursue future studies in one of our MBA or EMBA programs.

Up to six Global Leader modules can be transferred from the Global Leader program to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program

Program Benefits

The program is designed to enhance the participants’ personal skills and competencies as leaders and individuals. The modules also broaden understanding of key management issues, especially in an international business environment.

Enhance performance through improved strategic, financial and marketing capabilities

Build a network and be engaged in a dialogue with international instructors and a peer group of experienced professionals – your fellow participants

Increase your ability to implement change effectively

Achieve strategic agility and new dynamic capabilities for your organization

Widen your global perspectives by studying optional modules in Singapore, Taiwan or the USA

Contents and Schedule

The Global Leader Program is geared towards practical hands-on learning by using case studies and real-world exercises to complement theories. The instruction methods enable the integration of theory and practice. A typical learning module consists of pre- and post-assignments, lecturing, discussions, case studies and group work.

The program has a modular structure consisting of four core modules and two elective modules. Elective modules can be chosen from the electives of either the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA Program.

The four core modules can be taken as stand-along three-day programs. Each module is worth 4.5 EC.

Core Modules

Leading Change

The module focuses on developing awareness and skills in how to lead and coach yourself, your team and your organization through change. Numerous tools are introduced and practiced, enabling you to lead and implement change with confidence in your place of work.

Overall learning objectives:

  • Understand the difference between change and transition
  • Understand your personal change preferences and how they impact your approach to change leadership
  • Develop the competencies and capacities necessary for effective change leadership
  • Gain new tools and perspectives for leading self, others and organizations through change

In the Leading Change module, participants will learn about the difference between change and transition and what it takes to maintain a balance between these from a leadership perspective. They will learn about their individual and behavioral preferences regarding change, and how these influence their response to change and overall approach in leading change. They will develop skills in how to lead more effectively and coach both themselves and others through change. And they will receive concrete tools for leading organizational change that they can take back to the workplace.

The Leading Change module uses action learning methods to facilitate a high level of engagement and learning, and relevance to the participants’ real work and change-related challenges.

Instructor: Christel Berghäll-Högström, PCC-certified Executive Coach, Step Beyond Oy, Finland

Financial Decision Making

The module will provide you with an understanding of financial statements and how that information relates to key variables in management decisions. The highly topical module draws from current global economic examples.

The Financial Decision Making module will

  • provide you with an understanding of balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and other financial disclosure and how this information relates to key variables of management decisions
  • teach you international financial reporting (IFRS) requirements.

Global Strategy

On this Global Strategy module we will examine the choices and actions through which managers can create value for shareholders and improve the competitiveness of their firm. In particular we will attend to three interrelated elements of strategic management: leadership and people, competition and business environment, and organization and capabilities. Strategic management requires the analysis of each of these domain areas, the formulation of strategy that is applicable to the situation in all three domains, and coherent implementation efforts that connects to and shapes all three areas.

The course will focus on digitalization as an overarching megatrend that continues to drive strategic change in numerous industries. Illustrating the key themes in strategy more generally, we will analyze how digitalization shapes competition, required skills of individuals, leadership and management practice, firm capabilities, and the design of organizations. The on-going globalization of business represents another theme covered on the course, touching each of the three domains mentioned above. We will discuss challenges how internationalization creates need for agile responses to developments in technology and new business models, the need to balance between the local adaptation and global standardization, and the new opportunities brought by broader range of customers and innovative new ideas in the global marketplace.

Module Objectives

This course should provide participants with both conceptual knowledge of key terminology and frameworks in strategic management as well as develop practical skills in strategic analysis and strategy formulation in a global context. After the course the participants should be able to:

  • Understand and use the key concepts and contemporary frameworks in strategic management
  • Diagnose firm’s internal capabilities and organization, the competitors, and key changes in the business environmental
  • Understand key strategic challenges posed by increasing digitalization and globalization across industries in both manufacturing and services
  • Design and assess realistic and effective strategy implementation efforts
  • Grasp the main strategic and structural approaches available to multinational corporations
  • Understand the limitations of strategic analysis and strategic planning and appreciate the role of experimentation and venturing as strategic tools

Marketing in a Global Context

The module covers the key concepts and principles of strategy and marketing in a global context, including the premises for competitiveness and the marketing elements (P’s). Particular attention is paid to three topics: strategic partnerships for marketing purposes, digitized marketing and the metrics in assessing marketing.

The purpose of the course is to

  • present the most important forces affecting global business today,
  • assess various strategy approaches for global business,
  • discuss relevant factors in executing a global marketing strategy, and
  • discuss the role of digital tools and modern metrics for global marketing activities

Elective Modules in Helsinki, Singapore, Taipei and the USA

As a Global Leader participant, you may select two elective modules from the Aalto Executive MBA and Aalto MBA programs in Helsinki, Singapore, Taipei and the USA.

You can pick your favorites from a selection of more than 20 topics including

  • Service Business and Design
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Self Leadership
  • Behavioral Decision Making
  • Managing Growing Enterprises
  • Study Tours to Boston (Harvard) and Palo Alto (Stanford) (additional costs apply)

Study Tours

As a Global Leader participant, you will have the option to take part in study tours organized by Aalto EE.

A study tour normally involves a 4 or 5-day study period designed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the international business environment. These tours have taken participants for example to New Haven and Boston in the USA. The study tour module program consists of lectures by academics – in New Haven professors from Yaleand in Boston professors from Harvard – typically related to the current topics of international corporate strategies, leadership, innovation, finance, and the characteristics of the local business environment. Time is also allocated for extracurricular activities to give participants an opportunity to network and meet with the local business community.

There is a separate registration process (limited seats available) and a separate fee for study tours.

Aalto Executive Summit

The Aalto Executive Summit is about studying with world-class faculty, developing your personal leadership potential, and meeting business leaders. During the Summit you have a chance to network with an international group of participants and the program includes social elements and evening get-togethers. The Summit location alternates between Helsinki and Singapore and the event has been organized since 2008.

There is a separate registration process (limited seats available) and a separate fee for the Summit.


Christel Berghäll Högström

Christel Berghäll-Högström is a Senior Fellow, Human Capital at The Conference Board. In this role, Christel supports the Human Capital Practice which includes The Conference Board Human Capital Exchange™, research, conferences, webcasts and programs in a broad spectrum of human capital areas. In...

Khaled Soufani

Senior Faculty in Management Practice Director of the Executive MBA Programme Director of the Circular Economy Centre (CEC) Director of the Middle East Research Centre Fellow of Clare Hall College PhD (University of Nottingham) Research interests Corporate finance; financial and managerial strat...

Henri Schildt

Henri Schildt is a tenured professor with a joint appointment at the Aalto School of Business (Management & Organizations) and the School of Science’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. His research interests span digitalization, technology strategy, organizational change, a...

Hannu Seristö

Globally oriented doer bridging academia and industry. Vice President at Aalto University since 2009, currently for External Relations since 2015. Professor of International Business at Aalto University since 2002. Solid executive education experience in Asia and Europe for two decades. Industry ...

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Global Leader — Graduate Diploma in Management at Aalto University School of Business

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Full disclaimer.

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