Leading Business through People

Build your leadership style to lead your business and strategy execution impactfully through people

How has the leader’s job changed in a world where the problems to be solved are increasingly complex? Why do the solutions we create often cause a set of new problems? Why are the conventional models of leadership no longer effective?

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

Today’s leaders need first to identify the key challenges and drivers in the external business environment and then to utilize their leadership skills to influence and connect people for effective action. Impactful leaders achieve results by articulating a joint strategy direction for all stakeholders in their ecosystem, enabling action, aligning resources, and building a culture of learning and renewal.

The Leading Business through People program is designed to cover the competencies you need to lead your business impactfully through people. You will build your leadership style to best lead the strategy execution.

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

The program has been designed based on our customers’ current needs and supported by the latest research to guarantee your development as an impactful leader.

Diverse and international faculty and keynotes challenge your thinking. Inspiring and modern ways of learning impart fruitful new ideas for your leadership.


The latest research shows that achieving strategic goals may fail if the leader’s approach to strategy isn’t holistic. This program gives you a holistic approach to what to consider in your leadership work so that you can build the capabilities needed to realize value over the long term and 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 ecosystems.

Develop your leadership style and learn to influence impactfully with different stakeholders in your ecosystem.
Discover how to support your organization’s innovativeness and growth.
Learn to cultivate collaboration to achieve the strategic goals successfully.
Apply your learnings to your context and organization’s landscape.


The program is for executives and directors who can impact organizational results by leading different stakeholders and ecosystems in the changing environment. The program is particularly beneficial for those who have already transitioned from managing individual contributors to managing other managers.


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

Contents and Schedule

The Leading Business through People program focuses on state-of-the-art knowledge to lead your business impactfully through people. You will learn to interpret and make sense of the organizational landscape, prioritize and translate situations into effective actions, and align and connect to common goals in diverse leadership situations. You will also learn to enhance your organization’s innovativeness to ensure growth in your business.

The program begins with the WorkPlace Big 5 assessment to lay the foundation of your development. The program is delivered through live and online modules, thought-provoking keynotes, simulations, case studies, lectures, and discussions with your peers and faculty. It includes two separate online courses to support your learning. Optional Coaching is also highly recommended to ensure that you can link your learnings and new ideas in the context of your organization and ecosystems.

Program Structure


WorkPlace Big 5 personality assessment will help you understand your leadership style’s strengths and develop them to be even more impactful.

Onsite and Online Modules

Live onsite and online modules give flexibility to your learning and inspire networking with peers.

Two online courses to support your learning

Innovation Leadership online and Emotional Intelligence online to support your development.



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, business model innovation, leadership, top team dynamics, leading change and transformation, organizational culture, and strategic marketing. During the period 2011-2021, he served as the Managing Director and Associate Dean of Aalto University Executive Education.

In addition to his academic activities Dr. Mattila has conducted an active business career. He has served or currently serves as the Chairman of the Board or as a Member of the Board at a number of innovative companies in media, banking, ecommerce, technology, edtech, invest-in, construction, as well as food and beverage industries. Moreover, he serves as a Member of the Board of The Finnish National Gallery.

Dr. Mattila holds a doctorate (D.Sc. 2006) and a master’s degree (M.Sc. 2003) in sociology at the University of Helsinki and an Executive MBA (2010) at London Business School. Over the years, he has frequently visited several prestigious European and Asian universities teaching management, organizational behaviour, marketing, and sociology.

Dr. Mattila has authored several managerial books on leadership, change, and transformation as well as strategic marketing and sales. His consulting, training, and coaching career started in 2003, and his corporate clients comprise over 480 Nordic and international companies, entrepreneurial ventures as well as prominent public sector institutions and NGOs.

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.

Bange works as Senior Solutions Director at Aalto EE, holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics, and is finalizing her Ph.D. in Organisational Communications 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. 

Saara 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 strengths. 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 future of work in the media industry.

Fabián Sepúlveda

Dr. Fabián Sepúlveda is a Senior Advisor at Aalto University Executive Education.

He is actively involved in Finland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a startup coach and Lean Launchpad® trainer, and helps organizations understand and execute Lean Startup methodologies and customer development.

Sepúlveda has more than 20 years of experience in engineering, management consulting and investment banking at companies such as Lucent Technologies, A.T. Kearney, and J.P. Morgan.

He teaches at Aalto University Executive Education and Venture Formation and other courses at the Aalto Ventures Program. He cofounded eyescubed, a startup in automotive technology, and also cofounded Courage Ventures Advisory, which provides entrepreneurship training and development to leading private and public organizations. He is also a cofounding Partner of Courage Ventures Management, a fund investing in health & wellness, education, and environment verticals.

Sepúlveda has a PhD in International Business (Entrepreneurship) from Aalto University, an MBA in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Netherlands) and a BSc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from North Carolina State University (USA).

Stephen Carver

Stephen Carver is a Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University. 


Carver is 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 of taking complex management concepts such as Project, Program, and Crisis Management and being able to distil 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.

Sari Vuohtoniemi

Sari Vuohtoniemi is an Executive, Leadership & Team Coach and Developer, and CEO at True Potential Ltd.

Sari Vuohtoniemi has 20+ years of experience in leadership and team development in corporate and government sectors including holding executive, leadership and expert roles in international start-ups and large corporations in Finland and abroad.

Her special expertise is in executive and leadership coaching, leadership team development, leadership training and consultancy especially in the areas of growing as a leader including developing self-awareness, self-management, wellbeing, resilience, emotional intelligence, team dynamics, coaching leadership and dealing with challenging leadership and team situations.

Sari is currently PhD researcher in Psychology besides her work as an entrepreneur. Sari holds M. Soc. Sci. majoring Social Psychology and minors in Psychology, Business Management and Work Psychology and BBA. She has certifications of a wide variety of developmental tools, assessments and methodologies. 

She believes that every human being and organisation has so much hidden potential and her mission is to support people, teams and organizations to unleash their true potential.
She is a chapter contributor to the Coaching Science Practitioner Handbook (sold in Amazon) and a Co-Leader at International Coaching Federation’s Global Coaching Research Community of Practice. 

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.

Program Fee and Registration

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