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Diploma in Leading People

Build Your Leadership Style for Impact – Lead Your Business and Execute Strategy Effectively through People

How has the job of a leader changed in today’s world where the problems are increasingly complex? Why are conventional models of leadership no longer effective? How can you become a more influential leader and drive better results for your organization?

To be effective, a leader must influence people and processes throughout their network and ecosystem. Working with different stakeholders and solving complex problems with a wide range of actors requires a particular mindset and new competencies.

The Diploma in Leading People is designed to cover the competencies you need to lead your business impactfully through people. The program is:

  • Designed based on the current needs of customers and backed by the latest research to ensure your development as an effective leader.
  • Presented by diverse and international instructors who will challenge your thinking.
  • Delivered using inspiring and modern learning methods that will stimulate productive ideas for you to use in your leadership role.

After completing this program, you will have a holistic understanding of your leadership style, the various tools and techniques for tackling different interactions and challenging situations, and a strategy to operate with all the players in your network and ecosystem.

Up to 18 ECTS credits from the whole Diploma in Leading People program can be transferred to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program.

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Diploma in Leading People

Understand how leadership today requires influencing people to reach strategic goals and learn practical tools to impact a broader network of actors.

Deepen your skills in leading your organization through uncertain times.

The program can be tailored to your specific learning goals and needs.


The latest research shows that leaders who do not use a holistic approach may fail to achieve strategic goals. The Diploma in Leading People takes a holistic approach to what to consider in your leadership role so that you can build the capabilities needed to realize value over the long term, coordinate different business priorities and make them clear to the various stakeholders. Confident and impactful leaders know how to address and connect with other players in their ecosystem.

Increase your understanding of how leadership requires influencing ecosystems to achieve strategic goals.
Build your leadership style to lead and execute strategy effectively with your different stakeholders.
Learn to use practical tools to manage a vast network of actors.
Support your organization's innovation and growth.
Cultivate collaboration to achieve strategic goals.
Apply your learning to your context and organization’s landscape.


This program is for executives and directors who wish to impact on organizational results by leading different stakeholders and ecosystems in a changing environment. It is particularly beneficial for those who have transitioned from managing individual contributors to managing other managers.

The program suits business line, area, and function directors and CEOs. It is also beneficial for leaders who lead ecosystems and manage multiple teams in several locations.

Contents and Schedule

The Diploma in Leading People program has a modular structure, consisting of three core modules and one elective module. Each core module is held once a year, and you can start the program with any of the modules. Elective modules can be chosen from the pre-selected programs. Each program module is worth 4.5 ECTS study credits.

It consists of a Hogan Assessment, simulations, case studies, lectures, pre- and post-assignments, and discussions with your peers and faculty. The program includes two online courses to support your learning. Optional coaching is also highly recommended to ensure you can link your learnings and new ideas to your organization and ecosystem.

All Diploma in Leading People study modules can also be taken as stand-alone programs.

Core Modules

Elective Module

The elective module can be chosen from a selection of topics based on your specific learning goals and needs. You will make your choice after completing the core modules. Our program team will guide you in tailoring your learning path and finding a suitable elective module.


Saara Bange

Saara Bange is a coach, trainer, and facilitator in leadership, communication, and collaboration with several years of experience in academia and the industry.

Her topics include self-management and self-awareness, leading with emotional intelligence, and understanding identities and personalities in organizational life.

She works as a Director at Aalto EE, holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics, and is finalizing her Ph.D. in Organizational Studies at the Aalto University School of Business. She has published her research in journals such as the Journal of Management Inquiry and the Journal of Media Management. 

Bange is a certified Hogan Assessment personality profiling consultant, certified WPB5 consultant, certified Personal Resilience Practitioner, and certified emotional intelligence (EQi) assessor. She has worked with several individuals and teams to help them find their potential and leverage their leadership skills. Bange’s clients have complimented her for her caring and passionate approach and her ability to explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand.

Prior to joining Aalto University Executive Education, Bange worked for years with leadership development and strategic communications advisory for leading companies in different sectors. Before that, she worked at the Aalto University School of Economics as a researcher and teacher. Her current research interests lie in the intersection of the future of work and leaders’ identity work.

Christel Berghäll

Christel Berghäll’s expertise lies in coaching senior executives, developing senior teams, and developing leadership cultures to drive needed changes to achieve business objectives and implement the strategy.

Her career has been international throughout and she has worked and lived in Finland, Germany, Spain and China and worked as a short-term expert in Africa for many years.

Berghäll brings with her experience both from the corporate and entrepreneurial world. She previously worked as a human resources senior executive at Amer Sports Corporation and YIT Corporation and as a Business Director for Center for Creative Leadership Nordics. She has also worked with Nokia Corporation and SAP in strategic HR and communication roles. After her corporate career, she set up her own business focusing on Executive Coaching, Senior Team Coaching, Facilitation and Organizational Leadership consultancy. Currently she is working part time as a Head of Career Business at Mercer focusing on Strategic Talent Solutions and dedicates the other half of her time to Executive Coaching in her own business at Step Beyond Ltd.

Christel holds a Master’s degree in economics (M.Sc. econ.) in international economics and has completed her Diploma in Advanced Executive Coaching in London, UK. She is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) by International Coach Federation (ICF)  and a Master Accredited coach by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Christel is also a certified Foresight Practitioner at the Institute for the Future, USA, a Certified Agile HR Coach and a certified career and job transition coach.

Stephen Carver

Stephen Carver is a Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University. 


Carver is an internationally renowned teacher and consultant in the field of project and program management. He started his career as an oil engineer and later at Virgin and then onto a global company as head of change. Stephen has a reputation for taking complex management concepts such as Project, Program, and Crisis Management and being able to distill them down, into highly informative and fun lectures – often using “storytelling” techniques. His attitude is, “if you haven’t done it – you shouldn’t be teaching it!”

Unusually, for an academic, he has actually has spent most of his working life in real business. Stephen is an unusual blend of Academic, Businessman and Teller of Tales. He has taught in UK, US Holland, Germany, France, Portugal, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia and has appeared on National Radio and TV.

Joaquín Cava

Joaquín Cava is a Lecturer at the Department of Strategy and General Management at Esade.

Joaquín Cava has developed most of his career at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which he joined in 1994. He became a partner and Vice President of the firm in January 2002. During his career as a consultant, he has worked with a wide range of clients in all sectors: consumer goods, banking, industry (cement, machine tools, metallurgy, etc.), energy, telecommunications, diversified industrial conglomerates, etc. He has been involved in projects in a wide range of functional areas, including: strategic definition and implementation; the design and implementation of business or expansion plans; organizational and process design; the definition of business strategies (channels, products, pricing, etc.); the implementation of plans to improve operational efficiency; management of merger processes and synergies; the valuation of acquisition objectives and participation in due diligence processes; the overseeing of the design and implementation of new strategies for information systems.

While at BCG, Joaquín Cava has also been responsible for the areas of recruitment and marketing at the company's offices in Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon. Before joining BCG, he worked at The Mac Group and Prodesfarma, SA.

Ville Eloranta

Dr. Ville Eloranta is currently working as a Senior University Lecturer at Aalto University School of Business.

He is also Director of the IDBM Master's Program (the Aalto International Design Business Management program for future transdisciplinary professionals) and involved in developing Network University Fitech (a transformative education endeavor of the seven biggest Finnish universities, Technology Industries of Finland, and TEK, the trade union for academic engineers and architects in Finland).

Dr. Ville Eloranta is an expert in design management (connecting design paradigms to management practice), business model innovation (especially platform business models), and distributed ledger technologies (especially open blockchain implementations). He has a solid track record of publications in top-level management journals.

Besides a strong academic track record, Dr. Ville Eloranta has 20 years of experience in design and entrepreneurship solving digitalization challenges, especially for big B2B customers.

Ville Eloranta holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management from Aalto University School of Science and Technology.

Ira Lange

Ira Lange's core competencies are relationships in the workplace and the factors that influence behavior and interaction of management and experts.

Her coaching and training themes are leadership and management practices, efficient and effective team building, as well as building trust and confidence in the organization. In recent years Lange has also coached executive board members and management teams which have faced leadership challenges in achieving common goal.

Lange is interested in human cognition, emotions, and efficiency in workplace environment and in a professional context. In addition to leadership coaching and training, Lange also trains sales and customer relationship management skills, based on her previous experience as a consultant and sales manager. Lange makes a variety of assessments and inquiries that can be connected to team building and personal development programs.

Lange is a coach, CEO and entrepreneur at Q.motion Oy. She has over 20 years of experience in sales and leadership management, e.g.,  Aspectum Consulting, Amos Partners, Bon Stockbrokers, AON Corporation. Lange works in Finland and Baltic countries.

She has Masters from the University of Helsinki. She is a certified Business Coach by ICF and team builder, TM.

Natalia Vuori

Natalia Vuori is an Assistant Professor in Leadership at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University.

Professor Vuori is an expert in strategic leadership and change management in radical changes (digital and AI transformation, M&A) and more incremental changes (changes toward a more agile and innovative culture). 

Professor Vuori’s research was published in prestigious scholarly and practice journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, and Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions. She also won five international awards from the Strategic Management Society and the Academy of Management, including the Newman Award of the Academy of Management.

Professor Vuori is an experienced speaker and educator. She gives keynote speeches for companies and facilities strategy and change management workshops for companies. She uses innovative teaching methods based on interactive learning. Professor Vuori also consults companies on topics such as strategy and change implementation, post-acquisitions integration, and culture for more flexibility and innovation. In the past, she conducted research at such prestigious universities as INSEAD, and Bocconi University.

Timo Vuori

Timo Vuori is an Associate Professor, Strategic Management at Aalto University School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.

Professor Timo O. Vuori is a strategy consultant and professor at Aalto University. His research on the psychological aspects of strategic management has been published in leading international journals and won several international awards. He has taught and presented his research at leading universities like Harvard and INSEAD. 

Professor Vuori's research and teaching focus on how companies formulate and execute strategies. He has written two books with senior business executives on these topics. "Living Strategy" describes scenario-based strategy making in an ever-changing world. "Platform Strategy" describes how incumbent firms should and can renew themselves in the digital era. The books detail both the "hard" factors, such as technology and business models, and "soft" factors, such as people and psychology, influencing strategy and renewal.  

Professor Vuori works extensively with companies, often collaborating with a leading strategy consulting company. Vuori helps the client organization formulate and evaluate several strategic options in strategy formulation projects. He uses advanced psychological techniques to help leaders unleash their strategic creativity and overcome thinking myopias and personal biases. This approach is based on his cutting-edge international research, also described in the Platform Strategy. 

In strategy execution projects, Professor Vuori specializes in helping the client firm optimize the psychological engagement of the whole organization. He analyses the psychological impact of the intended strategy execution program and modifies it to maximally leverage the emotions of the organization's members' for effectiveness.

Program Fee and Registration

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Diploma in Leading People Stand-Alone Modules

You can take the complete Diploma in Leading People program, including all four core modules and one elective module of your choice, or register for individual stand-alone Diploma in Leading People modules.