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IMD Executive Education

Transition to Business Leadership (TBL)

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Move from Manager to Business Leader – with IMD’s Transition to Business Leadership Program

Next dates

Sep 9—Nov 22
24 daysModules info
Lausanne, Switzerland
CHF 30000 ≈USD 29574
CHF 1250 per day
Jan 20—Mar 13, 2020
Lausanne, Switzerland
CHF 30000 ≈USD 29574
CHF 30000 per day
Mar 23—May 29, 2020
Lausanne, Switzerland
CHF 30000 ≈USD 29574
CHF 30000 per day
+2 more options


Becoming a business leader requires more than a sound understanding of an organization's key business functions and processes.

Become a highly effective general manager and business leader Do you want to make the shift to business leadership? As a general manager, do you need more confidence and influence so you can make a positive impact at a personal and business level?

Transition to Business Leadership (TBL) helps you make this move quickly and successfully through a unique combination of personal leadership development with coaching, strategy, execution and managing organizational change.

Completing TBL is your 2nd step to IMD’s Program for Executive Development. You may also take TBL as a stand-alone program.

  • Assess your strengths and development priorities relative to leading a business

  • Design business unit strategy, structure, systems and skills to deliver results

  • Cultivate your executive presence and ability to communicate and inspire

  • Be ready to lead change and organizational transformations more effectively

Your leadership development journey

Prepare for change - 1 month before program

Your program starts 1 month before you arrive on campus. You set your development priorities and assess your strengths with a unique 360 based on The Seven Seismic Shifts developed by Transition to Business Leadership co-director Michael Watkins and an in-depth career experience survey.

If you need to build your financial skills you may also take an optional finance and accounting course before joining the program.

Two main themes run throughout the program: personal leadership development and leading organizational change. These themes are developed over two modules of two weeks each, with additional inter-module support. Modules must be followed in sequence.

Understand what it means to be a business leader – 2 weeks at IMD campus

During this first module, you receive feedback and coaching from highly experienced executive coaches based on the 360 assessment completed in the pre‑program preparation. You explore the capabilities you need as a leader to run business units and create a plan for your personal development. You learn how to assess the competitive environment and create a vision and strategy for a complete business. You diagnose the architecture, structure, systems, capabilities and talent of business units. You also focus on developing the executive presence necessary to be effective as a business leader.

Track your progress – Inter-module learning and distance coaching

You review your progress with your coach and your peers as you implement your personal leadership development plan. You also prepare the foundations for your organizational development project.

Lead the change in your organization - 2 weeks at IMD campus

In this second module, you learn to lead change in organizations and develop your capabilities to influence, negotiate, communicate and manage conflict. In the process, you apply these new learnings to advance your organizational change project. Finally, you experience the full complexity of leading a business and integrating multiple functions to deliver business results through participation in a comprehensive business simulation. By the end of the program, you will be ready to implement your personal development plan and organizational change project.

Stay connected to TBL - post program

You will have formed strong connections with your class and typically each class forms a What’s App group to stay connected and encourage you on your leadership journey. You also continue to implement your personal leadership development plan and execute your organizational development project.

Join IMD’s professional alumni network

Once you complete an IMD program, you join IMD’s alumni network, an outstanding global community of global business leaders who will support you long-term.

Who should attend

The program is ideal if you are an experienced manager who has recently transitioned or will soon transition into a business leadership/general management position. You have a minimum of 10 years of relevant management experience. Some of you already have country or multiple country responsibilities or are in charge of multiple functions. You are looking to boost your leadership capabilities and be able to lead organizational change. You must already have a reasonable knowledge of core business functions such as accounting, finance, marketing, HR, and operations. This prerequisite functional knowledge can come from a variety of means such as experience, previous development programs or independent study.


Michael D. Watkins is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD. He has spent the last two decades working with leaders – both corporate and public -- as they transition to new roles, transform their organizations, and craft their legacies. Dr. Watkins is author of the internation...
Jennifer Jordan is a social psychologist and is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD. Professor Jordan's teaching, research, and consulting focus on the areas of corporate and individual ethics, power, leadership, and negotiation. Professor Jordan has received specialized t...
Professor Mukherjee’s research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of leadership, technology, strategy, and organizational effectiveness. His 2009 book, “The Spider’s Strategy”, explored the key fact that though today’s global companies compete as members of networks, markets continue...


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