Disrupt to grow

The Difference

There are five fundamental elements in our approach that make us different: action learning – the ESEM way, strong leadership focus, dedicated mentoring, cross-functionality and organisational impact.

Action learning – the ESEM way

One of the main critics of managerial education is the disconnect between what is learned in the classroom and what is actually applied in the workplace. Our pedagogical approach, the ESEM Method, bridges that gap by putting a strong focus on the application of knowledge addressing real challenges businesses are facing.

The ESEM Method is a cycle of learning, doing and reflecting with dedicated mentoring throughout. Effectively, the action learning method amplifies learning through application and reflection. Each programme at ESEM is designed to integrate action learning at its core.

Key features of the ESEM action
learning approach

  • Connects learning with experience and vice-versa
  • Improves knowledge retention in long term memory
  • Encourages reflections, discussions and peer-to-peer exchanges
  • Creates wider impact across teams and organisations
  • Increases opportunities for networking


Participants start by learning fundamentals and key theoretical concepts, at their own pace, customised to their previous knowledge, helping them get well prepared for advanced concepts covered in-class sessions.

Class sessions

With essential knowledge in hand, participants are immersed in dynamic class sessions where they learn applicable tools and innovative concepts, discuss real cases and debate current issues.


Participants undergo a series of mentored individual reflection exercises with the purpose of reflecting back on learnings and how they can be applied in real life.


With the right concepts and toolset, participants enter the action phase where they work on real problems organisations are facing with the support of their mentors and professors.

Strong leadership focus

Leadership development journey that ESEM has carefully designed encompasses the most comprehensive portfolio of skills and competencies not to be found in any comparable programme. It addresses the need for future-focused leadership development by exploring core leadership themes, including: motivation, authenticity and adaptability, power and influence, change and complexity.

On that path, participants are exposed to new perspectives, knowledge and tools to maximise their personal leadership ability. They learn from world-class faculty and experienced specialists, as well as from an international cohort of like-minded and motivated professionals.

Leadership is learnt and practised

Leadership is an attitude. It’s a choice. Leadership is learnt and practised. Leaders are created and nurtured. At all levels of an organisation. Their task is noble and tough. It is to navigate the complex challenges and empower the teams to prosper. Requires foresight, resilience and deep sense of purpose. To address these challenges in a volatile world we have taken upon ourselves to introduce a unique and robust leadership focus in all our programmes.

Leadership is learnt and practised across these five blocks of leadership competencies:


Leading people and teams

Communication and negotiation


Organisational leadership

The goal is to learn how to champion current and future context challenges, flourish on innovation that prioritises long-term sustainability in both individual and team contexts, and develop strategic approaches to stakeholder engagement to drive high-impact change.

Learning and embracing resilient leadership is not a straightforward path. It requires a radical rethinking of the rulebooks and conventions that drive decision-making and a change in mindset for leaders at all levels. And it is not only an academic exercise. We provide opportunities to apply the knowledge in real-life assignments where participants can test, sharpen and truly develop the leadership frame of mind.

Throughout the leadership development journey participants are supported by highly dedicated and specifically trained mentoring faculty that will ensure the right guidance for maximum effect in the workplace and life.

Dedicated mentoring

The mentoring process starts by assessing the knowledge requirements of participants and providing them with relevant learnings to be prepared for advanced discussions in class. During these class sessions, together with our international faculty, our mentors encourage and guide discussions facilitating peer exchange.

Class sessions are followed by reflective mentoring sessions where participants reflect on the knowledge acquired creating better understanding of tools and concepts and tools.

Mentorship is the backbone of our action learning approach.

It personalises the learning process allowing for ongoing support and guidance, and also helps optimise the time spent on learning. Our mentors are renowned professors and practitioners, experts in their field, well positioned to guide both the learning process and action projects in companies.

During the action phase of the learning process our mentors help participants define assignments that will have the most impact in the working environment and amplify the participant’s learning curve. With ongoing progress checkpoints, mentors provide continued guidance until the completion of the assignment.



Open reflection

Guiding exchanges

Dedicated reflection

Guiding action projects

Experienced reflection

In addition to providing guidance and support, our mentors also take responsibility to help participants optimise their time most efficiently making sure the learning process does not create an unsustainable time burden for them.


Challenges that companies face are rarely isolated in one function. Cross-functional pedagogy is an approach to talent development that covers different disciplines aiming to solve complex business issues spanning across company functions.

Solutions require multi-functional collaboration between key teams like Finance, Marketing and Operations. The key to driving business growth ultimately comes from the potential of company’s leaders to resolve complex challenges that require cross-functional knowledge, skills, competencies and collaboration.

At ESEM we believe the ability to tackle business issues from multiple functional perspectives is a key competency for effective leadership. We have carefully designed each programme from a cross-functional perspective with dedicated focus on tackling compound multidisciplinary challenges. Our faculty members from different disciplines work together to develop comprehensive and well-rounded courses. The curriculum of each programme is coordinated across disciplines with synergies across modules and no overlapping.

Cross-functionality complements traditional discipline-based lessons by integrating teaching and learning oriented towards complex business challenges. Participants gain a multifunctional perspective which enables them to think holistically about different functional domains and understand perspectives from all stakeholder viewpoints when solving business problems.

The mission of a cross-functional course is to train leaders, not technocrats.

Organisational impact

Our programmes are carefully designed to bring significant benefits to sponsoring organisations that take top talent development seriously. These benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Reaching the best, time-effective solutions to business challenges
  • Enhancing employee retention by nurturing their continued development
  • Developing and preparing candidates for promotion to executive leadership positions
  • Helping break the cycle of silo mentality when faced with company-wide challenges
  • Enhancing business performance at different levels of the organisation

Our unique method for management development is designed for immediate impact.

It is an enriched learning experience grounded in practice. It helps participants create solutions across different functions of their company and contributes to team motivation across the organisation.

Action learning enhances business agility which transforms organisations to become learning organisations and keep up with the rapid changes in the workforce, competition and technology.

In a nutshell, our approach to business education develops effective leadership and problem-solving traits, which deliver significant, tangible, measurable benefits to organisations investing in talent development.

Our method enables organisations to test brave, new ideas, solve challenges and investigate potential opportunities.

Development cannot be postponed.

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