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Aalto Service Leader

Lead Your Service Business to Innovation and Growth

Digitalization, new platforms and toughened competition have increased the importance of customer friendly design, well functioning technology and up-to-date service strategy. Therefore, today’s most successful B2B and B2C service businesses utilize insight from business, technology, and design to increase the value of their service

To tackle that disruption, the Aalto Service Leader program covers the latest service business insights from these three areas from a service strategy point of view. The program crystallizes the meaning of customer centric strategy, the potential of the latest technological innovations, such as machine learning, and the importance of customer value focused design.

The modules each focus on one of the areas giving both the latest practical and academic findings to support the service managers and directors. In addition, the program includes a change leadership module to boost the efficiency of service business transition.

Exploit the driving force of digitalization in both B2B and B2C environments. Learn to capture value in services through business model innovation and explore how to leverage customer and stakeholder experience for competitive advantage. And discover ways to lead your organization and coworkers through the transition.

The Aalto Service Leader program combines insight from the three fields of Aalto University – business, technology, and design – to give you the tools to innovate and lead service business in a digitalized world of networks.  

The program addresses the following critical questions for any company seeking growth through services:

  • How can we develop viable and successful business models and take a position in a service value network?
  • How can we exploit technology and actively create new markets in the platform economy?
  • How can we obtain and exploit distinct customer insight to develop front-row service concepts and customer experience?
  • How can you lead and inspire your people to deliver winning customer experiences?

Up to 4.5 European Credits (ECTS) can be transferred from the Aalto Service Leader program to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program.

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Aalto Service Leader Framework


You will acquire methods and tools to design ground-breaking service business models to increase your company’s competitive advantage in a global setting. The program develops leaders who deliver value by developing new – and growing – services and steer high people performance.

Learn to develop innovative service business models and strategies
Acquire new knowledge related to creating new markets with digital services
Understand how value is created in service networks and ecosystems
Apply design-based methods to develop winning customer experiences in services
Increase your competence in leading people in transition into a service mindset
Network and learn with other executives and directors dealing with similar challenges


This program is targeted for directors and top managers seeking growth from new or existing services in B2B or B2C.

  • Corporate directors responsible for strategic development, innovation, marketing, IT or R&D in service business and industrial services
  • Top management in small and medium-sized companies

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Contents and Schedule

The program takes account of participants' busy schedules and has been designed to offer blended learning and strong penetration in your daily work.

We are employing the Echo Team method to extend the impact of the program on the company beyond participants. Echo Teams are small groups of co-workers from participants´ companies. The participant recruits the team and involves it in-between the sessions in a structured process throughout the program.

Program Structure

Pre-module period of 2-3 weeks

Individual preparation, readings and reflection, video lectures, and Echo Team work

Contact sessions

Intensive face-to-face session with instructor and peers, and guest speakers

Post-module period of 2-3 weeks

Reflection, Echo Team work, and optional written post-assignment for MBA path



Dr. Jochen Wirtz

Dr Jochen Wirtz is a Professor of Marketing at National University of Singapore. In recognition of his excellence in teaching and research, Prof. Wirtz has received over 40 awards. He serves on the editorial review boards of over ten academic journals.

Dr Jochen Wirtz has worked in the field of services for over 25 years. His research focuses on service marketing and has been published in some 100 academic journal articles (incl. HBR), 130 conference presentations, and some 40 book chapters. His over 10 books include Services Marketing – People, Technology, Strategy (Prentice Hall, 7th edition, 2011), co-authored with Professor Lovelock, which has become a world’s leading services marketing text book that has been translated and adapted for over 26 countries and regions, and with sales of some 700,000 copies.

Prof. Wirtz has been an active management consultant, working with international consulting firms, including Accenture, Arthur D. Little and KPMG, and major service firms in the areas of strategy, business development and customer feedback systems. He has been involved in a number of start-ups including in Accellion (, TranscribeMe ( and Up! Your Service College (

Originally from Germany, Professor Wirtz spent seven years in London before moving to Asia. Today, he shuttles between Asia, the US and Europe. For free downloads of his work and selected book chapters see  

Dr. Pekka Mattila

Dr. Pekka Mattila serves as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business. He works frequently with European, Asian, African and North-American executive audiences on themes of strategic management and agility, strategy co-creation, business model innovation, executive leadership, top team dynamics, change management, organizational culture and strategic marketing.

Since spring 2011 he has served as the Group Managing Director and Associate Dean of Aalto University Executive Education.

In addition to his academic activities Dr. Mattila has conducted an active business career. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Board or as a Member of the Board at a number of innovative companies. Previously he served in executive, management and senior staff positions in the Nordic financial services industry. Currently he serves as a Member of the Board of The Finnish National Gallery. From 2009 till 2017 he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Helsinki Festival. He is a Founding Member of Nordic Institute of Business and Society.

Dr. Mattila holds a doctorate and masters in sociology at the University of Helsinki and an Executive MBA at London Business School. Over the years, he has frequently visited a number of prestigious European and Asian universities teaching management, organizational behaviour, marketing and sociology. Dr. Mattila has authored a number of managerial books on leadership, change management and strategic marketing and sales.

Dr. Mattila’s consulting and coaching career started in 2003, and his corporate clients comprise over 270 Nordic and international companies, entrepreneurial ventures as well as prominent public sector institutions and NGOs.

Dr. Timo Seppälä

Timo Seppälä works as Professor of Practice, Digital Operations at the Aalto University and as Research Associate at The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, ETLA. Seppälä’s research interest lie in contemporary global phenomena like digitalization, platform economy and global value chains as well as strategic management and internationalization of firms.

Seppälä's areas of expertise include Business Intelligence and Analyses, Global Business Unit and Account Management, Strategic and Operative Business Development, Supplier and Customer Relationship Management and Contract Negotiations. Dr. Seppälä has over 15 years of business experience in several Finnish and international companies for example Metso, OMG Kokkola Chemicals, Oracle, Elcoteq and SAP.

Dr. Petri Aaltonen

Petri works as Business Lead and Partner at Solita (Palmu). His key areas of expertise are business strategy, change management, leadership, service design, qualitative customer insight, process management & simulation and project management.

Petri’s ambition is in strategy-based organizational development. He loves both crystallizing abstract phenomena and driving their long-term implementation in practice. Whether it is a strategic intent, a change plan, or a service concept, it has no value unless it is realized in daily work, he believes.

Petri’s role in Solita’s projects is typically related in identification of customer value, change planning and management, organizational development, and influencing key stakeholders. He often acts as an instructor or a coach in his clients change and leadership programs.    He is also popular lecturer in universities, MBA-programs, and seminars. Petri is especially acknowledged for his enthusiasm and concreteness.  

His recent clients include e.g. Aalto University, Konecranes, Viking Line, Linnanmäki, Lassila & Tikanoja, Ovenia, and City of Helsinki.

Petri holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology. His doctoral thesis topic was Adoption of strategic goals. Exploring the success of strategy implementation through organizational activities (2007).

+ Industry guest speakers

Program Fee and Registration

Program Fee

The program fee for the Aalto Service Leader program is € 8,500 (+ VAT).

The Leading Service Design for Improved Customer Experience module is available as stand-alone program for a fee of € 2,400 (+ VAT).

Please note that the program fee does not include travel expenses or accommodation. VAT is applicable to private persons and Finnish companies.


Register for the program by September 13, 2018.

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