IMD Executive MBA Mastery Stage


The mastery stage is a 12-month blended learning module which requires only 6 weeks out of the office.

You spend 3 weeks face-to-face at IMD Lausanne campus, 3 weeks face-to-face on Discovery Expeditions to global destinations, plus distance learning where you work on your own company and leadership assignments.

The objective of the mastery stage is for executives to achieve a level of mastery in three dimensions: organizational, individual and global.



Conduct 5 overlapping projects to apply concepts to the realities of your own organization, gaining a holistic view of business problems, understanding them separately and in combination.



Further your journey of self-discovery and skill building, becoming a more reflective leader with a high sense of self-awareness.



Building on your immersive and enlightening week-long trips to diverse hubs of the world, you gain expertise about the world around you.

Dive into your Executive MBA experience
Mastery stage graphic
Discovery Expedition locations are subject to change. Modules run in a different order depending on which Mastery Stage (April, September or December) session you attend. For one of your expeditions, there is a choice between two destination locations which varies by cohort entry date. These locations will include two of the following: Brazil, Israel, Kenya and Peru.
Company assignments: create new value for your company and your career

Based in your office, you work at a distance with IMD, completing assignments that use your company as the "laboratory". You focus on marketing, finance, strategy, digital transformation, and cultural transformation.

You try out new ideas, gather input and feedback, and go back to refine and develop a full-fledged business proposal, strategy or execution plan. The assignments are introduced in a cumulative way through a cycle of execution and reflection, integrating step by step what you learn on the leadership stream and in the Discovery Expeditions.

Learn more in the EMBA Sponsor Guide.

Leadership stream: develop high-impact leadership skills

Many find that the leadership stream is the most enlightening and valuable element of the program. You reflect and experiment with your leadership style through team simulations, individual assignments, and personal one-on-one coaching.

Leadership is at the heart of your ability to effect change in your organization. This is critical as you move into senior management roles where you are increasingly responsible and accountable for delivering results, especially through others.

Receive high-impact personal leadership coaching integrated throughout the program
IMD’s Executive MBA is not just about acquiring and mastering technical knowledge, it’s a transformational human experience. Benefit from one-on-one leadership coaching throughout the program. Enhance your ability to positively impact your organization as you discover how you take-up authority, better understand group dynamics and develop the inner resilience to cope in any situation.

Global Discovery Expeditions
Experience globalization first-hand. Explore themes that impact the way business is done in different parts of the world.

You will join three, one-week expeditions, enabling you to gain deep understanding of the global business environment through major themes such as:

  • Entrepreneurship: from ideas to execution
  • Innovation
  • Corporate transformations
  • Social innovation and impact investment
  • Business challenges in emerging economies
  • Start-up ecosystems 

Guided by passionate faculty and local experts, you see life as it is, in companies, as well as in the cultural, economic and political context in which they operate. 

Explore themes and destinations

Entrepreneurship: from ideas to execution
Work directly with a Swiss start-up, understand the market and potential business opportunity, and pitch the start-up to venture capitalists.
Potential destinations: Silicon Valley, Dubai, India

Analyse a real business challenge for a company, carry out a strategic analysis and develop recommendations for the client firm.
Potential destinations: China

Corporate transformations
Carry out a real project to examine corporate transformations for a company and make recommendations for a major transformation.
Potential destinations: India

Social innovation & impact investment
Learn how to think big in a small market. Find ventures that have the potential to grow and scale.
Potential destinations: Peru

Business challenges in emerging economies
Learn about the unique opportunities and challenges of doing business in emerging markets.
Potential destinations: Kenya

Start-up ecosystems
Enhance your understanding of what is required for an entrepreneurial ecosystem to flourish and identify potential pitfalls.
Potential destinations: Israel

Executive Career Management: the master of your destiny

Receive career management tools and personalized guidance to help clarify your professional career strategy and how you can best fulfill your aspirations – whether this means pursuing a career within your current organization or elsewhere.

IMD business school rankings

Our executive education programs are ranked highly by the world's most influential business publications.

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IMD complies with applicable laws and regulations, including with respect to international sanctions that may be imposed on individuals and countries. This policy applies to all applications for IMD programs from individuals or organizations, and any commercial or non-commercial partnerships.