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Who should attend

Transition to Business Leadership is designed for experienced managers who either have recently transitioned or will soon transition into a business leadership position.

Program benefits

Make the challenging shift to a business leadership position:

  • Assess your strengths and areas of development relative to leading a business
  • Formulate and implement a business strategy
  • Design and structure business units to deliver results
  • Build and lead cross-functional teams

Part of IMD's Program for Executive Development (PED):

Transition to Business Leadership can also lead to a Program for Executive Development diploma. Learn more at or call a Program Advisor at +41 21 618 07 00.


Two modules of 2 weeks each, with 1 month pre-program, 1 month inter-module and 3 months post-program distance learning support included.

Program Sessions 2017
TBL I Mod 1
TBL I Mod 2
February 13-24, 2017
May 01-12, 2017
TBL II Mod 1
TBL II Mod 2
March 27-April 07, 2017
June 12-23, 2017
September 04-15, 2017
November 20-December 01, 2017

Fee 2016

The program fee includes 1 month pre-program, 1 month inter-module and 3 months post-program distance learning support. Tuition, teaching materials and lunch are also included.

CHF 30,000

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The program is designed for experienced managers who either have recently transitioned or will soon transition into a business leadership position. In general, participants will have more than 10 years of relevant management experience.

Participants 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.

One powerful way to develop this necessary base of cross-functional knowledge is through IMD's Foundations for Business Leadership (FBL) program.

Transition to Business Leadership is an excellent program with fantastic content, real-world examples and the opportunity to build life-long relationships. Anton Abraham Head of Treasury Advisory Asia Pacific | Global Transaction Services | Bank of America Merrill Lynch | Hong Kong
TBL is an excellent executive program with the right balance of meaningful presentations, rich discussions and high quality working groups. Patrice Gicquel Business Manager | Nescafé Dolce Gusto | Nestlé Zone EMENA | Switzerland
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Becoming a business leader requires more than a sound understanding of an organization's key business functions and processes.

As an executive transitioning into a business leadership position, you are expected to develop and implement business strategies, and integrate the work of multiple functions to achieve superior business results. Transition to Business Leadership (TBL) is a personalized learning journey that will help you make this challenging transition.

During TBL, you will learn to:

  • Assess your strengths and development priorities relative to leading a business
  • Formulate and implement a business strategy
  • Design and structure business units to deliver results
  • Build and lead cross-functional teams
  • Cultivate your executive presence and ability to communicate and inspire
  • Lead change and organizational transformations more effectively
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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 and post-program support. Modules must be followed in sequence.

You start the program by considering the Seven Seismic Shifts, a core conceptual framework that introduces the seven fundamental changes you must make to move up your organization and become an effective business leader.

Program structure

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Module 1

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

Module 2

Leading change - In this module you will learn to lead change in organizations and develop your capabilities to influence, negotiate, communicate and manage conflict. In the process, you will apply these new learnings to advance your organizational change project. Finally, you will 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.

Program Co-Directors

Philip M. Rosenzweig American
Strategy and International Management
PhD University of Pennsylvania

Michael Watkins Canadian
Leadership and Organizational Change
PhD Harvard University

Not available

In this section, you will find important information on the program fee, application, invoicing, cancellation and transfer. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our program advisors.


The program fee (which can be found on the overview page) includes tuition, teaching materials, and lunch on weekdays at IMD. Travel or living expenses are not covered. You must settle your own hotel bills, both when in Singapore and on off-campus assignments, as well as all dinners and lunches when applicable. IMD reserves the right to modify the program fee at any time.

Tentative reservation

To make a non-binding reservation, send us a completed tentative reservation form. This carries no obligation and is not a substitute for the formal application form.

Application & invoicing

Your application is forwarded to the Program Director who will evaluate it to ensure that the program corresponds to your objectives and profile. This can take approximately 1 week.

The Information & Registration office will notify you of the outcome of your application. If you are accepted, they will send your acceptance letter and invoice fee together by priority mail. From this point, your enrollment will be considered firm by both you and IMD.

Please pay the program fee within 30 days of the invoice date and no later than the commencement of the program. If you register within 1 month of the start of the program, you must settle the invoice immediately without exception. Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card.

Up to six weeks before the program start date, a program coordinator will contact you with information on hotels and pre-program preparation. Please note that IMD reserves enough rooms for each participant on the program.

If accepted, you understand that you must be completely free of professional duties while attending this program and that you must attend all scheduled sessions and activities.

Cancellation & transfer policy

IMD must be notified in writing of all cancellations and transfers. If you are admitted to a program, but find that you are unable to attend, you have the following cancellation and transfer options:

Up to six weeks before program start:

  • Cancellation: You receive a full refund of the program fee.
  • Transfer: You may transfer to the next available session with no transfer fee.

Note: IMD programs tend to be fully booked well in advance. Space may not be available in a later session.

From six weeks to up to 11 days before program start:

  • Cancellation: You incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Transfer: You incur a 20% transfer fee.

Within 10 days before program start:

  • Cancellation: You incur a 100% cancellation fee.
  • Transfer: You incur a 100% transfer fee.


A participant can be substituted on the same program session without incurring any fees. The substitute needs to apply and be admitted.

Note: Once you have paid the program tuition fee, if you do not attend another program within 24 months, the program fee will be forfeited.

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Transition to Business Leadership

Turning functional managers into business leaders

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See video overview of this program

Find out how TBL can accelerate your move from manager to business leader.

Earn a Program for Executive Development Diploma

The Program for Executive Development comprises two parts, Foundations for Business Leadership and Transition to Business Leadership, each of which can also be taken as stand-alone programs.

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TBL - Transition to Business Leadership