Executive Seminars at Business School Lausanne

Seminar Portfolio & Calendar

Seminar Portfolio & Calendar

Management & Leadership

Managing and Developing People in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Mastering Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Course description:

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

Course description:

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

Course description:

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.

Innovation and Organizational Design

New Product Design and Innovation through Design Thinking

Course description:

Innovation and disruptive ideas are great however they are insufficient to create traction in business. The development of new products and services is one of the most strategic activities of a firm however it is also one of the riskiest. Turning ideas into feasible and concrete value propositions and identifying unmet needs of the market are essential for business success in innovation and organizational design.

This course covers the lifecycle of how an established business or start-up can identify market gaps, how to stimulate idea generation and the process, and tools needed to transform these ideas into practical business solutions and value creators for the organization. This course covers the strategies, processes, tools and techniques used by leading-edge companies for new product development (NPD). In other words, the course provides a path from ideation to design to launch.

Advanced Communication & Team Dynamics

Getting your intention across by communication is key

Course description:

This course enables participants to build lasting relationships and cooperation by greatly improving their own communication skills. In any successful relationship, whether in private or working life, effective communication is key. In any leadership position or when team efforts matter, it becomes paramount.

Typically, the way an individual communicates, determines not only how that individual is perceived by others, but also how that individual will judge other people. Since people use distinctly different ways to express themselves and bring across their messages, their intentions can easily be misunderstood by others, quite often leading to tensions and disappointments. It is estimated that 90-95% of disputes originate from such misunderstandings.

Here, in a 2,5 day course, participants will master these different styles of communication, through both cognitive and experiential learning. In addition, unique, advanced and proven communication techniques will be taught that are crucial to (re)build trust, partnership and cooperation in relationships. Overall, since the course is very intensive and practical, communication skills of the participants will improve vastly and they will be able to apply these immediately.

During the entire course, special attention will be given to how to enable individual members of a team to function optimally, how to create a so-called “built team” and how to address multiple persons in such a way that your message will come across as you intended. On day 1, the focus will be on self introduction, communication styles and what constitutes a team. Day 2 will be dealing with perception and a variety of communication techniques, as well as a built team. Day 3 will be aimed at presentations, teamwork and synthesis of day 1-3.

Thus, participants will get how to be correctly understood by other people. How to prevent common misunderstandings. How to express themselves clearly in an unequivocal way. How to influence their environment effectively, beyond cultural or company issues. How to gain trust and how to close a deal.

Strategic Negotiations

Cutting-edge strategies to improve your outcomes

Course description:

When is the last time you negotiated? Your initial reaction may be look at the distant past when you were involved in a business negotiation with a supplier or customer. In reality, we negotiate multiple times each day with colleagues, spouses, parents, bosses, shop owners, customers and service providers. Determining the deadline for a report, who will write the mitting minutes, what movie to watch and the deadline to be back home from a party are all examples of negotiations.

This course provides the opportunity to develop your negotiation skills thanks to the presentation of some theoretical concepts, a wealth of examples of real-life situations and a number of negotiation role plays. The program is designed to address a broad spectrum of negotiation problems to let you experience different situations and challenges. Good negotiators are more satisfied and less stressed at work. A small difference in negotiating and influencing ability can make a huge impact on your results and on your career success.

This is you opportunity to learn frameworks and have templates to effectively manage external and internal negotiations, and gain valuable real negotiating practice. We may be joined by some Executives who will support the learning as “Negotiation coaches” (providing feedback during role plays, sharing some real-life stories).

Empower your Future

How to accelerate your professional development successfully

Course description:

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.


Sustainable Finance

From ESG analysis to Climate Change

Course description:

Investing with values has a long tradition and has evolved with investors caring more and more about societal, environmental, social and governance challenges. Responsible investing is still being considered as a niche, but the growing recognition of the materiality of extra-financial factors on economic and financial performance of companies has also created a growing interest from the mainstream actors.

The integration of sustainability into the financial sector products and services has historically been driven by investors/asset owners. The financial sector has been very slow to react to these demands. The challenge for Responsible Investing is to prove its ability to create sustainable values for both clients and companies , as well as for society. Climate change is also a huge challenge for the financial sector. The financing of the needed transition towards a low carbon economy as well as decarbonization of portfolios will represent high risks but also high opportunities for investments. In this course, students will come to understand the historical drivers of responsible investing and will study the different approaches that have been developed by the financial sector: ethical investing, best in class investing, activism through voting and engaging with companies. The course will also focus on innovation like micro-finance, carbon funds, green bonds and thematic or impact investing as well as introduction to climate finance

Finance for Entrepreneurs

Mastering finance to turn visions into business reality

Course description:

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.

Financial Investments: Optimizing Returns through Data Analytics

Course description coming soon.

Strategic Corporate Finance

Using figures and tools to ensure business success

Course description:

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. 


Marketing Management

Put the Customer at the Core of Your Responsible, Sustainable and Profitable Business

Course description:

The course Marketing Management 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 the 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.

Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning

Strategic Marketing and Competitive Positioning

Course description:

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.

Brand Building in a Digital Age

Generating brand equity in the “skippable” world

Course description:

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.


Strategy for Business Transformation

How to turn market disruptions into competitive advantage

Course description:

This course explores how industry sector business models are being disrupted (digital, sustainability, future of work) and how the successful ones are embracing these changes as their new normal. Being able to embrace change means defining goals and setting strategy in an agile manner, perhaps even questioning the purpose of strategy itself.

We will – in the context of our volatile world – explore both why and how organizations set strategy, review the tools they have at their disposal and debate how they can best achieve internal alignment. We will discuss how to make strategy itself a tool, a key enabler for business transformation. The aim is for students to be able to pursue their professional careers and apply the learnings from this course to constructively contribute to the required business transformation of their employer.

Trends Analysis and Scenario Planning

Using uncertainty for competitive advantage

Course description:

Major uncertainties in all aspects of business environments ñ social, political, commercial, competitive – have become the rule, rather than the exception. The answer to these challenges cannot lie in ever more allegedly precise forecasts, it lies in embracing uncertainties as a powerful asset. In the short-term, trend analysis can be used to gain and defend competitive advantage. In the longer term, where bigger risks and opportunities lie, scenario planning is the tool of choice. Scenarios do for the future what maps do for geography: They create a contextual space in which one can pre-plan diverse options, contingent on various uncertainties. Strategies become more robust and organizations gain
critical time advantages. This highly interactive course explores how both in the short- as well as the long-term companies can use uncertainty to gain and defend competitive advantage.

Change Management

Strategically Leading People and Successfully Managing the Process

Course description:

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.

Business Ethics and Compliance Management

Balancing the management of economic success, legal obligations and corporate impacts for a better world

Course description:

Whether small or large, local or global, businesses operate in an increasingly complex world defined not only by market forces, but also by legal obligations and unprecedently high societal ethical expectations.

In view of the recurring waves of corporate scandals related to bribery, poor working conditions in global supply chains, or environmental damages…, modern organizations have been subject to scathing criticism for a lack of integrity and responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their business models and operations.

How to manage the balance between economic success, regulatory compliance and moral principles in corporate decisions and actions is the most pressing question facing businesses today.

This course on “Business Ethics and Compliance Management” is an exploration of the core principles, strategies, management systems and tools to manage this balance. By combining legal and management views, the course provides a unique approach to understanding underlying theories of ethical decision-making, analyzing ethics and compliance practices in real-world examples and business cases, and realizing the value of managing ethics beyond compliance as a shift from managing risks to creating new business opportunities in a complex and multi-stakeholders world.

Sustainability Seminars

Building Sustainability Strategies

Societal transition – remaking business into a force for good

Course description:

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.

Business Transformation Towards Sustainability

Tools & Techniques

Course description:

Companies are increasingly engaged in the uptake and rollout of sustainable business practices. Big and small, companies realize that they can out-run their competitors by implementing robust environmental and social stewardship, engaging stakeholders (employees, consumers, suppliers, government bodies, media, NGOs, trade associations) and communicating measurable results.

This course will explore what the business principles and practices are that advance sustainability, and how companies practically and tactically transform their business. It provides students with an overview of key drivers of change and business model innovations that make transformation a reality.

The course starts by setting the context and understanding the trends that tug corporations in different directions regarding their sustainability challenges arising from a) natural resource stress and ecosystem services. We will move on to explore b) business model innovations and frameworks that companies use respond to these challenges and frame their sustainability transformations.

Throughout the discussions, we will ‘spotlight’ a few case study companies working with tools, initiatives, and approaches (TIAs) that help build and extend the transformation. For each theme we will look at drivers, innovations and, best practice performance.

The course is designed to include opportunities to exchange opinions, share thoughts and ideas. There is teamwork as well as individual assignments and reflection.

Implementing Sustainability Strategies

Digging Deeper and Planning Further

Course description:

This we explore how companies implement sustainability, from the strategic to the tactical, across a few key industrial sectors. The sectors selected control vast resources and have significant impacts on air, water, waste, raw materials use and the communities in which they operate.

Sustainability challenges vary significantly depending on the types of businesses, operations and market positioning. What drives a B2B fertilizer company to invest in safety standards or up-their-game on reporting and disclosure can be very different from that of a customer-facing fashion and textile company or a pharmaceutical/medtech firm with high consumer brand recognition.

We will work with a variety tactics and frameworks that companies are using to help them navigate and implement solutions that address sustainability challenges. This will include using scenario planning to understand operational challenges of industry sectors, the Sustainable Value Framework (Hart) to explore managing a balanced portfolio, i.e., today vs. tomorrow’s issues and internal vs. external priorities.

Key ‘take-a-ways’ include both business-driven insights on the key sustainability and operational challenges of the focus sectors as well as fluency in the strategic tools being implemented across leading companies.

The course is grounded in the practical and tactical with a healthy dose of investigative skepticism.

Leading Sustainably

Growing from Ego-Systems into Eco-Systems Awareness

Course description:

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

Course description:

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.

From Social to Regenerative Entrepreneurship

Designing for Resilience and Renewal

Course description:

Regenerative entrepreneurs don’t just build enterprises, they create net positive impacts for people, planet and place.

This course explores the emerging theories, cases, and tools of regenerative entrepreneurship – approaches that facilitate the shift towards a future in which people and nature can thrive together, and which make good business sense. It explores regenerative entrepreneurship through the lens of traditional and social entrepreneurship, but investigates what motivates a new generation of entrepreneurs to go beyond net zero to net positive approaches, which restore and regenerate systems, and help re-embed organizations in local bio-cultural regions.

The course asks a series of core questions: who are the regenerative entrepreneurs – what are their mindsets and values? How do they use systems perspectives and nature’s design principles to innovate and make strategic choices? How do they engage communities and build partnerships to co-create solutions at the local level? How do they design and develop business models for regenerative organizations, both for-profit and non-profit? How do they measure success? What are the building blocks for successful regenerative enterprises?

The course features a range of entrepreneurs and case studies from diverse countries, and investigates some of the contexts in which regenerative enterprise is having an impact (such as: agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, tourism, ecosystem regeneration, urban development).

Data Science

Data Analytics, Visualization and Management

The path to data-driven decisions

Course description:

Data analytics, visualization & management is a course that teaches participants key concepts to move an organization from gut feeling to data-driven decisions. On the data side, they will learn about data collection, big data architecture and data quality. On the analytics side, participants will discover the importance of statistics, data visualization, storytelling and dashboards. On the management side, they will explore concepts such as data strategy, maturity assessment, data literacy and risk management.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to understand the importance of data, enhance data quality, create persuasive data visualizations and dashboards, evaluate an organization’s data maturity, and identify and mitigate risks around the usage of data. They will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make data-driven decisions that improve organizational decision-making.

Data Science, Machine Learning and AI in Business

Leveraging data for competitive advantage

Course description:

Cheap computing power, diversity of data collected and availability of easy-to-use data science tools have accelerated the adoption of data science, machine learning and AI by many companies. One can argue that to remain competitive, most companies will have to embrace those new approaches sooner than later. However, generating benefits using data is not straightforward. Key topics for successful AI initiatives include data, people, processes and change management.

This course provides an overview of the interrelated fields of data science, machine learning and AI. The focus is given to concepts and applications related to business. The main objective of the course is to demystify these terms. Participants will learn key concepts, understand how to use existing canvas to start data initiatives, discover use cases from various industries and acknowledge limitations of AI.

For upcoming dates please download the seminar calendar:


Upcoming Seminar Calendar Spring-Summer 2024 Semester