Leading the Way in Management Development

Bled, Slovenia


In the fast-changing world of management development, it is crucial that leadership teams of educational institutions share the same perception of the main challenges and strategy, are able to develop comprehensive plans for dealing with external and internal changes, and work efficiently together to implement these plans.

This strategic retreat, designed by a group of experienced presidents and deans from CEEMAN member institutions, is intended to help top leadership teams of management schools (deans or directors attending with their top team members) to stress-test and fine-tune their strategies and plans. This is achieved through a series of Masterclasses on key issues that management development institutions are facing, extensive faculty coaching and peer-to-peer feedback.

The programs' name Leading the Way in Management Development, has been chosen with three underlying beliefs in mind:

  1. Measuring up to best practices, whether local or global, is not enough. The new gold standard must be to lead the way.
  2. In a world where both management and management development are continuously faced with a host of new challenges, innovation and change must be key components of any institution's future strategy and plans.
  3. CEEMAN institutions, with their unique experience in the world's rising economies, can and should take the lead on the world stage.

Participant teams are able to progressively stress-test their strategies and plans:

  • first, in terms of their strategic integrity, market potential, and marketing effectiveness;
  • second, in terms of anticipated changes in both management itself and in management development;
  • and third, in terms of what needs to be done to realign teaching, research, faculty policies, and organization for the future.

Download the workshop's brochure
Download outline


     Who should attend?

Deans/directors with 3-5 members of their core management team e.g. associate deans/vice-presidents for academic affairs, research, or major programs, CFOs, heads of administration, etc.

Why attend?

Teams should expect the following main "take-homes":

  • A revised perception of the main challenges ahead as well as a thorough rework of strategies and plans to deal with these.
  • A shared understanding and commitment by the whole team to tackle these issues and implement the needed changes.
  • Very substantial and lasting individual and team learning about the leadership challenges confronting all management development institutions worldwide, and how to think about them and deal with them given the particularities of one’s own institution.

Taken together, these take-homes can be expected to result, for most if not all teams, in a major shake-up and reset of both direction and change plans. The workshop can also be considered as important preparation for the world's leading accreditation or re-accreditation schemes. Therefore, return-on-investment, given the relatively low cost of program participation, can reasonably be expected to be very significant.

What makes Leading the Way in Management Development different?
  • To have maximum impact in practice, the program is directed at top management leadership teams, not just at the dean/director/president only.
  • A daily series of Masterclasses which prompt progressive reworking of each participating institution’s strategy and plans
  • A leitmotif of the whole workshop is to learn how to combine excellence with relevance in both teaching and research. Relevance is becoming an imperative for management development worldwide and CEEMAN, through its core membership in the world's rising economies, is committed to taking the lead in this long-overdue course correction.
  • The belief of CEEMAN and Leading the Way faculty is that it is precisely institutions in the world's rising economies that are likely to lead the way in both management and management development in the future. This program thus provides a unique opportunity to share experience, to learn from each other, and to forge these new paths together. This collaboration is expected to extend into the future with CEEMAN acting as a catalyst.
  • Take-home is primarily a reconsidered and reworked plan and 2-3 high-priority strategic initiatives to take each participating institution to the future, as well as team commitment to make the needed changes happen. 
  • The potential exists for a very high return on investment for participating institutions. Once take-home plans are put into practice, the financial, quality, and reputational returns are likely to far exceed the relatively small fee investments.


Program Objectives

  • To better understand the future world of management, the capacities that will be required, and the influence that this may have, among other things, on the future of management development
  • Within these contexts, how to set future strategic direction and positioning and their implication for program content, learning processes, research, and faculty policies, as well as internal resources, organization, and external outreach.
  • To apply the above learning to one's own institution - through closely-coached project work aimed at stress testing each participating team's current plans, revising them as needed, and developing specific strategic initiatives to achieve these.
  • For individual team members, to share ideas and experience with others with parallel responsibilities from other participating teams (deans/directors; associate deans/VPs for teaching; associate deans/VPs for tesearch; heads of finance/administration; etc).

Leading the Way is a three-day strategic retreat with a follow-up Skype session three months later.
  • Each participating team should submit, at least one month ahead of the workshop, a 3-5 page overview of their operating environment/markets; their mission, vision and strategy; and their perceived key challenges. Guidelines for these submissions will be distributed by the faculty well in advance of the workshop. Each team should also review the internet sites of other participating teams and be ready to make comments.
  • A progressive series of Masterclasses (12 in all) by highly experienced faculty coaches act as "stress tests" to provoke rethinking, refinement, elaboration, or in some cases, complete redrafting of these original submissions.
  • The three days wind up with a final Masterclass dedicated to define and then implement 2-3 high-priority "strategic change initiatives", the focus of the "homework" which will precede a half-day Skype session for all teams three months after the workshop itself.


Depending on the final number of enrolled teams, the faculty team will comprise the Program Leader, Professor Derek F. Abell, together with one or both of the founding faculty below. Each have more than 15 years of service as deans/directors/presidents leading and building renowned management development institutions.

Additionally, invited faculty experts step in as necessary to provide specialized expertise in various functional areas (such as finance, faculty policies, accreditation and quality, pedagogy, etc). 

Prof. Derek F AbellProgram Leader, Founding President of ESMT-European School of Management and Technology, Germany, former dean of IMEDE (now IMD), Switzerland
Danica Purg
Prof. Danica PurgPresident of CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia
Prof. Irina SennikovaRector of RISEBA University of Business, Arts and Technology, Latvia


Participating teams may vary in number from 4 to 6 members. The dean/director/president must always be included as a leadership team member.

Depending on the team size, fees for CEEMAN members are as follows:

  • with 4 participants per team: €4,200 total (€350 per day per participant) 
  • with 5 participants per team: €4,500 total (€300 per day per participant)
  • with 6 participants per team: €4,860 euros (€270 euros per day per participant)

Fees for non-members:

  • with 4 participants per team: €4,800 total (€400 per day per participant) 
  • with 5 participants per team: €5,000 total (€333 per day per participant)
  • with 6 participants per team: €5,400 euros (€300 euros per day per participant)

Applications with full-fee payments received before 1 July enjoy an additional early-bird discount of 10%.

The fee includes attendance of all sessions, program materials, coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners as indicated in the program. The fee does not include travel costs and accommodation expenses.

Participants from organizations with a valid Erasmus Charter are eligible for ERASMUS+ Grant Support for the Mobility of Staff as all CEEMAN programs are hosted by IEDC Bled School of Management.


Nearest airports
Ljubljana International Airport Jože Pučnik (Brnik) is situated 37 km southeast of Bled (about 20-25 minutes drive). It is connected with all major European cities and airports. The Slovene national air carrier is Adria Airways. For intercontinental flights we recommend a connecting flight via Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, London or Paris. Transfer from/to Ljubljana airport can be booked through CEEMAN Office.

Other neighboring international airports are in:


A range of hotels in Bled, a unique tourist destination, is available within walking distance from the venue. Suggestions on accommodation can be provided by CEEMAN.


To register for the workshop, please send completed registration form to CEEMAN Project Manager Živa Žmavc Thongvanh at ziva.zmavc@ceeman.org.

In order to benefit most from the program, a good working knowledge of English is recommended.


Olga Veligurska
Olga VeligurskaCEEMAN Director
+386 4 57 92 505


Živa Žmavc Thongvanh Project Manager
+386 4 57 92 518