Executive Seminars at Business School Lausanne
Seminar Portfolio & Calendar
Seminar Portfolio & Calendar
Management & Leadership
Mastering Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Leadership continues to be one of the most hotly debated and discussed topics in the business world today. What is clear is that there are as many definitions of leadership as there are individuals contributing to the conversation.
This session will focus on a core set of leadership responsibilities and capabilities that are suited to responding to the many challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where culture, intellectual capital, services and digitization are the building blocks that successful organizations master in order to thrive in a rapidly changing and uncertain world.
We will take a deep dive into how leaders create the future through others. Participants will be challenged to think differently about how they exercise leadership in their organizations today, leaving the session with practical ideas on how to increase their leadership effectiveness.
Leading through Coaching
Relating and cooperating beyond differences
A growing number of individuals and organizations are noticing that dysfunctional relationships are the “Elephant in the room” damaging both collective effectiveness and quality of life at work. At the same time, it has become common sense to understand that healthy cooperation is key to boost not only performance but also the depth of the collaborators’ engagement.
This course will help participants acquire an ability to lead, communicate and cooperate beyond interpersonal differences as well as to support the unleashing of their team members’ potential and autonomy. It will also equip the participants with personal landmarks enabling them to personally grow towards a genuine authority aligned with their values, and show that the latter is a precondition to the former. In this module, participants will become aware of cultural worldview frameworks (paradigms) – including their own – and understand how it affects and distorts relationships. Particular attention is going to be given to “relations of power” and how these can evolve towards a constructive approach to differences and diversity. A wide range of workshops, videos and mini-lectures will help participants develop tools to improve their self-awareness, their ability to understand other people’s worldview and to interact with them in a way that helps them become progressively more response-able.
Leading through Crisis
Upgrading one’s leadership potential in crisis situations
The course equips participants with an in-depth understanding of crisis situations and the elements that contribute to effective leadership in challenging business situations. By understanding the needs of solving crisis conditions and assessing their own relevant strengths and weaknesses, participants will determine their individual development areas in order to improve their leadership and effective decision-making in crisis realities. Interactive group exercises will highlight key behavioral strategies that will enable participants to discover ways to significantly improve their personal performance. Focus will be placed on assuming personal responsibility in crisis situations and moving beyond one’s own boundaries to create a spirit of excellence and continuous improvement for both work and life situations.
Communicating the right thing, the right way, at the right time in cooperation and out of your unique power
This course enables participants to increase their influence in their environment through more effective communication and cooperation skills. In order to communicate with others to be correctly perceived despite cultural or corporate issues, participants identify a variety of communication styles and techniques.
Participants will increase their performance dramatically by understanding the sources of difficulty in interactions with other people and in teamwork. Unique modern methods will increase normal listening qualities to highly effective listening. Participants learn how handle confrontations and crisis situations through an authentic and assertive communication. Identifying the own strengths and weaknesses and transforming them to a personal brand will enable the participants to communicate out of their own unique power and authenticity.
Empower your Future
How to accelerate your professional development successfully
This course is designed to provide you with the tools to manage your professional development and career. Working in teams as well as individually, you will improve your self-awareness as well as your understanding of how and where you want to create value in your career and life.
During the course, you will learn how to apply an entrepreneurial approach to career management and professional development. You will clarify your competencies, strengths, motivations, values and expectations, you will learn how to effectively communicate your personal brand and navigate towards your career goals. You will develop impactful career marketing tools, improve your interviewing skills and hone your networking techniques, and discuss and share entrepreneurial approaches on how to create and empower your future.
Advanced Project Management Skills
Understanding and structuring complex objectives
Today’s business world has become more volatile, uncertain, and more complex than in the past decades. New forms of management have emerged and many companies are establishing or are considering more nimble and flexible approaches to embrace these most modern concepts around business management. These new approaches have also reached the world of project management. The so-called agile approaches include project portfolio, program, project management and the development of the actual deliverables.
This course will equip you with an understanding for the new form of leadership, management and project management required by these changes and will enable you to act adequately according to your role in this environment and to even actively trigger changes.
Mastering the language and technique of accounting for sound economic decision making
This course module helps to develop knowledge and understanding of financial accounting underlying principles, concepts and regulations, including the preparation of financial statements. The syllabus concentrates in depth on the foundations of financial accounting and introduces the candidate to the fundamentals of the regulatory framework by moving in two directions: firstly requiring candidates to be able to prepare financial statements, and secondly to be able to conduct a thorough interpretation of financial statements.
Brief lectures will be provided followed by an extensive practical implementation of theoretical insights.
Strategic Corporate Finance
Using figures and tools to ensure business success
Corporate Finance examines the interconnected relationship between financial markets and the world of business. Participants will dissect and analyze corporate financial statements in order to evaluate a company’s performance. The importance of maintaining both adequate liquidity and coherent credit standings are explained in reference to a company’s financial health. Participants will acquire relevant cash management techniques and working capital management tools.
In addition, the course puts into perspective all major financial decisions as they relate to the goal of maximizing value for shareholders. The principles of break-even point and sensitivity analysis are explained and we will debate the advantages and disadvantages of leveraging on both short and long-term financing plans. The course will conclude with discussions on the time-value of money principle as well as the complications it imposes.
Finance for Entrepreneurs
Mastering finance to turn visions into business reality
The course is tailored to meet the most pressing needs of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Specifically, the course examines the start-up, project and investment feasibility question.
Participants develop a methodology that enables them to assess a venture idea, build financial models, value a start-up, define the best financing strategy and negotiate financing terms. Topics discussed include financial modeling, sensitivity analysis, risk pricing, cost of capital, company valuation, financing alternatives, and investment management and hedging.
Theoretical principles are presented in the beginning of each session and immediately applied to practical exercises to demonstrate the essential meaning of each topic.
Finance, Crisis and Data Analysis
Learn about the precursors and answers to financial crisis and Python financial data analysis
The aim of this course is to better understand and to analyze financial crises. In addition, but not at least we will learn to use Python and Jupyter Notebook – a new popular tool for data analysis. Recent events show that bubbles in financial markets can have severe real effects. We study models that create this link and analyze the data (using Python) that underpins them. The objective is for course participants to gain a systematic understanding of the current state of research on the origins and transmission of financial crises as well as learning financial data analysis using Python.
Put the Customer at the Core of Your Responsible, Sustainable and Profitable Business
Marketing Essentials will provide the participants with essential understanding of marketing, its constituent elements and customer-centric philosophy. Based on their own customer experience, the participants will get acquainted with many options to decide upon when developing their marketing plans in B2B or B2C business environment. The marketing mix analysis will enable them to competently discuss marketing performance of a brand, product or service they might be responsible for, and develop its value proposition towards their selected target market segments. Practical examples from various industries and segments, combined with a plethora of audiovisual material, will encourage observation beyond the obvious impression and stimulate discussion about the multi-faceted requirements of an effective marketing activity. Opposing views on consumption vs conservation, business goals and ethical conduct, will inform the learning about complexities of modern marketing.
Effectively Interact With Your Target Segments Within Given Constraints
The course Marketing Strategy is designed to expose participants to marketing from the business point of view, building on their own customer experience. Based on the marketing mix analysis which develops into more advanced discussion about aspects of marketing performance, the participants will get acquainted with options they need to choose from when developing their own marketing plans in B2B or B2C business contexts.
This course will offer numerous opportunities for reflection on practical examples, best practices in various industries, addressing branding, customer segmentation and issues of business models in regard to marketing planning.
Throughout the course, special attention is given to questions of responsible marketing management and potential areas of improvement in marketing practice.
Creating a marketing strategy in changing times
The course provides participants with the tools for analyzing an organization’s current situation and proposes various strategies to enhance company performance and sustain competitive advantage. We examine how competitive advantage might be developed through differentiated positioning and exploited in a cost effective manner.
Understanding customer behavior and consumer insight will be essential for developing effective marketing plans. An important theme throughout this module is how to develop innovative solutions by using secondary data and consumer trends. At the end of this course, participants will be able to implement marketing strategies and add value to company performance.
Strategic brand stewardship
Brand Management course will highlight various challenges, realities and associated strategies used in practice for successful marketing locally and internationally. In this fast-paced course, students will be placed in the role of the decision maker and will be responsible for building brand plans from beginning to end (inclusive of innovation agenda’s) against fierce competitive backdrops. Marketplace/consumer analysis, competitive intelligence and positioning strategies will be utilized. In addition, the role and challenges of an International Marketer will be reviewed. Collaborative leadership, cultural sensitivity and team building techniques within various organizational structures will also be visited. Guest speakers will allow the students to exchange with leading professionals and thus be given the opportunity to compare theories with practical challenges.
Digital Marketing & Social Media
Marketing ideas, people and organizations in the ‘skippable’ world
There is an intense and wide debate about whether today we need ‘digital marketing’ or ‘marketing for the digital age’. Whatever the titling preferences, one fact stands: the impact of digital produced seismic shifts in how business and marketing are conducted today.
This course will explore the evolution of marketing from its origins to its current complex state of blurred lines between disciplines, hybrid models of communication and organizing for delivery. Social Media have ‘democratized’ brand building in a way that ‘brands are now competing with friends’. All of this is happening in a (tiny) screen where the easiest thing to do is to ignore messages!
In this course, participants will learn about how digital fits within wider business practices, how to set objectives and create digital strategies, how attention works online, the key facts and myth-busting of the key channels and platforms, how the interface works and the critical importance of understanding Customer Journey (CJ). Also, we will address some biggest ethical challenges with using digital to talk to and engage with audiences.
The intention is to broaden your business and marketing perspective, not to get bogged down with the tactical details of each channel/platform. It’s a telescope, not a microscope.
Strategic Thinking for General Managers
Mastering corporate & business unit strategy
This course covers the theories, concepts, processes, perspectives and uses of the managerial, analytical and decision-making tools applied in the formulation of sustainable value-driven corporate and business strategies.
Participants will develop an understanding and appreciation for the various stages of the strategy process. How the external and internal environmental analyses are performed, configurations of sustainable benefits are identified, the mission, vision and values are developed, the most suitable corporate and business strategies are formulated and implemented as well as the business model and strategic controlling instruments are defined, will be explored in depth through readings, lectures, case studies, discussions and exercises.
Strategically Leading People and Successfully Managing the Process
This course provides participants with an introduction to the subject matter and methodologies of change management. Involving corporate strategy and planning, organizational development and behavior, operating tools and models, and a holistic system for understanding, acting on, implementing and evaluating a change management process, this course provides an intensive program for leading all types of organizations through important changes.
Focus will be on a detailed understanding of change ambitions, influences and opportunities within and external to an organization, which can be: market reorientation and renewal, organizational restructuring and realignment, radical strategic repositioning, reformulation of operational processes, adoption of new technologies and/or integration of acquired/merged companies. Critical roles, elements for interventions, and understanding the human side of change will be thoroughly covered with various methods and concepts for implementing change management processes. Real-life cases will provide tangible hands-on learning experiences for pertinent business analyses and issues.
A number of teaching methods will be used in this module including lectures, discussions, videos, individual assignments, group activities and case studies.
Trends Analysis and Scenario Planning
Using uncertainty for competitive advantage
This course explores how both in the short- as well as the long-term companies can use uncertainty to gain and defend competitive advantage. The course will help prepare participants for the future, by giving them a solid understanding of how to do a trend analysis and scenario planning, and how to judge the quality of both.
Digital Business Transformation
How to turn digital business model threats into opportunities
This course explores how industry sector business models are being disrupted by digital (Big Data, Cloud, mobile, social media, analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, additive manufacturing, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc.) and how the successful ones are embracing it as their new normal. They are doing business more competitively because technology allows it.
Digital has moved from the IT department to the Board room, representing the single biggest challenge for continued company differentiation and survival today.
We will discuss how companies can take – and are taking – advantage of the digital trends to reinvent themselves, and we will debate both the hard and soft implications for their organizations.
The aim is for the participants to be able to go back to their professional careers and apply the learnings from this course to constructively contribute to the required business transformation of their employer.
Business Ethics and Compliance Management
The course covers the fundamentals in Ethical thought. It offers a variety of perspectives on difficult ethical dilemmas in both the personal and professional business contexts. This course will cover various theory of ethics and explore the application of those theories within an international and global business context. It attempts to show how ethical business can lead to a greater business success.
The module also aims to explain how to deal with highly complex and evolving legal systems and rules. It emphasizes that knowledge of legal fundamentals is accessible and necessary in order to efficiently conduct business. This also contributes to enabling managers to deal with innovations (technological or financial) – at an acceptable level of risks.
Building Sustainability Strategies
Societal transition – remaking business into a force for good
Starting with an overview of the World in 2020 and current challenges in sustainability, this course aims to develop a deep understanding by linking goals, issues, stakeholders, and levels of action (individual, community, government and intergovernmental, company / business ecosystems).
Going well beyond simplistic models like triple bottom line, we’ll take a true interdisciplinary perspective combining biophysics, social sciences and economics, also exploring theoretical and practical limits.
To help participants get the most of the other E/MBA/DAS courses and prepare them to lead their organizations towards sustainability, this course covers around a dozen key frameworks, tools and concepts from the Anthropocene and the SDGs to Fundamental Human Needs and the Circular Economy, illustrating the applicability, benefits and limitations of each.
How can business be a force for good in the societal transition straight ahead? Real-life cases of corporate sustainability strategies, as well as employee and customer engagement will be analyzed in team workshops.
Finally, “Winning hearts and minds” and building a new corporate culture, perhaps the most important step, integrates all key insights from this course.
Systems Thinking for Sustainability
Refining our thinking, enhancing our learning
Systems thinking exploits and extends the key capability inherent to all human beings – that of observation. The human mind is a keen and reliable observer when it comes to developing an understanding of how individual components of a system operate. Systems thinking enhances our observation skills by enabling us to understand the cause-effect relationships that connect various system components to each other, and the feedback mechanisms that those connections form.
Systems thinking is well suited for the analysis of systems in which human behavior plays an important role. Such systems include organizations, businesses and markets. Systems thinking models are designed to visually represent the causal structure of a system of interest, including the physical and technical components and the decision processes of the people who work with and manage these sub-systems.
Broadly speaking, systems thinking equips us with the skillset required for answering the following questions in a problem-solving context: “What is the real problem?”; “How do we know we are working on the right problem?”; “How do we decide what to do about the problem?”, and “How do we set limits to the area of investigation in the problem-solving initiative?”
Implementing Sustainability Strategies – Part 1
This course will critically explore selected theories, tools and practices for implementing sustainability strategy, within diverse corporate settings, weaving together philosophical perspectives with practical approaches. We will draw on academic theories addressing the gaps between corporate sustainability strategy formulation and implementation; maturity models of sustainable business; theories dealing with innovating for sustainability at product, process and system levels.
We will also use and reflect upon a range of strategic tools and frameworks relevant to implementing sustainability strategy. Exercises will be undertaken to assess sustainability ‘knowledge’; to innovate, plan, communicate values, organize and report for continuous improvement. Lastly, attention will also be given to understanding the role of ‘self’, in managing the implementation of sustainability strategy.
The course aims to leverage students’ own experiences and insights, and will use experiential learning, ‘flipped classroom’, structured debate, group work, role play, story-telling, and journaling pedagogies; as well as learning from outside speakers. It will draw on the tutors’ experiences of working with diverse companies to develop, innovate and implement sustainability strategies.
Implementing Sustainability Strategies – Part 2
Digging deeper & planning further
This course narrows the lens on sustainability implementation along a few dimensions: job function competencies, sectors and futures. Initially, we will explore what competencies companies rely on to implement sustainability principles and practices across a variety of job functions. We will discuss what this looks like now and what needs can be anticipated in the 10 to 20-year time horizon. Building on this, we will examine a few different industry sectors in more detail. Sustainability challenges vary dramatically depending on the types of businesses, operations and market positioning. What drives a B2B mining company to invest in product development or reporting guidelines can be very different from that of a customer-facing fashion company or consumer brand.
Underpinning these dimensions, we will work with a variety business cases and tools including a scenario planning framework. The scenario planning framework will serve as a ‘flight-simulator’ of sorts, allowing us to test how companies are preparing staff competencies and capabilities for a range of plausible futures.
Sustainability Leadership Development
Growing from Ego-Systems into Eco-Systems Awareness
A growing number of individuals and organizations are finding that there is more to business and life than financial profits alone. At the same time, the body of evidence showing that our global eco-system is collapsing at a pace that only keeps accelerating has become alarmingly obvious for whoever is courageous and honest enough to look at the latest scientific studies. All of this contributes to shape a global context in which uncertainty and complexity only keep raising, the pace seems to become always faster and in which individual and collective sustainability become an even bigger short and long term challenge. It therefore becomes an absolute necessity to develop the ability to step back, to connect to one’s innersource, to embrace a global scale perspective and, for leaders, to create meaningful ways to respond to the crisis.
Through a variety of workshops, discussions, mindful practices, video abstracts and theoretical inputs the course includes an in-depth reflection on individual and collective response-ability as well as on the nature of leadership and the “leadership of Nature”. It will highlight the main paradigms we can contribute to shift as well as propose tools to considerably refine decision-making processes and align them with the needs of our biosphere and our species. This course will equip participants with new perceptual “lenses”, refresh their understanding of the challenging transition currently occurring on this planet and nudge them into the next stage of their personal growth and leadership capacities.
It will help them improve the sustainability of their personal effectiveness, gain progressively more inner and outer balance in their Life as well as optimize their contribution to global sustainability and the creation of a new viable economic approach.
Creating Sustainable Value / Supply Chain Focus
Maintaining a competitive advantage against all odds
Senior managers gather growing experience that a company’s role and integration in what is traditionally referred to as supply and demand markets has major impact on business success, if not just on its basic license to operate. Technological innovation, developments in the natural environment, societal debates, economic interests, and political initiatives cause both uncertainty and visionary objectives.
Today’s economies are characterized by specialization, global interconnectedness, and sharing of work along value chains within companies and far beyond firm boundaries. Trends like outsourcing, off-shoring and digitization have profoundly been reshaping companies and transforming trade. Upstream, companies now source functionalities instead of raw materials or components, their share of procurement spend on total sales skyrocketed, irresponsible business practices keep eroding their reputation and corporate value, or the share of external intellectual property on their innovation has become irreversible. Downstream, competition increased, fit into ecosystems decides over user reach, or benefit-related business models substitute their traditional item sales. Economic research of the past decade revealed that most high value generating economic activities have transitioned from “national economies” into “global value chains”. For companies to prosper in future, this means to critically rethink internal and external value creation, reposition the company accordingly, and effectively engage with the relevant partners in their up- and downstream value chains.
Boosting knowledge integration, productivity, efficiency and persuasiveness
This course aims to boost participants’ productivity and efficiency during their E/MBA & DAS project process. This unique support structure guides participants through the process of managing a complex and drawn-out project.
Participants will revise key concepts, present their draft reports and collaborate through shared learning and best practices in these peer workshop sessions. Topics include the BSL E/MBA & DAS project process, strategic planning, visioning, value proposition and unique selling proposition (USP), essentials of finance, new venture pitches and venture viability assessments.