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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.
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"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."
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.
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.
The Executive HR program is built around three themes:
1. Driving Organizational Success via Extraordinary Strategic People Management and Leadership
2. Enhancing Organizational Socio-Cultural Responsibility and Resilience
3. Leading Others Starts with One’s Self – Growing as a Leader
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.
You are encouraged to attend a virtual Kick-off event on May 6, 2022. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lumme-Tuomala defended her DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) dissertation on Talent Management in June 2017.
During her multiple years’ career at Aalto University Executive Education, 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.
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.
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.
BBA, MA, PhD candidate Lilly Korpiola is an author, key note speaker, media strategist, leadership and communications expert and coach.
Lilly’s expertise is in the leadership and communications. Her passion is to empower people with her inspiring style of speaking and to help them to gain new and fresh perspective from strategy to everyday life. She is praised for her ability to integrate the latest research into practical leadership.
Currently, after Covid pandemic and crisis in Ukraine, she is training organizations in strategic and leadership communications in relations to resilience and psychological security. Among her clients are Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The Finnish Parliament, The Finnish Police Force and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health besides various private and public companies.
She has a broad international educational background from business administration and organizational psychology to communication studies. Her current academic work is in the field of media society, leadership, and strategic and crisis communications.
Lilly has written six non-fiction books based on academic studies (Arab spring 2012 nominated as the best Finnish non-fiction with the Tieto Finlandia award). Her latest book is about resilience and the next will be about leadership in times of crisis and societal changes.
Doctor of Science at Aalto University School of Business (2016)
Professor of Practice (Corporate Socio-Cultural Responsibility), Aalto University School of Business
President, Suomen Urheiluliitto(2019-2024)
Dr. Sami Itani is a diversely skilled management professional and scholar. He has both theoretical expertise and practical experience, for instance, from corporate socio-cultural responsibility, such as diversity & inclusion –related practices and strategies, performance and talent management in knowledge intensive organizations, stakeholder management, mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on cultural due diligence, and strategy formation and implementation in internationally operating organizations.
Dr. Itani is a much-requested keynote speaker in corporate, governmental and NGO events especially in questions relating to organizational social responsibility. Itani has actively engaged in public discussion on contemporary leadership questions, e.g., in times of Covid-19 and when well-known institutions have faced lack of trust from their stakeholders. Itani has published a book on HRM in multinational organizations (Emerald, 2017), and another one on self-management and leadership in the 2020’s (Otava, 2020). Dr. Itani is a former professional athlete in Decathlon and the captain of the national Finnish athletics team.
Currently Dr. Itani works as Professor of Practice at Aalto University School of Business. Prior to this role, he worked five years in executive roles at The Adecco Group, world’s leading HR service provider, most recently as the CEO of Adecco’s operations in Finland. Dr. Itani holds board positions in diversely formed and organized institutions, such as Ltd. (Oy.), NGO (Ry.) and mutual insurance (keskinäinen). Dr. Itani was recently elected for a second three-year term as President of Suomen Urheiluliitto (SUL), an NGO with close to 100 000 members in Finland.
Dr. Itani attained D.Sc. degree from Aalto University, completing part of his doctoral studies as a visiting scholar at Stanford University. At The Adecco Group he participated several executive development programs organized jointly with IMD and INSEAD.
To be confirmed