Why IMD consistently ranks among the top international business schools?

Top international business schools are a small, select group. These are the schools that consistently feature at the top of independent rankings. The schools that attract the best individuals and the best organizations, year after year. The schools that develop the critical skills needed to manage today’s - and tomorrow’s - complex business challenges. The schools that really will help you realize your full potential.

IMD: one of the world’s top international business schools

Rankings by respected institutions clearly place IMD among the world’s top international business schools. IMD is ranked first in executive education outside the US (Financial Times 2017) and first in open programs worldwide (Financial Times 2017). IMD’s MBA is ranked number one worldwide (Forbes, 2011) and number one outside the US (The Economist, 2011).

But in fact, IMD is more than a business school. We collaborate with our clients to resolve real business issues, build capabilities and prepare for the future. 100% focused on real-world executive development, our programs and services combine practical experience, thought leadership and a global mindset. More than anything, our goal is to serve you – as an individual, team or organization – as quickly, flexibly and effectively as possible.

This is why more than 8,000 executives come to IMD every year, and why 120 global companies chose IMD for their customized programs in 2011 alone.

What three things must top international business schools offer today’s executives?

1. Top international business schools must innovate, innovate, innovate

In a constantly evolving global economic environment, executives must master innovative leadership, flexibility and problem-solving approaches. Top international business schools need to mirror this in their program delivery.

This is why IMD is constantly innovating to give executives the programs they need, where and when they need them. We are pioneers in customized partnership programs and innovative open programs - and, increasingly, in blended learning experiences that combine the best of both.

How can we do this? As a foundation without the constraints of university structures and academic processes, IMD is independent and entrepreneurial. We are non-dogmatic and have no national agenda. This means we can quickly adapt to our clients’ evolving needs.

2. Top international business schools must get globalization

Globalization is a driving force of business today. Fast-growing emerging markets, rising economic interdependence and ever-increasing movement of goods, services, technology, capital and people mean that today’s leaders must not just operate within the context of globalization, they must live and breathe it.

The same is true for business schools. If top international business schools do not embrace globalization, their programs will be ineffective. Indeed, if a business school can’t do this, why call itself international? Or top?

IMD is one of the most international schools you’ll find in the world. With no dominant nationality, IMD is intellectually and culturally diverse. Just look at the numbers:

  • 8,000 executives from 98 countries come to IMD each year
  • 120 global companies chose IMD for their customized programs in 2011
  • 75,000 alumni are members of 45 clubs around the world


But more than being naturally integrated into every program by virtue of our Faculty and participants, globalization forms an active part of our teaching. Some programs even take you on location to emerging markets to give you direct experience and insights into globalization. You see that while globalization is complex, it also provides exciting opportunities to cooperate internationally and develop global-scale solutions.

3. Top international business schools must prepare you to steer well through rough waters

The global business environment has seen unprecedented challenges in the last few years. Economic, social, geopolitical, environmental… the challenges are increasing on all fronts.

Top international business schools need to prepare you for the real world, including rough waters. This is why IMD helps you leverage the leadership and problem-solving skills inherent in you rather than teach a standard business toolkit and follow a timeworn style.

IMD Faculty members are firmly in touch with the current business environment. There’s no ivory tower, just realism. And IMD programs are designed to boost leadership skills for all levels of management from young talent to CEO. You are taught to master business concepts and gain firm footing in the real world. You are taught and coached to become the best leader that you can be through self-awareness and learning to leverage your top skills. You become a nimble leader ready to face the challenge as it comes, not seek a textbook answer.

IMD’s 100% focus on real-world executive development

All IMD programs and services focus on real-world challenges faced by executives. Run like a business, not only as an academic institution, we adopt a practical, problem-solving approach to create value and impact. Meeting your needs – as an individual, team or organization - in a constantly changing global business environment is what places IMD among the world’s top international business schools.