Delivery mode





Executive HR

People come first. 

Individuals, organizations, and wider society are being battered by the forces of continuous change. The success and resilience of your organization rely on your people.

The Executive HR program focuses on enhancing your strategic HR leadership skills and competencies in a rapidly changing and evolving environment. It is tailored to experienced HR leaders, business partners, and learning and development managers across all sectors in Finland and abroad.

During the program, you will holistically develop your strategic thinking ability and deepen your HR leadership skills and capabilities. You will build your confidence and skills as a credible and valuable partner for senior management, ready to drive organizational transformation.

You will gain relevant, evidence-based knowledge, a theoretical framework, practical tools, resources, and skills based on the latest research, industry innovations, and inspiring case studies. Our methods are interactive and designed to support your individual learning journey. We encourage you to apply your learning within your organization. A dialogue between theory and practice characterizes our approach. 

4.5 ECTS credits can be transferred from this program to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program.

Digitalization and globalization, together with global crises, such as the pandemic and war in Ukraine, have increased international tension and economic instability and challenged businesses, ecosystems, and supply chains. These have a wide impact on individuals, organizations, and wider society.

The challenge facing many organizations is how to adapt and prepare for the unknown while carrying out day-to-day activities. Individuals, organizations, and wider society are being battered by the forces of continuous change. The success and resilience of your organization rely on your people.

Attracting, growing, and retaining, the right talent while offering meaningful work and opportunities for continuous development and growth, supported by organizational culture, management, and leadership practices enhancing psychological safety, well-being, and high performance, are no easy tasks for any organization.

Strategic HR is one of the core organizational capabilities of a successful organization. HR is expected to lead the formulation of a people strategy, aligning and linking it effectively with the overall aims of the business, enhancing the optimal implementation, and maximizing the impact. This is not easy or straightforward.

The Executive HR program offers you a safe platform to experiment and develop new innovative ideas and solutions for your business. You will have a chance to work on a solution for a real-life business case with your peer group during the program. Proposals will be presented to the group and the visiting members(s) of the case organization’s senior management team. Your own organization can also put forward a case request. The groups will choose which case they will work on. 

The program is led by internationally distinguished professors and researchers from Aalto University, complemented by experts from our professional networks. A valuable aspect throughout the program will be learning from and sharing knowledge with your fellow peers.

Download brochure  Contact us

"One of the best training programs I have participated in."
"I had high expectations and I got what I expected"
"I learned to think on a more strategic level and gained new tools to use going forward."
-2019 participants

The participants will work on a real-life strategic HR challenge of a chosen organization during the program. They will immediately apply their learning in practice and propose a solution for the senior management team of the organization.

Successful completion of the Executive HR program will earn you 4.5 ECTS credits towards our Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA programs.


Participants in the program will be better equipped to drive organizational transformation and strengthen their organization’s capability to be fit for the future. They will understand how HR should take an active role in ensuring continuous business success and how they as HR leaders and influencers can support their organization in achieving this. Participants will have an opportunity to propose real-life cases from their own organization for the group to work on and to develop an innovative solution.

Build your confidence and skills as a credible people leader, business partner and strategic influencer
Develop your strategic thinking ability and deepen your HR leadership skills and capabilities holistically
Explore, develop and test solutions for your organization, and share your learning in practice
Deepen your understanding of how HR can support and empower your people and organization to drive organizational transformation and prepare your organization to be fit for the future


The program is tailored to experienced HR leaders, business partners, learning and development specialists. The participants are likely to have a key role in organizational strategy formulation and implementation. They may be leading or managing an HR function or be in a senior advisory role, influencing decision making and focusing on driving business success and organizational development via their people.

The program is ideal for you if you see yourself in the following. You are committed to developing yourself as a credible HR leader and professional and are willing to drive strategic organizational transformation. You realize that to stay ahead of the game, you and your business will need to make a continuous investment in the skills, capabilities and wellbeing of your people.

Contents and Schedule

The Executive HR program is built around three modules:
1. Strategic HR to Drive Organizational Success
2. Strategy, Organizational Design, and Future Capabilities
3. Leading Change and Situational Awareness

The first module is held over three consecutive days, the other two modules consist of two days each. Some pre-program and between module work will be required in addition to the face-to-face training. You will work on a case-study as part of a group, and you will be expected to complete some independent written work.

You will be awarded 4.5 ECTS credits towards Aalto EMBA and Aalto MBA programs, after successful completion of the program. In addition, you will receive feedback based on your participation.

The first module focuses on the foundations and purpose of strategic people management (HRM) and leadership. The second module is about strategizing organizational socio-cultural responsibility and contingency planning. The final module is about people and us as leaders: how to lead continuous change, ourselves as leaders, and increase our self-awareness. We will also go through the project presentations and focus on continuous development.

Program structure

Pre-program Work

The purpose is to go through the program and schedule, orientate and prepare. It will also be a chance for you to start networking immediately! You will be given guidance on how to prepare for the 1st Module at the Kick-off.

2–3 Day Training Modules

Intensive and inspiring sessions with peers, supported by the Program Director and led by Aalto faculty and our professional partners.

Between Modules Work (4–11 weeks)

Assignments, self- and group study periods, reflection, applying and sharing learning in practice.



Riitta Lumme-Tuomala

Dr. Riitta Lumme-Tuomala has extensive expertise in leadership, especially from the point-of-view of potential development, talent management, individual diversity (MBTI Step I and Step II Certification, WorkPlace Big Five Profile Certification), and self-leadership. She is an expert and frequent lecturer on these topics. 

During her multiple years’ career at  Aalto EE she has been responsible for e.g., brand marketing, communication, and alumni relations.  She started in her Senior Advisor role in February 2023.

Her working experience includes Pfizer (HRD Manager 2001–2005), Mercuri Urval (2000–2001), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Regional Finance Officer, Africa 1995–1999).

Riitta Lumme-Tuomala holds a M.Sc. in Economics with a major in International Marketing from the Helsinki School of Economics, and an EMBA from HSE Executive Education. Lumme-Tuomala defended her DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) dissertation on Talent Management in June 2017.

Ben Nothnagel

Ben Nothnagel is a Senior Advisor at Aalto University Executive Education and has worked with Aalto EE for over 20 years specializing in developing the leadership skills of executives who are part of ambitious businesses.

Nothnagel's focus is on encouraging individuals and organizations to excel by increasing self-awareness, creating understanding of the individual diversity of performance and results, enhancing influencing-skills and building high-performance leadership teams.

Nothnagel’s current research focus on three main areas: neuro-leadership (practical lessons that leaders can learn from neuro-science), cognitive decision-making and emotional-intelligence.

Nothnagel teaches periodically in Aalto Executive MBA programs at various locations in Europe and Asia. He is the owner of Benna Oy and is a Senior Advisor at Aalto EE. He works as a consultant and executive-coach all over the world, including the Nordic-countries, Germany, the United States and Asia. His clients include companies such as ABB, Basware, Cargotec, Danfoss, Daimler, Fazer, Finnair, GE, Hewlett-Packard, HKScan, Michelin, Ruukki, Vaisala and Yahoo.

Nothnagel is an Attorney at Law, Myers-Briggs Certified Interpreter and Certified Emotional-Intelligence Practitioner.

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.

Hertta Vuorenmaa

Hertta Vuorenmaa works as a Research Director in the Future of Work research project at Aalto University.

Her current research focuses on changing nature of work and changing people management, HRM in public and private organizations, digitalization, gender and qualitative research methods including ethnography.

Dr. Vuorenmaa is an experienced researcher and trainer. She has been working as a researcher in several large Academy of Finland funded research projects focusing on for example well being at work, people management and its various roles and gender inequalities.

Juha Äkräs

Juha Äkräs is a Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Hintsa Performance and Executive in Residence at Aalto University School of Business, Department of Management.

Juha Äkräs has worked as Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Nokia Oyj and as a member of the Nokia Executive Board and Nokia Siemens Networks Board of Directors. Before these, he worked in multiple business management roles, including Senior Vice President of Core Networks at Nokia Networks. He has held multiple positions of trust in business and non-profit organizations.

Currently, he is co-leading a research program called “The Exponential Work Project: Cascading Wellbeing, Climate & Organizational Performance” – a joint research project by Aalto University, Hintsa Performance, and Ilmarinen.

Juha Äkräs holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology and has studied Industrial Management, Work Psychology, and Telecommunications.

Jukka Luoma

Jukka Luoma is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Aalto University School of Science.

Professor Luoma is an expert in competitive dynamics, market-oriented strategies, and the use of models and data in organizational decision making.

He has also had visiting scholar positions at the Darden School of Business and McIntire School of Commerce, both at the University of Virginia.

Katja Toropainen

Katja Toropainen is the founder & CEO at Inklusiiv, where she supports business leaders, investors and tech companies in advancing DEI.

Katja has a near decade of leadership experience in international working environments, and over 5 years of experience driving strategic DEI change in organizations.

Arja Suominen

Arja Suominen is a seasoned communications executive who masters global commucations strategies, planning and execution of extensive change management projects as well as running serious crisis communications cases, and media training of corporate leaders. In addition, Arja has experience on creating sustainability strategies and consulting different companies on their sustainability challenges.

Arja currently runs her own  boutique communications compony. In addition, she acts as a senior sustainabiity advisor at Greenstep. She has previously led Nokia’s global communications function and served as the member of the expanded management team of the company. In Finnair, she was a leadership team member in charge of Communications and sustainability. She also helds multiple posions in non-profit orginisations.

Arja holds a MA degree from Helsinki University. In addtion, she has media  e-MBA degree from University of Turku. She has also been rewarded with the Lifetime award by Finnish Association of Communications professional. Arja Suominen is a founding member and a former vice chair of the European Association of Communications Directors (EACD).

Featured Insights

Program Fee and Registration

Program start